Goldberry Yellow Labrador Retriever

About Goldberry Yellow Labs


Chelsea, 1995-2008

Due to dishonest kennels improperly using the Goldberry name, our kennel has been granted registered status by the AKC. Pups born after 2012 are true Goldberry on pre 2013 pups, contact me to determine validity.

Because of the Labrador Retriever's popularity, soundness is under pressure. At Goldberry all dogs and bitches are OFA hip and elbows and CERF. We also do EIC and PRA DNA testing to assure no puppy born ever has Exercise induced collapse or Progressive retinal atrophy. We are committed to genetic integrity. Goldberry Labradors is located in town with limited space so our standards are very high.

Obviously temperament is a key when you are located in a residential setting, if my Labs aren't good citizens we couldn't exist. Labrador Retrievers from Goldberry Yellow Labs are guaranteed for hips, elbows and eyes [that your pup will pass CERF exam]. (Don't be fooled by kennels that say they have an eye guarantee then tell you they cover for PRA, that is not an eye guarantee. There are forty one eye problems they should cover your pup will pass a CERF exam, you are probably dealing with a puppy mill if they do that.)

Goldberry Yellow Labs came into existence because of our quest for the ideal family and hunting dog. Our first four attempts met with disaster - 2 elbow dysplasia, 1 hip dysplasia and one went blind at 3 and each time we took our pet in to be put down the vet would say it's preventable with testing of the parents. These were all expensive pups from kennels.

Sugar, 1997-2009
Pumpkin, 1980-1993

Unable to find what I wanted, I waited until 1979. I saw a beautiful yellow named Candlewoods Mad Mouse. I found Charles Hayes owned him and that he was sound. I called Charles and was told no breedings were planned. I explained I'd wait and sent him a check to prove it. A little over a year later I had pick of a beautiful litter. We called her Pumpkin. All I will say is that for 13 years my life was better because she was in it. So at Goldberry Yellow Labs our mission statement is simple: produce sound dogs of exceptional type and temperament {Pumpkins}.


Goldberry's Little Bella

My wife Martha or I {Charlie} will answer your e-mail questions as promptly as possible. We raise mainly yellows ranging from pale cream to fawn but have been known to use yellow factored blacks if the quality is there. Our kennel is mainly conformation because they are closer to the true multi-purpose dog and are generally sounder in my opinion.

We really stress calm at Goldberry. I have found calm dogs make far superior upland hunting dogs. The more hyper field trial type of dogs have a place which is mainly hunting big water for diving ducks over large decoy spreads. We no longer do this type of dog as we have found most want to bring the dog in the house and this type of dog is not suitable for the house. Personally I like a couch potato buddy that likes to chase pheasants for me on weekends. We do ship nationally with air freight costs currently running $400, a little more to Alaska, for the vet exam, crate and air freight costs. Remember we are a small quality kennel with 3 breeding females on site and 3 co-own females off site. So you may encounter a waiting list.

We compete with our dogs, putting many obedience and conformation titles on our dogs. Any kennel that doesn't compete probably has a motivation of money and doesn't have the outside expert opinions to make a breed better.

The AKC standard for color of yellow Labradors is from fox red to light cream. You will notice the majority of our dogs pictured are light cream, almost appearing white, in this web site. This is not by choice, we breed for temperament, quality and soundness and in the past the best quality has come form the lighter dogs. This can be seen on the show pages where light colored dogs are shown winning at major events. In a recent litter we had 5 light creams and 1 fawn. We kept the fawn and based on her performance in competition to date it definitely was the right choice. We select our pups using the Puppy Puzzle method and having a Labrador judge come in and grade each pup then comparing the results. The moral to this is pick your kennel based on quality, not color, a needle nosed white Lab with health issues is no bargain.

I received a call from a Waterloo, Iowa woman while writing this text. She purchased a white labrador from a North Dakota kennel for $995 (that kennel has since raised it's prices). She was told the dog was half English Show but when I checked the pedigree, it had exactly zero Labrador Show Champions in the first 3 generations. The breeders don't compete, won't take the dog back and it's ugly and so hyper she just wants to get rid of it.

8 Simple Steps To A Quality Pup From Other Breeders

  1. Quality kennels use quality sires, sires should be Champions for non champion dams. For calm in the house, upland hunting type dog champion should be a conformation dog designated by CH in front of name on pedigree. For field trial competition or large decoy spread hunting champion should be AFC or FC in front of name. Champion pedigree or champion bloodlines are terms used by puppy farms because all pedigrees are champion if you go back far enough.
  2. Good guarantee of at least 24 months on hip, elbow and eye. Quality breeders would never ask for a dog back to honor a guarantee. Knowing you would have trouble putting a family member down to honor a guarantee.
  3. Puppies should have a vet exam and CERF (CERF if Veterinary Ophthalmologist available in the area).
  4. Sire and Dam should have hip, elbow and eye clearances.
  5. Quality kennels don't meet you halfway when driving is possible. Good kennels want you to see care used in raising your pup. Also quality kennels will allow you full access. If they are reluctant run to your car.
  6. Quality kennels compete with their dogs and have awards, ribbons and pictures to prove it. The top award for breeder in America is the AKC Breeder of Merit a very exclusive club.
  7. Puppy farms are retail establishments with one motivation that is to make money. The reason I refer to this type of operation as a puppy farm is that is exactly what they are. A successful puppy farm always has product for impulse buyers so volume is key, quality is not. This type of operation often over breeds so they have older pups and started dogs.
  8. Patience is more than a virtue, it is necessary to getting a quality dog. For people looking to get a family member they must remember this decision could last 15 years, this is not really something you want to rush into.

Not all champions are the same and because of requests a short description is in order. The most prized Champions are from National Kennel Clubs like the American Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club or Mexican Kennel Club where becoming a Champion means you competed and beat many other competitors. There are Champions from organizations like the International where judges look at your dog and say yes it is Champion material so they let you be a Champion for a fee even if you never beat another dog. So when I refer to Champions I am referring to Canadian, American or Mexican Champions the real ones

Advantages for puppy farms and quality breeders are very clear. Puppy farms run on volume which is more efficient and results in a cheaper price right now running at 60 to 70% of a quality breeder. Puppy farm volume holds the advantage for impulse breeders by having puppies available now. Quality breeders rely on a better product having competed with their dogs and done extensive testing. An example would be PRA an eye disease that a quality breeder would never see because of DNA testing where a puppy farm might guarantee against it for a limited time expiring before the disease even shows up. My personal dysplasia rate for hip and elbows combined is 1.4 percent over the last fifteen years. According to the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals the overall combined rate is 30%. Quality breeders standards are higher like only doing a breeding where hip scores average a good. According to U of MN Veterinary Hospital approximately 5% of all pups have heart murmurs, do you really want a pup that isn't vet checked? So are you feeling lucky?

Labradoodles are currently very popular but no Goldberry Lab will be used in the breeding of these mistakes. My daughter Christa has informed me that grooming on Labradoodles can be hideous (Christa spent 2 years in grooming college, graduated, and is currently working as a professional groomer in the #1 rated grooming salon in America). What's happening is a no shed top coat and a shedding lower coat on some Labradoodles, causing owners to shave the dog creating harm to skin and balding.

Goldberry Yellow Labs is located in south central Minnesota near Mankato. Currently Minnesota has the toughest breeder laws in the country. Our main competition area includes South and North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, Illinois, Wisconsin and Canada.

We feed and recommend Verus Dog Food. Verus is human grade, naturally preserved and uses only high quality immune system boosters in southwest yucca and North Sea kelp. Also since we compete on a high level having a dog food use complex carbohydrates for an even calorie burn all day is essential for any competitors or just a day of hunting. With chelated minerals and flaxseed omega 3 alpha-linolenic acid this fills the requirements of any serious breeder. All this at a reasonable price, check the Verus web site store locator to see if it's available to you.

Unable to find what I wanted, I waited until 1979. I saw a beautiful yellow named Candlewoods Mad Mouse. I found Charles Hayes owned him and that he was sound. I called Charles and was told no breedings were planned. I explained I'd wait and sent him a check to prove it. A little over a year later I had pick of a beautiful litter. We called her Pumpkin. All I will say is that for 13 years my life was better because she was in it. So at Goldberry Yellow Labs our mission statement is simple: produce sound dogs of exceptional type and temperament {Pumpkins}.

Goldberry's Jake Remember they are around a long time. Don't buy impulse puppies.

One aspect of our dogs that we are constantly questioned is life expectancy. Goldberry Labradors commonly live past 15 years when expectations are for 9 to 11 years on the average lab. While our breeding practices may in a small way effect the difference, I do not believe it is the main contributor. It is my belief that over 75% of dogs that die from natural causes die from cancer. So what if we could almost eliminate cancer from dogs through nutrition. Specifically immune system boosters like probiotics, high grade yucca and north sea kelp. Since most Goldberry Labradors are fed VéRUS dog food and VéRUS contains probiotics (must be freeze dried), yucca and kelp that could likely answer all the longevity questions.

Since I worked in the industry and have written several national articles on dog food I get asked all the time if I can't get Verus then what. Well first put in the name of the dog food followed by the word recall in your computer's search engine and if the food has a pattern of recalls, forget it. Remember very few foods are recall free like Verus so if they have only been recalled once I would not reject it. Next, forget the rating services on the web, I talked to the president of one company who told me the ratings her company received listed the wrong formula and was in her opinion, too low for food. When she contacted the website, they offered to correct info and raise her rating for a fee which big companies pay and smaller ones don't. This is hardly a proper criteria for rating dog food. Most importantly, your dog needs meat. The meat should be listed as chicken meal, turkey meal or lamb meal and never as just chicken, turkey or lamb because by government standard that ingredient is up to 75% water compared to up to 10% for meal. I hope this helps you at least get started.