We all know how horrible BYB's are.
But the question is, because demand far exceeds supply, if you're not getting a puppy from a reputable breeder, what do you do?
Anyone have an answer to that? Not really, right? Because no one wants to post the unpalatable but obvious answers here. The possible answers are:
1. Keep waiting, perhaps for years, perhaps forever.
2. Give up and don't get a Golden Retriever puppy.
3. Buy from a backyard breeder, puppy mill, pet store, or Craigslist.
Does anyone have any other
answers? What solutions would you suggest for someone stuck in this situation? Anyone? Bueller??? Everyone here who has ever posted that people should only buy from reputable breeders who do the core clearances should answer this question, even if the answer is, "It's a problem, and I have no idea."
This is a very complex problem and I'm not sure there is
an answer. People who do their research and try to learn about the breed they want to buy sometimes end up here, on the Forum, and many eventually seem to find a pup from a good breeder. They may have to wait, they may have to travel across the country, they may have to jump through a few hoops, but they find a way. But they're obviously a minority. IMHO the problem with the whole Golden Retriever market - and with the markets for many other things in modern society - lies with the people who want it now
. There are a lot of these people around: I would venture to guess that they're the majority. We live in a world that values immediacy. There's nothing available locally right now? Let's order from Amazon. Or, in the case of Golden Retrievers, let's find an English Creme website, click on "Buy Now", pay with a credit card and have a puppy delivered to the doorstep. It's the nature of the modern consumer society. I'm not sure we can do a lot to change it, much as we'd like to.
There's a second problem: education and information. These days, everyone is an expert. Most don't know what they don't know. So they read a couple of social media articles on Golden Retrievers, learn that English Cremes are the way to go, and end up choosing a dog for its colour. They simply don't know that other criteria exist, or that Golden Retrievers are subject to some nasty genetic conditions, or even that English Cremes don't come from England. And then they defend their choice because they don't want
to know that they may have made a mistake. It's a common thing these days, people defending the indefensible. Again, I'm not sure there's much we can do to change it. It's become a top-down, cultural thing that we're probably going to live with for a long time.
The difficulty with our modern Internet-based world is that nothing can be managed any more. Back in the day (yes, I'm old), it was easier to address problems at the local level, but you can't do that now because "local" doesn't really exist any more. People who don't want to follow the rules, or who don't know that rules exist, aren't dependent on breed clubs or local shows for referrals, or on the local community for customers. They don't have
to learn in order to survive. They simply create a website with a few nice pictures and a few superficial descriptions, and there are always people who will press the "Buy Now" button.
Is there a middle road? Maybe. New breeders who do some of the clearances, former BYBs who have produced problem pups in the past and now try to do clearances, albeit inadequately? On the Forum we tend to direct people away from these breeders on the grounds that they're not following breed guidelines. But should we? I don't know. Maybe. Probably. Or perhaps there are situations in which "good enough" will do the job. Or not. I'm not a breeder so I can't really say. Is "good enough" better than the "Buy Now" button? Do we stop striving for excellence in all situations and accept that, for many people, "good enough" is the way to go?
I can't answer that. And as I said at the beginning, I don't even know if there is
FWIW, the first time I looked for a puppy, I consulted people and eventually found a breeder who produced the type of dog I wanted. Then I waited. Eventually there was a pup for me. The second time, I did essentially the same thing: consulted, contacted a couple of breeders, dithered, then made up my mind and waited. Eventually there was a pup for me. I'm old. We're used to waiting for stuff. As my parents always told me, "If it's not worth waiting for, it's not worth having". I don't hear that much these days. I guess I'm a dinosaur.