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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Does anybody have any recommendations on field bred Golden Retriever breeders? I’ve searched for a while on my own and can only find a few that pop up on google searches. My boyfriend and I just bought a house and looking to get a new puppy finally. We’re in the Pittsburgh area, so any breeders around there would be fantastic. I also don’t mind flying to pick up a puppy from the right breeder though either.

I have done my research on field bred Goldens and we both agree this type of dog would be great for both of us. We don’t hunt, but are very active and I would like to get into dock diving or agility with the puppy eventually.
 

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Welcome to the forum! If your focus is to have an active dog to do agility and dock diving, you don't necessarily need a field pedigree. There are many "conformation" breeders who produce dogs with strong working abilities. Take a look at Sunfire Goldens in CT as one example. Hopefully other members will chime in with additional suggestions.
 

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Jamie
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Not sure how soon you want a puppy but here are some options -
  • Golden Plains Goldens (NE) - They have a litter now, lovely pedigree and super cute puppies.
  • Old Oak Kennels (MN) - Has a litter due this spring.
  • Topmast Golden (WI) - Has a litter on the ground (Breedings – Topmast Golden Retrievers)
  • Wildwing Goldens (WI) - Has a litter due soon that I really like.
These are just what I came up with off the top of my head so if you have any more preferences let me know and I can point you in the right direction!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
One of the reasons we picked a field bred over a “conformation” golden is the difference in size and color. We both know there is way more to a dog than color, but we have our hearts set on a smaller, darker golden. Also, the characteristics of the field breds stand out way more to me.

We want to get settled into the new house before bringing in a new puppy, so about two to three months out would be a great time frame. We’re also set on getting a female.
 

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Just keep in mind that the more restrictions you place on what you want (color, size, gender) the harder it will be to find a dog that fits all your criteria. First and foremost should be health (obviously), so be sure to insist that any breeder is following the GRCA Code of Ethics and completing all the appropriate health clearances on their breeding stock. Forum members are happy to double check this for you (we may see nuances that you may miss, such as whether the cardiac clearance was done by a cardiologist, as required by the code, or just a "practitioner").

Golden puppies were in very high demand during the pandemic (and still are), so most reputable breeders have either closed their waitlists for the year, or at least will not have a puppy available till later this year. If you want a puppy in two or three months, that means the breeding has already taken place and/or puppies have already been born and it is extremely likely that all have already been promised to other puppy buyers. Now would be the time to reach out to breeders and get on a wait list, but realistically you may be looking at a year or more before you can bring a puppy home...
 

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Jamie
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Just keep in mind that the more restrictions you place on what you want (color, size, gender) the harder it will be to find a dog that fits all your criteria. First and foremost should be health (obviously), so be sure to insist that any breeder is following the GRCA Code of Ethics and completing all the appropriate health clearances on their breeding stock. Forum members are happy to double check this for you (we may see nuances that you may miss, such as whether the cardiac clearance was done by a cardiologist, as required by the code, or just a "practitioner").

Golden puppies were in very high demand during the pandemic (and still are), so most reputable breeders have either closed their waitlists for the year, or at least will not have a puppy available till later this year. If you want a puppy in two or three months, that means the breeding has already taken place and/or puppies have already been born and it is extremely likely that all have already been promised to other puppy buyers. Now would be the time to reach out to breeders and get on a wait list, but realistically you may be looking at a year or more before you can bring a puppy home...
Not really true in performance lines. The market has turned and there is now an oversupply of puppies vs those interested in performance dogs. I know several litters with availability.
 

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Not really true in performance lines. The market has turned and there is now an oversupply of puppies vs those interested in performance dogs. I know several litters with availability.
Thanks Jamie - good to know!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The time frame for two to three months is a minimum for us. We don’t want to get settled in the house and immediately bring in a new puppy. My preferences aren’t much of a deal breaker for me. I would like a certain look, yes. But at the end of the day, I would just love a healthy pup to call our own. We have both lost dogs too early to bad breeding and we don’t want to have to go through that again.

Right now, I just want to comb through breeders and reach out to them to see if one of their puppies would be a good fit for us. I am very picky on breeders as well, which I know will make this process even longer. So any recommendations I will look into. Thank you!
 

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I'm not familiar with the northeast, but good places to look for litters are the classified section of Retriever Trainer Forum and the FaceBook group Field Golden Retrievers. Wherever you look, don't just trust they have field line goldens because they have a photo of a dog holding a duck or they are advertising "dark red" goldens.

Many field goldens are very dark red, but just because it's a dark red dog does not mean it's a good field dog. Conversely, there are many medium-gold dogs that are excellent. Arguably the best field dog currently alive (Hawk's Blackhawk) is a medium gold. Unfortunately, there are very few ultra-light colored field line goldens. (I say unfortunately because it sure would be easier to see a light colored dog in the field.) The moderators of the FB Field Golden Retrievers group do their best to delete the posts of breeders who claim they have a field litter with no proof, but they keep slipping in so look at the actual pedigrees before you contact the breeder. If a breeder does not give the dog's registered name up front, don't even bother.

Look at the actual pedigree for close-up MH, AFC/FC titles. If you are serious about agility, there are lines of light-weight, agile goldens in agility, but I'm not familiar with particular breeders. There is a lot of mixing of field, OB, and agility lines, but field dogs very in size from small to some fairly good-sized muscular males who may be a bit too large to be an outstanding agility prospect.

I'd suggest becoming a member of GRCA and perusing current and recent past issues for the "Recent MACH/PACH titles" section to see who the breeders are. The GRCA web site also allows a search of titles achieved. You can see who bred the dogs with high-level agility or hunt titles.

You probably already know this, but remember that field-bred dogs tend to have a lot of energy. Ideally, you should have some space nearby where you can let the dog stretch out and RUN. For those rainy, snowy days when you don't want to leave the house, a fenced yard where you can safely do a lot of retrieves to let the dog burn off energy is practically a must.
 

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I'm not familiar with the northeast, but good places to look for litters are the classified section of Retriever Trainer Forum and the FaceBook group Field Golden Retrievers. Wherever you look, don't just trust they have field line goldens because they have a photo of a dog holding a duck or they are advertising "dark red" goldens.

Many field goldens are very dark red, but just because it's a dark red dog does not mean it's a good field dog. Conversely, there are many medium-gold dogs that are excellent. Arguably the best field dog currently alive (Hawk's Blackhawk) is a medium gold. Unfortunately, there are very few ultra-light colored field line goldens. (I say unfortunately because it sure would be easier to see a light colored dog in the field.) The moderators of the FB Field Golden Retrievers group do their best to delete the posts of breeders who claim they have a field litter with no proof, but they keep slipping in so look at the actual pedigrees before you contact the breeder. If a breeder does not give the dog's registered name up front, don't even bother.

Look at the actual pedigree for close-up MH, AFC/FC titles. If you are serious about agility, there are lines of light-weight, agile goldens in agility, but I'm not familiar with particular breeders. There is a lot of mixing of field, OB, and agility lines, but field dogs very in size from small to some fairly good-sized muscular males who may be a bit too large to be an outstanding agility prospect.

I'd suggest becoming a member of GRCA and perusing current and recent past issues for the "Recent MACH/PACH titles" section to see who the breeders are. The GRCA web site also allows a search of titles achieved. You can see who bred the dogs with high-level agility or hunt titles.

You probably already know this, but remember that field-bred dogs tend to have a lot of energy. Ideally, you should have some space nearby where you can let the dog stretch out and RUN. For those rainy, snowy days when you don't want to leave the house, a fenced yard where you can safely do a lot of retrieves to let the dog burn off energy is practically a must.
Adding to what Kelly said, there is another Facebook group called Performance Golden Retrievers that has litters that are usually a mix between field lines and obedience/agility lines. A good percentage of the litters have parents titled in all three. The moderators and admins in that group do a good job of filtering posts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
My boyfriend’s parents own 300 acres and our new house has a decent yard. Letting a dog run won’t be a problem thankfully. Which is part of the reason we are choosing a more energetic dog. We are both crazy active and want a pup that’ll keep up.

I will go through breeder’s pages and websites with a fine tooth comb to make sure they’re breeding healthy pups. I’m more into dock diving right now anyways than agility also so agility lineage is not a deal breaker.

Thank you for the information on that though! It’s really helpful when looking into parents.
 

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There really aren’t a lot of breeders that breed specifically for dock diving - not that you’re thinking that - but field pedigrees aren’t necessarily better at dock diving than other pedigrees. I’m not trying to get you to go the show pedigree route by any means, but my show dog thinks dock diving is the best thing ever. She jumped into the Senior category her second day ever jumping. #humblebrag 😆
 

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If you’re looking for smaller and darker in color, I would probably contact Renee at Wynwood (Michigan). It’s an easy drive (we drove from Philly, to visit family in Pittsburgh, to Renee when we picked up our Wynwood girl).
 

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Rippling Run (Peg Willbond) in Lorain, OH and Pine Run (Gerry Clinchy) in Coopersburg, PA should be in your driving distance.
Those two breeders are both no longer breeding.

Looking at the Wildwing website, I will say I have a Mack son (they have a litter planned with Mack) and my puppy has an amazing temperament, loves to work, and is really sweet.
 
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