The story of Big Lake Goldens
I had always bred the American Goldens. They have a beautiful blonde feathery coat and, with the correct breeding processes, could potentially become exceptional show dogs. A big drawback though, is that they SHED… EVERYWHERE!
In early 2017, I learned of a different strain of Golden Retriever known as an American Field Golden. Field Goldens are smaller, leaner, darker, have a shorter coat (fewer feathers), a less full tail, and are much more athletic than their counterparts. They do not possess the goofy lapdog mentality you will often find in a Show Golden, but their love and loyalty remain unmatched. They are working dogs and excellent hunters. They are extremely bright with an exceptional problem-solving acumen.
At first sight, I was immediately attracted to the darker coats and the athletic ability of the Field Golden. Another fantastic attribute of the Field Golden is that they shed significantly less than the Show Goldens. This breed captured my heart and I have been enamored with them ever since.
When I started this kennel, I had an idea of combining Field Goldens with Show Goldens. My vision was to incorporate the best traits from both strains; a hybrid if you will, with a pedigree that is 100% Golden Retriever. I wanted all the traits from a Field Golden – athletic, fast, intelligent dogs, who were natural swimmers, with darker coats and minimal shedding; combined with the most important traits of the Show Golden – a highly sociable family dog with an exceptional personality. Also, by breeding different lines of pedigree, I knew my pups would be healthier and have a lower probability of genetic issues as they mature.
With these traits in mind, I reached out to several breeders for advice. After speaking with, and gathering information from successful breeders in different parts of the U.S., it was abundantly clear there was a demand for the very thing I was trying to create.
In late 2017, I outlined search criteria that would help in my quest to add new members to my pack. My focus would be to find darker females with a combined Field/American Golden bloodline. My male, Jax, was a dark red Field Golden. My new direction was to produce litters of loyal, intelligent, fast, athletic Golden Retrievers with darker coats, just for you.
Putting the plan into action…
Throughout 2018, I scoured the region for Golden Retriever puppies and young adults. Every time I heard of a new litter of puppies, I was inquiring. Once I found the right litter, I researched the parents to see if they matched what I was looking for. After investigating what seemed like dozens of litters and following leads about available younger females, I added 4 new girls in 2018. I traveled to Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Alabama, and spared no expense to get them. In June, 2018, I purchased a home on a few acres in Downsville, La. This gave me the ability to expand my Golden Retriever facilities to meet the expected demand for the kennel’s exceptional puppies. We were immediately successful and demand continued to increase.
In late 2020, we recognized that we’ve outgrown our home in Downsville, LA., so we began our search for a bigger home with enough acreage for the dogs to run and play. We were able to purchase a home with 7.2 acres in the nearby town of Farmerville, LA. The best part was a 20’x30′ steel building on a slab already in place at the property. We are currently renovating the building, turning it into a Welcome Center. We have built a whelping area where we will welcome new puppies into the world. We are currently building the front office area where guests can come to pick up their new puppies.
Charting an alternate course…
After acquiring the new property in 2020, we felt we were ready to expand further. At the same time, we understood that our original Goldens (Jax, Zoey, Riley, Dixie, and Ginger) would be starting their progression into retirement. This meant we would be raising a considerable number of puppies in a very short time. It also meant we could pivot slightly on the direction of Big Lake Goldens.
Over the years, we often received requests for traditional Goldens with blockier heads. To facilitate this demand, we added Gunner in late 2020. Gunner is now an 85 pound male with a blocky head and dark red coat. Abby was also added in late 2020 to be paired with Gunner. Abby has the darkest coat of any of my females, and is a traditional Field Golden with a thin athletic build, carrying a weight of 60 pounds. Abby’s maternal great-grandfather is Jax’s father! Mandy is the Daughter of Jax and Zoey. She was introduced to Gunner in the spring of 2022. We will be adding 2 more females from Jax and Dixie in 2023 to create the “Gunner Goup” (1 male + 4 females).
In 2023 we have begun adding a new pack on the Big Lake Goldens ranch. Fonzie (born in Arkansas, September, 2022) will be the male. Fonzie was born from parents with mahogany-red coats. His girlfriends will be Laverne (from Gunner and Abby), Shirley (from Jax and Zoey), Pinky (from Gunner and Abby), and Joanie (from Gunner and Abby) to create the “Happy Days Gang” (1 male + 4 females).
We are hoping these additions will allow us to keep up with the increased demand for our puppies. Big Lake Golden Retrievers is now well on it’s way to provide you with the best breed of Golden Retriever you’ll find anywhere in the region. So far, my pack is healthy, happy, and loving. My heart is full. I appreciate your support. Stay tuned for puppy updates!
-Jim (and Jax)