Buyer Beware!

What to look for before you buy a Golden Retriever

Not all Golden Retriever breeders are reputable. The
following information will help you to be better informed
about what to look for before buying a Golden Retriever

How do you find a reputable breeder?

1)     Go to the Golden Retriever Club of America web page: www., and click under Puppy Referral. This parent club for
Golden Retrievers will list puppy referral contact people listed by
state. They only refer reputable breeders who adhere to the GRCA
breeding code of ethics and have puppies that meet AKC
standards. This is an excellent site for all kinds of valuable
information about the Golden Retriever breed.

2)    If you are specifically looking for a quality, reputable breeder
of English-type goldens, please refer to

3)    A PERSONAL RECOMMENDATION from a satisfied owner is
an excellent way to find a good Golden breeder.
Ask any of your
friends who own Goldens, or perhaps a veterinarian who can verify
the quality of the pups a breeder may have.

BE PREPARED to ask the Golden breeder questions. I have
included a list of some important questions to ask:

4)         BEWARE of any Golden breeder who “specializes” in color
The newest fad in Goldens is the “white” or “ultralight” color.
Untrustworthy breeders will sell their pups at outrageous prices
($2600-$8000) for a “white” golden. Reputable breeders breed not
only for every correct shade of Golden, but are most concerned with
temperament, health, and in breeding Goldens that meet the AKC
standard for the breed. Go to or for
the correct information on the Golden breed standard.

5)         If you have any doubts as to the honesty of any of the
information the breeder gives you – CHECK IT OUT!
Remember, it
is your right and responsibility to make your purchase from
someone who takes all steps necessary to produce pups of quality
and health and then stands behind what they sell.

6)         A good Golden breeder will ask you questions because
they are concerned about where their pups go to live. Breeders who
do not question you about your home and family situation are likely
to be more concerned about the financial aspects of the sale than in
providing the very best home possible for their Golden pups.

I have listed a few questions a good breeder will ask you:

   If a breeder does not ask questions but only asks to see if
you can pay for the pup,  walk away
. If the breeder makes you feel
as if you are adopting one of their children – then you have found a
good one. A Golden breeder who sells carefully will have bred the
litter carefully. They will be available to answer any question you
have after the pup goes to your home, and will offer after purchase

8)         Finally, a good breeder will be honest to deal with any
potential problems that might arise in the pup in the future.
Breeding animals is not an exact science and sometimes even the
best breeders have problems in their pups. But they will deal with
the owners fairly and honestly – offering suggestions and offering to
lead them to the sources to correct the problem.

**I highly recommend the following book for parents with children
who are considering adding a dog to their family:
"Please, Oh Please, Can We Get A Dog?" : Parents Guide to Dog
by Cheryl Peterson
ISBN: 0-7645-7297-0
What You Should Know...
a)        How long have they been breeding Goldens?

b)        How many other breeds do they have? (A real plus if
they only breed Goldens – though there are some wonderful
breeders who breed and show other breeds.)

c)        Does the breeder insist that all non-show quality
puppies for sale be spayed/neutered at the appropriate age
and not be allowed to produce puppies of their own?

d)        Is the breeder a member in good standing with the
Golden Retriever Club of America and a local/regional Golden
Retriever club? How long have they been a member? If they
are not, they are not reputable.

e)        Do they have an agreement to take/buy the dog back
should this ever become a necessity? Will they put it in writing?

f)        Do they have proof of clearances on the sire and dam of
the litter, shot records and offer a 3-5 generation pedigree of
the pups?

g)        Do they have a clear understanding of the
temperaments in the pedigree of the pups? Can they offer
assistance in selecting the pup with/for you?

h)        What type of contract, conditions or guarantees are
involved in the sale of the pup? Reputable Golden breeders
will provide a written contract/guarantee with a spay/neuter
requirement and limited registration for any pet puppies. They
do not sell breeding animals to pet homes.

i)        Can they give you at least 2 references of someone who
has acquired one of their Golden puppies?

j)        Did the breeder require you to visit their premises where
the mother dog and the litter of puppies reside so you can see
how they are raised and cared for? BEWARE if they will not
allow you to come visit and want to meet you in a neutral
location to view the pups.

k)        Is the breeder USDA licensed? If they are this is a RED
FLAG to you that this breeder is a puppymill. Licensing is
required by the USDA for any breeder who sells more than
$500 per year of puppies to a broker or pet shop.

l)        Does the breeder have a non –refundable deposit
clause? Most Golden breeders do require a deposit of $100-
200, but there is absolutely no valid reasons why it should be

m)         Was the Golden breeder responsive to openly discuss
these concerns, or seem ignorant of them, or defensive,
offended, etc?
a)         Do you have any young children**?

b)         Do you have a full understanding of the temperament of
the Golden Retriever and what it takes to care properly for a pup?

c)         Do you have other pets? Do you have ample space to care
for a Golden?

d)         Do you rent or own your home? If you are renting, does
your landlord agree to allow you to have a dog on premises?

e)         Have you ever owned a Golden before? If so, for how
long? What happened to it?

f)         Why did you choose the Golden Retriever breed?

g)        What do you know about training a Golden pup?

h)        Do you have the time it takes to properly train a Golden

i)         What type of socialization are you planning to do? How
much time will the pup spend alone during the day?

j)         Will this dog be an outside or inside dog?

k)        Will you be able to afford the care a Golden pup requires –
annual shots, monthly heartworm prevention, flea/worming
control, etc?
I hope this helps in your search for a quality
Golden Retriever puppy.
Feel free to email with questions.
Tanglewood Goldens • P.O. Box 470841 • Charlotte, NC  28247
Call: (803) 802-3790
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