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We recently lost our 17 yr old girl Daisy. You couldn't find a better child, and companion. All I have done is cry since she left us so I have been looking for another one to love. We found a breeder in Cookeville, TN and all indications on their website etc seemed legit but when we got there it was awful. Even their responses seemed right but when we got there it wasn't at all the case. Dogs didn't seem abused but they had poor manors, way to many of them, my personal opinion but felt the place were they were kept was not acceptable. We were so disappointed we weren't getting a puppy. Since then I have searched and searched, it seems you have to reserve a puppy and wait months to get one. I have scanned shelters ( most are labs not goldens), and visited numerous sites but am afraid because I don't want to support a puppy mill or puppy farm (they know what there is supposed to say).
Is there anywhere reputable to find a puppy that is approx 8 weeks old so I can possibly take it home? I am so frustrated because I want to see the puppy's face, eyes, independence, attitude, personality etc before I buy one. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find a new fur baby? I would purchase one in a litter but they are weeks old and you can't see any of their traits. Please Help!!
 

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I am so sorry for your loss. 17 is a wonderful long life, although no amount of time is ever enough with our heart dogs.

I am sorry to have to say this but the answer is no. No reputable breeders I know, including myself have puppies ready to go home that are available. Waiting is the norm and unfortunately with COVID, this is making waits and finding a breeders that has any availability in the planned future nearly impossible right now.
 

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So how do you purchase a puppy from a litter not knowing what it might look like or it's temperament? I love the big eyes, and not all of them have that. Do we just hope the puppy litter might have the right traits? My husband is disabled with hearing loss and am looking for one with a temperament specific although most of the goldens I've met and know are very good as far as a working dog. Would a reputable breeder be able to help with this? Would they possibly allow me the pick of a different litter if they don't have a puppy that is OK?
 

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No. Reputable breeders don't have puppies just hanging around hoping to be sold. If someone does, you should be very, very wary. Good breeders pretty much all have a waitlist for their pups, and you have to wait on the list for your turn. You also shouldn't be picking based upon a physical feature like eye shape/size. Most reputable breeders do not let people choose a puppy, they are assigned a puppy based upon what you tell the breeder you want/need. The breeder knows their puppies and will know which one is the best fit for the situation you describe.
 

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Hi there! 👋

I am sorry to hear about your girl. I wish they could live forever.

I understand your frustration and how you feel. I wish I could have a puppy now, but I understand that this wait is needed and will be 100% worth it in the end. When I started searching for a puppy, I thought it was an instant thing, I could just look for a puppy and take it home. However, after doing research and finding this forum, I understood that it wasn't like that and especially not because of COVID-19. I know this is not ideal, but understand that this wait is needed in order to get a healthy, happy dog. I am on a waitlist for a year, but I have been keeping busy by using this forum and doing research. Trust me the time flies and it will be 100% worth it in the end! Best of luck! :D
 

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So how do you purchase a puppy from a litter not knowing what it might look like or it's temperament? I love the big eyes, and not all of them have that. Do we just hope the puppy litter might have the right traits? My husband is disabled with hearing loss and am looking for one with a temperament specific although most of the goldens I've met and know are very good as far as a working dog. Would a reputable breeder be able to help with this? Would they possibly allow me the pick of a different litter if they don't have a puppy that is OK?
You can get a good idea of how your puppy may look like by looking at your puppy's parents. Reputable breeders usually breed for good temperament from what I know of so as long as you have a good, reputable breeder that shouldn't be a problem. You usually are able to meet the litter when they are born and see how the puppies behave. Most breeders choose for you after hearing what your preferences and needs are, while others let you choose and go by order of waitlist.
 

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So how do you purchase a puppy from a litter not knowing what it might look like or it's temperament? I love the big eyes, and not all of them have that. Do we just hope the puppy litter might have the right traits? My husband is disabled with hearing loss and am looking for one with a temperament specific although most of the goldens I've met and know are very good as far as a working dog. Would a reputable breeder be able to help with this? Would they possibly allow me the pick of a different litter if they don't have a puppy that is OK?
If you're looking for a working dog, I have noticed that the wait time is much less than for a purely pet/companion. I'm not sure if that's the right interpretation of what you said, though.
The questions you're asking are the exact reasons you go to a breeder, in my opinion. Over the course of my life, I've owned or lived with 4 rescues and a breeder pup. With the rescues, we had no idea what we were getting. But with the right amount of effort and training, any dog can be a great family companion, and that's what they were. For my breeder pup, I was specifically looking for a dog with a very calm temperament to work as both a therapy dog and to have fun with in entry-level dog sports. So that's what I got.
A reputable breeder is often someone who's incredibly knowledgable and passionate about the breed and their dogs. If you're looking for something specific, they will absolutely be able to provide you with the right pup. Think about it this way- you get to see the pups maybe a few times. They spend months getting to know each and every puppy.
From what I hear, this applies even to people who ask early and get to pick. The breeder will usually influence or point you to the right one for you. You have to do a little bit of research (for example breeders don't tend to breed both conformation and field champions), but you just need to get in the right ballpark. Then I think the best bet is to tell the breeder what you're looking for and let them match you.
I have known people who had to wait through multiple litters for the right pup. But they were looking for national level sports or show prospects. I don't think this would be the case here for you, but yes, a breeder would let you defer to a later litter if there wasn't a match.
There are many breeders on this forum who can give you their perspective. Mine is from someone who vetted/spoke to around 30 breeders each for both my current dog and an upcoming one who I'm planning to self-train in service tasks for me and compete with in agility.
 

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So how do you purchase a puppy from a litter not knowing what it might look like or it's temperament? I love the big eyes, and not all of them have that. Do we just hope the puppy litter might have the right traits? My husband is disabled with hearing loss and am looking for one with a temperament specific although most of the goldens I've met and know are very good as far as a working dog. Would a reputable breeder be able to help with this? Would they possibly allow me the pick of a different litter if they don't have a puppy that is OK?
All of your questions are addressed by "do your research, and purchase from a breeder who adheres to the GRCA Code of Ethics". A breeder who follows the GRCA recommended guidance is going to breed goldens that are highly likely (although nothing is ever "guaranteed") to conform to breed standards for appearance and temperament.

Unfortunately...

As has already been pointed out, this means you're very unlikely to find a breeder (most likely a hobby or preservation breeder) that is going to have litters this year that aren't already spoken for (one preservation breeder shared that they had 500 applications to purchase a puppy, only six (6) puppies in the litter, and only three (3) actually available for the 500).

You may, of course, choose to go with a breeder who is not following the GRCA's guidelines for health certifications and breed/temperament conformance. But, if you choose to go this route, then just do so knowing that the chances of significant health issues is greatly increased, as well as potential temperament issues. And, for what it is worth, goldens are not known for being long-lived (12yrs to 14yrs, with some goldens not making it that long).

I realize that this is somewhat of a "downer" in terms of information, but I believe it is "realistic" in terms of expectations and the current situation with availability of well-bred golden puppies.

Best wishes for your search...
 

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Wow, thank all of you. Now to find the right breeder which has been a challenge. I went to AKC site but the one we went to was listed there and I would never buy any animal from them. Do you go look at the parents of a potential breeder before you give them money to get in line? I guess I'm a little afraid of doing the wrong thing and maybe a little too cautious. I have literally visited hundreds of sites, & read every forum/guidelines I can find. This is the first time I've ever reached out. I do understand their life expectancy and our Daisy was an exception. Most of our animals have been rescues and have either been dumped on our property or given to us, so this is a new experience. I just want to get it right.
 

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The AKC site is, as you've already discovered, not too helpful. All that the AKC site indicates is that the breeder's dogs should be AKC registered, which you can determine just by asking for the AKC #. Finding a breeder is a bit more of an effort, in part because of how I perceive hobby and preservation breeders approach their hobby.

The "best way" is to participate in your locales events for golden retrievers. Speaking from personal experience, if you aren't already connect to the golden community, the COVID-era is not a great time to establish connections. None-the-less, (a) you can always reach out to your local GRCA chapter to see if they have a list of breeders, and (b) you can monitor the GRCA chapter's events as we come out of the various lockdowns.

As for being able to independently determine which breeders conform to the health clearances recommended by the GRCA, you should learn to use the OFA's (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) advanced search website to look up breeders to see if their goldens have the recommended clearances registered with OFA.

Again, good luck in your efforts.
 

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This forum community should be able to help you quite a bit too. If there's not already an existing post along the lines of "Looking for reputable breeder in [insert area], please help", you can just make one. If you either find one of those threads or make one, you'll have a bunch of names to Google search and reach out to. Then these breeders can respond letting you know how long their wait is or point you to others.
 

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Wow, thank all of you. Now to find the right breeder which has been a challenge. I went to AKC site but the one we went to was listed there and I would never buy any animal from them. Do you go look at the parents of a potential breeder before you give them money to get in line? I guess I'm a little afraid of doing the wrong thing and maybe a little too cautious. I have literally visited hundreds of sites, & read every forum/guidelines I can find. This is the first time I've ever reached out. I do understand their life expectancy and our Daisy was an exception. Most of our animals have been rescues and have either been dumped on our property or given to us, so this is a new experience. I just want to get it right.
What state are you looking in?
 

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I was aware of the OFA and tried to look up the breeder info because like I said they were seasoned vets knowing what to say but the closest GRCA chapter is in Alabama, and not finding any in Tennessee.
 

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I was aware of the OFA and tried to look up the breeder info because like I said they were seasoned vets knowing what to say but the closest GRCA chapter is in Alabama, and not finding any in Tennessee.
Did you look at cobblestone goldens? Rosehill retrievers is in TN too.
 

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What about Starfire, or Passion for Gold and I had looked at Cobblestone. These were the three I was looking at following all the rules to what to look for in breeders.
 

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Here is how you can do your own research on breeders, using OFA's advanced search webpage:
  1. Enter the name of the breeder you want to look up (in this case, "Starfire")
  2. Select "First part of name (faster)" to return a list of all dogs that have AKC registered names starting with "Starfire"
  3. Select "Golden Retriever" under "Breed", to limit the search to only goldens
  4. Select "Begin Search"
OFA will return a list of all goldens with AKC registered names starting with "Starfire". You can then review the registered dogs to see what clearances have been registered with OFA.

As an "oh by the way", this search returned a list with entries for only three (3) goldens that were born after Sept 2012, with the latest born on 19 June 2018.
881874
 

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We recently lost our 17 yr old girl Daisy. You couldn't find a better child, and companion. All I have done is cry since she left us so I have been looking for another one to love. We found a breeder in Cookeville, TN and all indications on their website etc seemed legit but when we got there it was awful. Even their responses seemed right but when we got there it wasn't at all the case. Dogs didn't seem abused but they had poor manors, way to many of them, my personal opinion but felt the place were they were kept was not acceptable. We were so disappointed we weren't getting a puppy. Since then I have searched and searched, it seems you have to reserve a puppy and wait months to get one. I have scanned shelters ( most are labs not goldens), and visited numerous sites but am afraid because I don't want to support a puppy mill or puppy farm (they know what there is supposed to say).
Is there anywhere reputable to find a puppy that is approx 8 weeks old so I can possibly take it home? I am so frustrated because I want to see the puppy's face, eyes, independence, attitude, personality etc before I buy one. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find a new fur baby? I would purchase one in a litter but they are weeks old and you can't see any of their traits. Please Help!!
We recently lost our 17 yr old girl Daisy. You couldn't find a better child, and companion. All I have done is cry since she left us so I have been looking for another one to love. We found a breeder in Cookeville, TN and all indications on their website etc seemed legit but when we got there it was awful. Even their responses seemed right but when we got there it wasn't at all the case. Dogs didn't seem abused but they had poor manors, way to many of them, my personal opinion but felt the place were they were kept was not acceptable. We were so disappointed we weren't getting a puppy. Since then I have searched and searched, it seems you have to reserve a puppy and wait months to get one. I have scanned shelters ( most are labs not goldens), and visited numerous sites but am afraid because I don't want to support a puppy mill or puppy farm (they know what there is supposed to say).
Is there anywhere reputable to find a puppy that is approx 8 weeks old so I can possibly take it home? I am so frustrated because I want to see the puppy's face, eyes, independence, attitude, personality etc before I buy one. Does anyone have any suggestions on where I can find a new fur baby? I would purchase one in a litter but they are weeks old and you can't see any of their traits. Please Help!!
 

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You can look on Gooddog.com and also breeders.net. Most reputable breeders do have waitlists but it absolutely does not hurt to email them anyway. As a breeder myself, I can say that life happens and people on our lists do have to cancel, sometimes last-minute. The best advice I can give you is to write, and sell yourself to them. Tell the breeder what kind of environment you can offer their puppy ( ex fenced in yard, dog friendly neighborhood), what your plans are (training, show therapy, etc), your experience, and how long your puppy would be alone each day. In these days of COVID we are inundated with hundreds of inquiries. If you ask if puppies are available and how much they are, you will not stand out to the breeder. They may be more concerned that if your first question is about money, that you may not be able to afford vet bills, etc. A good breeder will be protective of his/her puppies and only want the best for them.
When a cancellation happens, the breeder will go through these messages, and siphon out the promising ones. My sympathies on losing your Daisy, but I have to say the fact that she lived to 17 shows that not only were her genes excellent, but that you are a great caregiver to your pups. She was a lucky girl.
 

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We were the lucky ones. She was my Buddy, Friend, Confidant, and Child all rolled up together. In our house, our animals are the Queens or Kings. She was an extremely special girl and we will miss her. We have so much love for our fur babies and nowhere to put it right now but if I have to wait to make sure our new girl is healthy and happy that is what we will do. Thank you all... it's important to us to do the right thing overall and with y'alls help, we are moving in that direction now.
 

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This has been a very informative thread, I thank all those that have submitted responses. Similar to the OP, I too recently lost my companion (not a golden) and I am now looking to open my heart up to another furry friend. I am also frustrated with the long wait, but many of you have explain why that is. I still don't like it, but I understand.

Many of the responders here appeared to be breeders, so you may be able to provide some insight. There is a breeder here in Waco Texas (River Goldens) that state they have some 4 week old pups. I'm old and have old ways and want to see the person I am entrusting a deposit with. I understand the pups are not old enough to go home, but I asked to come out so I could see the pups and the parents and was told due to covid concerns that it all had to be by pictures and that I had to put down a deposit and then pay the reminder when the pup was available for pickup. Is this normal? Something tells me I should come see the facilities and meet the people before I give money.
 
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