Before you fall in love with the first adorable Golden face you see, you need to:
- Make sure you have read all the information on this website under “Should You Own a Golden”.
- Be sure you are willing to make a 10-12 year commitment to caring for a golden for his or her entire life.
- Visit the Golden Retriever Club of America’s Website and read their section on "Acquiring a Golden Retriever".
If you decide to get a puppy, it is especially important to choose a breeder very carefully. When purchasing a puppy, you put a lot of trust in the breeder. It’s impossible to know how a puppy will turn out when grown, so the information they give you is all you have to go on in making the decision.
Pet Shops or Dealers
Our advice is to steer clear of pet shops, dealers, flea markets, or any type of mass puppy raising operation. These pets are often ill or have genetic defects. No reputable breeder will sell puppies through a pet shop because a reputable breeder wants to know where their puppies are going.
A particularly sad scenario for these dogs is one we see several times a year. We get a call to take in a young golden that has a hip or leg problem and needs expensive surgery – a genetic defect.
The family bought the dog from a pet store and can’t afford the surgery (orthopedic surgeries can run in excess of $2500). While the pet store sometimes guarantees the dog, and will accept it back and replace it with another dog – think about it. What happens to the dog that needs surgery? They can’t sell it. It could be returned to the breeder where they might either let it suffer and breed it for profit, passing on those bad genes or, euthanize it because it is “defective merchandise”. It’s a heartbreaking outcome because the family has already fallen in love with the dog.
GRRMF is called upon to step in and help these sweet dogs who are otherwise young and healthy but are doomed to a life of pain if they do not get surgery. We raise funds and help them and then adopt them to a new home. Please trust us on this issue – stay clear of pet shops when getting a puppy. You are setting yourself up for heartbreak if you do.
Often these folks sell through the classifieds and are breeding their own pet thinking it would be fun to have puppies or that their dog should be bred at least once before being spayed. Some backyard breeders are all about making money. They may offer “health certificates” but it probably only means they saw a vet and may have had some shots.
Backyard breeders know little about breeding standards and do not usually provide genetic testing of the parents that is recommended by the Golden Retriever Club of America. For more information, visit the Golden Retriever Club of America’s web page on "Hereditary Problems".
You take a chance getting a dog from a backyard breeder. Are you prepared, once the dog grows, to handle any potential health problems arising from genetic defects passed on to your dog? For example, what if your dog needs surgery due to hip dysplasia at one year old? Can you afford a few thousand dollars for corrective surgery? While you might feel like you are getting a bargain from a backyard breeder, think long term and factor in all the risks you are taking. Furthermore, know that many backyard breeders try to charge as much for their dogs as a responsible breeder.
Choosing a Reputable Breeder
Your best choice for purchasing a puppy is to research reputable breeders. An excellent source of information can be found on the Golden Retriever Club of America’s web page on "Choosing a Reputable Breeder".
Finding a Reputable Breeder
The Golden Retriever Club of America maintains a nationwide list of puppy referral contacts.
To view this list click on "Golden Retriever Club of America Puppy Referrals".
The Mid Florida Golden Retriever Club maintains a puppy referral service.
For more information on this service click on "Mid Florida Golden Retriever Club Puppy Referral Service".
A word about Rescue Dogs
Rescue dogs may or may not have been responsibly bred. However, since many of them are adults, we are able to evaluate them for any signs of a problem before you fall in love, something that can't be done with a puppy. We consider this only one of the many advantages to adopting an older dog. What you see is what you get!