Golden Retriever Dog Forums banner

1 - 20 of 37 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
After months of researching golden retrievers and breeders, reading about the do's and don'ts, and asking questions on the forum, I still somehow contrived to jump on the "english cream" bandwagon. Today, more than two months after placing a deposit with a breeder, I realized - based on ongoing communications with the breeder - that I was barking up the wrong tree for my puppy. I accepted my mistake, got my deposit refunded, and am ready to finally do this right. Better late than never.

My wife and I currently live in Seattle and have been looking to welcome a golden retriever to our home for a while now. I had originally reached out to breeders listed on the local golden retreivers club. Back then, we weren't living in a home with a yard or had someone ready to be at home all the time, so many of them did not entertain our requests. I learned a lot from those conversations, and still hold one of them (Sandy Scudder from Sunburst Goldens) in the highest regard. We cast our net more broadly, which eventually led us to the english cream breeders who were more willing to sell. Maybe we were impatient with our search, or not persistent enough with the good breeders.

While resetting our search has felt disheartening, I want to make sure we're approaching this the right way moving forward. We've come around to the fact that english cream does not equal healthier dogs or calmer temperaments (thanks to all the resources from this forum) so our focus is to find a healthy, pedigreed dog from an established breeder who is a member with their local GRC. I plan on reconnecting with some of the breeders from the EGRC (EGRC-Breeders), but I'm wondering about a couple of things:

  1. What are some good questions to ask breeders regarding personality and temperament? Goldens are a high energy breed - but within that spectrum, we would like a puppy who is average or below in 'spunkiness' compared to other goldens. After we stay home with the pup for the first few weeks until it gets its shots, my wife will plan to take the puppy to work with her regularly. While that means the dog will have more attention, a super-high energy dog could prove problematic in an office setting (even though it will have a gated off space and a crate). Can a dog's energy level be predicted by its line, or is it more of a litter-by-litter thing? Are there some other characteristics that inform a dog's energy level that we should be asking about?
  2. What is an acceptable lineage or pedigree for goldens? I see many folks on here mentioning that US-based championships are important and much more valuable than the easier-to-get INTL titles, but is there a rule of thumb on what is acceptable, or is it more case-by-case?
  3. Is asking too many questions frowned upon by breeders? I understand that it's a busy job, but want to know if there is a balance that needs to be struck.
  4. And finally, we are prepared to wait but I do want to convey to breeders that we might be further along in the process than someone who is just starting their search. What's the best way to convey that (especially to breeders who I haven't reached out to yet) without seeming like we're jumping into it without thinking?
Thanks for reading. Any breeder referrals or recommendations in the Washington/Oregon region would also be welcome.
 

·
Kate
Joined
·
21,295 Posts
What are some good questions to ask breeders regarding personality and temperament? Goldens are a high energy breed - but within that spectrum, we would like a puppy who is average or below in 'spunkiness' compared to other goldens. After we stay home with the pup for the first few weeks until it gets its shots, my wife will plan to take the puppy to work with her regularly. While that means the dog will have more attention, a super-high energy dog could prove problematic in an office setting (even though it will have a gated off space and a crate). Can a dog's energy level be predicted by its line, or is it more of a litter-by-litter thing? Are there some other characteristics that inform a dog's energy level that we should be asking about?
Depends on the litter.... depends on the puppy....

Please don't let anyone talk you out that energy is decided by whether dogs were bred for shows or bred for performance. :wink2:

I have a very active puppy right now who I'm dreading taking some places just for 20 minutes... <= He is not a puppy content to sit in his crate and people watch. He will bark. He's antsy. He wants to run and meet people. And do things.

His dad was one of those puppies who successfully came to multiple dog classes with my older dog and most people didn't even know there was a puppy in the crate I carried in and put on the side.

And even as a mature adult, he's one of those dogs who never barks or squeaks or makes much fuss. He's got energy and drive, but at least it's not too noisy or el destructo.

This pup is the most active at times of the day when I'd rather he be chill. Case in point, right now he's been running from one end of the room to the other pulling odds and ends out from under beds or from closets or chewing on the wall or digging at the tile floor.... Something he was doing at 5 in the morning today... :surprise: (good thing I love him to pieces because he's killing me a little)

What is an acceptable lineage or pedigree for goldens? I see many folks on here mentioning that US-based championships are important and much more valuable than the easier-to-get INTL titles, but is there a rule of thumb on what is acceptable, or is it more case-by-case?
Depends on what you are paying for a puppy. And what you can get.

Unfortunately, everyone is sticking their noses out there to see what everyone else is charging for their puppies. And they will charge the highest amounts they can.

Is asking too many questions frowned upon by breeders? I understand that it's a busy job, but want to know if there is a balance that needs to be struck.
Depends on the questions. Sometimes they can tell the breeder a lot about you.

And finally, we are prepared to wait but I do want to convey to breeders that we might be further along in the process than someone who is just starting their search. What's the best way to convey that (especially to breeders who I haven't reached out to yet) without seeming like we're jumping into it without thinking?
Hate to discourage anyone thinking that breeders are impressed by somebody who has been searching for a long time, but some legit pretty good breeders are pretty happy to sell puppies to first come first serve - as long as they don't get bad vibes from people. Those people may have inquired at the right time.... or they inquired months ago and had been put on an informal waiting list for any litter in the works from the breeders.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Depends on the litter.... depends on the puppy....

Please don't let anyone talk you out that energy is decided by whether dogs were bred for shows or bred for performance. :wink2:
That's actually good to hear. So if I'm understanding this correctly, I will have to rely on the breeder's evaluation on a per-litter basis to find a calmer dog, as opposed to choosing a breeder based on lineage or show vs. performance?

Depends on what you are paying for a puppy. And what you can get.
Hmm - I reckon even on the higher end that prices might be lower than what english cream breeders charge :wink2:. I'm concerned with lineage mainly for their health, line diversity etc.
Hate to discourage anyone thinking that breeders are impressed by somebody who has been searching for a long time, but some legit pretty good breeders are pretty happy to sell puppies to first come first serve - as long as they don't get bad vibes from people. Those people may have inquired at the right time.... or they inquired months ago and had been put on an informal waiting list for any litter in the works from the breeders.
That's good to keep in mind.

Thanks for your responses!
 

·
Puddles
Joined
·
3,962 Posts
Most important questions to ask are about verifiable clearances... posted to OFA. Then how are they raised, inside? out? time spent on socialization? speak with their vet? Other people who have purchased their pups? Most good breeders will freely offer this information without having to ask and should welcome the discussion. This is sort of a joint interview as and the best way to see if the breeder is a good fit and honest. Is the breeder more concerned in finding their pup a good home or making a sale?
The breeder should know their pups better than anyone, they should have already started crate training and potty training, exposed them to nail clips and baths. An 8 wk old pup will sleep quite a lot but when you take this pup to work be prepared to take out every 30 minutes. As it begins to grow the energy level will raise so be prepared for this. Even a quiet natured golden has an energy level that will need to be drained.
My 2 yr old was a very laid back pup and as long as she could lay at my feet was quite content most of the time. I have a foster (almost 6 months) right now that is good in her crate but unsupervised she wants to chew... everything, furniture, power cords, water hoses, sticks, rocks... well basically anything that looks interesting. Even though there are dozens of chews laying around it's just not as interesting. She also likes to dig, in the dirt, in the water, in the carpet :) But this is a very mild tempered puppy, extremely low energy... borderline lazy :)
Guess what I'm saying is even if you get a low energy puppy it's going to be work. Couch potato is just not in their DNA. When I worked I hired a sitter to come to the house so the puppy was allowed plenty of attention. I'm not sure how much work you are going to get with a new puppy in the office.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Most important questions to ask are about verifiable clearances... posted to OFA.
Thanks for your reply, puddles. The clearances for sure are a non-starter - I can understand if the breeder's website isn't updated but in the past I've received defensive responses upon requesting to see clearances. I have learned to stay away from those.

Then how are they raised, inside? out? time spent on socialization? speak with their vet? Other people who have purchased their pups? Most good breeders will freely offer this information without having to ask and should welcome the discussion. This is sort of a joint interview as and the best way to see if the breeder is a good fit and honest. Is the breeder more concerned in finding their pup a good home or making a sale?
Thanks for mentioning this. I'm beginning to learn the difference between information and good information - all breeders provide the former, but not all provide the latter.

The breeder should know their pups better than anyone, they should have already started crate training and potty training, exposed them to nail clips and baths. An 8 wk old pup will sleep quite a lot but when you take this pup to work be prepared to take out every 30 minutes. As it begins to grow the energy level will raise so be prepared for this. Even a quiet natured golden has an energy level that will need to be drained.
My 2 yr old was a very laid back pup and as long as she could lay at my feet was quite content most of the time. I have a foster (almost 6 months) right now that is good in her crate but unsupervised she wants to chew... everything, furniture, power cords, water hoses, sticks, rocks... well basically anything that looks interesting. Even though there are dozens of chews laying around it's just not as interesting. She also likes to dig, in the dirt, in the water, in the carpet :) But this is a very mild tempered puppy, extremely low energy... borderline lazy :)
Guess what I'm saying is even if you get a low energy puppy it's going to be work. Couch potato is just not in their DNA. When I worked I hired a sitter to come to the house so the puppy was allowed plenty of attention. I'm not sure how much work you are going to get with a new puppy in the office.
Interesting - it's good to get a benchmark of a mild-tempered puppy, but I understand they're still goldens :). The office plan is something we're leaning on significantly as a way for the puppy to be around people for most of the day - my wife's workplace is explicitly dog-friendly, and there are a handful of other dogs in her building (not roaming around freely, but gated in their owner's cubes). There is easy access to dog runs and parks for potty/play breaks. But we do have flexibility if he/she turns out to be a handful in the early stages and my wife is not able to concentrate at work. We might switch on and off with a sitter or daycare or something.

Thanks for the responses again folks, please do keep them coming.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,390 Posts
Hmm - I reckon even on the higher end that prices might be lower than what english cream breeders charge :wink2:. I'm concerned with lineage mainly for their health, line diversity etc.

That's good to keep in mind.

Thanks for your responses!

You'd be absolutely right there! I saw someone in WA charging $2,500 for puppies out of 1 year old dogs without testing or titles last year. Just yesterday I saw someone on Craigslist asking more than my health tested, raised in home, both parents titled in performance events litter.

I think there's just really not enough well bred puppies. I know waiting is tough, but I think the easiest way is to find a breeder you love and then see when they'll have puppies. Or be willing to fly to pick up a puppy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
You'd be absolutely right there! I saw someone in WA charging $2,500 for puppies out of 1 year old dogs without testing or titles last year. Just yesterday I saw someone on Craigslist asking more than my health tested, raised in home, both parents titled in performance events litter.

I think there's just really not enough well bred puppies. I know waiting is tough, but I think the easiest way is to find a breeder you love and then see when they'll have puppies. Or be willing to fly to pick up a puppy.
Yup, the going rate is at a minimum $2.5k and often touches $3k english creams (before the 10% sales tax in WA). I had absolutely no problem paying that premium for the shade (which I know now is a flawed approach to begin with), but even at those prices, I've found that breeders don't do consistent health testing, and if they do testing the results aren't necessarily stellar; it's also hard to track lineage very well because many of the dogs are imports. We certainly are willing to wait for the right breeder and litter.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
978 Posts
I can absolutely sympathize with you! The puppy search was not nearly as easy as I had anticipated. After telling friends and family members we were beginning the search for a golden retriever puppy, we got many recommendations on different breeders, rescues etc. Of course finding this forum has made me adamant about verifiable health clearances going back generations, which made the search a little disheartening. Each time I would find a breeder with beautiful dogs who seemed to be doing all of the right things I would communicate with them before realizing that clearances just weren't a priority.

We probably started the search for a ethical and reputable breeder in January of 2018, and FINALLY found three breeders we really liked. The breeder we felt most connected with actually had a later time-frame than we had hoped for (December 2018). At the end of the day we loved this breeder, and felt it was worth the wait to get a puppy from someone we felt like we already had begun to build a relationship with. This breeder gave me some great advice that I will pass onto anyone looking for a puppy. At the end of the day, you are choosing the BREEDER and not the puppy. You want someone who gives you not just a puppy, but a lifetime of support during the hard times and the best times. We are happy with our breeder and cannot wait to finally have a GR of our own. I can't stress enough how great it feels to find a breeder that you can build a relationship with, and likewise trusts YOU enough to sell you a puppy.
 

·
Love my Golden Boys!!
Joined
·
7,057 Posts
In terms of breeder referrals, you might want to check out Soundview Farm. I believe they have a nice breeding planned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
At the end of the day, you are choosing the BREEDER and not the puppy. You want someone who gives you not just a puppy, but a lifetime of support during the hard times and the best times. We are happy with our breeder and cannot wait to finally have a GR of our own. I can't stress enough how great it feels to find a breeder that you can build a relationship with, and likewise trusts YOU enough to sell you a puppy.
Thank you for your thoughtful and empathetic message. I feel like this is one of those things that you try and fail to truly understand the gravity of the advice. We do have a favorite breeder in mind who I mentioned in my original post, but for other reasons we got distracted with our search when we perhaps should have stuck it out with her. At the same time, there are lots of good breeders out there so I'm staying open to it all :).
 

·
Kristy
Joined
·
9,479 Posts
In terms of breeder referrals, you might want to check out Soundview Farm. I believe they have a nice breeding planned.
How nice to get a referral like this.... I started looking at photos and k9data, what nice moderate looking dogs and I see they are 'Rooster' fans. That's awesome!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
How nice to get a referral like this.... I started looking at photos and k9data, what nice moderate looking dogs and I see they are 'Rooster' fans. That's awesome!
They do look very good indeed! Out of curiosity, what do you mean when you say 'moderate'? Their size, or some other aspect of their conformation?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
I haven't considered it so far, but would be open to it (BC is more or less the same distance to drive as Portland and southern OR) - would a lot of the criteria be different (health testing, competitions etc)?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,194 Posts
I haven't considered it so far, but would be open to it (BC is more or less the same distance to drive as Portland and southern OR) - would a lot of the criteria be different (health testing, competitions etc)?
Good breeders follow the same rules.
Here’s my boy who is from Vancouver Island. You can see all of the clearances behind him.
Pedigree: Onedrdogs Wings Over Water SH
 
1 - 20 of 37 Posts
Top