Golden Breeders

mdunc8

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My wife and I are in the market for a golden retriever and have started the process of looking into breeders. If it were solely my decision, I might go with a different breed. However, it's not and she's paying, so you know the drill. I've never had a hunting dog, so I'm getting super excited about finding a pup. I've already got one good recommendation, but want to do my due diligence, so I'm looking into as many breeders as possible (within reason). Does anyone know anything about Hunters Goldstrike, Saturday Night Goldens, Trieven-Sungold Kennels, Awrey Gold, Lish Kennels, or Ponderay Goldens? I'm open to other suggestions assuming they're within a days drive of Bozeman.

Thanks for the help.

Mike
 

cmhunt

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We bought a golden from Saturday night in Lewistown. Hunting machine and great temperament in the house. It was out of a lucky and babe litter.
 

Dugout

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I have three goldens from Saturday Night in Lewistown. Two liter mates that are 7 1/2 and one pup that is about 7 months old. The two older dogs are hunting machines and both have great noses. The pup - a nephew to the two older dogs - seems to have the same traits. All three are very friendly to everyone and are great house dogs.

A friend of mine had a Sungold dog - but a few years ago got a Saturday Night golden as well. I think he is satisfied with both dogs.
 

Frenchy

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I just went through a similar search. I found a breeder in BC Canada that I will be getting a pup from at the end of the summer. I've looked at Saturday Night Kennels in Lewistown, but have never gotten to the point where I've contacted them. They seen to have nice dogs though. Trieven Sungolds are also very fine dogs.

I've judged HRC tests in MT/Wyoming, and can say the Hunters Goldstrike dogs are nice working dogs.

I'm not familiar with any of the others.

You've probably noticed that the cost of a field breed Golden can be a little shocking, but if you want a hunting dog its worth the added cost. I've seen a lot of really good hunting golden retrievers, but there are also a lot of goldens that just don't have what it takes to be a working dog. You can get a much cheaper dog, but its a crap shoot as to whether you could then turn that dog into a reliable working dog. A dog from proven lines, gives you much better odds.

Pups can be shipped via airlines pretty easily these days, so don't be afraid at looking a little further outside the immediate area as well.
 

Jamen

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Just my two cents yes having proven bloodlines is a help when choosing a pup but I wouldn't let it be the deciding factor. I have seen some really expensive dogs that turned out to be a bust and didn't know a pheasant from its tail. I have also seen a few dogs from shelters that can out hunt some of the best dogs out there. I think most of it is spending the right amount of time with them. But like stated above a good bloodline gives you a head start. For me I would not spend a huge amount on a dog but that's just me. I spent $75 on a black lab pup with papers and she has turned out to be a great hunter over the last 10 years, her daughter is finally catching on! Best of luck in your search having a hunting dog is a rewarding experience.
 

MTelkNut

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My wife and I have a 1.5 year old Golden that we got out of Fairfield, MT. I was dead set on spending big money for hunting blood lines. As it goes, a happy wife is a happy life, we got a pet bred Golden from a family and it has turned out to be the best hunting dog I've ever had and one of the best I've ever been around. I will admit that I have absolutely obsessed over training this dog. Last spring in her first shed season, at six months old, she found 38 brown elk sheds. This Fall and Winter she retrieved a total of 138 birds from upland to zero degree days waterfowling on the MO. We've only been out shedding 4 times this spring and she has already picked up 26 brown whitetail horns. That being said, if you want a great dog then take the time to work it EVERDAY for atleast 10 minutes, obsess over it and save yourself a ton of money. PM me if you want the Number to the lady we got this bitch from.
 

mdunc8

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Thanks for the insight guys. I've looked at Saturday Night but I think they're a bit too expensive for what we've set aside. I like the idea of spending some time with the parents, so hopefully we can find another kennel that's relatively close. MTelkNut, what kind of training did you do for the horn hunting?

I'm just excited to get a pup back in the house. However, based on my shooting this year, I've probably got better things to do than dump a bunch of time and money on a bird dog.
 

maxx

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Just my two cents yes having proven bloodlines is a help when choosing a pup but I wouldn't let it be the deciding factor. I have seen some really expensive dogs that turned out to be a bust and didn't know a pheasant from its tail. I have also seen a few dogs from shelters that can out hunt some of the best dogs out there. I think most of it is spending the right amount of time with them. But like stated above a good bloodline gives you a head start. For me I would not spend a huge amount on a dog but that's just me. I spent $75 on a black lab pup with papers and she has turned out to be a great hunter over the last 10 years, her daughter is finally catching on! Best of luck in your search having a hunting dog is a rewarding experience.

No offense but being lucky and being good are two completely different things.

Here is my take on puppies. The initial cost is really nothing compared to what you are going to spend on the life of the dog. If you figure out and extra 1,000 over 10 years it is nothing.

Of all working dogs goldens are probably watered down more than any other breed. I would do double the homework on a golden over a lab.

When I buy a dog it is like marriage to me, for better or worse. Considering my wife is only going to get me have one in the house at a time I do my homework and I spend the money. If the dog turns out to be a shit hunter then I am stuck with a shitty hunting dog for 8 years, I don't want that to happen.

Good breeding isn't a guarantee but I would rather stack my deck as much as possible!
 

Frenchy

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No offense but being lucky and being good are two completely different things.

Here is my take on puppies. The initial cost is really nothing compared to what you are going to spend on the life of the dog. If you figure out and extra 1,000 over 10 years it is nothing.

Of all working dogs goldens are probably watered down more than any other breed. I would do double the homework on a golden over a lab.

When I buy a dog it is like marriage to me, for better or worse. Considering my wife is only going to get me have one in the house at a time I do my homework and I spend the money. If the dog turns out to be a shit hunter then I am stuck with a shitty hunting dog for 8 years, I don't want that to happen.

Good breeding isn't a guarantee but I would rather stack my deck as much as possible!

Pretty much sums up my sentiment as well. Some goldens just do not have what it takes to be a working dog. And you can count me in on one of those guys that picked up a dog (Golden) out of the newspaper for cheap and ended up with a fantastic hunting dog! I'll never say a pet breed dog can't be a hunter, but I will say the odds of getting what you want go up dramatically with proven breeding.

Goldens are not labs. Nice lab litters can be found just about anywhere. Not so with goldens if your primary purpose is to hunt with it.

And for the amount of time I spend training/hunting, I can't afford to miss and end up with a dog that is only useful around the house. Hunting over dogs is a passion of mine which is why I see the value in paying a little extra up front. With that said, I was more than a little shocked at the prices the field breed golden were bringing. Its been 16 years since I got my last one. They are definitely my favorite breed of dog.
 

Jamen

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I wouldn't call it luck nor did I ever say it is the luck of the draw. I am a firm believer it is the time you spend with the animal that makes them a good hunter or not. Yes some start out having a better understanding of hunting than others. You can spend the most money on a puppy from great bloodlines but if you don't do the time in training it wont matter that much is the point im getting at. If you want you can ship your puppy out and send it to school and have it trained when you get it back to me that takes the fun out of having a dog. I also know labs are more field ready than goldens but that doesn't mean they cant be a great hunter. I have seen mutts from the pound 3-6 years old turned into great hunters, it was the time the owners took to get them there. That's just me, if you want to spend a ton of money on a dog that's your choice wouldn't be mine.
 

Dugout

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You also need to careful about health issues with dogs from people that simply want to breed their dog once so they can experience the puppy thing. Backyard breeders have introduced a lot of unhealthy traits into golden retriever bloodlines. If you haven't been to a vet lately, they aren't cheap.

I agree 100% with Maxx - the initial cost of a puppy is peanuts compared to what you will have invested in that dog over its lifetime.
 

maxx

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One thing I will say is really hot dogs make great hunting dogs but not great in the house all the time.

My dog now took 2-3 years to really calm down in the house. She is a great pheasant dog but isn't what my older one was in the duck blind. Some of that is on me because of lack of training with 3 young kids in the house I didn't have the time to dedicate to training that I did with my first girl. She is a sweet dog but just has a lot lot lot of energy.

I could be talked into a field golden for my next. My only concern would be the dam hair and burrs here in Iowa!

Here is my old gal, at 12 she got a bird this year. It may very well be the last I kill over her. She has been one of the best dogs I have been around.



Here is my young girl. She is 4 now. Hell of a pheasant dog. My buddy killed his 3 birds without moving his feet over her. She is hell on cripples.

 

maxx

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I wouldn't call it luck nor did I ever say it is the luck of the draw. I am a firm believer it is the time you spend with the animal that makes them a good hunter or not. Yes some start out having a better understanding of hunting than others. You can spend the most money on a puppy from great bloodlines but if you don't do the time in training it wont matter that much is the point im getting at. If you want you can ship your puppy out and send it to school and have it trained when you get it back to me that takes the fun out of having a dog. I also know labs are more field ready than goldens but that doesn't mean they cant be a great hunter. I have seen mutts from the pound 3-6 years old turned into great hunters, it was the time the owners took to get them there. That's just me, if you want to spend a ton of money on a dog that's your choice wouldn't be mine.


You have to have something to work with. I can take a F student and make him a C student but I sure as hell couldn't make them a valedictorian.

I used to think the same as you on the training but after having 3 kids and very little time I wouldn't hesitate to send a dog off to a trainer.
 

Jamen

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I would have to disagree, I think people and dogs are completely different but even with comparing them I believe the potential is there. If both the dog and the student are physically and mentally capable the potential is there. The problem lies with how training is done just like humans not all dogs respond to the same type of training. You have to find what interests them both and go from there. Like I said in my first post yes a good blood line does offer you a head start but I would not let that be the deciding factor when picking out a pup. I do agree with the comment above about the health of the dogs parents it is something to take into consideration when choosing a pup. The point I was trying to make I see often people think by spending a good amount of money on a puppy that they think they are getting the quality of that money. Sometimes true sometimes not, the main point I was making it is the time you spend with the animal that counts more than the money spent.
 

maxx

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I would have to disagree, I think people and dogs are completely different but even with comparing them I believe the potential is there. If both the dog and the student are physically and mentally capable the potential is there. The problem lies with how training is done just like humans not all dogs respond to the same type of training. You have to find what interests them both and go from there. Like I said in my first post yes a good blood line does offer you a head start but I would not let that be the deciding factor when picking out a pup. I do agree with the comment above about the health of the dogs parents it is something to take into consideration when choosing a pup. The point I was trying to make I see often people think by spending a good amount of money on a puppy that they think they are getting the quality of that money. Sometimes true sometimes not, the main point I was making it is the time you spend with the animal that counts more than the money spent.

We will have to agree to disagree then. I have seen people plug money into dogs training with pro trainers. The dog that starts out as a turd is still a turd in the long run.

Can you make them somewhat of a hunter sure I guess, can you make them into a dog that is enjoyable for me to hunt behind probably not.
 

Jamen

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I do agree that some dogs are shit heads and always will be. I do think that it is a small percentage that are "untrainable" I am not a dog training expert nor do I try to portray one, I think people get caught up in the price of an item correlating to the quality and that goes with anything we buy. If we see two objects side by side one with the higher price we generally think that is of more quality.
 

maxx

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I do agree that some dogs are shit heads and always will be. I do think that it is a small percentage that are "untrainable" I am not a dog training expert nor do I try to portray one, I think people get caught up in the price of an item correlating to the quality and that goes with anything we buy. If we see two objects side by side one with the higher price we generally think that is of more quality.

I have seen dogs that are very trainable but still don't have the drive to be good hunting dogs.

Go to a test and watch. You can see the dogs that love picking birds up and you can see the dogs that do it because it has been trained into them.

I prefer the ones that love picking birds up. They are more fun to hunt over and a lot more fun to watch.
 

Frenchy

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You need both. A dog with the inherent abilities and desire breeed into it, and a willing trainer to put in the required effort to get the most out of those natural traits. To what extent each of those two aspects contribute to the individual dogs performance is unique to each and every dog.

I've seen both. One a dog with little natural instincts trained up to be a serviceable hunting dog, and another that had little to no training but had the natural instincts to just make it want birds. And I'll say I'll opt for the one that has that inherent desire to do the job over the one that is trained to do the Job every single time.

I've spent the past 10 years training/testing/judging in AKC and HRC hunt tests. There are definitely dogs that just seem to not have the drive or desire to do what we are asking them to do. And the Golden Retriever Breed is by far the breed that it shows up in the most. There are fantastic Golden Retrievers out there, but there are also a lot of them that just don't have what it takes for me to have an enjoyable experience hunting over them no matter how much training they have. And for me, I love the Golden Retriever Breed. But I love hunting them, and so I'll pay a little extra to potentially stack the deck to get a dog that will have that little something extra that makes him enjoyable to walk with in the field.
 
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