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Is there a split in hunting and show lines? What should I look for?
There is something of a split between show, field, and even obedience lines. As with any sport that becomes highly competitive, the specialization intensifies. With Goldens, that means the show dogs will have more coat and bone and be more laid back. The field dogs generally have less coat, more drive and be intensely "birdy" (interested in birds) with good noses. The obedience dogs often have less coat and a high drive but may or may not be birdy. You should consider carefully the differences between the different lines when picking your own dog out so that there are no surprises. Looking at the parents and any of their previous offspring is a good approach.
But no matter which lines you are interested in, you should try to find the puppies that are well balanced with correct structure and conformation as the base. Whether you are interested in pet, show, hunting, etc., will determine other characteristics that you want. But an unsound dog does not make a good show dog, hunting dog, obedience dog, or pet!
(Cindy Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org)