We got our first Golden in 1981 as a pet for our son. (I had been hoping he would ask for a Great Dane.) The breeder strongly suggested, as did my wife, that I take the pup to obedience class. I could not believe how intelligent this young pup was and how much he wanted to please. That was it, I was hooked. I started competing in obedience and the very first show in Canada Rider, my first Golden, got the third highest score. Again I was very impressed that a dog could overcome my poor handling to score so high. We then started working in the conformation ring and finally the hunting tests.
When looking for a kennel name we asked our friend Marcia Schlehr to develop a logo that contained a sunrise and she developed the logo you see here. The term dauninge if old English for dawning which is why I chose it.
We live on 10 acres outside of Manchester in SE Michigan with our 5 Goldens. Our dogs all live in the house with us. In the winter they like to make puppy snow angels and in the summer a couple of them like to redo the landscaping.
We only breed occasionally, about 12 times since 1981. Our breeding program is centered on the breed standard and sound dogs – health, temperament, longevity, intelligence and conformation. It is important to us that the offspring have the ability to compete in whatever the new owner would like to pursue. Unfortunately I am not physically able to compete for titles any more, however I do enjoy training the dogs at the basic levels.
Although we predominantly breed to produce a conformation show dog for ourselves, the majority of our puppies are sold as loving companions to pet homes on a non-breeding, limited registration contract. Some of the pups have gone on to be therapy dogs, obedience titled dogs, agility dogs, tracking dogs and hunting dogs with titles.
Our puppies are raised in our home. It is important to us to socialize the pups and expose them to as many of the sights and sounds that they will experience when they go to their new homes. We let our puppies go to their new homes when they reach about eight weeks of age and have received their immunizations. Potential puppy buyers are screened and puppies are placed according to their personalities with their new family. Over the years this has proven to be very successful.
We follow the GRCA’s Breeders Code of Ethics. All male and female dogs used for breeding have all their clearances prior to being bred. Their eyes are cleared yearly by a Board Certified Ophthalmologist, their hearts cleared by a Board Certified Cardiologist, hip and elbow clearance by the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals. We are focused on raising the best quality Goldens possible!