Breedings at Grapevine are carefully planned and do have a purpose. In our very humble beginnings, we bred Hank to both Maggie and Riley in order to educate ourselves further about canine genetics, pregnancy, whelping, and to develop our technique in raising puppies. We saw our dog’s faults (yes, all dogs have faults!) and strengths and hoped to improve them to produce healthy puppies. This was NOT something we entered into lightly. We have certainly met those goals and then some.
We did a repeat breeding of Hank and Riley in 2014 (The “I” Litter), to see what kind of consistency we would get, and because Riley’s co-owner desired a puppy. We did get a very nice litter, and I really think the second litter was better than the first. The second litter gained more positives from Hank, and that was great to see. Also in 2014, I was ready to take on a new puppy. Instead of breeding Maggie to Hank a second time, we decided to go to an outside stud for her. After researching, I found Kelly Kosinski’s breeding program, HighRoller Goldens. Kelly’s stud, Jack, provided exactly what I was looking to gain out of the litter and in my new puppy. I desired the drive, intelligence, improved conformation, health, biddability, natural skill and overall working dog type. Such a puppy/dog would help me better understand dog training, improve my training and showing skills, help me learn hunt and field work, and this is exactly what I got in Truly and Remi! I also very much wanted to learn all I could about the proper way to raise a working litter of puppies to help them reach their full potential into superior working companions. Our “A” litter did not disappoint!
After being in the dog world for a few years, finishing an AKC champion bitch (my husband’s husky), learning about training and showing dogs in the breed, rally, hunt/field tests, and obedience rings, we have fine-tuned our goals and what we hope to accomplish in breeding golden retrievers. These new goals and understandings all stem from our love of the breed and desire to improve upon our dogs and the breed in general.
What we believe in and are working towards is breeding the golden retriever to it’s intended purpose and functional conformation. In my humble opinion, far too many goldens today do not fit the true meaning of a sporting gun dog. For example, a true moderate, functional coat (which the standard calls for) is not as heavy (overdone), not necessarily straight, or silky. There are too many goldens that are very much over done in bone, angulations, and yes, coats. Many show goldens of today, while beautiful and correct, lack the fundamental drive and natural skills to become a true hunting companion dog. The golden retriever should be able to win in the conformation ring AND the field!
This is an example of the CH golden from the 1950s that I feel better reflects the meaning of a true sporting retriever. Many “field bred” goldens bred today, to hold this “type” and natural ability. This is type of ideal golden I am working to produce here at Grapevine. Note the moderate, drip-dry double coat that a dog can navigate through water and cover (brush) in, note, too, the sleek, well-musculed body shown in hard working condition. Also see the that this dog has a bit more leg under him, which will help this dog to better cover ground while working. This is Am CH Prince Oberon of Nerrissida. (You can click his name to see pedigree info on K9data.com)
At Grapevine, we have the following goals in our breeding program:
1. Breed to the standard, and our ideal of the standard, as closely as possible.
2. To breed for superior health and longevity, following ethical standards set forth by the Golden Retriever Club of America, by conducting recommend health exams for hips, elbows, eyes, and hearts. We also conduct full panel DNA tests on all our dogs for every test available to Goldens. (We are members of our national and local golden club, the Greater Louisville Golden Retriever Club, as well as the Tri-State Hunt Retriever Club)
3. To compliment and improve upon our dogs.
4. To produce and develop top notch temperaments, intelligence, and natural ability of a true willing working companion for competitive events and hunting companions, as well as dogs you can live with at home!