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Some Health Issues Concerning Breeding The Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is a very healthy breed, but like any living creature and of course that includes us, they suffer from disease. By carefully screening the animals we include in our breeding programmes we can hopefully reduce the chances of the heartbreak that disease and disability can cause so we participate in the health schemes managed by the British Veterinary Association and the United Kingdom Kennel Club .


This is done at twelve months of age by your veterinary surgeon. The dog is x-rayed and the plates are submitted to the British Veterinary Association where they are given a hip score by a panel of specialist vets. The score can range from 0 to 53 on each hip with a maximum total score of 106. Each hip is scored separately and may have different numbers. The lower the score the better. The breed average in Golden Retrievers is a total figure of around 20. Before breeding you must hip score. At Riverdance we pride ourselves that our dogs have hips significantly better than the breed average.  When we have used a stud dog, a low hip score is always an important factor.  


The certificate is held for one year and then has to be renewed. Only a limited number of veterinary surgeons can issue eye testing certificates. The test confirms that the dog is free from Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) and Hereditary Cataract (HC). Before breeding you must have breeding stock eyes tested

Although we adhere to good breeding practice it is impossible to guarantee that progeny from any dogs will be free of health issues, our aim along with other responsible breeders is to minimize the risks.


Bona Fide breeders are coninuously trying to improve our breed, before locating and contacting a stud dog owner,the bitch has to have a current clear eye certificate and have been hip scored and have a total score of less than 36.  You should be aware of the cycle of your bitches season as a stud dog will not mate a bitch until she is ready, generally that could be from day 10 to day 13 since the commencement of bleeding.  You would be advised to seek the assistance of your vet who can perform a test called ‘Premate’ which will indicate if the bitch has or is near to ovulation; it may have to be repeated more than once.  Some breeders might also insist that any bitch visiting has also undergone a course of antibiotics prescribed by your vet to eliminate any minor infection; this is a precaution to ensure the health of the stud dog and any other bitches that follow your visit. 

We do not have nor do we plan to have any puppies.

These two seven week old pups are ready to go to their new homes

This is Charlie aged 12 weeks born in California USA.  His parents Max and Gracie
(Sh Ch Riverdance Dot Matrix x Weisford Spring Showers)
have every right to be proud of their handsome little boy as should his owners.



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