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I have seen a number of questions regarding what to look for in the way of health guarantees before purchasing a Golden puppy.

I would offer the following advice.

Of course, do the most thorough research you can for a prospective breeder. There are lots of great threads in this forum on how to do that. One place to start is GRCA website: Golden Retriever Club of America - AKC National Breed Club .

Most reputable breeders will replace the puppy should a contractually guaranteed health problem develop. But no breeder can guarantee that every puppy from every litter will be without problems.

What they can guarantee is you will not have to bear the financial burden for a health problem that has been guaranteed.

But replacing the puppy you have grown to love isn't an option for many (most?) people either.

So my other advice is to realize you are making a lifetime committment to a new family member. There may be financial requirements above and beyond your expectations. This is life. Don't blame the breeder for something they cannot control.

Chance's breeder has been a wonderful support to me over the years. Her insight and advice has been very valuable. I consider her one of my partners, along with his vets, in keeping him healthy.

The breeder benefits from my feedback, as well, by knowing how her puppy has faired over the years.
 

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IMHO, a reputable breeder will not require the return of the puppy, for the guarantee to be enforced. I don't, and those of my friends who have warranties (don't really call them guarantees any more), also do not require the return of the original puppy.

I think that breeders who require the return of the original puppy do so because they know that most people will not be able to return a dog or puppy who has become a part of their family. It's a cheap way to look like you have a warranty, when in reality you know that you will rarely have to honor it.

Not all breeders have warranties any more, but whether the breeder does or not, you are correct that doing your homework is very important. And breeding dogs is not science, unfortunately-it's as much art as science, and there is so much unknown yet about genetics and inherited conditions to be able to say that no carefully bred puppy will have any problems :(

I love talking to my puppy people, answering their questions, and getting pictures of their puppies :) It is definitely a two way relationship, and you get out of it, what you put into it. I have been blessed with wonderful homes for my puppies :)
 

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I think a good middle ground, is that if the family chooses to keep the puppy, the breeder will return half the purchase price, if return the puppy full refund or another puppy. Nothing is perfect, you can't expect a breeder to pay vet bills, that would simply not be possible for most breeders to continue breeding with the possibility of very expensive vet bills for the puppies they produce. Breeders also can't control what the owners do after they bring their puppy home, like neuter too young, or allow them to run and jump and become over weight while they are still growing. All of these things could contribute to severe joint damage.
 
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