Stuart and I have owned Golden Retrievers for some 26 years and absolutely adore the breed.
Since we moved from Cape Town to 8 hectares in The Crags, some 17 years ago and opened Savannalands Kennels & Cattery in 2010, I was finally in the right place, with sufficient time, to start breeding and showing our dogs.
We had our first litter in August 2011 and a second litter followed in November 2012. We had a third litter in October 2014, a fourth in December 2016, a fifth in November 2018 and a sixth in August 2019. A seventh and eighth followed, together, my first time with two litters at once, in October 2020, as the girls usually come into season together. Indi had her second, our ninth litter in January 2021, as she did not come into season with the other girls as she normally would have, but only some 5 weeks later and, as we didn't have our usual travel plans for early 2021 - thanks Covid - and I was already in "puppy mode", I decided to go ahead and breed her instead of putting it off till later in 2021. And we have now just had our 10th and 11th litters together, once again with Gucci and Prada, who gave birth within 2 days of each other, both for their third and final litters. I mainly breed when I want another pup to add to my breeding lines and for the show ring, so do not simply "churn out" puppies for other people, although having said that, we cannot simply keep adding to our ever-increasing pack. I am not a breeder who will rehome my dogs once they are past their "usefulness", as many others do, they are first and foremost our beloved pets and all stay with us until the end of their days.
I started showing some of our dogs in 2012 and continue to do so, with success. Of course because of Covid, 2020 was a non-event in the showing arena as everything was cancelled.
To add to our South African lines, I imported two gorgeous bitches, Ch Stanroph Scarlett Rose of Savannalands (Rosie), from Spain, in 2013 (who I was never able to breed with as she has both ectopic urerter and just one kidney - so our very expensive pet!) and Ch Fenpinque Pradaspelle at Savannalands (Prada), from the UK, in 2014. Floyd, Ch Zenevieva Pink Floyd at Savannalands, joined us from Ireland in February 2016.
We imported semen for Prada from the Top Golden Retriever in Australia for 2016, Sup Ch Chaleur Hilfiger and Prada had a litter on 12 December 2016. We kept a girl, Indi, Ch Savannalands Indigo Girl and a boy, Blue, Ch Savannalands Bright Blue from that litter. Both have achieved their Champion titles.
We also imported semen from Irish boy JJ, Golden Rose-Bays Original Sin for Zenevieva, which we have recently used for the first time on our Gucci.
We have just kept little Faith, Savannalands I Have Faith in You, from the JJ x Gucci combination, as well as Holly, Savannalands Take a Chance on Me, Prada's baby from her recent third and final litter, with our Champion boy Floyd the dad. They will be shown for the first time in the second half of 2022.
Savannalands puppy party to celebrate their first birthday, Floyd x Indi litter born 21 August 2019.
Celebrating their first birthday in exuberant style!
A carpet of Goldens in our bedroom.