Return to Fern Hill Golden Retrievers Home Page About Us

Fern Hill Golden Retrievers is an AKC Breeder of Merit


We have been breeding Golden Retrievers since 2005, which is not a very long time as you measure these things. However, we have had dogs forever, and Goldens since 1994 -- and have more than 30 years' experience breeding horses and cattle.

Our first Golden gave us an undying admiration and respect for the field and working line Golden Retrievers. Omega Man was a delightful, smart, handsome, and extremely trainable dog that we bought from a co-worker — a back-yard breeder, yes, but one who loved her dogs and took very good care of the mother and 12 pups. Unfortunately, Omega developed cancer and died within 6 months, shortly after his 8th birthday.

We were heartbroken, but there was no question that we wanted to replace him with another Golden Retriever. The question was, how could we be sure of finding one with the same brains and delightful personality? And, was there any way to increase our chances of the next one living a longer life? We started by researching Omega's pedigree to see where he came from, and discovered that several generations back, most of his ancestors were successful field / service dogs, including hall-of-famers.
Omega Man
Omega Man, our first Golden

This led us to further research, and we learned that in the Golden world there are two distinct lines with quite different attributes. The conformation lines have to some extent lost some of their working ability, and the field lines have not all retained their looks. We decided we wanted the best of both worlds. First and foremost, we wanted the intelligence and trainability of the field goldens, dogs who are excelling in obedience, agility, hunt, field trials, search and rescue, and tracking. On the other hand, we still wanted correct conformation, a more typical broad golden head, minimal white markings, and overall good looks. We were particularly concerned about longevity, considering how young Omega was at his death, and more so when we learned that nearly 60% of Goldens die of cancer.

After an extended search for a puppy that we hoped would form the basis for our breeding program, we found all that we were looking for at Adirondac Golden Retrievers in central New York state. We purchased Adirondac Hilfy of Fern Hill as a puppy in 2002, and she was everything we hoped for. She was beautiful, brilliant, energetic, talented, and a great friend. A wonderful mother, she whelped 26 puppies in 4 different litters, who went to a total of 23 different homes around the country. We retained two, Penny and Callie. Hilfy died from kidney failure just short of 14 years of age, but has passed the torch on to her daughters Penny and Callie, her granddaughter Panda, and her great-granddaughter Zoey, who are carrying on in her tradition. Hilfy's dam died shortly before her 14th birthday, her sire lived to just a month short of 13, and her four grandparents ranged in age from 14.5 to 16 at their deaths. There are no guarantees of long life for any dog, and diseases can pop up unexpectedly and heartbreakingly at any time -- but we are paying attention to health and longevity in each of our breedings, keeping our fingers crossed, and hoping for the best.


Hilfy's face
Adirondac Hilfy of Fern Hill CDX OD CCA TDI CGC ASCA-CD


Penny's portrait, 3 years
Fern Hill Pennyroyal CDX JH NAP RE CGC TDI

by AFC AFTCH Rosehill's Mr. Speaker MH CCA OS FDHF
Callie's Portrait, 9 months
Fern Hill SuperCaliFragilistic MH CD

by Trifectas Repeat Performance *** MH UD CCA WCX VCX OS CGC Can CD
Panda
Fern Hill Pandemonium (Pandy) at 8 months

by Trifectas Shag-edelic *** MH CD WCX x Fern Hill Pennyroyal CDX JH NAP RE CGC TDI


We are very serious about improving the Golden Retriever breed to the best of our abilities. To that end, we are members of the Golden Retriever Club of America, our local Oak Ridge Kennel Club, and the East Tennessee Retriever Club, and we have held management positions in both of the local clubs. Karen was the Training Director for two years for the ORKC, and both Karen and Jim have been ORKC obedience instructors. Karen is currently the Secretary/ Treasurer of the ETRC and Jim is a Board Member. We are proud to be a member of the AKC Breeder of Merit program. We take training classes and do field training year round and participate actively in competitions. So far, our competitions have been limited to hunt testing, Obedience, Rally, and agility, but one of these days we want to try our hand at tracking and would love to do some of the fun things like Barn Hunt, trick dog, and dock diving. All of this as soon as we find a good Day Stretcher!

We breed about one litter a year, and we do place puppies in both competition and active pet homes. The quality of the home is most important and we do not place pets in outdoor-only homes. We do stay actively involved in the lives of the puppies we place, and ask anyone who buys a puppy from us to keep us posted on their progress both good and bad. If you might be interested in one of our puppies, information is here. Our pattern sale contract, specifying the major terms, conditions, and guarantees, is here although we do modify this slightly for each litter as needed.



254 Babbs Road, Lenoir City, TN 37771
  Tel: 865-376-3453   ||   E-Mail:
This site © 2001-2017 by Fern Hill Farm All rights reserved.
Revised September 1, 2017