Happy One Week Birthday!

Photos of puppies (and other dogs) taken during pups first week.

Puppies are one week old today; this week seems to have flown by! I’ve talked to a LOT of people, answered a LOT of emails, monitored puppies (and mom)! Fortunately, I’ve had a lot of help too! Today is hubby’s first day back to work (half day) so someone is always here with mom and pups (and to help take care of the other critters too!)

Onto a photo collection of shots taken this week:

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Orange Girl
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Such a fun photo! Pigment at 4 days of age!! 
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Some may have noticed? Red Girl is the lightest puppy of the litter. 
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I would say all puppies are “medium” colored except for Red Girl who is “light”.
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Sweet puppy face! I wish the “sparkles” of gold showed up better in this shot on his head!
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Green Boy plowing his way through the “pile” (Red Girl underneath has great pigment also!)
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Where Red Girl is the lightest, Lime Green girl is the darkest. Everyone else is the color of Blue Boy on the left. 
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Purple Boy
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Out playing with the other dogs. Here is Pixel; a “puppy” from Deja’s first litter.
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And our token French Bulldog, Beanie! She is a hoot!

Well Bred Dogs

Breeding puppies to the conformation standard is more than just “pretty dogs”.

I saw this illustration today and knew I just needed to SHARE it! It so perfectly shows how “purebred” dogs can look so different from well-bred dogs!

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Ahhh… My very first golden looked like the dog in the lower left hand corner. We loved her dearly and she was a very sweet dog but… She just wasn’t “pretty”. Fortunately, she had a wonderful temperament and lived a long, happy life with us. This dog started my life-long love for this breed and helped convince me I wanted not just “pretty” dogs but also dogs that were health tested (long before they were ever bred!)

Health testing is major event here held every year at a local health clinic put on by the Cavaliers of The West breed club. Why do I go to this particular clinic? I just love how organized and competent the gal that organizes and works so diligently every year to provide this service for the dog community. Every year, ALL of my dogs have their eyes dilated and are seen by a veterinarian ophthalmologist. They say “the eyes are the windows to the soul”. They can also be the first indicators of other disease processes!

Dogs over a year of age are also “heart tested” by a veterinarian cardiologist. Genetic heart diseases such as “SAS” (sub-aortic stenosis) along with other heart anomalies can be ruled out.

Then, all the paperwork is sent to OFA (Orthopedic Foundation of American); the registration organization that provides online access to health clearances.

The other big health clearances done in Golden Retrievers are x-rays of hips and elbows. I usually have my regular vet, who is adept at positioning for these x-rays, do them. Again, that information is sent to OFA. For a permanent “clearance”, dogs must be over two years of age. Another registration organization for hips is PennHip. These x-rays measure slightly differently than OFA x-rays; I usually have these done also. You can’t get too much information regarding “hip health” when considering a future breeding.

Copies of these health clearances are always given to new puppy owners. I just believe in total transparency in puppies I’ve bred.

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Deja (8 weeks old): April 2014

Other factors to consider when considering breeding a litter of puppies: Temperament! I live with what I breed and “good temperament” is a hallmark trait for this breed! By following the pedigree of any litter, I can generally predict the temperament of each puppy. Other factors of good temperament is socialization of puppies. We work hard here providing a LOT of early puppy socialization and send home information to new owners on how to continue that socialization for the benefit of that puppy as it grows into adulthood.

Last but not least is Longevity! Sadly, “man’s best friend” is never with us long enough. But through genetic research of ancestors, hopefully they live a long life for this breed. This is a big goal for us in any litter also.

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Doodle (7 weeks old): December 2014

“Looks”, by this time, that is almost icing on the cake! But by breeding to the Golden Retriever standard and after being evaluated by judges through dog shows, our goal is always to produce the next conformationally correct dogs! Do all of our dogs end up in the show ring? No! But many could be shown! And many live in “pet homes” pampered and loved that attract attention and praise when walking down the street! They are “pretty”!

Lofty goals for any breeding/litter of puppies, huh? This is what we’ve done over our thirty years being involved in this breed. Generation after generation, staying true to the golden retriever standard, improving each generation as we continue our life-long love for this breed.

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Grand Champion Tazo: Gone but never forgotten! Blessed to have had this dog in my life!

 

JEnnifer & MArk ~ Jema Golden Retrievers

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Happy 6 month Birthday!

Rooster x Trevi pup out field training with his committed owners!

So happy to receive photos of Gaddy, a Rooster x Trevi puppy, who has been out field training! Now I imagine the water is still cold yet this pup is swimming away!

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Nice retrieve Gaddy! GOOD BOY! 

I give all the credit for this puppy’s abilities to his owners; their commitment in training will make this boy a great field dog!

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All Goldens have this ability but it takes perseverance and consistency in training to teach a dog (any animal) exactly what you want him or her to do. Kudos go to Gaddy’s owners!

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I would recognize this profile anywhere! THAT is “family”! 

Happy six-month birthday, Gaddy, and to all the puppies in this litter! You are growing up into such a beautiful boy! You make your daddy, Rooster, proud as well as all the dogs in your beautiful pedigree! HUGS to you!!

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JEnnifer & MArk ~ Jema Golden Retrievers

Rooster: The Golden Retriever

Time flies… Never take it for granted!

As the Rooster X Avery puppies go to their new homes, it made me think of Rooster when he was younger (he is 6 years old now). Going through old photos always brings mixed feelings… Some wonderful memories but also some sad ones thinking of dogs no longer with me. But seeing the 8 week old pups sired by Rooster… Just DARLING!

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Rooster x Avery pups at their first vet appt. All checked out and did fantastic on their first adventure.

Rooster is ALWAYS ready for a game of “fetch” or “tug”. I found this old photo of Rooster as a young pup playing tug with my old girl, Luna. Luna was always very patient with puppies and young dogs but she wasn’t going to just give up a toy either! I miss Luna very much; she was my constant shadow.

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Rooster (left) and Luna (right) playing tug-of-war with a dog toy.

It is hard looking back on old photos. They always bring to mind so many memories. Here, Rooster is only two years old or so out in our pasture waiting for me to throw that ball. His natural stance is practically perfect! Now like back then, he looks better with less handling. It is hard to imagine that 7-8 week-old puppy has now grown up into the champion (almost grand champion) I believed he would be when he was just a pup.

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Rooster out in the field. Such a GORGEOUS boy!!

Time flies for all of us! Remember to hug your doggies and never take them for granted. If I was to find a fault with “(wo)man’s best friend”, it would be they are never with us long enough.