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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone!

I'm so excited to join this community as a new member and first-time prospective Golden owner (though, I know much about the breed through family interactions).

A little about me:
-I'm a triathlete and avid hiker
-I walk dogs part-time because of the immense joy it brings me to be with furry friends
-I raised two pugs (one pure bred, and one rescue); we recently had to put our beloved purebred down after 19.5 beautiful years
-I'm moving to San Diego in the Fall of 2021
-I'm not interested in a Golden until late 2021 or early 2022, but I thought I would start the process sooner than later
-I take breeder ethics and dog ownership very seriously

Specifically, I'm interested in a Golden female, though I understand that breeders make recommendations, so this is simply a preference and not a requirement. However, I am looking for a dog that is adventurous and loves being outdoors--dog parks, hikes, swimming, runs, etc., rather than being just a couch potato 24/7. Of course, I do desire down time and snugs with the pup!

I'm willing to expand my search beyond San Diego and am interested in breeder recommendations in the Phoenix/Arizona area that meet these preferences above. If that doesn't work, I'm willing to drive and travel however long necessary to increase the likelihood of matching with the perfect pup.

I have read many posts on this forum, and they have been extremely helpful--so thank you! I've also scouted many breeders' websites on the SoCal list. However, I wanted to reach out to the masses to see if anyone has any recommendations about my search based on the information I provided above. I've also contacted the Golden Retriever Clubs of San Diego and Los Angeles, but it sounds like they only recommend puppies that are already born, not necessarily to breeders (I find this slightly confusing...)

I know the pandemic has significantly clogged the system for buying dogs, but I'm wondering if I'm starting too early and if it's even possible to be put on a waitlist now, or is it better to keep on refreshing the pages of a few good breeders in the next few months.

If you made it this far through this post, I appreciate your help and guidance!
 

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Southern California has a number of great breeders. The websites on the SoCal list aren’t always up to date, so I recommend emailing or FB messaging them to see what their upcoming plans may be. Most are still actively breeding.
 

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Just FYI: I started down the same path a few months ago & started contacting breeders vetted by my old breeder and forum members. My experience was that it’s definitely not to early to start if you want a dog by late 2021/2022 and you should fill-out/submit breeder’s puppy questionaries but be patient waiting for a response. Seemed like weeks went by before I finally learned I was on a wait list. It was a bit crazy making as I’m not always the most patient but had to remember good breeders were pretty busy with their dogs, not answering e-mails. My point is do start working on getting on waiting lists early but be patient about getting a response...
 

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Just FYI: I started down the same path a few months ago & started contacting breeders vetted by my old breeder and forum members. My experience was that it’s definitely not to early to start if you want a dog by late 2021/2022 and you should fill-out/submit breeder’s puppy questionaries but be patient waiting for a response. Seemed like weeks went by before I finally learned I was on a wait list. It was a bit crazy making as I’m not always the most patient but had to remember good breeders were pretty busy with their dogs, not answering e-mails. My point is do start working on getting on waiting lists early but be patient about getting a response...
I’ve had a similar experience so far.

To the OP: It’s not too early! I contacted breeders in late December of 2020 to inquire about getting on the waitlist for late summer/early fall litters for 2021 and accepted a spot on a waitlist a month later with my top choice breeder. We’re expecting a minimum of a 6 month wait for an actual puppy but are prepared to wait longer. You’re on the right track with getting started early!
 

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Hi.

I was never a triathlete, but I did run 21 marathons. And as a breeder and former runner, I wanted to give a little input about Goldens and running before you find out the hard way. Goldens are not good distance runners. I wouldn't run an adult Golden more than 3 miles at a time, 3 times per week. Even that is going to put significant stress on their joints if the running is done on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. If you want a good distance runner, I'd go with one of the sight hounds, which are better built for the high impact and distance.

As to the rest, I agree that it's not too early. In San Diego you might want to contact Gayle Cooley of Glencooley Golden Retrievers.
 

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I wouldn't run an adult Golden more than 3 miles at a time, 3 times per week.
Oh, thanks for the info! I actually hadn't known that! I had considered bringing my golden trail running once older, but now I know better. Although maybe natural surfaces are okay? (forest trails and such)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hi.

I was never a triathlete, but I did run 21 marathons. And as a breeder and former runner, I wanted to give a little input about Goldens and running before you find out the hard way. Goldens are not good distance runners. I wouldn't run an adult Golden more than 3 miles at a time, 3 times per week. Even that is going to put significant stress on their joints if the running is done on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. If you want a good distance runner, I'd go with one of the sight hounds, which are better built for the high impact and distance.

As to the rest, I agree that it's not too early. In San Diego you might want to contact Gayle Cooley of Glencooley Golden Retrievers.
Hi.

I was never a triathlete, but I did run 21 marathons. And as a breeder and former runner, I wanted to give a little input about Goldens and running before you find out the hard way. Goldens are not good distance runners. I wouldn't run an adult Golden more than 3 miles at a time, 3 times per week. Even that is going to put significant stress on their joints if the running is done on hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete. If you want a good distance runner, I'd go with one of the sight hounds, which are better built for the high impact and distance.

As to the rest, I agree that it's not too early. In San Diego you might want to contact Gayle Cooley of Glencooley Golden Retrievers.
I very much appreciate your insight and willingness to clarify regarding the “run” aspect in my original post. I should have been more careful with my words, and I listed those activities to indicate more broadly that I would prefer a dog that is happy to be as outdoors as I am; not necessarily to “run” :)

Here’s a question for you, and maybe others can chime in too: is it worth contacting breeders who say something along the lines of “please don’t contact us for puppies, we have a long waitlist.” Maybe I’m interpreting this the wrong way, but take that as “it’s too early to search for a breeder/Golden,” so please don’t bother us with an email. The last thing I want to be is a source of frustration and/or a nuisance for failing to comply with their requests. I understand it’s a crazy and busy time in particular.

So I guess I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I need to contact breeders early for, but they’re respectfully asking that I don’t. But how else would I eventually get on a waitlist or even scope what’s possible without contacting them in the first place?

Thank you all in advance!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you everyone for your input!

I have a follow up question: is it worth contacting breeders who say something along the lines of “please don’t contact us for puppies, we have a long waitlist.” Maybe I’m interpreting this the wrong way, but take that as “it’s too early to search for a breeder/Golden,” so please don’t bother us with an email. The last thing I want to be is a source of frustration and/or a nuisance for failing to comply with their requests. I understand it’s a crazy and busy time in particular.

So I guess I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I need to contact breeders early for, but they’re respectfully asking that I don’t. But how else would I eventually get on a waitlist or even scope what’s possible without contacting them in the first place?

Thank you all in advance!

(Sorry for the double post, still figuring out this forum...)
 

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Thank you everyone for your input!

I have a follow up question: is it worth contacting breeders who say something along the lines of “please don’t contact us for puppies, we have a long waitlist.” Maybe I’m interpreting this the wrong way, but take that as “it’s too early to search for a breeder/Golden,” so please don’t bother us with an email. The last thing I want to be is a source of frustration and/or a nuisance for failing to comply with their requests. I understand it’s a crazy and busy time in particular.

So I guess I feel like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place. I need to contact breeders early for, but they’re respectfully asking that I don’t. But how else would I eventually get on a waitlist or even scope what’s possible without contacting them in the first place?

Thank you all in advance!

(Sorry for the double post, still figuring out this forum...)
If there were a breeder I was really interested in, I would email and make it clear somehow in the subject line that I was reaching out for info or to chat, not a pup right now. A lot of breeders are truly swamped, and just can't reply to everyone. But they might be able to just chat about their dogs and what you are looking for in a dog. You're not actually too early for the time frame you are looking at. I would say this year, you're actually too late. Early 2022, you might get lucky.
 

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I just put Puppy Interest 2022 in the subject, back in January. It didn't work with every breeder, but I got in touch with some. Then I got lucky and was able to get one this summer.
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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I have a follow up question: is it worth contacting breeders who say something along the lines of “please don’t contact us for puppies, we have a long waitlist.”
Only speaking for myself, if a breeder says please don't contact us, I wouldn't contact the breeder. It usually won't endear you to them.

As you can see in my signature line, that's exactly what I say in every post here. Plus we have that request on our website and our Facebook page. Yet I still get multiple inquiries per day, many from people who mention in their email that they saw my request not to contact me but they are doing it anyway because they think they have a good enough reason to ignore my request. I can't speak for anyone else, but I simply dump such inquiries into the trash. I find it disrespectful, rude, and sometimes arrogant when I tell people I won't have puppies and ask that they not contact me, and they decide that the rules don't apply to them.

And what would be the point of contacting them if they don't want to be contacted? You're just imposing on them. It's like a door-to-door salesmen ignoring the "no solicitors" sign and knocking on your door anyway. It's rude. It's unlikely to result in a positive outcome for you. It's just going to leave a bad impression of you. I don't even understand the thinking. Is it, "I know you said you have a long waitlist and not to contact you, but I think I should be an exception and you should take your time to read and respond to me because I don't expect a puppy right now"? That makes no sense to me.
 

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You want to know a secret? One of the best ways to grab a breeder‘s attention is to meet them at an event like a show or trial. Now this may be tough or even more of an in the future option because of COVID but I can tell you every puppy buyer I have met at a show has made an impression.

Now whether that was good or bad depended on the person. I met a few of my families that way. I also met a person so rude I knew I would never sell to him. He kept badger my friend to sell him her 10 month old puppy dog because he was dark Golden. He was all like, he is just the color I want and you have another dog over there, we can do this deal today. He kept it up even after he was told point blank that dogs at the show are not for sale. 🤮
 

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Esquire Golden Retrievers
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You want to know a secret? One of the best ways to grab a breeder‘s attention is to meet them at an event like a show or trial. Now this may be tough or even more of an in the future option because of COVID but I can tell you every puppy buyer I have met at a show has made an impression.

Now whether that was good or bad depended on the person. I met a few of my families that way. I also met a person so rude I knew I would never sell to him. He kept badger my friend to sell him her 10 month old puppy dog because he was dark Golden. He was all like, he is just the color I want and you have another dog over there, we can do this deal today. He kept it up even after he was told point blank that dogs at the show are not for sale. 🤮
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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
You want to know a secret? One of the best ways to grab a breeder‘s attention is to meet them at an event like a show or trial. Now this may be tough or even more of an in the future option because of COVID but I can tell you every puppy buyer I have met at a show has made an impression.

Now whether that was good or bad depended on the person. I met a few of my families that way. I also met a person so rude I knew I would never sell to him. He kept badger my friend to sell him her 10 month old puppy dog because he was dark Golden. He was all like, he is just the color I want and you have another dog over there, we can do this deal today. He kept it up even after he was told point blank that dogs at the show are not for sale. 🤮
Wow. It’s crazy how people will completely disregard boundaries. I wish I had the opportunity to meet breeders in person—hopefully sooner than later.

I’ve read some of your other posts warning about a lot of misleading breeders in AZ and California. Are you able to discuss some breeders in a PM?
 

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Hey! There is a show cluster this weekend at Bates Nut Farm. But the premium from Del Sur says no public allowed b/c of COVID. There should be another cluster in JUNE but idk if the public will be allowed at that point (fingers crossed we will be).

I find shows @ infodog.com and search for conformation by zip code. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hey! There is a show cluster this weekend at Bates Nut Farm. But the premium from Del Sur says no public allowed b/c of COVID. There should be another cluster in JUNE but idk if the public will be allowed at that point (fingers crossed we will be).

I find shows @ infodog.com and search for conformation by zip code. :)
Very helpful! The only thing is that I won’t be in the area I am hoping to purchase a puppy from until September, so that may add a wrinkle, but I’ll check it out nonetheless!
 

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Very helpful! The only thing is that I won’t be in the area I am hoping to purchase a puppy from until September, so that may add a wrinkle, but I’ll check it out nonetheless!
That's OK! If you are willing to travel there are usually shows year round. Our biggest cluster will be in Indio the first weekend of January (if it's not cancelled) and that one is like 5+ days of showing. Keep checking InfoDog for shows and their premiums once you are here. You can alternatively go to shows that are local to you and see if any breeders there can recommend breeders on the West Coast for you to follow up with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
That's OK! If you are willing to travel there are usually shows year round. Our biggest cluster will be in Indio the first weekend of January (if it's not cancelled) and that one is like 5+ days of showing. Keep checking InfoDog for shows and their premiums once you are here. You can alternatively go to shows that are local to you and see if any breeders there can recommend breeders on the West Coast for you to follow up with.
Super helpful thank you!
 
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