We are a small, central Wisconsin, home-based kennel. All of our dogs live in the house with us. We breed on only an occasional basis and usually only when planning to keep a puppy for ourselves. Our aim is to produce healthy dogs with working ability and temperaments that are compatible with the breed standard. We aquired our first Golden Retriever over 15 years ago. After several disappointments, we obtained Splash, our foundation bitch. We will be forever indebted to Bob & Jane Rubisch of Endeavor Goldens and Linda Carmichael of Tahnee Goldens for making Splash "possible" and providing ongoing friendship and mentoring!
While we work hard to produce dogs that look like a Golden Retriever and conform to the breed standard as recognized by the AKC, we do not show extensively in the breed ring. We have produced dogs that have earned their AKC American Championships and CKC Canadian Championships. The Golden Retriever Club of America has recently created the CCA Award which is a Certificate of Conformation Assessment. To earn this award, the dog is assessed by 3 evaluators, at least 2 of whom must be AKC judges. A single dog can only be evaluated by a maximum of 6 evaluators. If the dog does not recieve the Certificate within those parameters, it is no longer eligble for further consideration. These evaluators compare the dogs to the breed standard and rate the dog against that standard and issue a score. If the dog scores high enough the CCA is awarded. We have found this program to be a very useful method of helping us stay on track and are pleased to have earned the CCA on a number of our dogs.
We work very hard to prove working ability by testing the dogs out in competive venues and earning working titles. The working relationship is also a great way to strengthen the bond with our dogs. We have produced several dogs who have gone on to a service dog career and those are the dogs that we are the proudest of....even though they have no "titles".
A number of our dogs have been weekend hunting companions. However, if you are looking for a high powered field dog, you would be better served to seek out a kennel which focuses on producing that type of dog.
Golden Retrievers have long been known for their friendly disposition and willingness to please. Unfortunately, there are all too many Golden Retrievers who no longer have a "golden" temperament and are, for lack of a better word....agressive. This agression can be directed towards other dogs or, at times, even humans. Additionally, there are also a number of genetic problems with the breed. Hip and elbow dysplasia, cardiac problems, a number of eye disorders, epilepsy, allergies, and immune mediated thyroid disorders are a few that come to mind. Cancer is also extremely common in the breed, ultimately claiming nearly two-thirds of all Golden Retrievers. Early onset of certain types does appear to be more prevalent in some lines. Anyone looking at the breed should be aware of these statistics. Beware of the breeder who tells you that they "don't have cancer" or "any health problems" in their dogs.
No one can guarentee that a dog will be completely healthy but here at Absolut we try to "stack the genetic deck" to increase the odds of a "winning hand". We aim to include dogs that live longer than the breed average of ten and a half years...and that remain active well into later life.