When researching breeders, you're bound to come across the above dilemma. What's the difference between a "performance," "show," or "pet" quality dog? Don't they all have the same pedigree?
Answer: Yes! BUT, different traits get inherited! Every puppy is different. Some have a high drive and retrieving instinct. These are pups that would be best suited for someone who wanted to hunt, not someone who wanted a couch potato pup to lounge around the house. Some have bone structure that is more highly preferred in the show ring. It doesn't mean the "pet" quality puppies are "bad," just that they might not perform as well in specific venues. They are still a carefully bred golden retriever and will have a sunny disposition, a desire to learn and please, and a full health guarantee.
We primarily breed for performance goldens, though occasionally we may have a litter that could produce pups that would be successful in the conformation ring. Our sires and dams all meet the standard for golden retrievers and we strive to breed in a way that improves and compliments in order to keep that standard.
So, what is the difference between a "performance" and a "pet" home? Why do "performance" homes get priority?
Performance or competition homes are situations where the owners commit to competing with their dogs in performance events such as Obedience, Agility, Hunt Tests, or Field Trials. These homes get priority because this is showcasing what our dogs can do. It is a way to prove that our dogs are sound and able to excel in a variety of ways. Performance puppies are sold on an AKC Limited Registration. This can be lifted if certain requirements are met.
Pet, or companion homes are homes where the owners are looking for a loving companion to add to their family. They may do therapy work, go hunting, take some classes, and/or just enjoy their Golden Retriever. All pet puppies are sold on an AKC Limited Registration. These homes are very important, too, and if at any time these owners decide to enter a performance event, I highly encourage it and will help however I can! Spayed/neutered dogs and those with Limited Registration can still compete in all venues except conformation and it can be a great way to bond with your dog!