Puppy Package Page

by Gina Heitz, Brier Golden Retrievers

This page is intended to be a guide for those looking to bringing a Golden Retriever home within the next few weeks to months. We hope you find this page helpful. Also Please visit this page: Getting Ready what you should expect of a breeder and what the breeder will expect of you.


Brier Golden Retrievers Code Of Ethics


To be sure our puppies get off to the best possible physical and mental start, they are born in our home. We begin socialization by using early neurological stimulation exercises to help strengthen the neurological and immune systems. Our puppies are exposed to stimulation such as touch, sound, textures, and different environments as they show they are ready.


To assure that our puppies have the best possible chance at a sound genetic background, prior to breeding we submit all of our dogs, including pet dogs for genetic health screenings which are recommended by the Golden Retriever Club of America. Of which we are members in good standing.


Current genetic screening:

In an effort to minimize the instance of hip dysplasia (HD) - All of our breeding dogs and many of our pet dogs are Penn-HIP evaluated at approximately 12 months of age as a preliminary evaluation for HD. At or after 24 months of age all potential breeding dogs or pets that have not been Penn-HIP evaluated have hip x-rays submitted to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) results are registered with the OFA.


In an effort to minimize the instance of elbow dysplasia (ED) - All of our breeding dogs and most of our pet dogs have elbow x-rays submitted to either a board certified Veterinary Radiologist or the OFA. Screening is done at or after 24 months of age.


Hearts are examined after 12 months of age by a ACVIM board certified Veterinary Cardiologist on all breeding and pet dogs. This is an effort to minimize the instance of hereditary Sub-aortic Stenosis (SAS). Reports are held on file.


Eye exam's are performed by a DACVO board certified Veterinary Ophthalmologist, following the procedure set forth by the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). All breeding dogs are examined every 12 to 18 months while in the breeding program in keeping with the recommendations set forth by the GRCA. Pet dogs and retired breeding dogs are screened at 24 months, 48 months, and after age 6 years of age it is recommended they are examined yearly by a DACVO Veterinary Ophthalmologist. Reports are held on file.


Our Contract & Deposit policy:

Sample only do not fill out and sbmit.



Breeder: Gina & George Heitz

Brier Golden Retrievers

1060 S. Pacific Hwy

Woodburn, OR 97071-8913

Phone: 503-981-9442

email:gina@briergoldens.com web site: www.briergoldens.com


(Buyer) Name/s:___________________________________________________________




City State Zip Phone Email


Litter born____________ Sex_______________ Registration #_______________________

Sire_____________________________________ Registration #_______________________

Dam______________________________________ Registration #_______________________


The consideration of this sale shall be the sum of $ 1100.00 (One Thousand One Hundred Dollars) plus the terms and conditions set forth.

Terms and Conditions:

This puppy should be examined by a licensed veterinarian with in seventy-two (72) hours of receipt. If your veterinarian determines the puppy to be ill, or for any reason this puppy is unacceptable, Buyer may return the puppy for a full refund, provided it is in the same condition as at the time of purchase. If puppy is returned due to illness, a verified letter from your veterinarian is required. This includes death or illness from any health condition deemed present prior to removal from our premises. No warrantee is furnished for death or illness that presents at the hand of the Buyer or is considered as not present prior to Buyer taking possession by a licensed veterinarian.

This puppy/dog will be provided by Buyer:

1. Adequate and proper housing and sufficiently fed, see feeding guidelines.

2. Adequate and proper veterinary care throughout his lifetime and inoculations maintained.

3. Dog shall not be maintained on a cable run, chain, or any other devise used for tying out.

4. Dog will not be allowed to run at large, dog will only be left unattended in the home (crates are encouraged) or in a fenced yard with padlocks on all gates.

Buyers initials:_____________

Additional General Conditions:

1. Buyer guarantees Breeder rights of first refusal if the dog is to be sold or dispose of in any way. If breeder is unable to re-acquire the dog, Breeder will assist Buyer in placing him. Breeder is not required to buy back the dog, returned dogs are simply returned. No monetary exchange may be demanded by the Buyer from the Breeder.

2. Buyer shall promptly with in thirty days (30) notify Breeder of any change of address, phone number or email address of Buyer.

3. Buyer agrees to the prefix BRIER (kennel name) at the beginning of the dog's registered name as printed by the Breeder on the application for individual registration to AKC.

4. Buyer agrees to notify Breeder of any titles awarded to the dog as determined by: AKC, GRCA, CKC, UCI, TDI, or any other club/registry.

Buyers initials:______________


Conditions Pertaining to Health and Screening:

See: Responsible Ownership & Companion Pet

1. Buyer agrees to have dog x-rayed for verification of orthopedic status via OFA recommendations, hips and elbows between the ages of twelve (12) and eighteen (18) months of age or with in thirty days (30) of request of Breeder if out of sequence is requested. All dogs should be screened.

2. Buyer agrees to have dog's eyes examined between the ages of twelve (12) and sixteen (16) months by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist and again by same after dog reaches age five (5), there after at the advise of the ophthalmologist. All dogs should be screened.

3. Buyer agrees to have dog's heart examined by a board certified veterinary cardiologist between the ages of twelve (12) and sixteen (16) months of age. All dogs should be screened.

4. Buyer agrees to submit the above x-rays and/or reports to the appropriate registry: hips, elbows and heart to OFA eye report to CERF at the time of examination. Or to Breeder for submission as a group at Breeders option.

5. Buyer agrees to furnish Breeder with copies of all reports with in thirty (30) days of receipt from the appropriate registry.

6. Buyer agrees to have DNA collected and submitted to any research program Breeder request.

7. This dog will be altered and not bred. Bitch puppies between ten (10) months and eighteen (18) or following 1 estrus cycle. Dog puppies between fourteen (14) months and twenty four (24) months of age.



Buyers initials:______________

Breeder Warrantee/Guaranty Statement

(See: Disclosure)

Reasonable precautions have been taken to prevent this dog/puppy from acquiring hereditary faults such as the above noted. However, due to the unknown hereditary and environmental causes of such, no guarantee will be given against them.


Deposit Information:

A $300.00 deposit serves as a declaration of buyers intent to purchase a puppy from “X” litter suitable for: (sex of pup, show, working dog, pet, ect to be specfied by buyer)

Buyer understands that it is possible that breeder is turning other homes away form “X” litter because of buyers expressed interest in obtaining a puppy from “X” litter.

Buyer understands that breeder will not know if there will be a suitable puppy available for them from “X” litter until the pups are about 8 weeks old. If there is no suitable puppy Breeder will promptly refund buyers deposit or hold it for future litter at buyer’s request.

If buyer decides after "X" litter is three (3) weeks of age that they are no longer interested in a puppy form “X” litter buyer understand breeder may elect to not make a refund of deposit.

Responsible Ownership:

Most people who look to this breed want to have one or two to share the lives because they make great family pets. While this is true, there is more to owning a golden than simply providing a wonderful home. This is a very popular breed, #2 in AKC registrations. This places responsibility for care-taking on all of us. When you choose to bring a golden into your life you should consider yourself a steward to the breed. Whether we are breeders or not, show or not we owe it to the dogs to be fair responsible and equitable to our pet and the breed over all.

One aspect of being a steward to this breed is that all of us have to help maintain the health of the breed. I think I've done a good job conveying my desire to produce healthy, happy dogs. But to continue to do that, breeders like myself need our puppy people to help. I'm confident that the breedings I'm doing produce great tempered, healthy dogs, but some of that requires verification. In addition I feel that anyone who has a Golden Retriever needs to know if their dog is over all healthy. The only way for you to know this is to do some investigation, which includes the very same health screening we do on breeding dogs. The health issues that this breed has, coupled with the popularity and the lack of information avail is simply due to the fact that many of these dogs are placed as pets who are not cleared for health concerns. I feel that its time for change if this breed is to maintain it's reputation of a sturdy dog, happy healthy pet. As well, if you know sooner than later that your pet has a health issue you will be able to face things head on and make appropriate changes or get appropriate medical attention for your pet. Great strides have been made in veterinary medicine and some issues that we deal with in this breed such as but not limited to hip dysplasia can be treated quite successfully now, problems are however better served if identified at a young age.

What does it mean to you, as pet owner? Mainly, it is cost. To have the hips and elbows done, it's generally somewhere between $150-$200, depending on the veterinarian you use. Your regular vet may not be your best option for this procedure and I can provide you with a referral to a vet who works with breeders to insure that you are working with a veterinarian who has the expertise in this field. Not all vets have a lot of experience in x-raying hips and elbows for the specific purpose of submission to the OFA . To have eyes checked can range anywhere from approximately $20 at a CERF eye clinic to $40-$50 at a veterinary ophthalmologist's office. Again, I will try to help you find CERF clinics in your area if you need me to do so. Or if you live close enough to me you can come here when I have the ophthalmologist come out to check our dogs yearly. Heart clearances are normally done by board certified veterinarian cardiologist and a cardiologist can be hard to come by. Therefore since most vets can detect murmurs I do not see the need to ask you to seek out a cardiologist, however if you choose to do this please contact me for help with a referral. There may be a problem with availability of a cardiologist in some areas and you may not be able to provide this information as easily as some of the other info.

It's very important to me to have as much information as possible on each puppy I produce which should be important to you as well. It will help me to plan future breedings as well as helping other breeders plan their breedings. I will want to know if your golden gets sick or has any problems so I can incorporate as much information as possible to move forward with only producing healthy goldens. As you know, I am concerned about this breed overall. Again, I feel it's time to make changes in the requirements of the past where breeders have not require those who simply want a pet have not conveyed the importance of clearances on seemingly healthy pets.

Until 2001, I had not required clearances of my pet homes, as it has not been standard in the breed to ask this of pet homes. My mentors in the breed have not advocated this, but now as I step into the shoes of mentor I feel this is important, for the breed, therefore I am asking you to please consider compliance. Please contact me for more specific information and what I am wiling to cost share.

For those of you just now considering a Brier dog, if any of the above seems too stringent for you, or too difficult, that's okay. It's not a bad thing if you don't think you are capable, and perhaps you should consider another breed or breeder. For me though, it is important that you understand the commitment you need to make to me, to the breed and to a puppy.

Companion Pet - Spay/Neuter:

This dog is sold as a companion and family member under an AKC "Limited" registration. This means he/she shall be registered with the AKC, but his/her offspring may not be. He/she may not be shown in any licensed show of any recognized kennel club except in Obedience, Agility, Tracking, Hunt Test, Canine Good Citizen tests, or other non-conformation events. This stipulation is made to protect the health of this dog/bitch and the future of the breed and to assure that the Breeder, the Puppies, and their Owners do not contribute to the pet overpopulation problem.

Bitch Puppies:

Buyer agrees to spay bitch after she has completed one estrus cycle if at all possible. She shall not be allowed to breed prior to said spaying. Precautions need to be taken to insure your pet is kept safe while she is in estrus, she should be confined to your property only and not outdoors unsupervised for a full 28 days from when you first notice she is in season.

Spaying is done for the heath of your bitch, however we are starting to realize that by at least allowing your puppy to have one estrus cycle she may avoid cancers that this breed is susceptible to. In addition, some bitch puppies will need to cycle one time if they have had problems with urinary tract infection (UTI) or vaginitis. It is a well documented fact that bitch puppies who have had UTI and or vaginitis can have problems for life if they are altered prior to the onset of their first heat cycle. For some reason, probably hormonal, puppies who are allowed to cycle who have had issues, will not continue to have issues, but those that are, run a much higher risk of continual infections for life. Please do not spay a bitch that has had a UTI or vaginitis with out first consulting me. Some vet's will tell you that the percentages or reoccurrence are low, however, no matter how low, I personally would never want to take that risk. Dealing with continual UTI infections is not only painful for your dog but can be costly to you.


Dog Puppies:

Buyer agrees to neuter dog puppy between eighteen (18) months and twenty four (24) months of age. He shall not be allowed to breed prior to said neutering. After 4 moths of age a dog can produce sperm so caution as to whom he is exposed to is necessary and you need to be responsible about not allowing your boy to run free.


I recommend allowing male dogs to mature a bit more before they are altered again for their health. Male dogs need the testosterone that they produce to complete the growth cycle. There is some speculation that there can be a lower instance of bone cancer in male dogs who are allowed to remain intact until mature. While my statement is not fully supported by medical trials there was a poll taken that suggests, concluded; the majority of the male dogs who were diagnosed with Ostosarcoma were altered prior to age one. While yes the numbers could be skewed by the fact that most pets are altered prior to age one it's also possible that altering the boys before they are mature could be an additional risk factor. The Golden Retriever is a breed that is prone to cancer and anything we as owners can do to prevent untimely death with in reason should be considered.



The Golden Retriever is a breed of dog that is genetically predisposed to several health conditions and while I would like to unconditionally warranty dogs from my breeding program, I do not feel I can. It is difficult to put into writing a warranty that will sufficiently serve in everyone's best interest (the dog's, yours, and mine.) Rather, I have always verbally said that if there is presentation of a serious health concern, I am more than willing to stand behind my dogs. I prefer to approach issues case by case. I feel I have done everything possible to reduce the overall frequency of genetic disease in my breeding program by doing health screening of my dogs for generations upon generations and only breeding into lines that support the same principals. However, because these diseases all have a genetic predisposition, no one can unconditionally guarantee a dog will not inherit the genes that may cause a disease to present. The mode of inheritance of the diseases this breed is subject to are currently unknown; but are suspected of being polygenetic in nature. At this point in the breeds history we do not have DNA testing in place and until such time as we do, the best any breeder can do is to maintain a high level of education and to share what they know openly.

Hip Dysplasia (HD) can be a debilitating disease if it presents in a severe form. However, HD is not always severe and does not always require surgery and in a lot of cases can be medically managed.

Elbow Dysplasia (ED) can be a debilitating disease if it presents in a severe form, but like HD it is not always severe and can also be medically managed. At this point in breed history, we have very little data about ED due to the lack of screening for ED by breeders. The GRCA amended the code of ethics in the year 2000 to reflect the suggestion that breeders screen for the disease. The parents and grand parents of your dog have been screened as I have been screening elbows since 1998. But due again to this disease most likely being polygenetic in nature, I can not give you any assurance that your dog may not develop ED. The following are factors that can contribute to these two diseases causing a problem for an affected dog:

a. Poor general condition of dog.

b. Poor quality diet.

c. Type and quality of exercise (mainly over exercising).

d. Injury.

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS) is a disease that can be fatal at a young age, though again this disease can present in a mild form and a pet can live a high quality life with weight and exercise management.

Posterior Punctuate Cataracts or Juvenile Cataracts (JV's) are normally of no concern to a pet dog, they do not impair vision or cause blindness and should be of no concern to a non-breeding dog.

Pigmentary Uveitis (PU) is a very serious eye disease that is only found in the Golden Retriever, and is generally an age onset disease that is seen in mature dogs, the estimated age of onset is about 8 years of age but can present at any age. It is suspect of being an inherited disease. PU can also be very elusive and misdiagnosed as allergies by general practitioners. PU is a devastating disease because it causes pain and blindness. There is no cure for PU but with early detection it can be treated and managed. It is my recommendation that all Golden Retrievers be seen by a Veterinary Ophthalmologist on a regular schedule beginning between the ages of 12 and 24 months and thereafter as recommended by the Ophthalmologist.

It is the responsibility of the Breeder to treat the Buyer equitably, and to look at each case individually. Should a dog from my breeding program be diagnosed with a severe disease, require surgery or require euthanasia, I will consider a refund of up to the purchase price of the dog in the form of payment to a mutually agreed upon veterinarian after surgery has been performed if I am satisfied that the Buyer has maintained the dog in optimum condition and has consulted with the appropriate authorities. And/or I will replace the dog, and/or take the dog back depending on what the Buyer wishes. Including I will not require affected dog be returned, unless it is the wish of the Buyer to return the dog. Matters of the heart are best served by compassion and respect, I feel it's my duty to respect you and your dog as I would want to be respected.

It is the responsibility of the Buyer to maintain their dog in such a condition that if the dog presents with a disease there is no doubt that the dog was not maintained properly. For example, HD severe enough to require surgery, it must be the consensus of both the Breeder and a veterinarian that, without a doubt, the disease is the main contributing factor. This may include a third opinion of a radiologist and/or an OFA evaluation. Because ED is a multi-factored disease and the elbow is one of the most complex joints in the body, surgery is currently not a common recommendation as success has been minimal.

Sample Go Home Notes:

Brier Golden Retrievers

Gina & George Heitz

1060 S. Pacific Hwy

Woodburn, OR 97071-8913





Timberline Time Piece "Rolex"


Brier's Run' Moonshine "TRiX"


born October 26, 2002 3 males, 4 females


On your first veterinarian visit, please be sure to bring the vet note copy of this along, so they have a record of what your pup's health care has been so far.



Dec.9, 2002: Proguard Parvovirus only; serial # 4011003 Exp dt: 01 Nov 2003


Recommended vaccine schedule:


(10 weeks) Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

(14 weeks) Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

· Rabies no sooner than 3-03-2003 (18 weeks) but by: 4-26-2003 (6 months)




· 11-11-2002 through 11-13-2002 (2 weeks) Panacur

· 11-27-2002 (4 weeks) Interceptor

· 12-20-2002 (8 weeks) Interceptor

· fecal samples 11-27-2002 & 12-13-2002 negative for parasites


Recommended worming schedule:


· Monthly beginning on February 1, 2003 (actually due 1-20-03)


Please keep your puppy on either Interceptor or Sentinel brand wormers for life. Sentinel is Interceptor with Program flea control included and negates the need to use topical flea treatments or other toxic methods of flea control. Both of these products are available through your Veterinarian and until your puppy reaches 50 pounds you should ask to buy single doses, 6 to 12 month supplies after that.


They have been eating about 1 cup of kibble dog food w/1 Tbls plain full fat or low fat (no non fat) yogurt, mixed with a little warm water in both the am and pm. They should have some puppy biscuits and/or fresh raw veggies/fruits, in the middle of the day for a snack/meal. Always keep fresh drinking water available. Raw soup bones make excellent busy time treats. Never give your dog cooked bones though!

You may begin to give your puppy vitamin C (it is an excellent source for help with bone development). I begin with 250 mg. 2x day and slowly increase it to 500 mg. am & pm. And, yes, human vitamin C is what my guys get. Treating with a small tid bit of cheese or peanut butter is a great way to pill puppies, hide the pill in the food.


Some Reminders & Suggestions:

Please do not leave your pet unattended in a back yard for long periods and never leave him/her out when no one is at home, they can be injured or stolen. Also, never leave a collar on when your pup is unattended, crated or kenneled, as if they accidentally "hook" or catch it on something, they can choke to death.


Feed in the crate - he/she will pay attention to eating and not everything else going on. Consistency in scheduling when your pup eats will make housebreaking easier. WATCH OUT for electric cords - high steps and decks - do not overfeed - do not use a lawn company to fertilize your lawn - antifreeze and slug bait are instant killers - protect your puppy from older dogs and over-zealous, bigger pups.


Excellent books:

Another Piece Of The Puzzle: Puppy Development - Edited By Pat Hastings and Erin Ann Rouse


The New How To Raise A Puppy You Can Live With - Rutherfield & Neil (Alpine)

Mother Knows Best - The Natural Way To Raise Your Dog - Carol Lea Benjamin (Howell)

The Art Of Raising A Puppy - The Monks of New Skete (Little, Brown)

The New Golden Retriever - Marcia Schlehr (Howell)

There is also an excellent video, and book, on puppy training called Sirius Puppy Training, by Dr. Ian Dunbar (a prominent dog psychologist.) It is an excellent visual aid! The above books and video may be ordered from several sources and are sometimes available at bookstores and super pet stores. Another great source is www.dogwise.com.


Be sure to sign up for a Puppy Kindergarten class and continue on with formal obedience lessons. You want your pup to be a model canine citizen and cherished family companion. The key to this is training. The single, most important factor is to have a well socialized, with people and other puppies, puppy!


Hugs, Gina & Gorge, TRiX & Rolex!

Official Standard of the Golden Retriever


The Board of Directors of the American Kennel Club has approved the following revised Standard for Golden Retrievers submitted by the Golden Retriever Club of America, Inc., to be effective September 1990:

General Appearance -- a symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy nor long in the leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident. Primarily a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard working condition. Over-all appearance, balance, gait and purpose to be given more emphasis than any of his component parts.

Faults: Any departure from the described ideal shall be considered faulty to the degree to which it interferes with the breed's purpose or is contrary to breed character.

Size, Proportion, Substance -- Males 23-24 inches in height at withers; females 21 1/2-22 1/2 inches. Dogs up to one inch above or below standard size should be proportionately penalized. Deviation in height of more than one inch from the standard shall disqualify.

Length from breastbone to point of buttocks slightly greater than height at withers in ratio of 12:11. Weight for dogs 65-75 pounds; bitches 55-65 pounds.

Head -- broad in skull, slightly arched laterally and longitudinally without prominence of frontal bones (forehead) or occipital bones. Stop well defined but not abrupt. Foreface deep and wide, nearly as long as skull. Muzzle straight in profile, blending smoothly and strongly into skull; when viewed in profile or from above, slightly deeper and wider at stop than at tip. No heaviness in flews. Removal of whiskers is permitted but not preferred.

Eyes -- friendly and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark, close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep in sockets. Color preferably dark brown; medium brown acceptable. Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes detract from correct expression and are to be faulted. No white or haw visible when looking straight ahead. Dogs showing evidence of functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes (such as, but not limited to, trichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or distichiasis) are to be excused from the ring.

Ears -- rather short with front edge attached well behind and just above the eye and falling close to cheek. When pulled forward, tip of ear should just cover the eye. Low, hound-like ear set to be faulted.

Nose -- black or brownish black, though fading to a lighter shade in cold weather not serious. Pink nose or one seriously lacking in pigmentation to be faulted.

Teeth -- scissors bite, in which the outer side of the lower incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. Undershot or overshot bite is a disqualification. Misalignment of teeth (irregular placement of incisors) or a level bite (incisors, meet each other edge to edge) is undesirable, but not to be confused with undershot or overshot. Full dentition, obvious gaps are serious faults.

Neck, Topline, Body

Neck -- medium long, merging gradually into well laid back shoulders, giving sturdy, muscular appearance. Untrimmed natural ruff. No throatiness.

Back line -- strong and level from withers to slightly sloping croup, whether standing or moving. Sloping back line, roach or sway back, flat or steep croup to be faulted.

Body -- well-balanced, short coupled, deep through the chest.

Chest between forelegs at least as wide as a man's closed hand including thumb, with well developed forechest. Brisket extends to elbow. Ribs long and well sprung but not barrel shaped, extending well towards hindquarters. Loin short, muscular, wide and deep, with very little tuck-up. Slabsidedness, narrow chest, lack of depth in brisket, excessive tuck-up, flat or steep croup to be faulted.

Tail -- well set on, thick and muscular at the base, following the natural line of the croup. Tail bones extend to, but not below, the point of hock. Carried with merry action, level or with some moderate upward curve; never curled over back nor between legs.

Forequarters -- muscular, well co-ordinated with hindquarters and capable of free movement. Shoulder blades long and well laid back with upper tips fairly close together at withers. Upper arms appear about the same length as the blades, setting the elbows back beneath the upper tip of the blades, close to the ribs without looseness. Legs, viewed from the front, straight with good bone, but not to the point of coarseness. Pasterns short and strong, sloping slightly with no suggestion of weakness. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed, but are normally left on.

Feet -- medium size, round, compact and well knuckled, with thick pads. Excess hair may be trimmed to show natural size and contour. Splayed or hare feet to be faulted.

Hindquarters -- broad and strongly muscled. Profile of croup slopes slightly; the pelvic bone slopes at a slightly greater angle (approximately 30 degrees from horizontal). In a natural stance, the femur joins the pelvis at approximately a 90 degree angle; stifles well bent; hocks well let down with short, strong rear pasterns. Legs straight when viewed from rear. Cow hocks, spread hocks, and sickle hocks to be faulted.

Coat -- Dense and water repellent with good undercoat. Outer coat firm and resilient, neither coarse nor silky, lying close to body; may be straight or wavy. Untrimmed natural ruff; moderate feathering on back of forelegs and on under-body; heavier feathering on front of neck, back of thighs and underside of tail.

Coat on head, paws and front of legs is short and even. Excessive length, open coats and limp, soft coats are very undesirable. Feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping.

Color -- rich, lustrous golden of various shades. Feathering may be lighter than rest of coat. With the exception of graying or whitening of face or body due to age, any white marking, other than a few white hairs on the chest, should be penalized according to its extent. Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with white markings. Predominant body color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark is undesirable. Some latitude should be given to the light puppy whose coloring shows promise of deepening with maturity. Any noticeable area of black or other off-color hair is a serious fault.

Gait -- when trotting, gait is free, smooth, powerful and well co-ordinated, showing good reach. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of balance. It is recommended that dogs be shown on a loose lead to reflect true gait.

Temperament -- friendly, reliable and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever character. Such actions should be penalized according to their significance.

Disqualifications -- 1. Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way. 2. Undershot or overshot bite.

© 1998-2000 GRCA All Rights Reserved.



Vaccines are now being divided into two classes. 'Core' and 'Non-core' vaccines. Core vaccines should be given to every dog. Non-core vaccines are recommended only for certain dogs. Whether to vaccinate with Non-core vaccines depends upon a number of factors including age, breed, and health status of the dog, the potential exposure of the dog to the disease, the type of vaccine and how common the disease is in the geographical area where the dog lives or may visit.

Experts generally agree that the core vaccines for dogs are: Distemper, Adenovirus-2 (hepatitis and respiratory disease), and Parvovirus-2.

Non-core vaccines include: Parainfluenza and Bordetella, both are causes of 'kennel cough'. Borrelia burgdorferi (cause of Lyme Disease), Giardia, and for some areas, Coronavirus and/or Leptospirosis.

Vaccines do not stimulate immunity immediately. Once a vaccine is administered, the antigens must be recognized, responded to, and remembered by the immune system. In most dogs protection does not begin until five days after vaccination. Full protection from a vaccine usually takes up to fourteen days. In most instances, two or more vaccinations several weeks apart must be given to achieve protection.


Newborn puppies are not naturally immune to diseases. However, they do have some antibody protection that is derived from its mother's blood via the placenta. The next level of immunity is from antibodies derived from the first milk. This is the milk produced from the time of birth and continuing for 36-48 hours. This antibody-rich milk is called colostrum.

Just when maternal antibodies wear off for each puppy is unknown, it could be at 8 weeks, 16, or even longer, it varies with each individual. This is why puppies have a series of vaccines, we are making sure we protect each puppy, regardless of when the maternal antibodies may wear off.

To best protect each puppy and protect it's immune system without over doing, or vaccinating improperly which can cause problems later, the following schedule is recommended by cutting edge experts: (Many general practitioners may disagree with this protocol.)

8 weeks Parvovirus vaccine only

10 weeks Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

14 weeks - Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

Corona vaccine (Non-core vaccine), is optional, but should not be given before 9 weeks of age. Puppy immune systems cannot utilize the vaccine before 9 weeks. (I do not recommend vaccinating for Corona at all).

Leptospirosis vaccine (Non-core vaccine), is also optional, depending on your geographical area. In the Pacific Northwest, Leptospirosis is not a common disease and therefore vaccination is probably unnecessary. However, if you give the Lepto vaccine, it should not be given before 9 weeks of age, again the immune system cannot utilize the vaccine before 9 weeks and if you are going to have a vaccine reaction chances are it would be to this vaccine.

Some studies have shown that giving the Distemper vaccine (a core vaccine) before 9 weeks of age results in an increased incidence of vaccine-induced disease. This vaccine is also thought to be a culprit in damaged immune systems if given too early.

Bordetella, another (Non-core vaccine), needs only be given if your dog is at high risk. High risk includes frequent boarding, grooming, or visits to dog parks. Puppy kindergarten classes and boarding kennels may require this vaccine.

Rabies is a core vaccine and is mandated by law due to public health risks. However Rabies vaccine should not be given before 12 weeks of age. Waiting until after 18 weeks of age is preferable, but you must abide by your county and/or state laws. If possible, give the Rabies vaccine separately from the other vaccines. (I recommend 6 months of age for Rabies vaccination where the law permits).

For more information and or further modified puppy vaccination protocols please visit this link:


Re-vaccination of Adolescents and Adult Dogs:

Through new studies we are gaining a lot of knowledge about the length of immunity produced by vaccinations. Vaccines are being improved, providing longer duration of immunity, and better methods to test immunity are being developed, (titer testing). Continual changes will be seen in the recommendations for vaccine schedule. It's possible that most vaccines will soon not be recommended annually at all. And very possible vaccine rotation will be more common e.g., vaccinate against disease A one year, against disease B the next year, disease C the third year, and then repeat the rotation. As is, several veterinary teaching hospitals have modified recommendations from vaccination yearly to every three (3) years and currently this is my recommendation and these core vaccines are the only vaccinations I feel any dog should receive:

· Distemper, Adenovirus, ParaInfluenza, and Parvovirus

· Rabies at least 3 weeks from the above as required by law we must vaccinate for rabies.

For more on re-vaccination and titer testing please visit these links:


Re-vaccination (lots of citations, research and links)








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