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Ethos | Ginny & Aaron Kincer

Ethos | Ginny & Aaron Kincer

Interview with Sporting Group Breeders Ginny & Aaron Kincer

Where do we live? How many years in dogs? How many years as a breeder?
I live with my husband, Aaron, in Chattanooga, Tennessee. I am third generation in breeding, raising, and exhibiting purebred dogs.

What is our kennel name? How many dogs do we currently keep?
Our kennel Prefix is ETHOS Golden Retrievers. Ethos is a Greek word meaning “character” that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. Our breeding program embodies an all-purpose dog, well-balanced and bred for function. This is why our personal dogs are titled on both ends of their name.

Which show dogs from the past have been our noteworthy winners?
Noteworthy winners include my grandparents’ first big-winning Basset Hound (CH Slipperyhills Shylock, shown by Bryan Martin), my first breeder/owner-handled dog (CH Chez Bonheur Indiana Jones), first Best in Show Alaskan Malamute (Am./Can. CH AspenMyst Prince of the Island CGC WPD), and “Calvin,” our own Owner-Handled Best in Show-winning Golden Retriever (CH Owling’s Designed By Signature OS SDHF). Today, we are even more proud of dogs that we have bred, or been a part of, earning titles not just in the Conformation ring but also in Field and Performance events, and producing the next generation.

Which have been our most influential sires and dams?
Golden Retriever CH Owling’s Designed By Signature, “Calvin,” has produced over 45 titled get in Conformation, Field, and Performance events. GCH Shor’line Call of the Canyon CGC DJ DS TKN WC RN, “Sedona,” produced our first home-bred Junior Hunter and Triathlon Winner. (“In recognition of the versatility of the Golden Retriever, and to encourage owners to showcase that versatility by participating in multiple areas of competition.” —GRCA Website.)

Can we talk about we facilities? Where are our puppies whelped? How are they raised?
We are not a large facility. In fact, we are a house. We raise our puppies in the heart of our home, and this ensures the most attention, socialization, and time spent to give them the foundation they need to be their best.

What is our “process” for selecting show puppies? At what age do we make our decision?
On day one, we are introducing stimulants (i.e., age-appropriate smells, noises, environments, and situations) to our pups. This allows us to observe their growth, development, and learning ability, to make the best decisions on where they will excel and with choosing the right homes—even if it is staying with us. We prefer to make final decisions between 8-10 weeks… sometimes we wait until 12 weeks.

How do we prepare our pups for the show ring?

All Ethos pups leave home with:

  • Full Set of Shots Before Going Home
  • Health Certificate Certifying the Health of the Puppy
  • Full Genetic Panel for Health Insight
  • 8-12 Weeks of the Best Nutrition, Royal Canin Golden Retriever Puppy
  • Potty Training
  • Temperament Testing to Ensure a Perfect Match forYour Family
  • Lead training

Show pups are stacked right away to develop positive reinforcement when associated with conformation training. Commands like “Stand,” “Stay,” “Wait,” and “Let’s Go” are all imprinted at a very early age.

Are Performance and Companion titles important to us as breeders?
ABSOLUTELY! In Golden Retrievers that we like, it is essential to produce well-rounded dogs. All dogs are pets first, but we choose to compete with them and they, in turn, become our teammates. We believe that Goldens are the “Swiss Army Knife” of dogs, and are built to compete and excel in most areas of competition and work.

In our opinion, is our breed in good condition overall? Any trends that warrant concern?
More and more, in the last two years, we are getting better. We have seen a lot of trends, like most popular breeds do. This should always be a cause for concern, but insight is 20/20 and we are very lucky to have a lot of visionaries in our breed as well. We must always breed for balance, purpose, and HEALTH.

Do we feel that our breed has a promising future as a family companion?
You can’t get a more perfect family pet than a Golden Retriever—but you need to know that they shed.

Do we have any thoughts we’d like to share about the sport of dogs in general?
The sport of dogs is one that I have grown up in, and it is very much a family/community that has always been there for me. I have learned so many life skills through our mentors and the actions of others. I support it like it has supported me, whether helping a fellow handler out by getting dogs in the ring because of conflicting rings times, caring for a friend’s dog during a time of hardship, or even supporting a new venture in one’s life (i.e., judging or a new breeding program). It is a strong community that needs to build each other up and encourage younger people, new people to become involved. Enjoying your dog or dogs, becoming a team, is one of the most rewarding experiences.
For a bit of fun, what’s the most amusing experience we’ve ever experienced with a Sporting Dog? Every day is “amusing!” Sporting Dogs are amusing in so many ways—the constant retrieval drive. So, when you throw anything, from a ball in the yard to a dirty sock in the laundry hamper, there’s a great chance it is coming back to you!

You can’t get a more perfect family pet than a Golden Retriever—but you need to know that they shed.