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Can I add my feelings as a consumer and somebody who is surrounded by people looking for puppies?

I know gooddog has been trying to become the sort of website/listing service you want. But it's difficult and they haven't been able to live up to that promise. I don't know if they will be able to.

But, for me, as a consumer looking for a Golden, I knew exactly what I wanted and exactly what I didn't want.

As a person who is surrounded by potential puppy buyers and less than reputable breeders, I see huge problems with marketing and supply and demand. I'm going to use Frenchies and Bulldogs as my example. Everybody and their mother wants a Frenchie right now. I know many Frenchie breeders that at this point are commercial kennels where the sole purpose is to produce dogs of distinct or "rare" colors and sell them out of standard. And the public LOVES it. These dogs fetch prices for as much as 15-20k despite being terribly bred and having no health testing. A lot of times these people then realize there is an opportunity, or so they think, to make money with these dogs. These consumers have absolutely no desire to understand or learn what responsible breeding is because it doesn't fit in with their concept of what makes their dogs valuable.

In Gainesville, everybody and their mother wanted a GSD and the result was backyard bred GSDs everywhere. Terrible temperaments, terrible structure, awful health issues, and yet, no amount of education I could instill on them was worth them being more scrupulous in their search because that meant spending way more money. Why spend 3k for a dog when you can get a sort of okay dog for 500?

My girlfriend's parents have 2 mini Schnauzers, both out of standard and poorly bred and one is ContKC registered and her dad refers to him as a "pedigree" dog. I've thought about talking to them about the importance of research in their next mini, but they ultimately decided they'll probably go back to the same breeder who bred these two because they love these dogs so much.

Meanwhile, I have people who have well bred dogs who are unsure of their decision. Maybe it is cost combined with the animal not living up to its potential? Purchasing a dog as a service prospect and then needing to wash it, or having an animal you want to use to begin your show/working lines with that has a health issue and you can't afford the 5k to just replace this dog anymore.

It's not just that young people (who I'm more familiar with), want things now and want things cheap, but also that if it's what they grew up with, it makes them happy. Nobody I know has any desire to show dogs except me. I'm close friends with someone who grew up showing dogs and was so repulsed by the dog show community they stopped once they aged out of juniors. These responsible breeders are doing everything they can, but we don't have enough people to mentor or encourage to become responsible breeders. Often times breeders get snubbed trying to help and it just worsens this cycle.

Hobby breeders don't produce enough dogs and it pushes people towards BYB, but beyond that, we have no people to encourage to breed. We can't encourage other people to become responsible breeders anymore, so while the number of consumers increases, the number of responsible breeders keeps decreasing.

This is a fundamental issue in dogs, where nobody has any education beyond a 15k price tag, "rare" colors, "ooooo they're European". They see these dogs at Westminster and Crufts and they're bored. Nothing about dog shows is exciting to the youth. But when they go out in public and see someone's BYB Border Collie running next to them on a bike or a skateboard, or sometimes lilac tri french bulldog out in public, that's what gets them. So these young people are now, instead of getting involved in dogs the right way, just adding to this cycle of readily available BYB dogs while our number of hobby breeders keeps dwindling.

Moreso than consumerism, it's a loss of interest in what makes a purebred dog. I've said this over and over again in Border Collie groups, as I'm the biggest proponent of the working BC and purists will say the breed is ruined, but at this point they have to look at society and realize the large majority of Border Collie owners are never going to do stockwork. They see the Border Collies doing agility or fancy tricks on America's Got Talent and that's what they want. I was listening to a podcast where the Karelian Bear Dog breeder said she'd rather her breed go extinct than be "diluted" to fit the needs of the public that want them.

We have these beautiful purpose bred dogs in a world where the understanding of what makes a breed is almost completely lost. There aren't enough champions of these breeds that take them into public and show just how amazing they are and there aren't enough young people to convince to pursue dogs.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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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.
That was me. It was my ad hoc "modest proposal" for helping more people get puppies in the least risky manner.
 

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What a great post about the way young people view dogs. I worry , owning a dog training center, when people are signing up with "purebred Goldadores" , that the whole concept of dogs being bred for a purpose is being lost along with any idea of breed type mattering. It isn't only pet owners, but also cross breeders/ sport breeders, who drive the notion that there is no such thing as an objectively good dog but only a dog you like.

Along with that, as a tiny breeder I have a special litter every few years, and mainly give the pups away to dear friends or sell to highly known homes. I find it scary to sell a puppy to a complete stranger, and I am inundated with requests for pups.

That is why I have a place in my heart for some grey area: Breeders who show their dogs & do all health clearances, but are maybe higher volume than we think is ideal; breeders who do all health clearances and a CGC, but don't show.

Goldens companioned me through some tough times in childhood , and then through every decade of my life. I wish the same privilege for other kids, other people, to share their lives together with a levelheaded, loving golden. But I can't make it happen by breeding more.

This thread helped me see the problem of wanting everyone to have a true golden, not a backyard bred one or a hyper one or a resource guarder etc , while knowing there are never going to be enough of those kind of pups. When those kind of pups aren't available, then, as you say, other kinds of dogs fill the vacuum and become what's wanted.
 

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Discussion Starter #24
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.
I believe it is a-step-too-far to assign "honest" and "dishonest" to breeders based on whether they adhere to a set of standards for breeding. "Honest" -vs- "dishonest", "greedy" -vs- "altruistic", "ethical" -vs- "unethical" all go past simple adherence and into the realm of "intent". Not only is that a-step-too-far (granted, my opinion), but it brings into play emotional arguments that undercut the heart of the issue: "is the litter, minimally, being bred in accordance with GRCA CoE?" I say "minimally" because, in just a few short months, I've come to understand that there is much more that can be done beyond the CoE guidelines, and many hobby/preservation breeders are doing just that.

When I was in the midst of puppy-search-mode, I went to see a litter/puppy at a backyard breeder. This breeder was not dishonest. They were very honest, and had zero issues answering our questions about OFA certifications. They were also very open about their opinion on the need for OFA certifications, and how they felt this impacted "price". And, while their prices were not inexpensive, they were 30%-to-40% below "ethical breeders". After meeting with them, I would characterize their overall attitude as ill-informed, and this was the gateway to many other shortcomings as breeders. So, I can readily make the argument that they were ill-informed about breeding-in-general, and definitely non-compliant with GRCA CoE guidelines. But, I can also argue that they were honest, appeared ethical (with exception of not complying with standards that, frankly, they didn't sign up to), and generally "nice" people.

My point? When we divide the world into two camps based on a narrow set of criteria, we tend to lose sight of many things that others place value on. In the long run, this can weaken one's main argument, as those with opposing views are provided a host of side issues (often, somewhat irrelevant) to use to argue "bias".
 

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Discussion Starter #25 (Edited)
I truly appreciate those who are willing to share their opinions on this topic. I knew the topic could be "sensitive", but my natural nature is truly inquisitive...ergo the post.

The responses have given me many points to consider and digest, and are helping me to crystalize my own perspective. Whilst I digest your posts, here are some comments/thoughts that are making me think...

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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
In Gainesville, everybody and their mother wanted a GSD and the result was backyard bred GSDs everywhere. Terrible temperaments, terrible structure, awful health issues, and yet, no amount of education I could instill on them was worth them being more scrupulous in their search because that meant spending way more money. Why spend 3k for a dog when you can get a sort of okay dog for 500?
It's not just that young people (who I'm more familiar with), want things now and want things cheap, but also that if it's what they grew up with, it makes them happy. Nobody I know has any desire to show dogs except me. I'm close friends with someone who grew up showing dogs and was so repulsed by the dog show community they stopped once they aged out of juniors. These responsible breeders are doing everything they can, but we don't have enough people to mentor or encourage to become responsible breeders. Often times breeders get snubbed trying to help and it just worsens this cycle.
Hobby breeders don't produce enough dogs and it pushes people towards BYB, but beyond that, we have no people to encourage to breed. We can't encourage other people to become responsible breeders anymore, so while the number of consumers increases, the number of responsible breeders keeps decreasing.
We have these beautiful purpose bred dogs in a world where the understanding of what makes a breed is almost completely lost. There aren't enough champions of these breeds that take them into public and show just how amazing they are and there aren't enough young people to convince to pursue dogs.
Along with that, as a tiny breeder I have a special litter every few years, and mainly give the pups away to dear friends or sell to highly known homes. I find it scary to sell a puppy to a complete stranger, and I am inundated with requests for pups.

That is why I have a place in my heart for some grey area: Breeders who show their dogs & do all health clearances, but are maybe higher volume than we think is ideal; breeders who do all health clearances and a CGC, but don't show.
This thread helped me see the problem of wanting everyone to have a true golden, not a backyard bred one or a hyper one or a resource guarder etc , while knowing there are never going to be enough of those kind of pups. When those kind of pups aren't available, then, as you say, other kinds of dogs fill the vacuum and become what's wanted.
I have to say that as a pet owner the entire process of finding a puppy from a reputable breeder is just daunting. When you buy a puppy once a decade there is no reason to be really versed on the process. I wanted a healthy puppy from healthy lines.
Longevity is priceless. Health clearances are no guarantee, but they sure are a step in the right direction! It is super hard to find a golden puppy from a breeder that lives up to every standard, but honestly I'd rather have more time in the end even if I have to wait now!
 

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I think where honest vs dishonest plays in is the verbiage around breeders who do not adhere to best practices methods... they typically state they love the breed, breed for improving (that one always gets me) and they have health. Those are dishonest statements. Dishonest because they are uneducated or dishonest because they are liars- one or the other.
 

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I have to say that as a pet owner the entire process of finding a puppy from a reputable breeder is just daunting. When you buy a puppy once a decade there is no reason to be really versed on the process. I wanted a healthy puppy from healthy lines.

My family was absolutely blessed with our last golden girl who lived to be 15 years old. And back then we found her in a newspaper ad I believe! We got her from someone who had never bred before and wanted to breed their sweet girl because she was an incredible dog. Maybe she was technically a back yard breeder, but got all of the health clearances and Candy was healthy and happy dog until the very end besides a little arthritis. She was well socialized and NEVER bit anyone even as a puppy. She was the sweetest girl in the world and just loved people.

Longevity is priceless. Health clearances are no guarantee, but they sure are a step in the right direction! It is super hard to find a golden puppy from a breeder that lives up to every standard, but honestly I'd rather have more time in the end even if I have to wait now!
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I think where honest vs dishonest plays in is the verbiage around breeders who do not adhere to best practices methods... they typically state they love the breed, breed for improving (that one always gets me) and they have health. Those are dishonest statements. Dishonest because they are uneducated or dishonest because they are liars- one or the other.
I love the English language. It is incredibly powerful, and incredibly nuanced...and frequently misused.

I believe, and please correct me if I'm misreading the tea leaves, that the core issue for lovers-of-the-breed is that the reasons why incorrect statements are made are irrelevant because the actual damage to the breed is the same. So, "cause the damage, get the label".

While I believe that, in the "age of information" it is quite difficult to remain ignorant of facts/information concerning almost any undertaking, it is possible. I've heard it said "when building a 'fool proof system', never underestimate the fool". Ergo, my personal reluctance to make the leap from "uninformed" or "incorrect" to "dishonest".

I agree with your position on the verbiage (by the way, are you aware of the alternate, albeit incorrect, spelling of "verbage"?). But, applying "dishonest" infers intent, and I can't claim to know intent. I do however, believe that the intent becomes somewhat irrelevant when the end result is the same (i.e., uninformed consumers are misled, dogs are bred with potential issues that should have been addressed, etc.).
 

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I too love language. Someone told me once that verbage was garbage + verbiage. I like that definition.
To me, intent is implied when people use language that says they have the breed in mind or heart and then do not do the right/best/whatever thing. It's dishonest whether they intend to lie or are just a victim of S or L stupid or lazy
 

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Kate
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Part of me is wondering if things are as scarce as advertised, or if it's merely a perception based on people looking for a variety of things for a low cost?

Most people I know have had puppies same as before. So there ARE puppies same as before....

One thing to keep in mind is people who want to bring a puppy home because they are out of work and collecting unemployment or whatnot... one thing they have to consider is not the "right now is perfect because so much time" but the 6 months down the road stuff. I don't think any breeder likes to hear from a prospective puppy buyer that they are buying a puppy now because they have more time on their hands than they normally would.

As far as complaints that people have about there not being as many good breeders... my brain goes back to 2019 when we had all the same complaints. Seems there were a lot of people posting here, there, everywhere abut how they were looking for a puppy and having a great difficulty in finding one available.

Can I give the other side of this?I knew of a LOT of breeders who had puppies available, including my puppy's breeder. :oops: There were a lot of prospective puppy people kicking tires and tentatively filling out applications or doing phone interviews - and backing out as soon as they heard how much a puppy would cost.

Or people who do all their puppy shopping via google search?

Or people who are looking for signs of a "bad breeder" from google searches and deciding that reputable breeders who have been breeding decades longer than many are bad breeders or questionable if the dogs aren't CH titled, etc.

Some breeders I know of personally who love making puppies for themselves but HATE having sell them to puppy buyers... the biggest complaint they have is people coming to buy a puppy and they want the best puppy in the litter. These people are just buying a pet. They are not showing and they will not be breeding either. But they angle for the first pick in the litter. Or they want the blondest/lightest puppy. Or some other thing. The worst is people who go on google and study up on how to pick the best puppy in a litter - and suddenly they are experts about it all. :sick:

Anyway - my brain is scattered tonight for personal reasons, but thought it was worth throwing the above thought in there.
 

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Discussion Starter #31 (Edited)
I tried to think about the points being made from an issue/solution perspective, and then tried to put things into a picture. Based on what I've read, the current state-of-affairs is...
  • There is a large community of people who want golden retrievers. In general, they can be categorized as "well-informed", "somewhat-informed", and "un-informed". This categorization of buyers is based on their awareness of breed standards, genetics, breeding ethics, etc.
  • There is a small (and getting smaller?) group of breeders who are driven by personal interest/investment in the breed, vice monetary gain. These breeders are on the vanguard of genetics, health considerations, etc. These breeders will also never produce enough puppies to satisfy the demands of the "well-informed puppy buyers".
  • There are (I believe) commercial breeders who, will not necessarily on the vanguard of genetics, but should be up-to-speed on health, and (hopefully) are fully GRCA CoE compliant. Unfortunately, there seems to not be enough of these to satisfy the demands of the "next level" of puppy buyers, the "somewhat-informed".
  • And then, there's "everyone else". Those breeders that get the "thumbs down" when people ask about them on GRF. And? These people fill-the-gap between "demand" and what the hobby/preservation and adherent-commercial-breeder communities can provide.
875513


The basic premise of my original post (after reading others' comments and reflecting a bit more on my own thoughts) was a "why don't you 'adherent breeders' make it easier to find you?". After reading through the responses, the list of I wishes expanded into...
  • I wish "adherent breeders" would do something to make themselves easier to find
  • I wish puppy buyers were more conversant with the general health and genetics of the breed
  • I wish people understood that "hobby breeders" are doing this "as a hobby" and because of "our interest in the breed", not to breed puppies to meet the demands of buyers
  • I wish puppy buyers would not keep the non-adherent breeders in business
875514


Here are some "possible solutions" that I believe are non-starters...
  • All puppy buyers become at least "somewhat-informed", and recognize a commitment to both "their puppy" and the "breed in general"
  • Hobby breeders sacrifice their "hobby" status and bring their background, knowledge, and practices to the "commercial breeder" world
I don't know if any of this is feasible, but here is what I believe to be "the state of the possible"...
  • Increasing the awareness of the general public on the value of well-bred puppies, both to the immediate consumer and to the overall breed-in-general, through educational sites that are more readily found.
  • Increasing the pool of commercial breeders who are at least minimally-adherent to the breed CoE for breeders, by increasing the demand signal through education of the buying public
  • Marginalizing the non-adherent breeders by increasing the expectations of the buying public
So, all of this seems to be contingent on the awareness and subsequent changes to buying behavior of the buying public.

We're doomed! 😁
 

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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.
Well I know my niece wants a GR puppy, never bought a dog do comes by her ignorance legitimately. She just thought....you get a dog!
 

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It’s painfully clear to me that I do not belong on this website. I’m 64 years old and have always had a dog. The last 4 have died at 12, 11, 12, and 17. They were all well cared for and well lived. 3 of the 4 were 1/2 Golden, and had the Golden personality and traits. Because of that, when I lost the last one in March, I decided to look for a full blooded Golden since I appreciated these qualities. The most paid for any of them...$50 rehoming fee. Granted, none of them was pure bred except the first, a Cocker Spaniel.
When I started my search, I was shocked to find that Golden puppies go for $1k and up. While I could afford to pay that for a dog, I come from a time when people begged people to take their puppies. I understand that this is no longer the case, but $1k+ for a “pet” is ridiculous! I don’t want to show it, I just want to love it and have a companion. My vet of 25+ years would tell you we are EXCELLENT pet parents who spare no expense when it come to our dog’s health. I would put my history as a pet parent up against many who “show” but treat their dog more like a show pony than a pet.
So it’s obvious I’m in the wrong group as it is clear that this group could care less about finding an excellent home where their puppy will receive overwhelming love and excellent care, but is more concerned with having the right papers and making money. I’ve heard of “Golden snobs”, and now I understand. To be clear, I do not want a puppy mill puppy, and living in MO I certainly understand that they need to be illegal. I just want a dog to love, papers and credentials not needed. What’s next....only allowing human babies who are deemed acceptable by some group? Not a world I want to live in. So I bid you adieu...I will no longer be in a group where I clearly don’t belong.
 

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It’s painfully clear to me that I do not belong on this website....I don’t want to show it, I just want to love it and have a companion....So it’s obvious I’m in the wrong group as it is clear that this group could care less about finding an excellent home where their puppy will receive overwhelming love and excellent care, but is more concerned with having the right papers and making money. I’ve heard of “Golden snobs”, and now I understand. To be clear, I do not want a puppy mill puppy, and living in MO I certainly understand that they need to be illegal. I just want a dog to love, papers and credentials not needed. What’s next....only allowing human babies who are deemed acceptable by some group? Not a world I want to live in. So I bid you adieu...I will no longer be in a group where I clearly don’t belong.
I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion. Did you read any of this thread or anything else these people have written in the 3 months you've been a member of this forum? The people on this thread care most about the health of the dogs being produced, more than any other 'class' of breeders and that has nothing to do with 'papers' or pedigrees. They could produce puppies by the truckload and sell them for ridiculous amounts of money if they DID NOT care so much about placing them carefully with the best families they can manage to find. You ought to go back and read carefully about health issues in Golden Retrievers, the science backs up the use of health clearances and genetic testing as a tool for breeding dogs. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website, GRCA.org and the Golden Retriever Foundation can shed some light on what you obviously don't understand. Educate yourself.

The time and effort the people who commented on this post devote is to help people and ultimately the dogs they buy. It's honestly public service to educate people and if they cared so much about 'papers' and making money, the last thing they would do is spend time here beating their heads against a brick wall with people who refuse to see that working to improve health outcomes for the dogs has nothing to do with snobbery. You seem determined to believe the worst of people which is the clearest indication that you don't belong here.
 

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I'm not sure how you came to this conclusion. Did you read any of this thread or anything else these people have written in the 3 months you've been a member of this forum? The people on this thread care most about the health of the dogs being produced, more than any other 'class' of breeders and that has nothing to do with 'papers' or pedigrees. They could produce puppies by the truckload and sell them for ridiculous amounts of money if they DID NOT care so much about placing them carefully with the best families they can manage to find. You ought to go back and read carefully about health issues in Golden Retrievers, the science backs up the use of health clearances and genetic testing as a tool for breeding dogs. Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website, GRCA.org and the Golden Retriever Foundation can shed some light on what you obviously don't understand. Educate yourself.

The time and effort the people who commented on this post devote is to help people and ultimately the dogs they buy. It's honestly public service to educate people and if they cared so much about 'papers' and making money, the last thing they would do is spend time here beating their heads against a brick wall with people who refuse to see that working to improve health outcomes for the dogs has nothing to do with snobbery. You seem determined to believe the worst of people which is the clearest indication that you don't belong here.
Thank you for proving my point. You assume I’m an ignorant pet owner because I don’t live up to YOUR expectations of responsible dog ownership. You also proved my point about snobbery by your final statement that I “don’t belong here”, which indicates that you, not I, believe the worst of people and judge me unworthy for the group. Good-bye.
 

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Discussion Starter #36
Thank you for proving my point. You assume I’m an ignorant pet owner because I don’t live up to YOUR expectations of responsible dog ownership. You also proved my point about snobbery by your final statement that I “don’t belong here”, which indicates that you, not I, believe the worst of people and judge me unworthy for the group. Good-bye.
That's too bad. In the grand-scheme-of-life, not a huge deal, but that's a sad note to end your participation in these forums on.

I, too, "just want a pet". And, if you look at the charts I threw together, and have been monitoring the various "looking for a puppy" threads, you will know that there is a wide range of pricing, with the sad add-on that "price" doesn't always equate to "quality", or "temperament", or "health".

For whatever reason, you chose to jump on this thread and castigate those who regularly post and are part of the "breeder community" (I, am not). While I don't know that I feel the last comment by @nolefan ("You seem determined to believe the worst of people which is the clearest indication that you don't belong here.") was really necessary, it was predicated on the entirety of your post castigating the GR breeder community on this forum (and, it seems, in general), and not based on your lack of buy-in to the various ideas.

I will note that you are posting on a thread where I am challenging the "breeder community" on some things I have observed (and, I may add, without a whole lot of background and examples), and no one has risen up and leveled the kind of accusations you did. I appreciate their honesty and candor in explaining the perspective of hobby breeders (with special emPHAsis on "hobby") in this situation, even though I'm fairly certain many of them felt I may have already known at-least-some of their perspective.

When I started my search, I was shocked to find that Golden puppies go for $1k and up. While I could afford to pay that for a dog, I come from a time when people begged people to take their puppies. I understand that this is no longer the case, but $1k+ for a “pet” is ridiculous! I don’t want to show it, I just want to love it and have a companion. My vet of 25+ years would tell you we are EXCELLENT pet parents who spare no expense when it come to our dog’s health. I would put my history as a pet parent up against many who “show” but treat their dog more like a show pony than a pet.
So it’s obvious I’m in the wrong group as it is clear that this group could care less about finding an excellent home where their puppy will receive overwhelming love and excellent care, but is more concerned with having the right papers and making money.
Based on this part of your post, it seems that your core issues are that:
  • You "just want a pet"
  • The price for a well-bred GR is outrageous
  • Your prior history should, somehow, qualify you for an "excellent pet parent discount"
I also "just want a pet". From reading on this forum, and talking to some hobby breeders, I have learned how much more important good health, achieved via informed breeding, is to pet owners. I will gladly pay for the efforts of hobby breeders. If I have any issue with hobby breeders, it's that there's not enough of them to satisfy consumer demand. That's "another story", and, whether I like it or not, "not their problem" (which, I agree with, however reluctantly).

The price is what it is. For breeders following the GRCA Code of Ethics, not every dog purchased will be able to be bred. And, those dogs require the same amount of general and medical care as those that do meet the requirements to be bred. For "hobby breeders", breeding is a hobby, it's part of their enjoyment of the breed. It's how they get "that dog" that they're looking for. And, it incurs cost. Good, bad, or indifferent, it is what it is. For those who don't like it, there's always commercial and backyard breeders.

I'm glad your an "excellent pet parent". Surprise! You're not the only one! We're doing everything we can for our furry-family-member, starting with making the best-informed choice we could about where to get our GR, and what to look for in the breeding. Part of me questions "why should hobby breeders absorb costs because you're such a wonderful pet parent?" The other part of me questions "if you're such a wonderful pet parent, why would you wait until after the purchase to start being 'wonderful'?"

I’ve heard of “Golden snobs”, and now I understand. To be clear, I do not want a puppy mill puppy, and living in MO I certainly understand that they need to be illegal. I just want a dog to love, papers and credentials not needed. What’s next....only allowing human babies who are deemed acceptable by some group? Not a world I want to live in. So I bid you adieu...I will no longer be in a group where I clearly don’t belong.
If you want a dog to love, papers and credentials not needed, there's lots out there. And, no one's going to stop you, or judge you harshly for going that route. I have read threads where the same people you are castigating have "ooohed" and "ahhhed" over a mixed breed, even (gasp!) doodles. The concerns I have seen expressed are not over the dogs, but over people who are taking advantage of the reputation of the golden to charge higher prices for their dogs, which are typically not being bred inline with standards for either parent. And, as a result, may end up undoing a lot of the efforts being made by others.

Personally, I think you do belong here. It's good to have differing views and perspectives. And, it's good to learn from the perspectives of others.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
Joined
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4,248 Posts
It’s painfully clear to me that I do not belong on this website. I’m 64 years old and have always had a dog. The last 4 have died at 12, 11, 12, and 17. They were all well cared for and well lived. 3 of the 4 were 1/2 Golden, and had the Golden personality and traits. Because of that, when I lost the last one in March, I decided to look for a full blooded Golden since I appreciated these qualities. The most paid for any of them...$50 rehoming fee. Granted, none of them was pure bred except the first, a Cocker Spaniel.
When I started my search, I was shocked to find that Golden puppies go for $1k and up. While I could afford to pay that for a dog, I come from a time when people begged people to take their puppies. I understand that this is no longer the case, but $1k+ for a “pet” is ridiculous! I don’t want to show it, I just want to love it and have a companion. My vet of 25+ years would tell you we are EXCELLENT pet parents who spare no expense when it come to our dog’s health. I would put my history as a pet parent up against many who “show” but treat their dog more like a show pony than a pet.
So it’s obvious I’m in the wrong group as it is clear that this group could care less about finding an excellent home where their puppy will receive overwhelming love and excellent care, but is more concerned with having the right papers and making money. I’ve heard of “Golden snobs”, and now I understand. To be clear, I do not want a puppy mill puppy, and living in MO I certainly understand that they need to be illegal. I just want a dog to love, papers and credentials not needed. What’s next....only allowing human babies who are deemed acceptable by some group? Not a world I want to live in. So I bid you adieu...I will no longer be in a group where I clearly don’t belong.
I wish I could talk you down. As Nolefan tried to tell you, we are first and foremost interested in people getting healthy dogs. And within the restrictions of the rules here, we try to point puppy buyers to places where they can get healthy dogs. The GRCA has standards within its breeder's code of ethics. We're just trying to make sure dogs are ethically bred for two reasons: 1. so that dogs have the best chance of being healthy and living a long time, and 2. so that the Golden Retriever is preserved as a Golden and doesn't morph into something else over time with poor breeding practices.

You're in the right place if you're looking for a healthy, ethically bred Golden. You're in the wrong place if all you care about is getting a cheap dog and you'll just take your chances with the dog's health and temperament. But you're right that we are not trying to find "an excellent home where their puppy will receive overwhelming love and excellent care." That job is for the breeders placing their puppies. Our job here is trying to steer buyers to breeders who breed Golden Retrievers to the breed standard, with all the required health clearances. You know, to make sure you're getting a healthy pet.

I'm at a loss as to why you felt the need to get angry and start insulting people here. Did someone say something to you that offended you in your entire four posts in this forum? I see that in the one discussion you started (looking for a rescue in MO), people were nothing but nice to you. Beyond that, you replied to one of my threads where I talked about the utility of a puppy buyer asking for references from a breeder. And then you kind of flew off the handle in this thread. What happened? What set you off? Was someone mean to you?

If you're only interested in getting a dog for $50 or less, and don't really care about how it was bred, I suggest you try Craigslist.
 

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Kate
Joined
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21,292 Posts
I decided to look for a full blooded Golden since I appreciated these qualities. The most paid for any of them...$50 rehoming fee.....
Fun thing to point out, goldens and golden mixes cost hundreds of dollars if purchasing from a rescue.
 

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Registered
Joined
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185 Posts
I think I see who breeders wouldn't sell a puppy to after some of these ridiculous posts from an entitled dog owner. Her money seems to be more important than what a breeder has invested in their program and the time involved from the time they're born and placed. How many hours are spent doingnall.of this and this "great dog owner" wants to devalue someone else's time? This seems rather insulting to me.

Listen, there are dozens upon dozens of great puppy parents for every litter of pups for any good breeder to choose from and I don't hear anyone else in here complaining about $2-$3k puppy prices for a quality puppy.

When people complain about the price of a valued family member for 10-15 years, the cost broken down is quite low for what they give back. I think some people would have done the same thing having kids on the cheap if it were possible. Hint hint.

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