Buying an "activ goldens" puppy
As a breeder we are "Care Takers" of this amazing breed, this is a big responsibly and something we take extremally seriously at Activ Goldens, our goal is to breed the “perfect” dog, although the perfect dog is unrealistic achievement it is something that always should be strived for. We will always aim to improve everything we do here at Activ Goldens, like importing the best bloodlines to improve our bloodlines, improve our raising techniques and most of all be critical in our evaluation of the dogs we intend to breed with.
We started producing our outstanding line of Field Golden Retrievers after importing what we think are some of the best bloodlines in the UK and world. Using the very famous Echobrook Dexster OFTW as our foundation sire for our stud, most puppies will have him in their bloodlines.
The UK field Golden Retriever is unique and rare especially here in Australia, their intelligence and want to please makes them very close to the perfect dog and what make me fall in love with them.
Our emphasis is on producing a sound dog in mind and body. Structure and temperament are a priority when considering any dogs that are used in our breeding program as is clear testing for hip and elbow, eye and heart through specialists as approved by the ANKC.
In addition, all Activ Goldens are DNA tested and cleared for any known Golden Retriever inherited diseases. We will continue to update any and all testing that becomes available for Golden Retrievers in the future.
When buying a Activ Goldens retriever you have confidence that you are purchasing a 100% UK Field Golden Retriever that is highly intelligent, has great energy, is extremely trainable and most of all, an amazing family pet!
We are members of Dogs Queensland - No. 4100204481
Queensland Dog Breeder Registration No is BIN0002482090917
Pup Price is $6,600
Sold on a Limited Register. (NO Breeding or Export Rights)
You will be required to sign a No Breeding contract prior to receiving your puppy that covers you and anyone else breeding with the dog making you liable.
If your application is approved a $600 deposit is required to confirm your puppy.
We do not Export our puppies outside of Australia under any circumstances.
As a breeder, our goal is to place the best suited puppy in their “forever” home.
Please put as much information about your lifestyle and what you are looking for in a dog so we can match the best suited puppy to your family. We choose the puppy best suited to their individual family based on the below information and during a phone call.
ActivGoldens - Bringing the Best UK Bloodlines to Australia
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the difference between the Show Golden Retriever and a Field Golden Retriever?
The Golden Retriever has a fascinating history in its development since the 1800’s when Lord Tweedmouth a Scottish Lord created this fantastic breed. Since then, due to its immense popularity the breed spread all over the world and its use in each country has been slightly different, which in turn changed the look and characteristics of the dogs in each country, some people say there are now eight different “strains” of this wonderful breed around the world, this may or may not be true, but all are Golden Retrievers, nonetheless. This creates great discussion and lots of arguments what is and what a Golden Retriever should look like and be. Some People in the UK believe they should split the Field and Show Goldens as their look and some characteristics are so different with others dead against it.
My view on it is they all are sensational dogs and enjoy what dog you like and suits you the best.
The original dog lord Tweedmouth created looks like the modern Field Golden retriever, that has remained pretty much the same in appearance over the last 100 years due its use as a gun dog. You can see the old photos of the Goldens; the field goldens today are still pretty much the same now as then.
This is what drew me to them in the first place and their high intelligence and trainability. These are the characteristics I like so I sourced my first girl “Nessy” from Scotland not far from Loch Ness hence her name and close to Guisachan House, the home of the Golden Retriever.
The change in looks came when breeders from different countries had different interests from Lord Tweedmouth. There is something quiet spectacular when you see a show Golden striding across the show ring with their long hair flowing and their strong frames, however the more this type of dog wins in the ring the more the breeders breed for that type of dog obviously. That is where the change took place, breeders whose interest is in showing their dogs bred a certain type of dog based on a certain look and you will even notice a difference between show dogs in the UK, US, Canada and Australia.
Similarly, the different style of shooting in each country you will find a difference between the dogs from these countries in look and characteristics in the UK, Canada and the US.
A hundred years in dog breeding is a very long time as a new generation of dogs can be established every two or three years, hence the difference from all over the world.
Most people in Australia recognise and relate to the show goldens in Australia, with field Goldens still very rare. The field Golden retrievers have kept their athletic abilities and appearance and are much smaller at around 28kg for a male where some show males are getting 45+ Kg.
The field goldens need to be able to travel over distances and swim through rivers and lakes to retrieve game, long coats aren’t practical when swimming, so the field goldens have a much shorter coat. Maybe a third the length of a show dog and as a result tend to shed much less which is an advantage with the Field Goldens.
The below photo is a great representation of the change in the breed of the show goldens from the 1920’s to present day.
Can my puppy be a therapy dog?
YES, Delta Therapy dogs have a great program where they train you to enter hospitals and nursing homes to give much joy to residents and patients. It is immensely enjoyable and rewarding and a lot of fun. Drummer has been doing it for the last couple years, he is totally amazing at it, he knows the dementia patients and pushes into them to get his cuddles. He gets as many or more cuddles from the staff and we regularly go over the prescribed time letting the staff give him cuddles. I always walk out of the nursing home feeling sensational. My other sire Dexster Junior passed the exam and is staring at the home and already nearly has as many fans as Drummer. Everyone knows the dog’s names and very few people know my name!
Can my Puppy be an Obedience dog and compete in competitions?
Absolutely!!! I personally love the obedience competitions, they are a true test of your training, so many people love telling how good their dogs are but very few put them on the line in a competition. Even if you don’t want to compete, they are great to watch, just google dog obedience competitions in your area and go watch, they are very entertaining.
Social Media Groups and Clubs.
Like anything that comes with strong competition, some breeders look at ways to get an advantage over other breeders to sell their puppies.
More recently some breeders have started using social media dog groups and or Clubs to try to gain "credibility" so to push potential buyers in a certain direct direction to sell their puppies.
Some breed clubs have started asking breeders/members for a yearly fee and in return they will be recommended above other breeders by the club to prospective owners. So they don't recommend the best breeder but the ones who pay them.
My advice is to do your own homework and be careful who is "Offering" advice, look at the parents and what is best suited to your family and wish list, be it a show or field Golden, Dark Gold or Cream, at the end of the day most Goldens are great dogs and a joy to be around and will bring much joy to you and your family. It’s a matter of what is best suited to you!
As a little kid my dream was to have a dark gold golden like I had seen in the Hollywood movies, I ended up getting that from the UK but couldn’t be happier with my choice of the UK field Golden Retrievers.
They are super intelligent, affectionate and their rich dark gold coats stand out everywhere they go.
Of high importance is that the parents have had their Hips and Elbows X-rayed and below the breed average, their eyes and hearts have been cleared by specialists and not carrying potential genetic issues and finally they have been DNA cleared of any potential inheritance genetic diseases.
Ask people that have bought from a particular breeder their experience from the breeder and how the dogs are. Jump on their Instagram or Facebook and ask previous owners their experience of the puppies they have bought.
I love putting my dogs out there and people who buy my puppies up on Instagram for everyone to see. New owners often contact people on Instagram and ask about my dogs which I love.
Recommendations are the highest form of flattery after all.
We strongly advise doing as much research possible prior to deciding on your breeder, adding a new family member you are going to have 10+ years is a very big decision.
Backyard breeders, as distinct from responsible breeders, do not meet acceptable standards of care and breed animals irrespective of whether there is a known demand for the offspring. Backyard breeders often do not adequately provide for all the special needs of the mother and her offspring. Inadequate nutrition, infectious diseases (e.g., kennel cough, parvovirus), parasite infestations (e.g., fleas and worms), behavioral problems, health issues, and genetic abnormalities are common in these situations, placing the welfare of animals at risk. Backyard breeding contributes to the unwanted companion animal population, and results in more animals in animal shelters.
Backyard Breeders typical sell on Gumtree and are easily to spot by the fact they don't do Health tests. All Breeders that sells on Gumtree are looking for a fast buck and taking short cuts.
Due to the possible health risks Goldens potentially have they are not a breed to buy from parents that haven't had the full range of tests. A cheap puppy may end up costing you a lot later on in vet bills.
Spaying and Neutering Golden Retrievers
In recent years there have been new recommendations put out for large breed dogs, on when to spay and neuter.
The reason to wait until your Golden is at least 18 months old prior to spaying or neutering is to ensure they have a chance to fully go through their version of puberty. Golden Retrievers have their first heat cycle between 6 months and 18 months of age (9 to 15 months is the most common).
A recent study suggests neutering after 1 year of age can decrease the risks of bone and joint abnormalities as your Golden grows. Waiting until after 1 heat also allows their urinary tract to fully mature and decreases the change of infections.
In one large study of Golden retrievers by Dr. Torres de la Riva in 2013, the chance of a cranial cruciate ligament injury was significantly increased if a dog was spayed early (before 1 year old) vs. spayed late or left intact. This injury is the same knee injury as an ACL injury that human athletes often get.
Spayed dogs live longer. A very large study by University of Georgia and another study by Banfield Pet Hospitals both found that spayed female dogs lived longer than intact (un-spayed) female dogs. The UGA study said they lived 26.3% longer and the Banfield study found spayed dogs lived 23% longer. Although the specific reasons for living longer are not clear, there is evidence in these studies that spayed dogs live 1-2 years longer than dogs that are not spayed.
I recommend to wait on Neutering male Golden Retrievers until 18 months old (one and a half years) and for females wait until 8 weeks after the first heat cycle. Studies have shown that spaying your dog prior to her second heat cycle can drastically decrease the risk of them developing mammary cancer later in life (from a 50% chance to 8% or less).
Sometimes the first heat can be “silent”, so even if you don’t notice the heat, it is still ok to spay at 18 months.
Age at gonadectomy and risk of overweight/obesity and orthopedic injury in a cohort of Golden Retrievers
** If your Vet advises you to desex your puppy at an early age that many are doing, find a new Vet!!!
Early desexing is very bad for Goldens. I had one owner desex at 16 weeks and the puppy ended up being 20% taller than normal at two years, he looks out of proportion and will have issues with his hips later in life. Desexing young affects the the hormones that help close up the joints and stop the puppy growing. You see many Groodles very tall and having issues with their hips and health as a result of early desexing.
How Top STOP PUPPY BITING
Never let a puppy play bite, its very cute at 8 weeks when they softly do it but it always develops into problems, so it should never be allowed.
** Flights must be through Jacqui directly, be a direct flight, include pick from Activ Goldens and at purchases expense.
The reason for only using Jacqui is other companies sometimes do milk runs when picking the pups up, they previously wanted to pick the pups up to 6 hours prior to flights. That is unacceptable, they must go directly from my property to the airport to have the minimum travel time possible. Jacqui understands my requirements.
Puppies going to WA must be kept to 10 weeks due to the length of the flight.
*** We do not sell puppies internationally under any circumstances.
Health Screening for the parents of a litter
Golden Retrievers are generally a very healthy breed; however, like all breeds, they are subject to some genetic disorders and health problems. The risks for many significant health issues can be greatly reduced through careful breeding practices, beginning with screening examinations of the parents of a litter. Each breed (and mixed-bred dogs too) has its own particular hereditary problems and Golden Retrievers are no exception. Failure to screen for these conditions before breeding results in taking unnecessary risks for genetic disease and frequently leads to distress for the buyer and dog alike. Below are the diseases for which are recommended pre-breeding health testing.
Reputable breeders are expected to conduct screening examinations for these diseases on the parents of a litter and show copy of the health certificates to prospective puppy buyers.
A brief outline of diseases that are health tested in the Golden are below: If you would like further information about these and other health matters of the breed please check out the following Fact Sheets
HIP DYSPLASIA (HD)
Current breed average over last 5 years is 10.58
Hip dysplasia refers to abnormal formation of the “ball-and-socket” hip joint and occurs in many breeds, particularly larger dogs. It is primarily inherited and believed to be influenced by multiple genes. However, risk and severity of hip dysplasia may also be increased by environmental factors such as unbalanced diet, overfeeding that leads to rapid growth during early puppyhood, neutering prior to maturity and possibly certain types of exercise. Hip dysplasia is a disease caused by multiple genes and as it is also influenced by environmental factors, its elimination is not straightforward. Currently, Australian Breeders use the ANKC’s Canine Hip and Elbow Dysplasia Scheme (CHEDs) to assess the degree of hip dysplasia a dog has.
Dog’s are x-rayed after 12 months of age and the hips are scored by a specialist. The score can range from 0-53 for each hip and the lower the score the better the hip. The average hip score for golden retrievers which is determined from x-rays submitted into the CHED scheme is 11 (ANKC 2020).
Signs of hip dysplasia cannot be detected in very young puppies, but often appear between four and twelve months of age. Symptoms can vary widely from mild stiffness after exercise to severe lameness. Improvement or even resolution of symptoms can occur as the dog matures and muscles stabilize the joint; however, dysplastic dogs usually develop some degree of arthritis and discomfort later in life.
Dysplastic dogs generally are not used for breeding, but may lead long, happy lives. The radiographic appearance of the hips does not always correlate with clinical symptoms and many dysplastic Goldens show no outward signs until middle or older age when secondary arthritis may cause increasing discomfort. However, regular, moderate exercise and weight control are important to managing all dogs with hip dysplasia, even those without symptoms. Depending on severity, dogs with symptomatic disease may be treated with dietary supplements, medication, and/or surgery.
ELBOW DYSPLASIA (ED)
“Elbow dysplasia” is a term used to describe one or more inherited developmental abnormalities in a dog’s elbow joint. Generally speaking, elbow dysplasia means the development of arthritis in the elbow joint. Elbow dysplasia often first appears as front leg lameness in young dogs, although symptoms can appear at any age. Like hip dysplasia, many affected dogs have no symptoms, yet can pass more serious disease to their offspring. For other affected dogs, symptoms range from mild stiffness to severe lameness.
Elbow dysplasia is primarily inherited and development is believed to be influenced by multiple genes. However, severity of elbow dysplasia may also be increased by rapid growth during early puppyhood as a result of over-feeding.
Golden Retrievers are susceptible to elbow dysplasia and breeders screen their dogs under the CHED’s scheme. The dogs elbows are x-rayed after they are over 12 months of age and the x-rays are assessed by an expert. The score given ranges form 0-3, with 0 being normal and 3 being badly affected.
Although dogs with elbow dysplasia generally are not bred, many lead normal, happy lives. Depending on severity, dogs with symptomatic disease may be managed by weight control, dietary supplements, medication and/or surgery.
There are various conditions that Goldens are susceptible to some serious and sight affecting such as, Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Hereditary Cataracts (HC) and other conditions that don’t affect the sight such as, Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD) and Post Polar Cataract (PPC). In Australia, Breeders screen there dogs annually for these conditions.
Hereditary cataracts, usually appear between 1-3 years of age, but fortunately do not usually cause any functional impairment. Non-hereditary cataracts also occur, and examination by a board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist is necessary to determine if the cataract is suspected to be hereditary.
Eyelid and eyelash disorders also may occur in the breed, and are generally believed to have a hereditary basis. Entropion and ectropion are conditions that cause the eyelids to roll inward or outward, respectively; and distichiasis is a condition in which misdirected hairs touch and irritate the surface of the eye. Depending on severity, surgery may be advised to correct these problems. Although dogs with these conditions can receive eye certifications, these diagnoses will be noted on the forms.
Annual examination by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologist is recommended for the lifetime of any dog that has been bred, because hereditary eye problems can develop at varying ages and certificates are valid for only 12 months from the date of examination.
There are several DNA tests available for PRA to help guide breeders, so that they can avoid producing affected puppies. It is acceptable to breed dogs that are carriers for PRA, providing the mate has been DNA tested as normal; and puppies produced from such matings are not at elevated risk to develop the disease.
HEART DISEASE (SAS)
Canine subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) is an abnormal, congenital heart murmur caused by subaortic stenosis (SAS) that has been detected in Goldens. There is very good evidence that it is heritable and thought to be multifactorial, so that the inheritance is complex. A dog might carry the genes for SAS, yet have no actual sign of SAS. Also, a dog might have signs of SAS and yet offspring with signs of SAS may not be seen for a couple of generations. Any animal that has SAS should not be bred, because they can definitely pass the defect on to future offspring. Puppies and dogs diagnosed with SAS can suffer from heart failure and sudden death. If a dog with SAS develops heart failure, medications can be prescribed to alleviate the clinical signs (sudden/strong lethargicism, continuous heavy panting, rise in temperature etc.) In Australia, breeders have their dogs examined by a veterinary cardiologists for heart murmurs. A dog which auscultates normally at 12 months of age is considered to be free of congenital heart disease; and a clear certificate is issued.
Golden Retriever Full Breed DNA Profile includes:
Congenital Eye Malformation (Golden Retriever)
Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa (Golden Retriever Type)
Generalised PRA 1 (Golden Retriever Type)
Generalised PRA 2 (Golden Retriever Type)
Ichthyosis A (Golden Retriever)
Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis NCL (Golden Retriever Type)
Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Golden Retriever Type)
Progressive Rod Cone Degeneration (prcd) - PRA
Skeletal Dysplasia 2 (Mild Disproportionate Dwarfism)
von Willebrand's Disease Type I
E Locus - (Cream/Red/Yellow)
EM (MC1R) Locus - Melanistic Mask
I Locus Colour Intensity
Brown (345DELPRO) Deletion
Brown (GLNT331STOP) Stop Codon
Brown (SER41CYS) Insertion Codon
Liver [TYRP1] (Lancashire Heeler Type)
D (Dilute) Locus
K Locus (Dominant Black)
A Locus (Fawn/Sable;Tri/Tan Points)
Canine DNA Profile (ISAG Canine 288 SNP Panel)
Vaccination Schedules for Puppies and Dogs
The following dog vaccination schedule is based on the recommendation of the Australian Veterinary Association (AVA).
Puppy Vaccination Schedule
1st puppy vaccination: C3 at 6 to 8 weeks
2nd puppy vaccination: C5 at 12 weeks
3rd puppy vaccination: C3 booster at 16 weeks
(Some vaccines are registered for completion in puppies at 10 weeks, meaning a 3rd vaccination would not be required. But this should be up to your vet to guide you through the process.)
1st annual dog vaccination at 16 months
Adult Dog Vaccination Schedule
Annual Canine Cough vaccination
C3 vaccination every 3 years
Your vet may also recommend an annual C5 booster vaccination
Dog and Puppy Vaccinations Explained
The recommended puppy and dog vaccinations will help protect your dog against a number of very serious diseases. Below we outline some of the more common diseases and how vaccinations help prevent them.
Parvovirus -This is the one to be concerned about.
The parvovirus is one of the hardiest viruses. It can survive in the environment for 12 months or more and can only be killed with hospital grade disinfectant. The virus is highly contagious and is usually passed on through contact with contaminated faeces or soil.
Examples of such contaminated areas are parks, nature strips, show grounds and kennels.
Direct contact with another dog is not required to spread the disease.
The virus moves very quickly and symptoms often develop within a matter of hours after infection. Symptoms include:
Diarrhoea containing blood
Severe abdominal pain
The parvovirus has a very high mortality rate and most dogs will succumb to the infection within a matter of days.
Vaccinating your dog will help prevent the infection and spread of the disease. If you are in doubt, it is best to carry your dog (using a handbag, stroller etc.).
Chances of survival are dependent on how quickly your dog receives medical treatment. Usually, treatment involves several days of intensive care at a vet hospital.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough or infectious tracheobronchitis is a common infection mainly caused by two bacteria: namly, bordetella bronchiseptica and the parainfluenza virus, which target the animal’s respiratory system.
Kennel Cough is highly contagious and effects dog usually where they socialise, such as dog shows, dog training classes, parks and kennels. Kennel Cough got its name because most kennelled dogs are susceptible to the disease because they have been exposed enclosed areas together with other dogs like boarding kennels and pounds.
Kennel cough can be very easily spread, through airborne droplets produced by sneezing and coughing. It is not only spread by direct contact between the animals but also contact with contaminated surfaces including your hands and clothes.
Kennel Cough Symptoms
The common sign of Kennel Cough is a harsh hacking cough that often finishes with gagging.
Exercise, pressure on the throat (like pulling on the leash when wearing a collar) and excitement tend to make it worse.
Severe cases can lead to fever, lethargy and a reduced appetite.
Most dogs recover within 3 weeks, however depending on their health. If your dog is older, recovery can take up to 6 weeks.
Kennel Cough can lead to pneumonia, which is a serious condition and be sure to consult your vet immediately if your dog doesn’t improve within the expected time frame. If your dog shows any symptoms of rapid breathing, not eating, or listlessness, these could be signs of a more serious condition so it is very important to contact your vet right away.
Kennel Cough Prevention
Sticking to the recommended dog vaccination schedule will help prevent the infection and spread of this disease.
Keep in mind, infectious tracheobronchitis can be caused by many bacteria and viruses and therefore vaccinating your dog will help prevent infection with the two major organisms. There is still a chance your dog may catch some other virus causing Kennel Cough.
Kennel Cough is not covered under Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance.
Kennel Cough Treatment
Most cases of Kennel Cough will resolve without treatment, however antibiotics and cough medicines can help to reduce the symptoms. It is advisable to use a harness instead of a collar until your dog is better. You should also make sure your rooms are well humidified.
And one more: Heartworm
Heartworms are parasitic worms that are spread by mosquitos, and this disease can be devastating. When the worms enter the dog’s body, they find their way to the heart and lungs and grow and multiply until the organs become clogged and eventually fail.
Heartworm prevention medication can be administered as an injection between the ages of 12 and 16 weeks with an annual booster. Alternatively, the medication can be given as a tablet, which is very common, with most of them being given monthly or bi-monthly.
Worried about ‘over-vaccinating’? Titre testing may be an option for you.
Over the last decade there has been increasing debate about the over-vaccination of pets. Depending on the vaccine used and the individual animal, immunity can last significantly longer than 12 months. Some pet owners worry about vaccinating their pet whilst its immunisation is still sufficient.
If you are concerned about this, and would like to test if your dog’s immunisation is still sufficient, an antibody titre test may be an option to consider. In this process, a small amount of blood is taken from your pet and a laboratory test is used to determine the level of antibodies in your dog’s body.
Titre testing will test the antibodies for the 3 core diseases of dogs:
Infectious Hepatitis (ICH)
Your vet will then be able to recommend if your dog will need to be re-vaccinated or not.
Toxic plants for dogs
A number of plants are poisonous to dogs. Consumption of these plants can cause a range of symptoms from vomiting to serious illness and even death in some cases.
Generally, dogs will stay away from plants that will harm them but sometimes curiosity and boredom get the better of them and they might nibble on your plants.
If you suspect that your dog has ingested a toxic plant, take it to a vet immediately. If you can, bring a piece of the suspected plant with you to the vet.
A list of the more common household plants that are toxic to dogs:
cherries (wild and cultivated)
Dieffenbachia (dumb cane)
jack in the pulpit
jimson weed (thorn apple)
Lantana camara (red sage)
lily of the valley
star of bethlehem