Both of the dogs I've have/had came from non-professional breeders from local families. Brandy was twelve and in good health until the end. And Summer is six and a half and in good health. Both pups came from registered parents, they were "pet quality" which suited me just fine.
Would either dog win a dog show - no. But then I knew that they were "pet quality" when I got them. I could have registered them with the AKC but, I wasn't planning to breed or show them. I just wanted a good dog as a member of my family.
When people use the term "pet quality" - I always wonder what they mean.
I mean I do know I got yelled at when I called up a breeder here in MI - this years ago, before I found Jacks and this was my first time actually looking for a breeder myself - I was upset when the breeder I spoke with used the term "companion quality" to describe the litter and told me she only sells the puppies on a limited registration.
At the time, I was under the impression that companion quality meant the dogs had some noticable fault that would prevent them from representing the breed in a show ring. For the amount of money I would have spent at this breeder, I did not want a dog whose eyes were too light or shaped weird or who had something otherwise WRONG with him.
Once the breeder figured out what I was being an idiot about, she explained to me that "companion quality" does not mean the same thing as poorly bred. Coming from her, it simply meant that the puppy was not her show pick. Or she didn't have any show picks in the litter. And or just plain that because the puppies were being sold on limited registration.
But even if you have dogs with various faults, it doesn't mean they aren't show quality, though it probably would mean a dog would have a longer road to getting a CH. Not all faults would have a dog removed from a ring. <- this was something I learned years later.
In a roundabout way, I guess what I'm saying is that in my opinion, if you purchase a golden retriever from a breeder, you have the right to expect that dog to look like a golden and act like a golden. I love all dogs, but if I'm purchasing a puppy from a breeder, it's got to have more special quality to it than a mixed breed puppy from a rescue would. If a dog does not have papers, then there really isn't much difference between that dog and any other mixed breed you could rescue. You can't say that dog is purebred if there is no paperwork and/or trustworthy source presenting that litter (I understand that there are some people who play funny games to ensure they can sell a mistake or desperation litter with papers). And let me say that there are a lot of wonderful dogs in rescues who deserve good homes and would make ideal pets if you do not care about whether a dog is purebred or not. When I was a little girl, purchasing from a breeder meant that if you wanted, you could show that dog and breed that dog. I'd never heard of any such thing as "show quality" or "pet quality". And then even back then, "pet quality" meant that there was something REALLY WRONG with that dog whether that was appearance, temperament, or health.
Obviously, when you get away from the show ring, you will have different goals in breeding. I had this conversation with a friend who only does obedience and fieldwork with her dogs. She doesn't care what the dogs look like, as long as they have the temperament and trainability that a working golden retriever needs.
Poorly bred, to her, means a dog who is crippled because of structure flaws, who lacks confidence and working drive.
She described a "crappy golden" or poorly bred in her opinion is one who just blobs around and shows no particular skill or interest in anything besides eating and sleeping.
But I'm just babbling.
From what I've read on this forum. there are many "quality professionally bread puppies" out there that have/had major health problems. Just look for about ten minutes and you will see at least dozen posts with people whose dogs are very sick/
And if you get out and about to generic dog forums or Yahoo boards or whatever, you run into the same type of posts (and worse) concerning poorly bred dogs. Heck, go further and talk to your vet about golden retrievers. Same thing with people in rescue. They see a lot of goldens with all kinds of infirmities and issues that make them less desirable than a well-bred and lovingly bred golden retriever.
My first golden (that $250 golden boy) had various issues of all kinds - a few which affected his quality of life, as well as our quality of life with him. Because of all of his issues and flaws - I always thought of him as "pet quality" or "companion quality" - or my definition of that back then. So you understand why I reacted so poorly when I was doing one of my first interviews with a breeder on my own and was told that she only sold companion quality puppies to the general public.
ETA - And I forgot to say this, but the other thing is when I was little and because there was something 'special' about purchasing a pedigreed puppy from a breeder - it was a matter of pride filling out the AKC paperwork and having that piece of paper in your dog's memory box. There has been a huge "nobody is special because everyone is - ie - if everyone is special then nobody is" campaign from people in rescue to make people embarrassed or disenchanted with the coolness of having a dog registered with the big dog club... and that's well just stupifying honestly. You can't have "purebred" dogs if there is no legitimate paperwork and careful bookkeeping to back up that claim. Registration and dog clubs are not just for rich people who only care about showing their dogs. The existence of dog clubs like GRCA (I forgot the obvious) as well as the AKC (gives legitimacy to the breed clubs and provides the record keeping for shows and competition) protects the breeds we love, keeping them 'true' to what we 'want' in the breed. Without all of that paperwork and dog shows (obedience, field, conformation...) that opens the door to people to breed further and further away from the standard.
I think a good example of that would be border collies. There were people who FOUGHT the entrance of the breed in the AKC, because they felt that the club would ruin what the breed is. The flip side of that is that without clubs like the AKC, you will see more of a variety of appearance. I vaguely remember reading or seeing something where something that looked like a cross between a jack russell terrior and a border collie could be identified as a border collie. Even though it was completely ugly.