First Duck : 8 weeks old
Glenbrier: The Breeding Program
I have moved in a different direction from my early days in the conformation ring, not only in my breed of choice but also in my goals as a breeder. I no longer breed for, or compete in conformation, preferring to focus my energies on the various performance events. In particular, I value and respect the working abilities of the Golden in the field and never forget that the primary function of the breed is for upland hunting and retrieving. I work hard to maintain that hunting instinct and work ethic throughout my breeding program. However, those early years also imprinted on me a love for structure, movement and conformation, and I continue to strive for that perfect balance and blend of beauty and function in the dogs I produce.
Breeding a new generation of dogs is a serious undertaking and one I donít take lightly. A puppy of my breeding may become the best friend of a child, hopefully teaching that child compassion and responsibility; or they may become the hunting partner and companion of a sportsman as well as a valued family member. A Glenbrier puppy will certainly be capable of taking their new humans to places they never dreamed they would go... such as the obedience, agility or hunt test arenas. However, for any of this to happen the dog must exhibit a sound temperament. An outstanding temperament is the hallmark of the Golden Retriever and one I do not compromise on. A sound temperament however, does not necessarily mean quiet or well behaved, those are trained behaviors that are up to the owner to achieve. The Golden should be bold, friendly, trustworthy, biddable and always, always, always, non-aggressive. Those are the traits that I look for, and both the sire and dam of my litters will possess them.
Clearly longevity and health are also important components of a solid breeding program and I do my best to ensure that the puppies from my litters will have both. However, no matter how carefully breeders test for and select our breeding stock, we have found that we canít guarantee that all puppies will be free of genetic problems. Hip and elbow dysplasia (for example) still show up in lines that have been clear for generations.
Any dog used in my breeding program will have been checked and have health clearances by the OFA (orthopedic foundation for animals (http://www.offa.org) for hips, elbows, heart and eyes. In addition, I also test for those disorders that have available DNA tests. At the present time this includes prcd-PRA, GR PRA1, GR PRA2, and Ichthyosis (http://www.goldendna.com/). I also provide a limited warranty if one of my puppies should be diagnosed with a genetic problem that limits the work the puppy was originally purchased for.
I insist that any puppy purchased from Glenbrier will be raised as a member of the family. I do not sell puppies to families that are looking for an outside, or kennel dog. In addition, it is important to remember that the Golden Retriever is a sporting breed that was bred to hunt, find game, and then retrieve that game to hand. The Golden does best when provided plenty of structured exercise and excels in a working partnership with their human.