Why we don’t belong to Goldendoodle Association of North America:
GANA is a self-proclaimed authority on Goldendoodles. They do have some helpful information and good questions to ask breeders. However, Goldendoodle breeders do not need a high ranking website to be a self-proclaimed authority on a mixed breed. The Goldendoodle breed is a mixed breed and is not a true breed with any standards at all. The breed standards for Goldendoodles should be to follow the AKC standards for Golden Retrievers and Poodles. Good breeders should always go back to the parent dog standards for their authority, and continue to go back to the authority to find standards.
We do agree that educating breeders rather than regulating breeders is the key to improvement. When we regulate something, the system becomes corrupt and bad breeders do it on the black market, while people get paid to regulate and end up not caring about what they are doing. We must educate breeders for better breeding practices and testing. There are fantastic communities now on facebook to learn about dog genetics and vets now are teaching and providing clinics providing the testing
and clinics to learn. We are headed in the right direction and learning about better practices everyday is something we are committed to. We teach and help other breeders that are beginning or breeding alongside us.
No one like GANA should be claiming to have standards for the breed because the AKC will never recognize them as a breed. There are advantages to being a mixed breed like “hybrid vigor” since our genetic pools are becoming so small that the pure breeds are having devastating “island genetic” issues and are dying early from the genetic weaknesses.
The Goldendoodle Association of North America is an advertising broker for goldendoodle breeders. To my knowledge, they are not even breeders themselves. They work very hard on obtaining high rankings, (see their key words worked into their blogging work) so that they can lure breeders into paying them for advertising. As the pet industry has exploded, brokers and marketers are finding that if they obtain high rankings, it forces breeders to use them to reach buyers. We are still trying to stay independent from this kind of extortion.
GANA has good information and most of their “standards” are good and reputable breeders already do these things. However, there are some things we disagree with:
GANA says, “I will give/sell/trade all puppies with a written spay/neuter requirement or I will have the puppies spayed/neutered before leaving me unless puppies are sold with breeding rights.”
Our response: The fact that GANA suggests for breeders to spay/neuter their puppies before leaving at 7-8 weeks is harmful and cruel- leading to hip dysplasia as found by some recent studies. The puppies need their hormones to develop good joints.
GANA says, “I will maintain a website that meets GANA’s requirements which include but are not limited to 1) A current copy of my two year genetic defect warranty will be displayed at all times.”
Our response: #1, We have paid and consulted an attorney to draft our guarantee and do not display it for any breeder to copy. We also edit it when we need to and provide it to all our buyers previous to them purchasing a puppy from us.
GANA says“ 3) No specific brand of food or supplements are required. If I make changes to my warranty displayed on my website, I will provide the GANA Registrar with a copy of my updated warranty.”
Our response: We promote and require Life’s Abundance dog food. After years of having high standard requirements for dog food, chasing recalls and keeping our eyes on dog food news for years to warn our puppy buyers not to purchase certain ones, we switched to requiring Life’s Abundance for years now, with puppies thriving and knowing that they are developing right protects our guarantee since most problems in young dogs develop because of food issues. It has not ever been recalled, it’s produced in small batches in the US and did great through the pandemic. We will be continuing to require Life’s Abundance food for our health guarantee. We do work with any of our puppy families who have any issues or needs help navigating the journey of dog diet.
GANA says, “The required use of any supplements or specific brand of food is not allowed.”
They, like many companies and organizations, have made blanket standards and requirements. Most of their breeders breed standard or large goldendoodles. We breed mini f1 English Goldendoodles, a specialty breeding that does not struggle with hip dysplasia. Hip testing is still controversial. OFA vets examine slides taken by xrays and out of 3 opinions of the slides, they give a score to a dog. Many of these dogs’ xrays were forced into position to give a good score, when the dog had badly formed hips. There are also false bad scores. Vets that do not know how to place hips for good scores often obtain bad scores with good hips. After many years of navigating OFA hips and viewing dogs with hip dysplasia and those with none, it is not hard to recognize good hips and bad dogs in dogs. We watch our mothers and fathers form and are very picky about their conformation. We are in multiple breeder groups where this is highly discussed.
Genetic testing is not the same with F1 goldendoodles as it is with F1b or multigeneration goldendoodles. There are only two genetic diseases that both golden retrievers and poodles carry currently, to make the F1 goldendoodle. But, when you get to two sets of poodle genes, the panel is larger and requires more testing. GANA requires this testing for all goldendoodles. This is an example of a blanket standard to cover all breeding, and unnecessary overregulation of breeders to keep it simple for them to oversee.
We test for the things we cannot look at. We used to test for eyes, heart and patellas until we did it for a while, and all it requires is for a vet (sometimes not very experienced vets) to look around at their eyes and see if anything is wrong. We certainly can do that, definitely observing them better. Heart, they listen to it. And patellas are only an issue with toy poodles typically and is easily spotted (loose elbow joints.) All of this makes OFA and GANA money so that breeders can feel good about having a “stamp” on their breeding program and hopefully convince buyers that they are trustworthy. Our reputation, expertise and actual breeding authority gives us what we need. It is a shame that they put so much into their SEO that they are knocking most the breeders off google and extorting them. Many “information sites” are doing the same thing. Providing helpful sometimes accurate, sometimes not information for puppy buyers and then charging breeders for their advertising ranking status and references.
There may be a day we have to join GANA and others like them to reach our wonderful buyers that are particular and research about the goldendoodle breed. But for now we will choose to remain independent.