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Hi! We have started searching for an American Golden Retriever puppy and are really overwhelmed by all the different breeders there are across the country. We are not looking for a show or hunting dog - we just want a loving companion. We are located in WV and would love to find a dark red male.

If we buy from out-of-state and have it shipped, how are we to know what kind of people we are buying from if we don't have the opportunity to see the parents or meet the breeders in person?

Thanks for all the help!
 

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Lots of good breeders in Ohio. You should be able to drive there. If you want some names I can send them. But there might be some closer to you. Where are you in West Virginia?
 

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We are in Southern WV, right outside of Beckley. I'm certainly willing to drive into Ohio, Virginia or Kentucky for a reputable breeder. I would love for you to send me some names! Thanks a bunch!
 

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Shilo Goldens is near you. I have 3 of her dogs here, a 14.5 year old, a 6 year old and a 2 year old. The 14.5 year old and the 6 year old are the dogs in my avatar picture

Jennifer is a reputable, responsible breeder and I highly recommend her. She is very interested in breeding healthy dogs.

Her website is Shilo Golden Retrievers

It looks like she doesn't have any litters right now but will probably be breeding two of her girls later this year.
 

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Thanks so much! I will definitely check her out. We are first and foremost interested in finding a dog from a healthy bloodline. Our last Golden had a host of health and genetic problems and we ended up losing him to cancer. We learned so much from that experience and are determined not to go through that again!
 

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I encourage you to put color way down your list of priorities. There are some extraordinary breeders out there, but the good ones, by definition, don't breed for a particular color. Many of them will have a range that includes dark dogs (and I have a soft spot for dark gold myself), but I encourage you to be open a wide range of colors. I think you'll quickly discover your favorite color is the color of the healthy Golden by your side.

I don't personally know breeders in your area, but I would encourage you to look at the GRCA's guide to choosing a reputable breeder. Then, try to contact your local breed club for referrals. Look at those breeders and see how well they fit the ethics the GRCA lays out. You can even show us breeders and pedigrees and we can help check them out for you. Clearance information is available online if you know where to look, so you can learn a lot about a breeder's commitment to health right off the bat.

Many of the very best breeders have little or not web presence (some do, but many don't), so litters are often placed by word of mouth and through the local club. So if you just search the web, you'll end up with a very small percentage of great breeders and a HUGE percentage of terrible places.

Good luck, though. With a little patience, it's totally possible to find an extraordinary breeder with just the right dog.
 

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I encourage you to put color way down your list of priorities. There are some extraordinary breeders out there, but the good ones, by definition, don't breed for a particular color. Many of them will have a range that includes dark dogs (and I have a soft spot for dark gold myself), but I encourage you to be open a wide range of colors. I think you'll quickly discover your favorite color is the color of the healthy Golden by your side.

I don't personally know breeders in your area, but I would encourage you to look at the GRCA's guide to choosing a reputable breeder. Then, try to contact your local breed club for referrals. Look at those breeders and see how well they fit the ethics the GRCA lays out. You can even show us breeders and pedigrees and we can help check them out for you. Clearance information is available online if you know where to look, so you can learn a lot about a breeder's commitment to health right off the bat.

Many of the very best breeders have little or not web presence (some do, but many don't), so litters are often placed by word of mouth and through the local club. So if you just search the web, you'll end up with a very small percentage of great breeders and a HUGE percentage of terrible places.

Good luck, though. With a little patience, it's totally possible to find an extraordinary breeder with just the right dog.
Well said and I love your signature picture.
 

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I encourage you to put color way down your list of priorities. There are some extraordinary breeders out there, but the good ones, by definition, don't breed for a particular color. Many of them will have a range that includes dark dogs (and I have a soft spot for dark gold myself), but I encourage you to be open a wide range of colors. I think you'll quickly discover your favorite color is the color of the healthy Golden by your side.

I don't personally know breeders in your area, but I would encourage you to look at the GRCA's guide to choosing a reputable breeder. Then, try to contact your local breed club for referrals. Look at those breeders and see how well they fit the ethics the GRCA lays out. You can even show us breeders and pedigrees and we can help check them out for you. Clearance information is available online if you know where to look, so you can learn a lot about a breeder's commitment to health right off the bat.

Many of the very best breeders have little or not web presence (some do, but many don't), so litters are often placed by word of mouth and through the local club. So if you just search the web, you'll end up with a very small percentage of great breeders and a HUGE percentage of terrible places.

Good luck, though. With a little patience, it's totally possible to find an extraordinary breeder with just the right dog.
Excellent feedback! Thank you so much. We are partial to the darker Goldens because our first dog, Hank, was dark red and we lost him to cancer very young. We didn't even mean to get a dark Golden, but that's what we ended up with as he grew older. Anyway, I will certainly check out the web site you suggested. Would you recommend working with a breeder close to us rather than cruising the web for a dog and having it shipped to WV?
 

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Excellent feedback! Thank you so much. We are partial to the darker Goldens because our first dog, Hank, was dark red and we lost him to cancer very young. We didn't even mean to get a dark Golden, but that's what we ended up with as he grew older. Anyway, I will certainly check out the web site you suggested. Would you recommend working with a breeder close to us rather than cruising the web for a dog and having it shipped to WV?
Most reputable breeders will not ship their puppies. However, you can fly to the breeder and fly back with the puppy under your seat.
 

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Excellent feedback! Thank you so much. We are partial to the darker Goldens because our first dog, Hank, was dark red and we lost him to cancer very young. We didn't even mean to get a dark Golden, but that's what we ended up with as he grew older. Anyway, I will certainly check out the web site you suggested. Would you recommend working with a breeder close to us rather than cruising the web for a dog and having it shipped to WV?
I wouldn't rule out having a dog transported, but personally, I've always felt better when I can meet the breeder and see the pups at least once before pickup day. Plus, if you're working through your local Golden club, you have the advantage of meeting the folks who can help you with training, clinics for specialist checkups (like eye exams), and all other kinds of helpful stuff.

I don't know your area at all, so I don't know how close any club people or great breeders might be, but that would be ideal.

I do know I would definitely not cruise the web for a breeder. It's only a minority of great breeders that have a decent web presence. For example, if I Google Golden breeders in my area (CT), I get a couple that I know are great and about a dozen that I know are less than ideal.
 
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