There are many things to consider when purchasing a puppy.  Golden Retrievers are active dogs who crave and thrive on lots of human interaction.  Please be honest when considering whether your lifestyle will work with this breed of dog.  If you are away from home all day, your dog may become bored and destructive in an effort to entertain themselves.  This is not good for your Golden and will not make you happy either.  Goldens are an unusually social breed and they absolutely love human companionship.  Please consider whether you have time in your life to make this commitment.

When choosing a breeder, make sure to find someone you trust and can feel comfortable with.  Go to shows and talk to breeders.  Take time to walk through the grooming areas and watch how people treat their dogs.  Do they have great interaction with and genuinely care about their dogs, or are they more interested in winning at any cost or hanging out with friends?  Ask for recommendations from other breeders about where they would buy a dog.  And don’t be intimidated by someone who won’t take time to answer your questions.  If they won’t do this before you get the puppy, it is likely they won’t be a good resource for you after you take your puppy home.

Feel free to use this list as you talk to breeders about which puppy might be right for you!

So Are You Really Ready For That New Puppy?

Are you ready to take full responsibility for this dog and all its requirements for the next 12 or so years?
Are you prepared to be responsible for this dog for its entire life regardless of changes in your lifestyle such as a move, a new baby, a new job, etc?
Are you willing to take the time to find the right puppy from a responsible breeder (though it may take more time) rather than buying a puppy from the classifieds?
Do you have the patience to enjoy and accept the trials of raising a Golden puppy?  They are busy dogs that require lots of personal attention and physical activity with their owners.
Can you afford to provide proper diet and veterinary care for the life of your dog?  This includes routine vaccinations, flea treatment, heartworm medication, annual check up, and teeth cleaning.
Can you live with constant shedding and dirty paws in your house and car, digging, drooling, and retrieving (of everything) for the next 12 or so years?
Will you provide a safe place for your dog to live, including a fenced outdoor area, a safe means of travel such as a crate, and be willing to allow your Golden free run of your house?
Will you make the time to provide enough attention and exercise for the dog through out its lifetime?
Do you have the time and patience to train your dog to be a good canine companion?
Will you take the time to learn about the proper care, grooming and training of Golden Retrievers?
Do you understand that you, not your children, must be responsible for taking care of the puppy, meetings its needs, providing training, and all of the other demands this dog will make on your life?
Will you keep in touch with the breeder and keep them up to date all accomplishments and problems you may encounter?
Will you agree to contact your breeder or other professionals on problems before they are out of hand?
Does everyone in your family want a new puppy, have you done research about the characteristics of a Golden Retriever, and do you all agree on this breed of dog?

Questions To Ask Breeders

Most breeders have a waiting list for their puppies.  Remember, you will have this dog for many years.  Take your time and make a wise choice – do not buy the first puppy that is advertised in the newspaper.  While the initial price of the puppy may be lower, a dog that does not have a strong pedigree and health clearances for generations of ancestors may end up costing you substantially more in vet bills and heartache than if you would have purchased a puppy from a breeder.

Are both the sire and the dam over 2 years in age at the time of the breeding?  Dogs younger than this are not eligible for OFA hip certification and are too immature mentally and physically to be bred.
Do both parents of the litter have their permanent OFA hip and elbow clearances and certificates (must be at least 2 years old)?
Do both parent have a current board certified ophthalmologist report (within 12 months of the breeding) and OFA certificate for eyes?
Do both the sire and dam have a Board Certified Cardiologist heart exam and OFA certificate?  DO NOT accept OFA Heart Certificates ending in the letter P which signifies a Practitioner and not a Cardiologist performed the exam.  You cannot count on the accuracy of the report!
Be sure to go online and verify the clearances at before you make a deposit for a puppy.....    If the breeder says "My vet says they are okay" or "I don’t send my reports in to OFA"  BEWARE!
Ask the breeder about clearances on grandparents and siblings of the sire and dam of the litter and other relatives -- this is just as important as the parents themselves.  You can also view this info on the OFA website.
Can you set up an appointment to visit the home/kennels and the dam of the litter?
Is the sire available for viewing?  Most females are bred to dogs owned by other breeders and will most likely not live with the breeder.  The breeder should be able to send links to his clearances and pictures.   They also should be more than willing to give you information on how to contact the sire's owner so you can ask his owner questions and possibly go visit the sire.
Ask why the breeder why they chose that particular stud dog to breed to their female.  It should not be because "he lived just down the street" or "he had a sweet personality".  Your breeder should have chosen the sire and the dam to compliment each other in structure, temperament and type.  They should also have researched the pedigree genetically so that the breeder and stud dog owner feel that the pedigrees complement each other.
Is this breeder involved with Goldens other than just breeding?  Do they compete with their dogs in activities such as conformation, agility, obedience, rally, hunt tests, dock diving and tracking?  Breeders who work with their dogs have an active interest in producing sound dogs that meet the breed standard and are suitable for the task they are bred for.
Ask the breeder what their requirements are in regards to spaying and neutering.  Responsible breeders will require that the puppy be spayed or neutered by a specific time and that the puppy be sold on a limited registration.
How does the breeder handle hereditary hip, elbow, eye and heart problems?
Have the puppies been raised in the home with lots of socialization and interaction with people?  Puppies that have been raised outside all of the time or in a part of the house that has no or little contact with people, noises etc. will probably not be well-socialized.
How many litters are being raised at a time?  When multiple litters are raised at the same time it is difficult for the breeder to be able to devote enough time individually to each puppy so that it is a well-socialized puppy.
When visiting the puppies do they appear healthy -- no discharge from the eyes or nose, not pot bellied, no diarrhea, ears clean, coats soft and clean?  Do they have plenty of energy when awake?  Do they come to you for attention?
When does the breeder let the puppies go off to their new homes?  It is best to have your puppy stay with it's littermates until 8 weeks -- puppies leaving as early as 6 weeks may show some behavior problems.
If for any reason you are unable to keep the dog, is the breeder willing to take the dog back at anytime and find it a suitable new home for him or her?
Is the breeder willing to be available for questions you may have through out the lifetime of the puppy?
Is this breeder knowledgeable enough with the breed that you would feel comfortable in contacting them with any problems that may arise?
Does the breeder provide you with diet recommendations, a 3 or 4 generation pedigree, pictures of mom and dad, copies of contracts, copies of the sire’s and dam’s clearances, vaccination record, information on grooming, crate training, house training etc.
Does the breeder pick the puppy for the new owner?  A responsible breeder will try to place the right puppy into its new home based on the puppy’s temperament and needs and the lifestyle of the new owners.
Will the puppies have a veterinarian examination before going to their new homes?  At this time will the puppies receive their first set of vaccinations and be de-wormed for a final time, along with being Microchipped.
Does the breeder belong to the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) and local breed clubs?  Breed clubs have Code of Ethics for their members to follow in regards to breeding practices, clearances, warranties, facilities etc.
Is the breeder someone that you feel very comfortable dealing with on a long-term basis?


































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