Our History

 

 

Overlook Golden Retrievers was established in 1992 with the goal of breeding dogs that are everything a Golden Retriever should be: well tempered, great with children, easy to train and full of affection and soul. They should live long and healthy lives providing years of joy.

 

I live on 17 acres in Connecticut and all of my dogs sleep in the house at night. During the day they spend their time inside and outside and can usually be caught in one of two activities: chasing each other round and round or napping in the sun. It is definitely a dog's life at Overlook.

 

I breed 2-3 litters per year and usually keep the pick of the litter. All of my puppies are sold on spay/neuter contracts with the guarantee that I will take the puppy back - no matter how old - if you are no longer able to care for the dog. I truly believe they are my responsibility from the day they are born until the day they die.

 

I only breed dogs that have acquired all their health clearances as required by the Golden Retriever Club of America Code of Ethics. In addition to clearances, I raise my dogs on a very minimal vaccine schedule and everyone is raw fed. I believe in a wholistic approach to health and the use of homeopathic remedies as the first line of defense.

 

I am a member of the Golden Retriever Club of America and President of the Hudson Valley Golden Retriever Club. I participate in conformation and many of my puppies have gone on to become certified therapy dogs as well as to earn titles in conformation, agility and obedience.

 

If you are interested in an Overlook puppy, please go to Acquiring a Puppy for more information. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

 

How it all began...

In 1986 Chelsea came into my life. She was a famous breeder's pick of the litter and my first golden retriever. Five years later she was dead. Cancer of the spleen: hemangiosarcoma. Along the way she was diagnosed with sub-aortic stenosis, hip dysplasia and spina bifida. Only her personality and spirit were perfect. Chelsea's short life made me fall in love with the breed and the conformation ring. My goal was to try and breed wonderful companion animals that could excel in the show ring but would first excel in temperament, health and longevity. In 1992, after extensive research and asking hundreds of questions over many, many phone calls, I started over again with Savannah. A year later Skye joined my life and these two amazing girls became the foundation of Overlook Golden Retrievers.

When I knew Chelsea was sick and wouldn’t live more than a few months, I started the search for another dog. I was so disheartened by my first experience and the sadness of watching Chelsea die that it was a very difficult search. I decided to  attend some dog shows in hopes of finding a good breeder with the right ethics. My first big experience was standing ringside in Madison Square Garden at the Westminster Kennel Club show. I was fascinated by the beautiful dogs floating around the ring. One caught my eye that day - "Ready" (CH Sassafrass Batteries Not Included). I thought he was the perfect golden retriever and I wanted to start over again with one of his daughters and that was my Savannah. Savannah never quite became the champion her father was - she never liked the show ring - she was incredibly smart, very gentle and never met a person or dog she did not like. Life was just meant to be enjoyed and a tail to be wagged. This wonderful temperament came through in her kids, grandkids and every generation since.

The following year I found myself ringside at the Westminster Kennel Club show and another dog caught my eye - “James” (CH Asterlings Wild Blue Yonder) - the winningest golden in the breed's conformation history. Watching James in the ring, I knew I had to have one of his daughters too. I was fortunate enough to find a litter of puppies sired by James out of a Malagold bitch. Malagold is a breeding program I had long admired for Goldens that were bred to the standard and known for longevity, heath and amazing temperaments. I had found a perfect combination in my Skye.

Skye was incredibly smart, independent and very much my dog. She was an excellent mother and the matriarch of Overlook until her death in 2005. There is not a day that she is not missed and we continue to see sparks of her personality in her great, great grandkids. Skye and Savannah were successful brood bitches and virtually every Overlook golden goes back to one or both of these girls. There have also been a few special girls brought into the Overlook fold over the years. I have bred to several magnificent dogs from Sweden, Scotland, the Netherlands and Finland to expand the gene pool in pursuit of healthy, sound dogs. 

 

In the decades that I've been raising dogs, we've lost so many. Fortunately, I've never lost a dog that I've bred and raised younger than 13. Most of my Goldens live to robust healthy lives of 14, 15 and 16...we're working on that. In the pages that follow, you will see photos and stories about many of our dogs. Be sure to click on FAMILY to see remembrances of the dogs we've lost as well as pictures and stories from many of the Overlook families that have enriched our lives. Our dogs have brought joy to so many and new friends into our lives.

 

Connecticut, USA Contact us at OverlookGoldens@gmail.com

Copyright 2020. All information and images on and within this site are copyrighted and may not be used in any way without the permission of Robert Swanson. All rights reserved.

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