All 3 boys were (are) soccer players, so we've been doing this for the past 15 years and have about 8 to go (youngest is U11). We decided on a golden, as we wanted a dog that we could feel comfortable taking with us as we travel around the region. Toby is well-loved by the many soccer families and players he meets.
When we began our search, we soon figured out that there were many backyard breeders in Co Spgs. Being ignorant, we nearly got a puppy locally from one. Fortunately, I stumbled upon the name of a breeder in Longmont and called her. She had no puppies due anytime soon, but she still spent 45 minutes with me on the phone giving me advice and warnings. Ultimately she steered me to another breeder in Grand Junction, which is where we got Toby. She turned out to be absolutely wonderful, and we are so glad to have found her.
This past fall, our two youngest boys played in the fall Grand Junction tournament. It was great to be able to take Toby "home" so his breeder could see him a year later. Toby's pretty well-trained, but it was still amazing watching her work with him. That dog's eyes were glued on her, as he flawlessly followed her every lead. A small crowd gathered at the soccer field to watch her as she worked with him. We've still got a ways to go in OUR training (Toby's fine)