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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After considering several different breeds, I am now looking for a Golden Retriever for my first puppy. First some info about us and then questions for you to consider.

I want the puppy for a healthy companion and pet and do not intend to show, compete, breed, etc. We have a Himalayan cat and my husband (who has had several dogs in his lifetime) will eventually find his dream puppy--a Weimaraner. So--- our Golden will have other animal companions in his/her home. Our puppy will also be around our friends, their children and other pets, when the puppy is ready for this. We understand commitment and keep/care for our pets for their lifetime.

Now to the questions--
My husband and I live in Virginia, and we would appreciate info on finding a good breeder in this area. (We have searched internet sites, ads, etc.)

Is $300 to $500 a reasonable price? We aren't looking for a super champion, or an ideal color, just a well-bred, healthy, happy pet.

Any tips on helping the puppy and our Himalayan (Zoe) get acquainted? We want them to live together as comfortably as possible. We don't Zoe to frighten the puppy, OR the puppy to eat Zoe!

Thanks. I have a zillion more questions, but this is getting really long.

P.S. Please post replies here rather than through email. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
To Vierka

Zoe is 2.5 years old and friendly to human visitors; she is not skittish. She has not been around other animals since we adopted her from the breeder when she was 7 weeks old. There were both cats and dogs at the breeders.

We hope to get the Weimaraner puppy in the next year or so--not right away.

P.S. Regarding commitment--I have wanted a dog for over 17 years. I did not get one before now, because I could not be home enough to give the dog the time and attention a dog requires. Instead, I've waited. I've had cats and birds until my work schedule and life conditions would allow time to properly care for a dog. No, we currently don't have birds, just Zoe.

Yes, we both work and yes, I have the flexibility to come home to care for the puppy as needed, and yes, I plan to make sure the puppy is old enough and secure enough to leave alone.
 

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First I think the Golden will be perfect for you as long as you realize they are high energy dogs who are mouthy at first and need to be trained to be the ideal pet. But they are smart and eager to learn and properly trained they are the sweetest most reliable dog I have ever owned.

Your price range is low. Doesn't mean you aren't getting a good dog though. As long as you can see the health clearances on both parents then you are doing the best you can to get a healthy dog. Good breeders can show you clearances going back generations.

You are looking for Hips, heart, eyes and elbows, as well as longevity if available.

If you get the Golden, they easily accept other animals and it is easy to introduce them into the family. The cat may not accept him, but then he will learn to stay clear of the cat.

I know a breeder in that area who breeds Goldens for companion dogs, but his price will be more than that and he will want to interview you before commiting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks, Timberwolfe

I expect having a puppy will be a bit like having a normal, energetic, persistent toddler in the house--in need of constant supervision, lots of love and reassurance, and endless patience. I've been told the first year is pretty dreadful, but that puppies eventually settle in and then I'll have a wonderful pet and companion for many years. We do intend to find a good trainer and she and I will go puppy through obediance school. (I have decided that I want a female Golden.)

We continue to talk with breeders and the price range in this area is $400 to $2,000 (from PA, MD and VA.) We are setting up appointments to visit as many breeders as we can, to see how they raise their dogs, what kind of health clearances they have, and what kind of early environment and treatment the puppies are getting. Obviously, we are steering away from anything that looks like a backyard puppy mill.

No one can ever predict how one pet will get on with another, but I do hope bringing in the puppy at 8-12 weeks will help Zoe regard the puppy as a 'baby' rather than something threatening. Starting with a large dog will certainly put Zoe off. We'll see what happens.

We certainly would want to contact the breeder you mentioned. This is an educational process, so we feel it important to visit several breeders before choosing one. We hope to find a puppy sometime this summer.

Any thoughts or leads on finding good trainers / obediance schools? We want to visit with those folks as well, so we are prepared when puppy is ready.

One more question-- any thoughts on how old puppy should be, before she can be left at home alone for a couple of hours? I plan to stay at home with her for a few days, then arrange my schedule so I can pop in during the day to check on her, take her outside, etc. A puppy is not a small child, but I wouldn't want to just leave her leave her alone all day long.

Thanks again for your feedback.

JM
 

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Cats and dogs

When I was 15 we got a cat that had been living on the street up till then. He'd had some bad experiences with dogs prior to living with us. That Christmas we got a puppy. Not a retriever, a beagle/shepeard mix (I think one of the parents stood on a milk crate, but that's a digression.)

At the first meeting the cat took a swipe at the 7 week old puppy's nose. :crossfing He screamed. Loud. After that, it was very tense between them. They sloooowly got to know each other. My mother took great delight each morning giving them each a paper plate full of Kal Kan Dog/Cat food. They would look at each other, look at their food, look at each other again, and switch places. Every morning.

Occaisonally the cat would get up on my mother's footstool to get her attention for some reason. The dog, jelouse, would jump up on the footstool and send the cat flying across the room with his butt. :doh:

After a while they became friends. When the cat would come in from his excersions, the dog would chase him through the house with his nose up the cat's rear end (You don't let someone put their nose there unless you like them). Once, when the dog had to go to the vet for a few days, he came home in a very unhappy mood. The cat went up to him and got up on his hind legs and put his paws on the dog's neck. The dog was having none of that, and ignored him.

Once my mother saw the cat being chased through the yard by our dog and a neighbors dog. They got in the front yard and the gat stopped and looked at them. The cat and both dogs sat down and panted for a few minutes =before resuming the chase.

One time the dog became a little too enthusiastic for the cat. The cat curled his claws into a fist and bopped the dog on the head. You could hear it. I'd had heard of cats doing that, but I was impressed to see it. (It shows a level of cogtnitive understanding opn the part of the cat.)

So in answer to your questions about cats and dogs getting along, I've seen it happen. It depends on the animals personality and their level of fear. there will always be jelousy and so on. But it can be fun.

Steven:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Nice cat/dog stories

Thanks for the great stories. I can see the cats and dogs catching their breath before resuming the game. It is good to hear from folks who enjoy watching their pets in all their shenanigans.

We visited 2 breeders yesterday and saw lots of dogs of different ages, plus puppies at 3, 4, and 12 weeks. The adults were amazing--so many different colors, personalities, and physical characteristics. I was glad to find the adults so loving and eager to spend time with me and be petted by a stranger.

We have at least 4 more breeders lined up to visit, and we still hope to find a puppy sometime this summer.

Thanks for your response and stories.

jm
 

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I think golden puppies are a handful with other breeds that arn't very golden-like lol. For example my sheltie. SO I think getting the golden puppy first and then later the other dog will be good. THe times i have had our new puppy alone with just me have been great.

Cats are cats, she may hate him, she may love him. She will defntiely kick his butt if he gets in her face. Gotta love cats! Try not to change to much of her normal stuff, like dont use her feeding/peeing area for the new puppys food and stuff. Let her keep her own space. I put up baby gates to keep the puppy in my office, so Tala (our persian mix) has the whole house to feel secure in. Just now she got stupid and jumped in the office with us, and had two dogs chase her lol.

I paid $1,000 for mine. I have found the cheapest good breeder I found was about $800, I also found some HORRIBLE ones for $1,000 as well.

YOu just have to ask a lot of questions. You WANT a breeder that requires you to fix them, you WANT a breeder that wants to make sure the dog is an indoor pet. You want a breeder that says "if anything ever happens and you cant keep the dog, please bring it back to me". That's a good breeder, with good ethics and values.

The reason you want to buy a dog from a "champion" type breeder is because the dogs should come with papers that say the parents have had eye and hip exams, and had all clearances before being bred. When a breeder has a little maybe only one or two of those dogs will be "show" quality, beware any breeder who tells you her whole litter is show puppies, but she will sell at a "pet" price. That's probably a bunch of crap. NOrmally at 8 weeks they pick out the puppies they want to place in show homes or keep to show, and sell the rest as pets.

ALso a breeder who tells you she will pick your puppy is a good sign, and with golden's to me they dont vary in look that much. I picked out my sheltie toby purley on looks and he turned out perfect, but our golden puppy we let the breeder pick for us as I trusted she would be better at picking the dog to fit our life style.

Have fun and enjoy yourself, don't buy the first puppioes you see. Dont buy from a breeder that lets them go before 8 weeks old. Normally you might go see them at 5 weeks old or so, and then pick them up 3 weeks later.
 

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I specifically looked for breeders that only have one or two litters a year, no more. (and not by the same dam either). Most reputable (good) breeders only have one or two litters a year, or even less, keep that in mind. So if you visit a breeder and they have puppies of all ages running around, stay away!

I paid $1,200 for my male. The breeder sold the females for $1,400. We have become really great friends and I am getting another puppy from her. A female this time (who is due to be born this weekend probably! :crossfing ) and since we are so close now and I am a repeat customer, I will be getting the pup for $700.

I was turned off by breeders who kept their dogs in outdoor kennels. I watched for breeders that had their dogs inside, and raised their litters inside also. That's important for socialization!

Very imporant, ask for clearances. Most do hips and eyes, which are the most important. Some also do elbow and heart. I would want at least hips and eyes.

Make sure the breeder has both parents pedigrees on hand. Don't be put off by stories like "I'll have it when your pup is ready to go home". They should at LEAST have the dam's pedigree, and the sire's too if they own him.

Don't be surprised if you don't get to pick your puppy. Some breeders ask you lots of questions and then give you the puppy THEY think is best suitable for you. You'll be able to tell them if you want a male or female, but they'll do the picking.

Good luck!

BTW...I'd recommend picking up a copy of the book "Golden Retrievers for Dummies". I purchased it when I was looking for a good breeder and it's a really good read, lots of info on finding the perfect puppy, and good to have handy for puppyhood (and even adult hood)
 

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One more question-- any thoughts on how old puppy should be, before she can be left at home alone for a couple of hours? I plan to stay at home with her for a few days, then arrange my schedule so I can pop in during the day to check on her, take her outside, etc.

That is basically what we did. The first week someone stayed home with Clancy, but we had to work so I would come home at lunch, walk him, feed him, and play a bit, and then go back to work. So he was alone for 3-4 hours at a time. He had a big room to himself and we had paper down and he always at least tried to hit the paper. By the time he was 10 or 11 weeks, he occasionally was left for the whole day alone, then after 12 weeks he was mostly left alone. I know it wasn't ideal, but we had no choice and he turned out just fine.


It sounds like you are prepared for a Golden pup.
 

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Well like any puppy she/he wont be able to hold it but maybe 2 hours the first week. My golden had to go every 2 to 4 hours at night the first freakin 4 nights lol. I was sooo tired!!

So if you have a room, like a bathroom, when i worked I let toby my sheltie have free reign of the bathroom, and I put a puppy pad down and came home for lunch. I would sometimes find a pee accident, he never went on the pad :(

They says its months times hours, so a 2 month old puppy is 2 + 1 so can hold it 3 hours, a 3 months old puppy (12 weeks) can hold it 3 + 1 which is 4 hours. So once she is 12 weeks old you can leave her in the crate till your lunch break. I went home for lunch every day for like 3 months with my puppy, till he was old enough to hold it for 8 hours. It went fine. He still never liked the puppy pads lol.
 
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