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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

My wife and I are looking to get a golden retriever puppy. We both have had dogs our whole lives and I have had a golden retriever growing up. We have started the search for a reputable breeder a few weeks ago. I have done a lot of research so know what I should be looking for in a breeder (health clearances, health clearances of parents/grandparents, genetic guarantees, responsible breeding, etc), but we are having a few issues finding a breeder that fits our time frame.

We have contact the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis clubs and haven't met much success.

Ideally, we would be looking to take the puppy home in January or maybe February (I am a medical student and have board exams early summer so would prefer to finish the "potty training phase" before then if possible).

We live in the Cincinnati area, but are willing to travel basically 4-5 hours in any direction, so that includes Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois (or even Wisconsin as that is where we both are from and both are families currently live).

The breeders we have contacted either have not responded to us or are not planning on having litters until late spring or early summer, so any ideas or help for possible breeders to contact would be greatly appreciated.
 

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Kristy
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Not to discourage you but just to make sure you understand how much work is involved with a Golden puppy, have you spent anytime reading posts on the puppy board or the behavior issues board? We get so many people here who simply had no idea how much work a Golden is for the first 2 - 3 years of life. The dogs get a puppy class and the family is busy and after a while life really gets in the way. If you are working crazy hours and your wife also works - is she on board with being the primary trainer and exerciser of the dog? If the puppy sleeps 7 hours in a crate over night and then is awake an hour in the morning (you don't feed them and put them outside, they are a major project in the morning, you will have to adjust your schedule and get up earlier) and then spends 8 hours home crated during the day, even with a dog walker during the day that puppy is going to be full on GO from the minute someone walks in the door until bedtime. It's like having a toddler, you can't let them out of your sight and they won't let you lay on the couch and read or watch t.v. and the minute your back is turned start reading something on your laptop that puppy will be into something. The puppy is going to need a couple training sessions each day of about 5 or 10 minutes each and hiking off leash, hard aerobic exercise or puppy playdates to wrestle a good 30 minutes or so each evening just to make them bearable to live with. Leash walking is not hard enough work for them after the first few months.

Here is a thread for you to read on the reality of a Golden Puppy:

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-puppy-up-1-year/434778-walks-nightmare-now.html

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/golden-retriever-training/431993-kennel-training.html



Growing up with dogs, even Goldens doesn't really give you an idea of what to expect with the first couple years of a Golden puppy, chances are your parents did all the work and you didn't really care if the dog chewed the kitchen chairs or dug holes in the backyard when you were a kid. THey are more work than the average puppy and they will not go lay down under the kitchen table and be good after you play tug or fetch for 10 minutes or walk them around the block.

That said, you're going to have to understand that your time frame is going to require a lot of work and probably traveling because well bred GOldens are in demand. Do you all know what you're wanting from your dog? A hiking or running partner? A dog to train for hunt tests or to duck hunt with you? Are you all interested in getting into agility or obedience? Knowing what you're wanting will help you with locating a breeder who tries hard to produce Goldens who are well suited to your lifestyle. Some breeders try harder than others and I will tell you it DOES matter. Anyway, here is some recommended reading for you:

http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...eder-puppy/387897-so-youre-looking-puppy.html


Here is a recent thread where I tried to help someone who is searching in your region: http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com...-looking-breeder-northern-il-southern-wi.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes I understand the work involved. I have done a lot of research on the matter (we are both planners). I study from home 6 days a week and my wife only works 8 minutes away from home. We are prepared for all the work involved.

We are looking for mostly a companion dog / family dog, but my wife and I are both runners / walkers so we are planning on being pretty active with our dog as well. We have a dog park literally 100 yards from our house as well. We already have a vet picked out and an obedience trainer also picked out.
 

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Your timeline is problematic. From a production stand point it takes a little more than 4 months to "make" a puppy who is ready to go home.

Your time frame of 2-3 months means you are not needing someone with a plan but a breeder who has already bred and perferably has confirmed a pregnancy.

For good breeders who are going to offer good value in the form of health tested parents who are accomplished in some venue proving they have the Golden traits that should be passed on to your puppy, normally have full lists before even breeding.

You could luck out and find a breeder who is not full up or has a family have life plan change.

You may need to be flexible with either your timetable or your willingness to travel to get a puppy from a good breeder.

If time is the most important, please consider a rescue over supporting breeders with poor breeding practices.

I will attach an infographic about health tests that I hope will help.

Good luck on your search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Your timeline is problematic. From a production stand point it takes a little more than 4 months to "make" a puppy who is ready to go home.

Your time frame of 2-3 months means you are not needing someone with a plan but a breeder who has already bred and perferably has confirmed a pregnancy.

For good breeders who are going to offer good value in the form of health tested parents who are accomplished in some venue proving they have the Golden traits that should be passed on to your puppy, normally have full lists before even breeding.

You could luck out and find a breeder who is not full up or has a family have life plan change.

You may need to be flexible with either your timetable or your willingness to travel to get a puppy from a good breeder.

If time is the most important, please consider a rescue over supporting breeders with poor breeding practices.

I will attach an infographic about health tests that I hope will help.

Good luck on your search.
Thanks for the table. I understand that my timing may be problematic. January/February and within 4-5 hours drive are just best case scenarios of what I was ideally looking for. We would be willing to go further than that if need be for a healthy puppy from a reputable breeder (still 1 days drive there and back though, so maybe like 6-7 hours each way). That should cover a large area over the middle of the USA.
 

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If it helps, my boyfriend and I are in a similar life stage - he is in medical school and studies/streams from home 6 or 7 days per week and I work full-time from home. We thought it was a perfect time to bring home a puppy (and it's really not bad) but I want to warn you that being home does NOT automatically mean that the puppy won't take away SIGNIFICANTLY from your day. The first 2 weeks, I was working 11-12 hours per day in order to bill 8 hours to my job because of all of the potty breaks, play time, walks, feeding, etc. It is HARD work no matter where you are, away at an office for 8-10 hours or sitting at home. In hindsight, I wish I took paid vacation those weeks, it was that draining and difficult, and it is still hard at 17 weeks old even with our routine.

The person who isn't doing that work is my boyfriend, because medical school will always take precedent over the puppy. Think about it - if you have an exam next week and you are intensely outline/drilling flashcards/reviewing lectures, and the puppy starts to chew on the dining room table, do you stop what you are doing to get up and properly remove the puppy and replace with a toy and monitor the puppy constantly after that, or do you maintain your concentration? What if you're in the middle of a lecture and the puppy pees in it's xpen and is crying for help and your wife isn't around? His boards are also coming up and I expect that he will study hard and do extremely well on them - I don't want him to be distracted by the puppy because his and my future depend on that test score (which you know well)!

If I were you, I would find a great breeder and push the timeline back past your boards and expect your wife to do 95% of the work since you will be gone most of the time. Even better, adopt an adult dog who needs a home and can fall right into a routine with your family. My family friends just were paired with the most gorgeous 2 year old chocolate lab boy who was being raised as a service dog and flunked the program because of a small issue with floors. He was so well socialized and obviously trained immensely well - not what you would expect in an adoption. I'm jealous of them skipping the puppy phase :). I would urge you to look into rescues in your area - I bet there's a dog that fits all of your criteria sitting in a cage waiting for love at this very moment!
 

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Have you tried Anthem (Newberry, OH) or Harborview (Erie, PA)? I am getting a puppy from an Anthem girl and the sire is Detour from Harborview. I don't know if they have any available right now though, but you could fill out an application and get on their waiting list.
 

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If it helps, my boyfriend and I are in a similar life stage - he is in medical school and studies/streams from home 6 or 7 days per week and I work full-time from home. We thought it was a perfect time to bring home a puppy (and it's really not bad) but I want to warn you that being home does NOT automatically mean that the puppy won't take away SIGNIFICANTLY from your day. The first 2 weeks, I was working 11-12 hours per day in order to bill 8 hours to my job because of all of the potty breaks, play time, walks, feeding, etc. It is HARD work no matter where you are, away at an office for 8-10 hours or sitting at home. In hindsight, I wish I took paid vacation those weeks, it was that draining and difficult, and it is still hard at 17 weeks old even with our routine.

(...) Think about it - if you have an exam next week and you are intensely outline/drilling flashcards/reviewing lectures, and the puppy starts to chew on the dining room table, do you stop what you are doing to get up and properly remove the puppy and replace with a toy and monitor the puppy constantly after that, or do you maintain your concentration? What if you're in the middle of a lecture and the puppy pees in it's xpen and is crying for help and your wife isn't around? His boards are also coming up and I expect that he will study hard and do extremely well on them - I don't want him to be distracted by the puppy because his and my future depend on that test score (which you know well)!
I'm a bit surprised by this. It's true that pups need human input, but it's not THAT hard. Our latest pup joined our family in late January of this year. I work from home and have a job that requires a lot of concentration, but I had no problems at all during the puppy phase. The pup was in my office, in a crate, while I was working. I took him out into the garden about once an hour, for five or ten minutes. I played with him in the house at lunchtime if the weather was bad (he was a winter puppy), or took him for a short walk off leash in a nearby forest, and he was free to roam the kitchen while I ate. He didn't take more than an hour out of my working day. He never chewed on the furniture because he was crated with a chew toy whenever I needed to concentrate on my work. At first he would whine a bit, but when he did that I carried the crate into another room, where he was alone. He preferred to be with me, so he stopped whining. It didn't take long. In the evenings we had plenty of playtime and training time. We went to puppy class, then obedience class, one evening a week, and on days when I had less work we went out and about for an hour or so in the afternoon, to socialize him (neighbours' houses, the local garage, the hairdresser, a daycare centre, a shopping mall, superstore car parks, etc.). Weekends were all about socialization for the first few months, or the pup simply joined in our activities (visiting friends, going to agility trials, having people over for dinner, etc.). It didn't affect my work much. The pup learned to adjust. I tried him without a crate in the office at around six months of age, but he chewed wires and dragged stuff off shelves, so he was re-crated for another month or two. At around eight months, I tried again and he was fine - he just settled on his cushion under the desk.

We've raised three pups in the last ten years, and it's never been a huge problem or needed a major life reorganization. The first week or so, they needed to go out during the night so I got a bit less sleep, but in all three cases they were clean and quiet in their crates overnight by the time they were ten weeks old. Consistency is the key. A crate too. It would have been much, much harder for us if we hadn't used a crate.

Best of luck, I hope you find a pup!
 

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Hello all,

My wife and I are looking to get a golden retriever puppy. We both have had dogs our whole lives and I have had a golden retriever growing up. We have started the search for a reputable breeder a few weeks ago. I have done a lot of research so know what I should be looking for in a breeder (health clearances, health clearances of parents/grandparents, genetic guarantees, responsible breeding, etc), but we are having a few issues finding a breeder that fits our time frame.

We have contact the Cincinnati, Columbus, and Indianapolis clubs and haven't met much success.

Ideally, we would be looking to take the puppy home in January or maybe February (I am a medical student and have board exams early summer so would prefer to finish the "potty training phase" before then if possible).

We live in the Cincinnati area, but are willing to travel basically 4-5 hours in any direction, so that includes Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, and Illinois (or even Wisconsin as that is where we both are from and both are families currently live).

The breeders we have contacted either have not responded to us or are not planning on having litters until late spring or early summer, so any ideas or help for possible breeders to contact would be greatly appreciated.
I strongly encourage you to consider a breeder that has an older puppy they held back.

I have 4 Goldens. One is a rescue. He came to us as an 8-week-old puppy. He, his litter mates, and the dam were rescued by our local GR rescue group when the owner was arrested for making and selling meth. As you might guess someone in the meth business is not all that concerned with genetic clearances and the health of the pups. It was the dam's 10th litter in six years.

My other three came to us from breeders at 5 months, 8 months, and 10 months. Each one was a pick of the litter that simply didn't mature into what the breeder wanted or expected for either conformation or breeding lines. However, they are wonderful companion pets.

Each one came to us potty trained and crate trained. They were very well socialized to people and other animals, especially dogs, because they had been heavily exposed to the breeder's family and friends and the other Goldens that the breeders owned.

I find that reputable breeders tend to treat any pups they keep very well.

Some people worry that an older puppy won't bond to you. Hogwash. These dogs had absolutely no trouble bonding to us. In fact, simply due to the way our household duties shake out in the morning, my husband takes the dogs outside to our play area in the morning after they eat. However, the three Goldens I got from breeders find me (usually I'm making breakfast for our kids) before they will go outside. They want to check in with me before going outside because they are highly imprinted on me. The Golden we've had since he was 8 weeks old is more like, "Meh. I can see him later." Due to his poor breeding and the complete lack of socialization he received in that first 4 weeks, he likes people but is not frantic about being around his humans like most Goldens are.

For any person thinking of going this way, it's imperative you still find a reputable breeder - just like you would with an 8-week-old puppy. Once I've settled on a breeder, I always ask (and some advertise them on their website under a different section than "puppies") if they have an older puppy available.

I'm totally on board with the notion that there's very little cuter than an 8-week-old GR puppy. But, there's also not much cuter than a 5-month-old GR puppy that's been well bred and arrives both crate and potty trained!

I'd recommend a breeder but mine came from CA, GA, and NC. I live in CA so for the GA and NC Goldens, I flew across country to pick them up, rented a car, and drove home. It was a great bonding time for just me and the new pup. I figured over the life of the dog what was a one-way cross country trip to ensure I got one that was older like I wanted and well bred.

Best of luck and post some pics when you do find a puppy!
 

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There are two approaches to obtaining a puppy. You can wait until a breeder has pups or you can take what's available *now* or close to now. Sometimes things work out and now and breeder are the same.

Have you talked with local veterinarians? They may have some insights.

As others have said, please make sure you have the time and ability to focus on the puppy. It doesn't take inordinate amounts of time, but you do need to have the mindset that this creature you're bringing into your life deserves to be a priority, not just an option or accessory.
 

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Kristy
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I'm a bit surprised by this. It's true that pups need human input, but it's not THAT hard. Our latest pup joined our family in late January of this year. I work from home and have a job that requires a lot of concentration, but I had no problems at all during the puppy phase. The pup was in my office, in a crate, while I was working. I took him out into the garden about once an hour, for five or ten minutes. I played with him in the house at lunchtime if the weather was bad (he was a winter puppy), or took him for a short walk off leash in a nearby forest, and he was free to roam the kitchen while I ate. He didn't take more than an hour out of my working day. He never chewed on the furniture because he was crated with a chew toy whenever I needed to concentrate on my work. At first he would whine a bit, but when he did that I carried the crate into another room, where he was alone. He preferred to be with me, so he stopped whining. It didn't take long. In the evenings we had plenty of playtime and training time. We went to puppy class, then obedience class, one evening a week, and on days when I had less work we went out and about for an hour or so in the afternoon, to socialize him (neighbours' houses, the local garage, the hairdresser, a daycare centre, a shopping mall, superstore car parks, etc.). Weekends were all about socialization for the first few months, or the pup simply joined in our activities (visiting friends, going to agility trials, having people over for dinner, etc.). It didn't affect my work much. The pup learned to adjust. I tried him without a crate in the office at around six months of age, but he chewed wires and dragged stuff off shelves, so he was re-crated for another month or two. At around eight months, I tried again and he was fine - he just settled on his cushion under the desk.

We've raised three pups in the last ten years,
and it's never been a huge problem or needed a major life reorganization. The first week or so, they needed to go out during the night so I got a bit less sleep, but in all three cases they were clean and quiet in their crates overnight by the time they were ten weeks old. Consistency is the key. A crate too. It would have been much, much harder for us if we hadn't used a crate.

Best of luck, I hope you find a pup!
CeeGee, you're an experienced dog owner who has practice meshing the puppy's needs to your schedule. If you start life like this with structure and consistent discipline on the part of the owner and the puppy, it's going to work out great 99% of the time. You're not in the phase in life where you're trying to go to happy hour with friends, play weekend sports or launch a career. You're accustomed to routine because (if I recall correctly) you have a child in your home. It's just something that is consistently played out on this forum that generally when someone says their first dog as an adult is going to be a Golden they often are remembering dogs from childhood who were good because their parents did the work, the dogs ate dinner and slept under the kitchen table. I think it's safe to say that the vast majority of pet owners really have no idea how much effort goes into making a Golden a really awesome family pet. Take a quick look at the links that I attached in my first response, those situations are very similar and I'd say 95% of the problems that we see here where people need help is because they did some research but until you live it you honestly don't realize what you're getting yourself into. And if you start out flying by the seat of your pants managing the puppy thinking they will be a fairly self sufficient dog after a few months of training and a puppy kindergarten class, it's just not easy to dig yourself out of the hole by that point.
 

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If you haven't yet found a puppy, send me a PM. I know of a breeding (detroit area)
 

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Also consider looking in the St Louis area. The St Louis club has quite a few active breeders, and Suzanne and Sue are very good about helping people connect to club members in the area:
Golden Retriever Club of Greater St. Louis

For names of reputable breeders in the St. Louis area who may have puppies or older dogs available, please contact our club's Breeder Referral co-chairmen:
SUZANNE WAKEFIELD via email [email protected]
OR
SUE LISTER via phone 636-338-4531
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info and help everyone. We may have found a good breeder that has a male available in our time frame. However, it would be the last pick of the litter (3 female and 7 males). Has anyone had any experience in terms of having the last pick?
 

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Yes, they are the best!

If you found a good breeder (you know all health testing and you personally verified it) and they think that the last pick (god do I hate that term, I'd probably be last pick out of my siblings but I am awesome!) puppy would be a good fit for your family jump at it.

Every time I have witnessed a picking order and I have seen a lot (breeder's kid here) the last family is always the happiest.

I feel bad for the first to pick families, it feels terrible to tell sweet, beautiful puppies you don't want them. They also get a lot of anxiety that they are making the wrong choice.

Last families walk in and baring any extraordinary issues like convincing themselves only the _____ (insert a trait like color or size) puppy will do, are thrilled and excited to come get their puppy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 · (Edited)
Yes, they are the best!

If you found a good breeder (you know all health testing and you personally verified it) and they think that the last pick (god do I hate that term, I'd probably be last pick out of my siblings but I am awesome!) puppy would be a good fit for your family jump at it.

Every time I have witnessed a picking order and I have seen a lot (breeder's kid here) the last family is always the happiest.

I feel bad for the first to pick families, it feels terrible to tell sweet, beautiful puppies you don't want them. They also get a lot of anxiety that they are making the wrong choice.

Last families walk in and baring any extraordinary issues like convincing themselves only the _____ (insert a trait like color or size) puppy will do, are thrilled and excited to come get their puppy.
Yes they appear to be a good breeder. They only do one breeding at a time, the puppies/dogs live inside their house and not a kennel, both sire/dam have good health clearances as well as grandparents and great-grandparents for both, and the father has a LOT of offspring, all of which appear to have good health clearances as well.

My wife and I honestly don't care about looks in terms of picks (we don't care about color, etc). We are more worried about personalities of the puppies and how they fit with our personalities. We are worried about not being able to see which personality fits best with us.'

The only thing is we would not actually know which puppy would be ours until the last person before us picks out their puppy. And at that point we would have already done a deposit and waited 1.5 months
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you everyone for your help. My wife and I decided on the previously mentioned litter. We will be picking up our new family member at the end of December :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Have you tried Anthem (Newberry, OH) or Harborview (Erie, PA)? I am getting a puppy from an Anthem girl and the sire is Detour from Harborview. I don't know if they have any available right now though, but you could fill out an application and get on their waiting list.


Thank you for the advice. My wife and I are getting the last male from this same litter! :grin2:
 

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Archer was last pick and he's awesome ? In a nicely bred litter, I don't think there are any "bad" puppies. I don't even know what pick I was for Teal because I lived far away so our breeder did the deciding anyway. I was probably low on the wait list and she's all I could have hoped for.

Congrats on the puppy! What a great way to start the new year ?
 
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