Brackendell Golden Retrievers

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The Golden Retriever    About the MAIN and LIMITED REGISTER    Information before buying a Golden Retriever    Links to other Golden Retriever sites of Interest    Australian titles


BREED STANDARD    Dog Sports you can do with your Golden Retriever    Information about Retrieving    Photos of some of our dogs




65-75 lbs. (29.5 - 34 kg)


56-61 cms (22-24 ins) at withers




55-65 lbs. (25-29.5 kg)


51-56 cms (20-22 ins) at withers




Any shade of gold or cream (neither red nor mahogany)


Kindly, friendly and confident

With Other dogs & Pets:


With Children:










Life Expectancy:

10 - 13 years


The Golden Retriever is a gundog that was developed by Lord Tweedmouth at his estate near Inverness, Scotland,  for the purpose of retrieving upland game on land or water.


The Golden  Retriever  with it's handsome looks, steady  & confident nature, intelligence and  willingness to please make it a great multi purpose dog that does well in all areas of  dog sports such as Conformation, Obedience and Retrieving etc. 


They are one of the most popular family pets with one of their most outstanding traits is  their wonderful temperament - happy, confident, trusting and friendly with all they meet.  Golden Retrievers should not be aggressive and most do not have much in the way of guard instinct. They are a very social dog and need companionship so they are happiest inside the house and part of the family. A natural retriever they love to carry things around.  If they cannot find a toy to carry around they will find your  socks, shoes or anything else (usually yours!) to hold in their mouths! Most love water and don't be surprised when you are out for a walk and they dive into the nearest puddle they see,  you may come home to find your hose or sprinkler system chewed to bits because they know there is water in there somewhere!


Even though a Golden may give the impression of a big soft cuddly dogs. they are a sporting dog,  a large breed with an active powerful body that requires a good amount of exercise to keep them fit and healthy. Puppy classes and Obedience training is a must with all dogs, not only are you training your dog but it's a great place for your puppy to socialize with many different breeds of dogs as well as meeting lots of people.  Your Golden should be on a good quality diet and never over feed as this can lead to obesity which may  lead to many health problems.


 They have a thick double coat that is wavy or straight with coat colour ranging from cream to gold with all the shades in between.  The coat does shed but  is an easy coat to care for with regular brushing of about 20-30 minutes weekly is generally all that is needed.  At grooming sessions it is a good idea to go through the coat, feet and ears for grass seeds.


Golden Retrievers are generally a healthy breed but like many other breeds have some hereditary problems.  Breeding stock should have their health clearances for Hips and Eyes by qualified specialists. Many breeders also test Elbows and Hearts as well.










Hip Dysplasia  &   Elbow Dysplasia

The dog must be at least 12 months of age or older before assessment and only needs to be done once in the dogs life.


All Goldens Retrievers born after 1 January 2002 must have hip certificates prior to being bred. These certificates indicate how close to perfect the parents are in regard to hip formation.  Most breeders only breed with dogs with a total score of 20 or lower.


Hips - X-rays are scored by a panel of specialists and each hip is assessed and a score is given for each hip. The best score is 0/0 and the worst is 53/53.

Hip dysplasia is a developmental disease in many different breeds, it is an inherited defect which is believed to have a polygenic mode of inheritance. The formation of the joints can also be modified by environmental factors such as over nutrition, excessively rapid growth, and certain traumas during the growth period of the skeleton.


OFFA - Other Hip Dysplasia Registries—An Approximation

The phenotypic evaluation of hips done by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals falls into seven different categories. Those categories are normal (Excellent, Good, Fair), Borderline, and dysplastic (Mild, Moderate, Severe).


OFA FCI (European) BVA (UK/Australia) SV (Germany)
Excellent A-1 0-4 (no > 3/hip) Normal
Good A-2 5-10 (no > 6/hip) Normal
Fair B-1 11-18 Normal
Borderline B-2 19-25 Fast Normal
Mild C 26-35 Noch Zugelassen
Moderate D 36-50 Mittlere
Severe E 51-106 Schwere


Elbows - X-rays are submitted to a panel of specialists for assessment and a score is given for each elbow from 0 to 3,  0 clear and 3 badly affected.


Eye Disease

The dog must be at least 12 months of age or older before assessment, Examination by a veterinary ophthalmologist of breeding stock should be done annually.


Hereditary cataracts are a common eye problem in the Golden Retriever. In Goldens, cataracts develop at varying ages, and at different lens locations, usually without visual impairment. At least one type of cataract does appear at an early age in affected Goldens and some do progress into severe or total loss of vision.

A few families of Goldens carry genes for Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CPRA) which is progressive deterioration of the light-receptive area (retina) of the eye, and may result in complete blindness at a fairly young age.

 Eyelid and eyelash problems also may occur in the breed; some have an hereditary basis, and some are due to other factors. Entropion and ectropion are the turning in or turning out of the eyelids. Trichiasis and distichiasis involve eyelashes or hairs rubbing on and irritating the eye. Surgery may be needed to correct these problems, and while it is a fairly simple procedure, such dogs should not be bred.


Heart Disease

Examined by certified Veterinary Cardiologist only needs to be done once in the dogs life.


Hereditary heart disease, most commonly Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS). With this condition the main artery from the heart  (the aorta) is narrowed just where it leaves the heart and to push enough blood past this constriction the heart has to work harder. If a valve is faulty or a blood vessel constricted, the abnormal sounds produced are called heart murmurs. This disease can be fatal from an early age. Certificates should be checked to ensure the dog is clear from any disease and they should hold a clearance AFTER the age of 12 months. A puppy clearance is not a clearance to verify suitability for breeding.


DNA Profiling

*Positive identification

*DNA typing (profiling) to provide parentage testing

*Genetic status determined for hereditary disease, where specified. 


Golden Retrievers in Australia have no hereditary diseases that are available for testing by DNA at this time, DNA profiling is used to provide *parentage testing*.  For more information visit: http://ausngrc.org/images/DNA%20profiling.pdf



DNA Test for Ichthyosis (ICT-A) in the Golden Retriever

ANTAGENE, a DNA research laboratory in France, has commercialized a DNA test that detects the mutation that causes Ichthyosis in the Golden Retriever.

Ichthyosis, whose name is derived from the Greek word for "fish" due to the fish-like scales that are observed on dogs with the disease, is a common inherited dermatosis observed in the Golden Retrievers of Europe and the United States. Dogs with Ichthyosis develop white scales on the skin soon after birth. The scales persist through the animal's life and progressively blacken, becoming dry and rough with age but typically do not cause itching. Secondary infectious complications (bacterial, fungal or parasitic) are occasionally associated with the condition.

No specific or efficient treatments for Ichthyosis are currently available. Treatments mainly rely on increased hygiene measures (e.g. frequent brushing, kerato-regulating shampoo, weekly emollients) and providing a fatty acid-enriched diet.

Golden Retriever Ichthyosis is inherited as an autosomal recessive trait.

The Antagene Ichthyosis (ICT-A) test detects the mutation and the normal ICT-A gene. The result of the test is a genotype that separates dogs into three groups: Normal/Clear (homozygous normal), Carrier (heterozygous) and Affected (homozygous mutated).


Website:  http://www.optigen.com/opt9_ichthyosis_gr.html


Expected results for breeding strategies using the
Ichthyosis (ICT-A) test

Parent 1

Parent 2 Genotype
Normal/Clear Carrier Affected
Normal/Clear All = Normal/Clear 1/2 = Normal/Clear
1/2 = Carrier
All = Carrier
Carrier 1/2 = Normal
1/2 = Carrier
1/4 = Normal/Clear
1/2 = Carrier
1/4 = Affected
1/2 = Carrier
1/2 = Affected
Affected All = Carrier
1/2 = Carrier
1/2 = Affected
All = Affected



It is your right when buying a puppy to ask to see certificates of clearances or question anything you are concerned about.















Main & Limited Register


Main Register  ~ Dogs registered on the main register pedigree  (blue certificate). Dogs listed on this register can compete in conformation shows.  A dog listed on this register may have their progeny registered.

Limited Register  ~ Dogs registered on the limited register pedigree  (orange certificate). The dog is pedigreed but cannot compete in conformation shows. Progeny of this dog cannot be registered. They  can compete in  obedience & agility trials and  in Golden Retriever club fun days and you can become members of the Golden Retriever club.



Limited register can be transferred to the Main register (where these things are permitted) with written consent of the breeder and subject to breeders conditions and agreements.

If you intend to show or breed  with your Golden Retriever, (this should be discussed with the breeder and both parties should be very clear on your intentions with this dog), you should then receive a blue pedigree (Main Register) from the breeder. If the pup is to be a pet then it usually up to the breeder  whether it is registered on the Main or Limited Register. To transfer the dog into your name the breeder and yourself should fill out the transfer form on the back of the pedigree and submit this to the S.A.C.A.


 A puppy bought on the Limited register is just as good as a puppy bought on the Main register, but a dog bought as a pet is not always a show dog and nor every dog should be bred from no matter how good the pedigree is.





Read Before Buying A Puppy

We have provided the information below in regard to what you may not be

aware of when you are looking into buying a puppy.



Sometimes a breeder will ask for a deposit for a puppy.  Some breeders state that the deposit is non-refundable if you change you mind. Be sure that you are completely happy with everything  before you commit and that you have a receipt for the deposit.



Puppies are not to leave the breeder before 8 weeks of age 

You will be making a significant financial, as well as emotional, investment in purchasing any puppy. There will be variation in the prices being charged even by reputable breeders, who will take a variety of factors into account in setting their sale price.


You may find that ‘pet shop’, ‘back yard’ or ‘puppy farm’ breeders may sell their puppies slightly more cheaply. But remember that the purchase price is just a very small portion of the total outlay on your puppy, and that veterinary bills are likely to be far greater for a less sound or less robust puppy than one whose parents, as well as themselves, have always had optimal care and nutrition and are demonstrated to be sound.  The popularity of some breeds has meant that some breeders produce large numbers of puppies purely for commercial gain - such breeders often pay little regard to the health or temperament. Sometimes pups are taken away from their mothers at an early age or are transported long distances to be placed in pet shops - these pups can have health problems & sadly may have poor temperaments. Some of these breeders, commonly called "puppy farmers" operate outside the law & keep their dogs in appalling conditions; their pups may or may not be registered with the Kennel Club. They will go for the "hard sell" approach & try to persuade enquirers to buy one of their puppies quickly before they all go.  Other commercial breeders may be fully licensed & register their pups with the Kennel Club - they also may place enticing adverts in the local papers, but this does not mean they are reputable!

The reputable breeder will:

(a) Provide you with a receipt that outlines exactly what you have bought. It should state that this is a registered, pedigree dog, list the date of birth, and what type of register the dog will be placed on. Most reputable breeders will expect pet puppies are registered on the Limited Register. This is to ensure the puppy is going to a loving family home and is not going to be bred from or exported. You will be required to sign a Limited Register Agreement form at the time of purchase.

(b) Provide you with the puppy’s vaccination card.  Check that the dates on the card match the date of birth etc of the puppy.


(c) Provide you with the puppy’s microchip paperwork. Check that the information on the paperwork matches with your puppy.

(d) Provide you with details of the pup’s worming history. This should include the dates and products used as well as when the next treatment is due.

(e) Provide you with a detailed diet chart. This should include what food/products the puppy has been raised on and the feeding schedule the puppy is used to. This should assist you to make the puppy’s transition into your family a smooth one. Whilst puppies can have minor upsets with a change of environment, they should readily adapt if weaned fully BEFORE leaving the breeder.


(f) Provide back-up help & advice on a long-term basis and will also make clear that if the owner of one of their puppies is unable to keep the dog for any reason, then they will take back that dog & find it a new home.


A responsible breeder will be only too pleased to let you see not only the particular puppy in which you may be interested, but the whole litter, as well as the parents. In every case you should be able to see the mother, and you should insist on being able to do so. The breeder may have used a stud dog which they do not own, so you may not always be able to see the sire. The purpose of seeing the dam (and if possible sire) of the litter is principally to enable you to observe their nature/behaviour and their condition. You will also be able to see the physical condition of the mother and pups. If the bitch has not been well nourished and cared for throughout pregnancy and after the birth of the pups, this impacts on the health of the litter, and the pups may not be as strong or healthy as they would be if the bitch had been better cared for.


Golden Retrievers should be confident, out-going dogs. You therefore need to be able to observe and interact with the mother of the puppies, and to see the litter and how the puppies behave in their interactions with each other and with people. If you are not allowed to see the mother and other puppies in the litter (if there was more than one), alarm bells should ring.


The puppies should be clean as should their living area. Common sense should tell you if this is the case. They should also be outgoing and happy. Be wary of puppies that are very timid or cringe away from you. This is not typical of the breed. DO NOT accept picking the puppy up from anyone but the breeder. Insist on seeing their living environment – this should give you insight into how the puppies are housed and raised.

Do not accept a puppy who is on medication. There is no reason why a puppy should go to a new home unless it is fit and well. There should be no sign of diarrhoea or vomiting.

When you collect your puppy it should be happy, clean and robust. Breeders can't guarantee your puppy will be perfect but SHOULD give a health guarantee for 48 hours after you take your puppy home. During this time you SHOULD take your puppy to an independent Veterinarian to have it health checked. If not found to be 100% fit and well, return it to the breeder for a full refund. Ensure you are given this in writing by the breeder before you take delivery of your puppy.









Sometimes a breeder will ask you to sign a contract of sale when you purchase your dog. You should read through the contract thoroughly and if you are at all concerned about anything seek professional advice before signing. Sometimes a contract may stipulate conditions regarding ownership, de-sexing, breeding rights, etc. of the dog. 


Some breeders will suggest or require that you enter into the purchase ‘on breeder’s terms’ with the bitches. Breeder’s terms usually mean you are tied down to a contract giving the breeder your dog for litters. You have no control over how your bitch is treated or cared for during the time it is with the breeder. All financial gain may to the breeder, they may expect you to care for the bitch right up to whelping which would be an enormous financial cost. Take into account how your family will feel about their dog being taken from them for weeks at a time and the emotional and physical damage or even death of your dog.



Your puppy should come with a vaccination certificate. Puppies are given a course of vaccinations with the first one at 6-8 weeks of age  The first vaccination should  have already been done by the breeder. Your breeder will give you a vaccination certificate and you will have to arrange with your vet for the second booster usually done at 12 weeks of age.




*The initials "SACA" stand for South Australian Canine Association.  [South Aust Canine Association]

*The initials "ANKC" stands for Australian National Kennel Council.   [Australian National Kennel Council]

*The ANKC acts as a spokesperson on all canine related activities on a National basis on behalf of State Member Bodies and to pledge assistance and support to the respective State Member Bodies.

*The SACA is a State Member Body of the ANKC


Some puppy sale adverts say that they are members of the "SACA" and the pups have "pedigree papers". Any one with a "purebred dog" with "pedigree papers"  can get a kennel prefix, breed a litter and sell the pups with pedigree papers. It has to do with lineage, not quality, temperament or health.


Most dogs, even purebred with papers, should not be bred. Many dogs, though wonderful pets, have defects of structure, personality, or health that should not be perpetuated. Animals used for breeding should be proven free of these defects BEFORE starting on a reproductive career. Breeding should only be done with goal of IMPROVEMENT - an honest attempt to create puppies better than their parents. Ignorance is no excuse - once you have created a life, you can't take it back!




The Golden Retriever Club of SA only lists breeders that would like to be listed and have been members for 2 years.  They can only guarantee that the person has been a member of the club, they can not guarantee  quality, soundness or  temperament.




Please see *Limited and *Main Register on this page........




A good place to meet breeders and  their dogs is to go to a dog show or breed club fundays and open shows you can find out when and where one is being held by going to the South Aust. Canine Assoc.  or  by getting in touch with a breed club for information.


Before looking for a pup ask yourself  a few questions:

  • ~ Are you willing and able to provide for a dog for possibly 10 - 15 years or more?

  • ~ Do you have a safe environment  with shelter and well fenced in which the dog can live?

  • ~ Do you have the time to groom, care and spend quality time with a dog?

  • ~ Can you afford  the ongoing costs through out the dogs life?






Golden Retriever Sites Of Interest


Some of the links below are a great read especially for new dog owners


Please Click on the links below to go to the site of Interest.




















Australian Titles

Conformation Titles

CH or Aust CH  -  Australian Champion - (100 points gained in Australia)

GR CH  -  Grand Champion  (1000points)

Dual and Tri Champion  -  dogs who obtain the title of conformation Champion plus one (Dual) or two (Tri) other Champion titles in other areas such as Obedience or Retrieving Champion.


Retrieving Titles

NRD - Novice Retrieving Dog

RRD - Restricted Retrieving Dog

RTCH - Retrieving Champion

Obedience Titles

The C.D., C.D.X. and U.D. titles are used after the dog's name OC before the dog's name.  As higher qualifications are obtained, the lower one is no longer used.    

CD  -  Companion Dog

CDX  -  Companion Dog Excellent    

UD  -  Utility Dog 

OC  -  Obedience Champion   


Tracking Titles

The T. Ch. is used before the dog's name, and T.D. and T.D.X. are used after a dog's name, as higher qualifications are obtained  the lower one is no longer used.

TD  -  Tracking Dog

TDX  -  Tracking Dog Excellent

T.CH  -  Tracking Champion


Endurance Test Title

ET  -  Endurance Test

Jumping Dog Titles

JD  -  Jumping Dog

JDX  -  Jumping Dog Excellent

JDM  -  Jumping Dog Master

Agility Dog Titles

AD  -  Agility Dog

ADX  -  Agility Dog Excellent

ADM  -  Agility Dog Master

Flyball Dog Titles

FD  -  Flyball Dog