Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 57 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've only been on this forum for a few months, but I've seen some things that make me go "huh?" when it comes to folks trying to find puppies from reputable hobby/preservation breeders.
  • Since hobby/preservation breeders (my understanding) are principally breeding for their own interests, the supply of puppies from these breeders can (a) be somewhat constrained, and (b) be inconsistent in terms of availability.
  • Given that many (most?) breeders with good reputations have folks lined up waiting for their next litter, it seems next-to-impossible for someone new to the GR community to connect with a reputable breeder with available puppies.
  • At least a few of the back-and-forths on this forum present the appearance of a "annoy one breeder, get blackballed by all breeders" mentality.
And, yet? Backyard and for-profit commercial breeders ("greeders"?) are held in contempt. I get it (I think?). It's not necessarily the BYB or CB as a targeted group, but the fact that these breeders tend to be the ones that do not adhere to standards and breeder ethics, focusing instead on the $$$, and end up producing puppies that are much more likely to be heartaches for those that purchase them. Roger that.

But, at the same time, the difficulty in getting puppies that are bred through a program that adheres to standards and breeder ethics is significant, even if you're willing to pay top-dollar (the "I just want a pet, not a show dog" consumer is another story). Been there, done that, got the t-shirt. Add "almost impossible to find" to the limited availability, and the issue gets worse. Ironically, I'd be willing to argue that the issues finding/procuring a well-bred puppy from the hobby/preservation breeder community plays a role in sustaining the BYB/CB community (as well as the "find a puppy" sites that tend to be filled with BYB/CB).

I will add in my observation that it seems like an Easter-egg-hunt, wading through websites trying to find reputable breeders, and then trying to figure out who is going to have puppies available. I thought I'd done a decent-enough job, and ended up with a commercial breeder. Mind you, I believe they're fairly responsible, and I have (so far) zero issues with the puppy I got. But, in hindsight, I cannot help but wonder about "what could have been".

With all that said, what would be the downside to an uber-simple not-for-profit site to support advertising ethically-bred litters? The local GRC provides this type of service, but it's such a small pool of breeders, and there's always the aforementioned line-o'-people waiting on the next litter, that I never saw a litter being advertised. With the local GRC in my area, the requirement is to submit AKC #s for sire and dam, and then the breeding is assessed and vetted before the litter is posted. At a regional/national level, that'd be a huge service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
The general public doesn't care about well bred pups from strong bloodlines. We live in an Amazon Prime society where people would get puppies on Amazon if it was feasible. They want the cheapest and fastest puppies more than anything else.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Super Moderator Leader
Joined
·
48,220 Posts
The general public doesn't care about well bred pups from strong bloodlines. We live in an Amazon Prime society where people would get puppies on Amazon if it was feasible. They want the cheapest and fastest puppies more than anything else.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
Sure hope Amazon doesn't hear about this and decides to add it to their product line........
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
The general public doesn't care about well bred pups from strong bloodlines. We live in an Amazon Prime society where people would get puppies on Amazon if it was feasible. They want the cheapest and fastest puppies more than anything else.
Maybe. Maybe not. When I was looking for puppies, I ran across a literal backyard breeder. This person had three (3) bitches and one (1) male in her backyard, and almost 30 puppies in her garage. And? When I asked about OFA clearances on the parents, I was informed that "if you're looking for OFA clearances, you're gonna pay through the nose!". Her price? $2K/puppy, and the one I was shown was in bad shape. And? It was one of the last ones available. Almost every other puppy had a deposit on it, and they were just waiting for the eight weeks to pass by.

And? I'll agree with you, in general, on the "Amazon Prime society", although I prefer "the Walmartization of America".

But? What does this have to do with my experience? Aside from a somewhat unrealistic timeframe, I wanted strong bloodlines. I wanted health clearances. And, cost was a secondary concern. And? I couldn't find a well-bred puppy from a hobby/preservation breeder to save my life. Although, in full transparency, I could not have told you what a hobby/preservation breeder was, either. I got lucky, I think. I found a commercial breeder who adhered to "most" of the GRCA CoE for breeders (their heart certifications are not from cardiologists).

I am not going to deny that consumers can be cost-driven, and that we're often our own worst enemy. But, I don't see the value of that argument when, for those of us who don't know what we're doing but are trying to "do it right", are pursuing unobtainium.
 

·
Super Moderator Leader
Joined
·
48,220 Posts
"And? I'll agree with you, in general, on the "Amazon Prime society", although I prefer "the Walmartization of America".

Not trying to high jack your thread, large companies, Walmart in particular, not only provide consumers with goods and services they want and need, but they do a lot for the communities they are in...... not just in the form of providing jobs, paying city/county/state taxes that goes back into the community, but they also sponsor local sports teams, support local charities, provide scholarships to kids in the community, and much more.

I prefer to support businesses that pay it forward.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
You can get puppies with health clearances in a number of places around the country for that price. I know of one breeder at $1500 with full clearances.

Just stay away from the backyard breeders whose idea of health clearances equate to "vet checked" and the puppy mills. And don't sacrifice clearances for a puppy now and just let someone else take the gamble because you won't.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,679 Posts
Until the Covid puppy demand hit, I would hazard a guess that anyone who put in the effort could have had a puppy from a good breeder within a year at most.
It's the waiting- people are instant gratification nowadays and unless they are intelligent enough to realize puppies are not toasters always available, they don't want to wait.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Not trying to high jack your thread, large companies, Walmart in particular, not only provide consumers with goods and services they want and need, but they do a lot for the communities they are in...... not just in the form of providing jobs, paying city/county/state taxes that goes back into the community, but they also sponsor local sports teams, support local charities, provide scholarships to kids in the community, and much more.

I prefer to support businesses that pay it forward.
I'm actually referring to a category of consumer, not the company itself. The consumer who only determines "value" by the price tag. The consumer who doesn't value the quality of the product itself (because, once it breaks we throw it away and buy another "deal", no?).

This approach "works", but has the unintended consequence of driving those with higher costs out of the market. Maybe not always "a bad thing", but what happens when those higher costs are incurred because products are locally-sourced vice offshored? Or, when those higher costs are incurred because experienced, knowledgeable sales staff required higher wages? Or, when those higher costs are incurred because of health certifications, ethical treatment of animals being bred, etc.?

For me, I'd rather pay the higher costs associated with ethical hobby/preservation breeders. "Walmartization", for me, refers to those consumers who are willing to accept "less than" in order to be able to pay "as little as possible", and often end up making "the good stuff" even more costly (due to lost volume), or completely unavailable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
I haven't heard of any reputable breeders that do all of the clearances who are in the $2500-$3500 range having any real difficulty selling pups even before COVID.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
It's the waiting- people are instant gratification nowadays and unless they are intelligent enough to realize puppies are not toasters always available, they don't want to wait.
Guilty as charged. I had a small window-of-opportunity, and it was make-it-happen or wait another 2+ years for my next window. In my defense, I will argue that I had already been "passively waiting" about three (3) years at that point. But, your point is well made and taken.

I will still ask, however, how much newbs-like-me would benefit from a regional or national listing of vetted litters.
 

·
Super Moderator Leader
Joined
·
48,220 Posts
I'm actually referring to a category of consumer, not the company itself. The consumer who only determines "value" by the price tag. The consumer who doesn't value the quality of the product itself (because, once it breaks we throw it away and buy another "deal", no?).

This approach "works", but has the unintended consequence of driving those with higher costs out of the market. Maybe not always "a bad thing", but what happens when those higher costs are incurred because products are locally-sourced vice offshored? Or, when those higher costs are incurred because experienced, knowledgeable sales staff required higher wages? Or, when those higher costs are incurred because of health certifications, ethical treatment of animals being bred, etc.?

For me, I'd rather pay the higher costs associated with ethical hobby/preservation breeders. "Walmartization", for me, refers to those consumers who are willing to accept "less than" in order to be able to pay "as little as possible", and often end up making "the good stuff" even more costly (due to lost volume), or completely unavailable.
Gotcha, I won't high jack your thread any further.

I could go on and on...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
The general public doesn't care about well bred pups from strong bloodlines. We live in an Amazon Prime society where people would get puppies on Amazon if it was feasible. They want the cheapest and fastest puppies more than anything else.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
The general public has never heard of health clearances for dogs (🙋‍♀️ prior to discovering this site) so have absolutely no reason to ask for them. There are plenty of people who want a healthy golden retriever more than anything and couldn't give a shite if it cost 5k or more.Those people frequently do care about time, mostly because it's the most precious resource that anyone has and it's one thing they can't buy. So all around pretty understandable IMO.

For my second puppy, I'm willing to wait a year plus, but if I'm honest, that's because I already have a dog that my day to day life is filled with. It would be incredibly difficult to wait a year or more for a 12% better chance that my dog won't have dysplasia if my heart was broken and my home was empty. I don't know if there are any stats out there on clearance bred puppies vs non for SAS or PRA. These obviously concern me a great deal, but these conditions are less common than what we all know is coming for over half of our dogs and there are no clearances for.

I'd love to see all breeders doing health clearances, DNA testing and trying to only breed dogs that don't have many ancestors with cancer deaths before 10 years old (not sure what other strategy they could employ to try to reduce cancer rates). For my second golden I fully plan to buy from a breeder that is taking these types of measures to breed healthy pups. But I'm also one of the people who has bought a BYB golden and I don't regret it even a tiny bit since she's an absolutely perfect angel who definitely hung the moon and has made my life better in countless ways. Goldens are the most wonderful dogs on earth, there aren't enough well-bred ones so people will continue to buy the ones they can.

I wish the GRCA and OFA did outreach to breeders with mailers & email to explain the benefits of health clearances from both the health of the dog and business perspective and combine that with education via social media to the general public that explains what health clearances are and why their puppy's parents should have them. Over time more breeders would do clearances because they would understand exactly what they are, how much they cost and how to get them. Working in healthcare, I constantly see how often ignorance and misunderstandings are barriers to doing better. Plus if more people understood wth clearances even are, more would be consistently asking breeders for them and walking away when they don't have them, again pushing breeders to get them.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,679 Posts
I haven't heard of any reputable breeders that do all of the clearances who are in the $2500-$3500 range having any real difficulty selling pups even before COVID.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
Me either.
Because there is no difficulty in having wonderful homes, it does take a wait generally. Most everyone I know has puppies spoken for by the time they are born.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
185 Posts
The general public has never heard of health clearances for dogs ( prior to discovering this site) so have absolutely no reason to ask for them. There are plenty of people who want a healthy golden retriever more than anything and couldn't give a shite if it cost 5k or more.Those people frequently do care about time, mostly because it's the most precious resource that anyone has and it's one thing they can't buy. So all around pretty understandable IMO.

For my second puppy, I'm willing to wait a year plus, but if I'm honest, that's because I already have a dog that my day to day life is filled with. It would be incredibly difficult to wait a year or more for a 12% better chance that my dog won't have dysplasia if my heart was broken and my home was empty. I don't know if there are any stats out there on clearance bred puppies vs non for SAS or PRA. These obviously concern me a great deal, but these conditions are less common than what we all know is coming for over half of our dogs and there are no clearances for.

I'd love to see all breeders doing health clearances, DNA testing and trying to only breed dogs that don't have many ancestors with cancer deaths before 10 years old (not sure what other strategy they could employ to try to reduce cancer rates). For my second golden I fully plan to buy from a breeder that is taking these types of measures to breed healthy pups. But I'm also one of the people who has bought a BYB golden and I don't regret it even a tiny bit since she's an absolutely perfect angel who definitely hung the moon and has made my life better in countless ways. Goldens are the most wonderful dogs on earth, there aren't enough well-bred ones so people will continue to buy the ones they can.

I wish the GRCA and OFA did outreach to breeders with mailers & email to explain the benefits of health clearances from both the health of the dog and business perspective and combine that with education via social media to the general public that explains what health clearances are and why their puppy's parents should have them. Over time more breeders would do clearances because they would understand exactly what they are, how much they cost and how to get them. Working in healthcare, I constantly see how often ignorance and misunderstandings are barriers to doing better. Plus if more people understood wth clearances even are, more would be consistently asking breeders for them and walking away when they don't have them, again pushing breeders to get them.
The AKC isn't in the health clearance business but in the deliverance of AKC papers to any litter with a registered sire and dam. They do not care in the slightest because the more dogs they register, the more money they make. They make no distinction providing mills with papers for HUNDREDS of puppies a year.

Money matter more to them than the health of the dogs at the end of fhe day.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
The AKC isn't in the health clearance business but in the deliverance of AKC papers to any litter with a registered sire and dam. They do not care in the slightest because the more dogs they register, the more money they make. They make no distinction providing mills with papers for HUNDREDS of puppies a year.

Money matter more to them than the health of the dogs at the end of fhe day.

Sent from my SM-G986U using Tapatalk
Yeah, I know AKC is useless in terms of health but OFA would stand to do better with outreach to the general public and to breeders. And the GRCA would be advocating for its own code of ethics w/ an education campaign directed at both breeders and the general public. It could prob be done pretty cheaply on social media.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
409 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
I haven't heard of any reputable breeders that do all of the clearances who are in the $2500-$3500 range having any real difficulty selling pups even before COVID.
Me either.
Because there is no difficulty in having wonderful homes, it does take a wait generally. Most everyone I know has puppies spoken for by the time they are born.
And, that, one-and-all, is the proverbial nail-on-the-head! 😁 This is not about whether reputable breeders are having problems homing their puppies (at any cost). It's about how "discoverable" reputable breeders, let alone available litters, are for newbs who had zero idea what they were getting into, but are willing to try.

Let's all pretend that you are me (don't worry, the nausea 🤢 will soon pass and be replaced by a mild sense of disdain😁)...

Not knowing fact-one about golden retrievers (beyond that they're adorably cute, uber-friendly, and your better-half wants one), you set out about the task of "making this happen".

First, you casually Google "golden retriever puppy". O.M.G. The hits are overwhelming. And? So are the prices. Undaunted, you carry on. But, it seems like something is missing.

So, you decide to Google "how to pick a golden retriever puppy". O.M.G. squared! Even more hits. But, wait! What is this? Of course, a club for golden retriever enthusiasts. Not only will they likely know, they may even know of good sources for healthy puppies. And, wait a minute! There's also a national club? Score!

After reading through countless articles, forum postings, and GRC website postings, one thing becomes painfully clear. There's more to this than selecting a top-o'-the-line puppy out of a lineup, slapping a VISA on the counter and heading home to start cleaning up puppy pee/poop. What are these health clearances? What is an OFA? What are these cancers? I'm supposed to spay when? Why? O!M!G! I JUST WANT A PUPPY! [deep breath, deep breath, exhale]...

Okay, all better now. Almost every puppy ad I've seen up-to-now is not from a litter that was bred in adherence to the CoE guidelines. Ignore, ignore, ignore. Now, how do I figure out which of these websites is attached to an ethical breeder? Which are bogus? Wait...what was that one person saying. Look up an AKC on an OFA for dogs in the USA, PDQ? Yeah, that was it.

Hmmm...no AKC info. Next. Hmmm...no AKC info. Next. Bingo! AKC info. Okay, AKC# into OFA website's search, and...voila! What am I looking at? How far back do I need to go? This is a royal pain! Click. View. Back. Click. View. Back. Booooooooring! But, she-who-must-be-appeased wants a GR. Soldier on!

Eureka! I've found the holy grail of GR breeders. Their dogs have great histories on OFA (which took forever to research because I had no clue about vertical pedigrees, or how to check clearances across multiple generations, or, or, or...). There's great stuff being said about them. Bitchin'! Wait, what? Not gonna have another litter until when? Not accepting applications yet? Already have a waiting list? But...noooooooooooooo!

Okay, back to Google.

Maybe a bit over-the-top and melodramatic. But, I'd argue "not too much". It's not a pretty sight when "expectations" meet "reality" in this expedition. Even worse? All the "great information" you find out...after you've made a commitment. Not gonna lie. I was sweatin' bullets when the AKC papers were not forthcoming. Sure, we had all these AKC numbers, and had looked on the OFA website, and, and, and... But, without those papers, could it all be empty promises?

And then? After all that? After feeling like "finally got it somewhat under control"? K9Data? What's that? DOH! 🙄😖🤪

Seriously. The "tell us about the dam and sire and we'll check into the litter for you" is awesome. Why not be able to take this to "the next level" and increase the visibility of available litters that may not be in as high a demand, but are still ethically bred?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
816 Posts
Seriously. The "tell us about the dam and sire and we'll check into the litter for you" is awesome. Why not be able to take this to "the next level" and increase the visibility of available litters that may not be in as high a demand, but are still ethically bred?
There was a thread on here somewhat recently that brought up the question of whether or not it was really beneficial to the breed to just dismiss out of hand all breeders that don't have all health clearances in perfect order or don't show as greeders. I don't remember who posted it though. Maybe someone else will.

More to the point, I don't think there actually are litters that are ethically bred and not in high demand. Also, breeders are so inundated with inquiries that they don't want their information out there more than it already is. Finally, most of the litters that you may think might fall into this category wouldn't actually be recommended on this site because clearances don't go back far enough, eye exam out of date, general practitioner on a cardiac clearance, hip/elbow failed somewhere in pedigree, and/or the breeder doesn't show their dogs in any respected competitive venue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
334 Posts
Call them backyard breeders, commercial breeders, puppy mills, greeders, breeders of merit............whatever. There are two types of breeders, honest and dishonest.
An honest breeders primary goal is the betterment of the breed. Health the clearances are one of the primary concerns when pursuing that goal.
Dishonest breeders place profit over the betterment of the breed.
As prices increase so does the temptation for honest breeders to sacrifice their goals for profit.

Buyers also fall into two categories, ignorant and informed.
Informed buyers want a healthy pup and have researched the breed and know what clearances are needed.
Ignorant buyers just want a puppy and usually think cheaper is better. They will likely put minimal effort into training and raising a pup while expecting the best behavior and health. When that doesn't materialize they will spend money on trainers, "behaviorists", vets, etc. chasing a problem that was largely caused buy their own negligence.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,974 Posts
So, here are just a few thoughts on this topic and admittedly a little all over the place.
You have a solution looking for a problem, which is never a successful place to be.
But wait you say, there clearly is a problem because people want to buy puppies from responsible breeders! I do agree that is a problem but the solution of a place to guarantee puppy shoppers have found a responsible breeder (Breeder BBB if you will) has never really worked.

There are two ends of this issue, the buyers and the sellers.
You have buyer solution looking for a seller problem. Very few responsible breeders need help placing their puppies beyond word of mouth, a FB page and perhaps a personal website. Hence the sometimes years long waitlists.

I think the cause of this really irritating issue is mostly from two things.

One, there are not enough responsible breeders. I for one would be ecstatic to see responsible breeders focus on healthy pets at a great price. If there were a breeder that didn’t compete but had generations of health certifications and sold puppies for say $1500, I would be all for it. The problem is, that doesn’t happen. Those breeders who do nothing with their dogs and may or may not have health certifications are often at the same price or more than responsible preservation breeders who offer it all (health certification, proven in competition, experience, and breeding decisions not base on cost or convenience). So, of course I am going to point out the lacks in a program to a puppy buyer who is being asked to pay more (sometimes double or more) than what a breeders program and effort is worth. We need more responsible breeders but I have no idea how to get them when irresponsible breeders make huge profits, certainly much more than the responsible breeders do.

Second, a lot of puppy buyers don’t insist on health certifications. Sometimes that is lack of education. Sadly, it is often a choice. Every puppy buyer who contacts me gets a crash course in health. My response always includes an infographic showing what should be tested and the risks (including the cost to treat), an 11 minute video on how to verify health certifications and at the end I alway offer to help with any questions. Most people never even respond back and the number of times someone actually asked questions is in the single digit percentage. That tells me a big section of puppy buyers don’t care about health over puppy right now. Irresponsible breeders already know this and they are happy to fill the buyers want for a puppy now with out doing more than that.

I tried to start a Facebook Page expressly for responsible breeders of a European bred dogs in the US. I am seriously considering shutting it down. Why? I have over 200 membership request right now and most say they are shopping. In 2020 I have had a whole of ONE listing on the site. Many breeders who apply I have to reject because they are clearly not responsible. The breeder that are in there rare post because they already sell out without the group. There is a massive supply and demand imbalance.

I for one as a breeder am not going to fix it. I breed for me. Yes, it makes me happy to provide puppies to wonderful families but that is not my primary reason for doing this. Most responsible presentation breeders are similar. You can actually see a good example of this now. We are all experiencing a huge increase in demand above normal in this COVID world. The responsible preservation breeder response has been either, I will continue as I normally do or I am waiting on breeding for a while. I have yet to see a responsible preservation breeder say, ”I was only going to breeder Jane this year but heck with all these inquiris, I am going to breed every girl I have!”

Could we do a better job with education and exposure all the way around? Yes!
Is this a solvable problem? I don’t think it really is because I don’t think enough people share the opinion it is a problem. In the same way people buy “Prado” bags over ”Prada“ bags, some people just don’t care about the differences in quality and someone will always be happy to offer the “Prado” option.
 

·
Esquire Golden Retrievers
Joined
·
4,269 Posts
It's a hobby, not a business.
It's a hobby, not a business.
IT'S A HOBBY, NOT A BUSINESS.


It's about the puppies, not the people.
It's about the puppies, not the people.
IT'S ABOUT THE PUPPIES, NOT THE PEOPLE.


Sorry, we just don't owe any duty to the prospective puppy buyers. Our sole duty is to the dogs we create.

I can't imagine getting on some website where people look for ethical breeders. That would just add to my problems. It wouldn't help puppy buyers, because there are still the same number of pups out there. I have a wait list 150 approved people long, so long that we have now cut off all inquiries for the foreseeable future and just tell everyone, "Sorry, we won't have any puppies available until at least 2022." Yet I still have to grapple with responding to multiple inquiries every, single day, where there's not a chance I will have a puppy for them in the foreseeable future. More advertising isn't the answer. More ethically bred puppies is the answer. And that's not going to happen, because ... tell me if you've heard this before... for breeders, it's a hobby, not a business. And it's about the puppies, not the people who want to buy them.
 
1 - 20 of 57 Posts
Top