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I am looking for a puppy and have found a few breeders I am very interested in. We only want a family companion and are not interested in breeding, showing or hunting the dog. That being said, the breeders I am interested in breed for hunting ability. Should I be looking elsewhere if all I want is a family companion?
 

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In the Moment
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Even though you want a companion dog, having the clearances done on the parents which we so often talk about on here stacks the deck in your favor in getting a healthy dog. That being said, field ( hunting ) lines may be more energetic/high energy than what you'd want for a companion dog. You may want to find a breeder that breeds more along the conformation line and tell the breeder what you want in a dog. They'd know which of their puppies are more laid back and which are more active.
 

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That's a great point - working dogs may be more high-energy than we want. Quite frankly, the reason we were interested in these dogs were for their dark red color. My husband prefers that darker coat, but after owning 1 Golden that had a multitude of health problems due to poor breeding, I would be more concerned about health and temperament.

How can I find a breeder that is mainly concerned with breeding family companions? There are so many web sites out there that I am overwhelmed! Should I start close to home and go from there?
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Betty has some great comments above. Field goldens can be great family dogs if you have the arm to fling tennis balls with a Chuck-It every single day. Some field lines can be very demanding of their passion for retrieving. But if you live an active lifestyle they can be just perfect and will aim to please.
 

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I think we are looking for more of a couch potato dog. :)
We don't lead a very active life, although from time to time we do travel or camp. Our last Golden enjoyed swimming in the lakes and rivers we visited.
 

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Now Caue's Dad Too!
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Health and clearances beats out color preference hands down. You will fall in love with whatever color you bring home but will be devastated if your best friend comes down with an affliction that can be tested for and avoided. Do lots of homework on your breeder.

That's a great point - working dogs may be more high-energy than we want. Quite frankly, the reason we were interested in these dogs were for their dark red color. My husband prefers that darker coat, but after owning 1 Golden that had a multitude of health problems due to poor breeding, I would be more concerned about health and temperament.

How can I find a breeder that is mainly concerned with breeding family companions? There are so many web sites out there that I am overwhelmed! Should I start close to home and go from there?
 

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Like most Goldens on here my guy is from a mix of show and field and he is the opposite of calm. His littermate is more laid back.

While I'm not a big fan of breeders who do nothing but conformation if you want a couch potato that might be what you would want. There are some around my neighborhood who are downright lazy. The standard calls for Goldens to be primarily hunting dogs so they should be bred to do that work well.

Have you considered a Newfie or better yet adopting an older Golden?
 

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We definitely want a puppy, although I have a lot of respect for rescue groups and shelters trying to find home for senior dogs.

Doing homework on the breeder ... how do I go about doing that? Sure I can talk to the breeder directly, visit their home, etc. but they can tell you anything you want to hear. How do I check out their claims and be sure I'm getting a healthy dog?
 

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Read through the stickies at the top of this part of the forum.

Start by contacting you local golden club and get a referral. Then research if they have proper eye, heart, elbow and hip clearances and whether you like the types of dogs they produce and the way they are raised.
 

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Would you ever consider a rescue? There are many benefits: one if you get a young dog but not a puppy it is probably housebroken. Two they can match up your energy level. Three you would be saving a dog.

My Cannella is high energy 'field type retriever'. She makes an awesome loveable pet but is high energy. She was a private rescue. Owned by someone else she would make a good hunter. Now she only hunts balls!

Good luck on your journey!
 

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Looks like you live in West Virginia - grca.com lists your 'local' club as Appalachian Golden Retriever Club of West Virginia (web site). From there you'll be able to find breeder referrals.

All good breeders will ask you a number of questions to figure-out compatibility of the breed and of their potential litters. Once a litter is on the way, the breeder should continue to work with you to determine which of the pups will best match your lifestyle.

Hope that helps.
 

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In the Moment
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I agree with starting with your nearest golden retriever club. They can recommend breeders in your area that follow the grca ethics. www.grca.org has some great articles on what to look for, questions to ask when looking for a breeder.
 

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You seem to want a golden retriever in a true sense of the word. A dog that loves his people, knows when to settle, but also have the instincts he was bred for. I think your best bet is a conformation breeder. One that breeds for correct structure, health, and temperament. A lot of times these breeders will also do some hunt/field work with their dogs to make sure they have all of the traits necessary of a good golden retriever. Contact the local WV golden club or the Pittsburgh golden club for a puppy referral.
 

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I am not going to dispute anything that has been said here, all good advice. I also agree, don't pick color over clearances and pedigree.

That being said I also love the redder goldens. IF you find a reputable breeder, either show or field, and you tell them you want a family pet some may tell you there dogs are not for you. Don't be offended, they only want the RIGHT home for their pups. However, they may still be able to provide you with a great pup. Not every litter of "performance" dogs will cut the muster. There may be a laid back pup who needs a really great home. It just might take you a little longer. AND there are several show breeders out there who breed with some redder color.

My Teddi comes from field lines. She has the prettiest coat color of any golden I have ever seen. Just multi dimensional, not too red just perfect. However she is back yard bred and I have paid my dues with her as a result. But her temperament is PERFECT for a family pet. She loves to lay on the couch and watch TV, but she also loves running around on hikes, in fields, swimming and going for walks. She is happy as long as she is with us. Just one of the sweetest dogs you will ever meet. She does not have a ton of drive she has ample energy but not excessive. She does however have excessive social drive. :doh: Her one downfall. She will DRAG you to see people and other dogs. She has EGD (excessive greeting disorder) LOL

Good luck. Please do not under estimate the importance of good clearances and a good breeder contract. They both will protect you the puppy buyer.
 
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