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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there! I'm new to this forum, but I feel so lucky I found it! Seems like everyone here is helpful and knowledgeable.

My family lost our golden retriever Ginger in October and we are still missing her everyday. However, we feel like we will be ready to add a new member to our family by the summer, maybe late May/early June. I'm having a particularly hard time finding a breeder.

I recently found out about the horrible things in pet food and that has opened up a whole new world to me of holistic approaches. So, I'm trying to find a breeder that cares considerably about the health of the dog over anything else. My family is looking for a retriever who has big bones and a blocky head. We do not want a dark golden retriever, but other than that, the color is not so important. I would like the parents to have all the health clearances.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a breeder that is in Arizona? We might even be able to fly to get the puppy if the breeder raw fed the dogs.

Oh yes, and I'm just curious, has anyone heard of GoldAcre Goldens? It's a breeder here in Arizona where we got our Ginger from. She doesn't seem to be active anymore.

Sorry this was a long post, but I appreciate any responses. Thanks! :)
 

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Honestly, I would be much more concerned about making sure that the breeder does all 4 major health clearances on their dogs rather than what they feed. There are many excellent dog foods out there. Feeding raw is also great if you have the time and knowledge, but there is absolutely nothing wrong with feeding a good quality kibble. If the breeder is reputable and has hip, elbow, eye, and cardiac clearances on their dogs, then I wouldn't hesitate for a second to get a pup from them.
 

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Try

www.goldenbreedersresource.org

and do a search for kennels in Arizona.

Please read the Puppy Buyer's Fact Checker at the top of the page, as it has excellent advice on the clearances to look for (OFA and/or PennHip for hips, OFA for elbows, eye certification by a veterinary opthamologist (done annually) and a heart clearance by a specialist (not a practitioner)).

And Jo is correct-while I might question a breeder who feeds Beneful or Ken-L-Ration, there are a lot of good kibbles out there. As long as the breeder has the above clearances on the sire and dam of the litter, and for at least 4 generations back, and the dogs are healthy and well-cared, I would go for it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the responses, I really appreciate your effort!

Just to clarify, the most important thing about the breeder for me is going to be that they have all the health clearances. The raw food diet is definitely farther down that list; it's more of a "plus", but not mandatory. I do understand that there are some great commercial diets (Orijen, Wellness, ect.), and I would really respect a breeder who did at least a little research on appropriate canine nutrition.

My main concern in looking for a new puppy is a breeder who puts a lot of effort into the health of the puppies by receiving all the clearances for the parents. But beautiful dogs don't hurt either, haha!

Anyways, does anyone know of any reputable breeders in Arizona or the Southwest? And has anyone ever heard of GoldAcre Goldens? Thanks again so much!
 

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Best thing to do is to check out some of the raw food suppliers, they sometimes have breeders listings (barfworld does for sure). Or just look up where to buy raw in your area, call them up and ask if they know of any breeders. You can also look at the raw food supply groups/co-ops in your area, I know here a lot of breeders are on that vs. the premade food for cost. Also check out holistic minded vets in your area, same thing - they'd likely know of breeders who use them.

When you do find a breeder check out what their contract states about food and vaccines, and be sure you're comfortable with it. Also make sure you are aware of the costs of feeding raw - my little girl was eating 3-4 pounds a day, if I had to do premade I'd be broke or she'd be homeless, lucky for her I can handle feeding more animal parts. And vaccines, decide what you are comfortable with and how important it is to you so you can be upfront with the breeder too (I had one breeder who fed raw and was all for that, but insisted on five sets of puppy shots on all her pups, she did two before they left and then wanted the new owners to follow with three more - didn't get a pup there!).

If you were in Alberta I'd be able to send you to several raw/minimal or no vax breeders, I'm sure there are some in your area too!

Lana
 
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