| rachael@modburyuk.com

Everybody admires Hamish, the vet said he is a perfect specimen. We are delighted.

Mrs. K Yamashita

Useful Information

   Diet Tips ...

When you take your new puppy home it is very important that you continue to use the same food that the breeder used. If you prefer to use a different puppy food, this should be introduced gradually over the first few weeks. If you are not sure which is the best option for your puppy, then you should discuss this with the vet at the time of your puppy's vaccination.

Your puppy will be used to having four small meals each day, spread over regular intervals. If the puppy shows no interest in the food it should be discarded after half an hour and a fresh portion used at the next feed time. As your puppy grows, you should gradually increase the amount of food given, one meal at a time. As the puppy develops you can reduce its feeds to three a day, usually around four months of age. You should aim to have your puppy on two meals a day by the age of six months. Try to maintain the same time of day for your dog's 'breakfast' and 'evening' meals, as dogs are 'creatures of habit'.

My dogs are fed a mixture of quality dried food, bones and raw food (BARF - Bones And Raw Food) .That just happens to be my preference and my dogs are very happy and healthy as a result. Puppies bred at Modbury are fed exclusively on Pedigree Professional Puppy food. Don't forget that it's not just a good diet that keeps your dog healthy but lots of exercise as well - click on the 'Exercise' link below for details.

   Health Matters ...

It is crucially important that your dog is fully immunised against a variety of potentially lethal diseases, including Parvo Virus. Your vet will be able to offer further advice and administer the injections, which need to be repeated at annual intervals. Another very important area is that of 'worming'. Dogs are susceptible to infestations of a variety of parasitic worms that can damage their health. These are easily controlled with the use of a good quality worming formulation such as Drontal, available from your vet. Worms are not only potentially dangerous to the health of your dog but if left untreated then their faeces, and where they have been, become danger sites for humans especially children. There are cases of children being blinded as a result of dogs not being correctly wormed, so please be very vigilant in this respect.

Different breeds are potentially at risk from certain hereditary defects. The Golden Retrievers need to be checked for hip dysplasia (by X-Ray) and you should never buy a puppy from a breeder that cannot prove that both Sire and Dam have hip scores LESS than 19 and elbow scores of ideally zero or one in total. Another area that Golden Retrievers need to be checked for are their eyes. Your breeder should be able to produce current clear eye certificates for both Sire and Dam. Only by responsible breeding practices can we ensure the continuation of strong, healthy dogs, so please do not be tempted to buy a puppy on price, check the credentials of the breeder and ensure that your puppy has been bred correctly.

If you are not sure about any aspect of your puppy's health, you should always consult your vet for advice. It is also worth considering taking out a good quality health insurance to cover you against any unexpected vet's bills, etc.

   Exercise ...

As a new puppy, your dog will only need short (10 minutes or so) in your own back garden. After your dog has had the necessary immunisation this period of exercise can gradually be built up by taking it on two or three walks a day rather than one long walk. You should try to use all types of terrain to exercise your dog, from lead trotting on the pavement to free running on the grass.

Before letting your dog off the lead you should be confident that it has a good recall i.e. it knows its name and comes to you when called. I always use a whistle to train my dogs (available from a gundog shop) and I start from when I bring them home. It is surprising how well they respond to the same constant pitch (so be sure that when you replace your whistle, you buy one with the same pitch. We can't hear the difference but your dog can!). When I let them out into the garden as puppies, I use three short, sharp blasts on the whistle and call their names when I want them to come back to me. I give them lots of praise and returning to the whistle becomes second nature to them. I prefer not to reward their good behavior with 'tit-bits' as it is not good for their health and also, it is better to reward them with the pleasure in your voice - you always have that with you!

As an adult, a Golden Retriever can take, and thoroughly enjoy, all the exercise that you will be able to give it. My dogs are quite happy to stay out all day with me and I'm sure would let me know how unhappy they were if they only had a 10 minute walk around the block each day!

   Buying a puppy ...

When considering buying a Golden Retriever puppy you should visit various different bitches with litters and never buy on impulse. It may well be that the first puppy that you saw and fell in love with is the best but you can always go back.

Both the Sire and the Dam should both have current clear eyes certificates (they are only valid for one year, from date of examination). They should also have their hips and elbows scored by the Kennel Club/British Veterinary Association board and have the necessary certification. The breeder should offer to show you these certificates and I would advise that you never buy from a breeder that does not have the necessary certification. Remember, the lower the hip score of the parents the better. If both parents have not had the relevant hereditary tests certified, WALK AWAY as the breeder obviously has not got the interests of the puppies at heart and is only involved for financial gain. You should always view the Dam with her litter, if this is not possible then WALK AWAY as some unscrupulous people buy whole litters from 'puppy farms' and sell them on in order to make a 'quick profit'.

The puppies should be happy, well socialised and confident little things. The area that they are living in should be clean, as should the pups and their mother. Ask the breeder about the character of the puppies, as she will have spent many hours with them and will know which ones are outgoing, confident, shy, etc. It may be that the one lying down at the back isn't shy at all, just tired after playing! Always ask for the breeder's advice but the ultimate choice is yours. The puppy's colour is not indicative of the adult coat but as a general rule, their ears will be of a similar colour to their adult coat.

Dog or Bitch?

Again, the choice is yours but in order to be responsible, you must be prepared to have the dog either spayed or castrated if it is not your intention to breed, as there are already far too many unwanted dogs in rescue homes and you wouldn't want to add to them.

   Breed Standards ...

THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER

Reproduced with kind permission of the Kennel Club

General Appearance - Symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, level mover, sound with kindly expression.

Temperament - Kindly, friendly and confident

Head and Skull - Balanced and well chiselled, skull broad without coarseness; well set on neck, muzzle powerful, wide and deep. Length of foreface approximately equals length from well-defined stop to occiput. Nose preferably black.

Eyes - Dark brown, set well apart, dark rims.

Mouth - Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth closely overlapping lower teeth and set to the jaws.

Neck - Good length, clean and muscular.

Forequarters - Forelegs straight with good bone, shoulders well laid back, long in blade with upper arm of equal length placing legs well under body. Elbows close fitting.

Body - Balanced, short coupled, deep through heart. Ribs deep and well sprung. Level topline.

Hindquarters - Loin and legs strong and muscular, good second thighs, well bent stifles. Hocks well let down, straight when viewed from rear, neither turning in nor out. Cow hocks highly undesirable.

Feet - Round and cat-like.

Tail - Set on and carried level with back, reaching the hocks, without curl at tip.

Gait/Movement - Powerful with good drive. Straight and true in front and rear. Stride long and free with no sign of hackney action in front.

Coat - Flat or wavy with good feathering, dense water resistant undercoat.

Colour - Any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany. A few white hairs on chest only, permissible.

Size - Height at withers: Dogs 56 - 61 cms (22 - 24 ins); Bitches 51- 56 cms (20 - 22 ins).

Faults - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

Note - Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


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