Temperament and Responsible Breeding

Temperament and Responsible Breeding

The temperament of the Golden Retriever with its biddable, happy, pleasing disposition has led to its popularity as a family pet.

Sires and bitches should be:

Because of their popularity, one must always be wary of those breeding for commercial purposes only; they may have little regard for inherited diseases which may mean a reduced quality of life for the dog and increased veterinary expenses.



Ichthyosis was once a very rare skin condition in dogs that is the result of a recessive genetic mutation.

ICH-A is unfortunately quite common in Golden Retrievers, but can be identified with a simple DNA test. A dog with ICH-A would need to inherit the mutation from both parents, as the mutation is autosomal recessive. Asymptomatic carriers and affected dogs can be identified prior to breeding to avoid producing offspring with ICH-A.   

The mutation prevents the outer layer of skin from developing properly. Affected skin is rough and covered with thick, greasy flakes that stick to the hair.


Ichthyosis is an autosomal recessive genetic mutation that affects the skin. The mutation prevents the outer layer of the epidermis from forming properly, resulting in skin that becomes darkened and thick, with excessive flaking.

 The name "Ichthyosis" is derived from the Greek word for fish. This describes the skin's resemblance to fish scales. The most common symptom of ICH-A is excessive flaking of the skin. Other symptoms include areas of hardened skin and hyperpigmentation, which may make the skin appear dirty or blackened. Symptoms can be mild or severe. Evidence of the disease may be detected when the dog is still a puppy, but symptoms may take a year or more to develop. Additionally, symptoms can improve or worsen, depending on stress and hormonal cycles.

 Ichthyosis is generally not dangerous to a dog's health, but can be unsightly and uncomfortable for the dog. ICH-A is frequently related to other health issues such as yeast overgrowth and fungal infections. A dog diagnosed with ICH-A will usually require more care with special shampoos and treatments.


 We are very fortunate that none of our dogs have been carriers of this mutation which has provided considerable choice of a stud dog for our litters.