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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there, I have been intermittently looking for months to find a reputable breeder in Northern California, without any luck. We finally had believed we found a good option with "A Golden to Love" and have been on their waitlist since Fall 2020, but are now being told she will be charging $2800, much more than we had anticipated (her last litter, her first ever, was $1500). After reading another thread about the parents it seems this price is too high.

However, I have tried multiple times the past several months to contact the Norcal Golden Retriever Club referral agents by email with no response. I have also intermittently emailed many of the breeders off this list from this site, and repeatedly found that they do not have any upcoming litters or their waitlists are already full.

All the puppies listed on the AKC marketplace seem to have worse pedigrees than the breeder above, yet are still charging around the same price (~$3k). We are just looking for a family-oriented dog to take hiking and on outdoor adventures, not worried about breeding or any competitions.

Can anyone please provide some guidance, whether it be on the breeder above or upcoming litters you could recommend? We are happy to pay more to ensure a good breeder and strong pedigrees, and willing to travel a good distance if needed, but finding a breeder that meets these standards is proving to be extremely difficult. Thank you in advance!
 

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Hi there, I have been intermittently looking for months to find a reputable breeder in Northern California, without any luck. We finally had believed we found a good option with "A Golden to Love" and have been on their waitlist since Fall 2020, but are now being told she will be charging $2800, much more than we had anticipated (her last litter, her first ever, was $1500). After reading another thread about the parents it seems this price is too high.

However, I have tried multiple times the past several months to contact the Norcal Golden Retriever Club referral agents by email with no response. I have also intermittently emailed many of the breeders off this list from this site, and repeatedly found that they do not have any upcoming litters or their waitlists are already full.

All the puppies listed on the AKC marketplace seem to have worse pedigrees than the breeder above, yet are still charging around the same price (~$3k). We are just looking for a family-oriented dog to take hiking and on outdoor adventures, not worried about breeding or any competitions.

Can anyone please provide some guidance, whether it be on the breeder above or upcoming litters you could recommend? We are happy to pay more to ensure a good breeder and strong pedigrees, and willing to travel a good distance if needed, but finding a breeder that meets these standards is proving to be extremely difficult. Thank you in advance!
 

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I know it won't help to know this, but you are not alone. The demand for puppies is through the roof right now and the prices and wait times you are seeing are consistent throughout the country. I suspect the breeder you mentioned has raised her prices to match "going price" in Northern California. Whether or not her puppies are "worth it" is up to you. If you are willing to wait a year or so, you could probably get a puppy from an experienced, reputable breeder whose breeding dogs don't just have their clearances but also those dogs parents, grandparents, etc. OR, you can decide you are willing to take the risk and get a puppy sooner from a breeder whose experience and depth of clearances don't really justify the price she's charging.

If you can post the registered names/numbers of the parents of the litter you are considering we can help you check the clearances and maybe give you an idea of how "health-risky" this litter might be.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I know it won't help to know this, but you are not alone. The demand for puppies is through the roof right now and the prices and wait times you are seeing are consistent throughout the country. I suspect the breeder you mentioned has raised her prices to match "going price" in Northern California. Whether or not her puppies are "worth it" is up to you. If you are willing to wait a year or so, you could probably get a puppy from an experienced, reputable breeder whose breeding dogs don't just have their clearances but also those dogs parents, grandparents, etc. OR, you can decide you are willing to take the risk and get a puppy sooner from a breeder whose experience and depth of clearances don't really justify the price she's charging.

If you can post the registered names/numbers of the parents of the litter you are considering we can help you check the clearances and maybe give you an idea of how "health-risky" this litter might be.
Thank you for the feedback! We are more than happy to wait a while longer to find a breeder with more extensive clearances, as it is this breeder won't have a litter until the fall anyways. The parents are the same as the last litter:

Baileys (male) - Pedigree: Sir Bailey Bear Of Barkalot CGC, TKN
Crystal (female) - Pedigree: Starlite Crystal Amethyst CGC TKN RATO
 

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I am glad to see that these dogs are tested, but there is nothing behind them. It is a black wall of health testing. I was taught that you have to look at the parents, grandparents, great grandparents, siblings, and beyond to really make sure you're getting a healthy dog. A dog with good hips and 4 siblings that failed hips is not a dog I would consider. These are not puppies I would pay 3k for.
 

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Either wait until 2022, or "take what you can get." By that I mean that your realistic choices for Goldens are back yard breeders, puppy mills, rescues, and Craigslist. Or you can get a different breed or a mix. There are lots of Doodles available still, though you'll pay a very high price for mutts without clearances. There just aren't many ethically bred Golden puppies available these days, and if you want one you'll likely have to wait until demand comes down to normal and breeding goes up to normal.
 

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Thank you for the feedback! We are more than happy to wait a while longer to find a breeder with more extensive clearances, as it is this breeder won't have a litter until the fall anyways. The parents are the same as the last litter:

Baileys (male) - Pedigree: Sir Bailey Bear Of Barkalot CGC, TKN
Crystal (female) - Pedigree: Starlite Crystal Amethyst CGC TKN RATO
Looking at the pedigrees behind these dogs, this is clearly a "backyard breeder." What I mean by that is that you have to go back 8 or 9 generations before you start seeing dogs with conformation championships ("Ch" in front of their registered names), or any indication that any of the relatives came from anything but other backyard breeders. The parent dogs (and their parents, grandparents, great grandparents) have never been in (or at least have not done well in) a show ring, which means no independent judge has ever determined whether they are good representatives of their breed or that are "worthy" of producing puppies (and hopefully bettering the breed). These dogs were bred to produce more Golden Retriever puppies, with likely no clearances being done, no knowledge of the breed standard, no attempt to do anything but put a male Golden Retriever together with a female Golden Retriever in order to make "purebred" Golden puppies. In this way, they only differ from puppy mill puppies in that there is a better chance that the breeding dogs lived their lives as loved pets instead of as caged livestock. Many of them might have originally come from pet stores or puppy mills themselves. Because there are no clearances and very little information about the dogs in the K9Data database, it's impossible to tell how long they lived or what health issues they may have had.

For what it's worth, many of us have dogs with exactly this type of background. The dog I had as a kid was from a backyard breeder, and aside from hip dysplasia, she was healthy and long-lived and had the best temperament of any dog I've owned since. The second dog I had as an adult was also from a backyard breeder. He looked NOTHING like a show dog (he looked like maybe his mom had had "a little sumthin sumthin" on the side with a Borzoi!). He was a great dog and supremely healthy... until I lost him to lymphoma three weeks past his 11th birthday (the first "known" cancer death his breeder had had). But the bottom line is... although these two parent dogs themselves do not seem to have any health issues (and I give kudos to the breeder for getting the clearances done), they have never been independently verified as being good representatives of what a Golden should be, and you have absolutely no idea what might be lurking in their genetics. Every breeder has to start somewhere... but the two dogs this breeder has chosen to start with are probably not the best way to start. Definitely, for the price, you can do much better...

 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you all for the input! Sounds as though all agree that we should not pursue this breeder any further. We are happy to wait several months to a year for a puppy from a reputable and established breeder, so if anyone knows of one on the West coast who is taking names for a waitlist, please let me know!
 
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