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Newbie help - breeder recommendations (NJ or surrounding area)

599 Views 17 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  Oceanside
We recently lost our beloved golden and our hearts are broken. We are hoping to fill the hole in our hearts with a golden puppy and I was hoping for some help as I really know nothing about picking a breeder or what medical checks should be done. We have been blessed in the past as we previously had a lab and a German shepherd who both lived to 14 1/2 and our beloved golden lived to 13 1/2. None had any health issues and I’m so thankful for that but when picking our next family member I’d like to have more knowledge as to what to look for. Any insight you can give is greatly appreciated as well as any breeder recommendations. Thank you.
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We recently lost our beloved golden and our hearts are broken. We are hoping to fill the hole in our hearts with a golden puppy and I was hoping for some help as I really know nothing about picking a breeder or what medical checks should be done. We have been blessed in the past as we previously had a lab and a German shepherd who both lived to 14 1/2 and our beloved golden lived to 13 1/2. None had any health issues and I’m so thankful for that but when picking our next family member I’d...
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We recently lost our beloved golden and our hearts are broken. We are hoping to fill the hole in our hearts with a golden puppy and I was hoping for some help as I really know nothing about picking a breeder or what medical checks should be done. We have been blessed in the past as we previously had a lab and a German shepherd who both lived to 14 1/2 and our beloved golden lived to 13 1/2. None had any health issues and I’m so thankful for that but when picking our next family member I’d like to have more knowledge as to what to look for. Any insight you can give is greatly appreciated as well as any breeder recommendations. Thank you.
Welcome! Sorry for your loss :( Here is a list of ethical NJ and PA breeders to start off. There are a lot of great breeders in the northeast.

As far as what to look for, you’ll want a breeder who follows the GRCA Code of Ethics, which specifies that OFA hips, elbows, heart by cardiologist, and yearly eyes by an ophthalmologist should be done on all breeding animals. Most ethical breeders compete with their dogs in one or more venues, which helps prove the abilities and temperaments of the dogs in their program.

As you find breeders that you’re interested in, post the registered names of the sire and dam so that members can check clearances and chime in.

New Jersey
  • Garden State Golden Retriever Club – Morristown NJ
  • New Jersey Pine Barrens Golden Retriever Club – Medford NJ
  • Kalm Sea (Conformation)
    • Susan Robins — Southampton, NJ
  • Penny Lane (Conformation)
    • Beryl Scaggs — Manalapan, NJ
  • Goldenway (Conformation)
    • Leslie Lesser — Marlboro, NJ
  • Shoregold (Conformation)
    • Gail Fumo — Marmora, NJ
  • Camelot Goldens (Conformation)
    • Patricia Herschman — Bridgeton, NJ
Pennsylvania
  • Greater Pittsburgh GRC – Pittsburgh PA
  • Lenape Golden Retriever Club – Quakertown, PA
  • Harborview (Conformation)
    • Jennifer Craig — Erie, PA
  • Hillock (Conformation)
    • Tammy Tomlinson — Ligonier, PA
  • Infinite Goldens
    • Sheri McCormick - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Sunbolyn (Conformation)
    • Kim and Rick Kelley — Fleetwood, PA
  • Brienne (Conformation)
    • Anne Pittman — Valencia, PA
  • Ruffwater (Conformation)
    • Marcy Kronz — Pittsburgh, PA
  • Highlight (Conformation)
    • Patrice Loves — Middletown, PA
  • GoldenSoul (Conformation)
 

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Thank you so much. That is really helpful. Do I just reach out to these breeders and see if they have any puppies available?
I would suggest researching each program. A lot of good breeders don’t update their websites, but you can start by looking at their dogs either on their websites or on Facebook. Breeders get a lot of inquiries, so I would recommend reaching out to the ones you like the most and send a personal message. Don’t ask the price.

Here is a blog that will help:
 

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Has anyone heard of Honey Goldens in Cherry Hill, NJ? I did a search here but didn’t find anything.
Upon a quick glance, it’s clear that they aren’t doing the proper clearances. Didn’t see any hips or elbows at all, and not much of anything else either, and not one title in the pedigree of the current litter. There are also unknown/unmetered/unregistered dogs pretty close by in the pedigree, and unsurprisingly, the dogs have poor conformation.

They say they are a hobby breeder but they do not have a hobby, they just breed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you Matt. I think you are Matt right? I’m trying to learn how to use this message board. Lol. Im doing a lot of reading about the clearances. So the idea is the clearances tell you if the parents are healthy and won’t pass on any genetic issues to the puppies? What is embark? We never did any of this before so this is all new to me. I’m thankful we would so blessed with good health for our previous dogs. I am worried though about finding a new puppy because it seems like it could be very difficult to get one from these reputable breeders.
 

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Welcome to the forum! We are always happy to help a newbie (there are more breeders who are NOT ethical than those that are, and yes, it can be hard for the average buyer to tell the difference). Make good use of the search function for the forum as many topics have already been discussed here many times!

Also, yes, it can be very hard to get on "the list" for an ethical breeder. This is because demand far outweighs supply (at least of ethically bred Goldens) and many breeders already have approved homes for their puppies before the breeding ever takes place. Many also don't breed very often (for most ethical "hobby" breeders, breeding is not the hobby - Golden Retrievers are! These breeders are active in their local breed clubs, they show their dogs in conformation and compete with them in dog sports, etc. Improving the breed, breeding their own next champion or companion or sport dog are the main priority and the puppies that are made available to the public are just because the breeder can't keep every puppy and not every puppy will have the characteristics the breeder wants to keep for themselves. So... be prepared to wait to get a puppy from one of these great breeders! During the pandemic and into last year, the wait was 6 months to two years for most ethical breeders. Things seem to have let up a little now and you might luck into a planned breeding that still has some puppies unclaimed, but I'd be mentally prepared for this being a 6 month to a year's process. I promise it will be worth the wait!

Here are some more resources for you:




How To Recognize Ethical Breeders – Reputable Breeders, Part 1 (This is the same website that Matt linked you to, but this is to an article discussing how to recognize ethical breeders. There are MANY good articles at this site so take a look around!).

 

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Welcome to the Forum, So sorry to hear about Max, you sure gave him a great life for 14 years. I am local in Jersey too so best thing is to read all the info that was provided already. If you do hear of any breeders you would like to run by us just report back here and we can let you know. Sad to say there are far more bad breeders than good and most are just here to make puppies for money and do not ethical breeding to better the breed. One thing that I have found being here for a short time is that people here really love the breed and want to see new golden owners get a well bred puppy to add to their families. One thing to remember when talking to breeders is there is a very big difference between a pure bred Golden and a well bred golden, We are here to help you find a well bred Puppy..
 

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Thank you Matt. I think you are Matt right? I’m trying to learn how to use this message board. Lol. Im doing a lot of reading about the clearances. So the idea is the clearances tell you if the parents are healthy and won’t pass on any genetic issues to the puppies? What is embark? We never did any of this before so this is all new to me. I’m thankful we would so blessed with good health for our previous dogs. I am worried though about finding a new puppy because it seems like it could be very difficult to get one from these reputable breeders.
It’s not a guarantee, but idea is that dogs with passed clearances (hips, elbows, heart, eyes) will have a reduced risk of passing on potential issues to the offspring. Embark is one of the genetic testing companies, just like Paw Print and Optigen. There are also vet school labs like UC Davis who do the same testing. Genetics covers mutations like icthyosis (skin), NCL (a terminal brain disease), and a few eye conditions. Genetic testing does not replace the core 4 clearances (hips, elbows, heart, eyes), but should be done in addition.

While ethical breeders had a huge volume of inquires following Covid, things are mostly getting back to normal. You might not get a puppy tomorrow, but if you take the time to find a handful of ethical breeders and reach out, you’ll have no problem getting a well-bred puppy this year. The resources Lisa posted above are great.
 

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Welcome to the Forum, So sorry to hear about Max, you sure gave him a great life for 14 years. I am local in Jersey too so best thing is to read all the info that was provided already. If you do hear of any breeders you would like to run by us just report back here and we can let you know. Sad to say there are far more bad breeders than good and most are just here to make puppies for money and do not ethical breeding to better the breed. One thing that I have found being here for a short time is that people here really love the breed and want to see new golden owners get a well bred puppy to add to their families. One thing to remember when talking to breeders is there is a very big difference between a pure bred Golden and a well bred golden, We are here to help you find a well bred Puppy..
Thank you so much Jersey Chris. My husband and I are both Chris too. Did you get your pup from an NJ breeder? Is there one that you recommend? I’m reading all the info and contacted all those suggested.
 

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Thank you so much Jersey Chris. My husband and I are both Chris too. Did you get your pup from an NJ breeder? Is there one that you recommend? I’m reading all the info and contacted all those suggested.
I have 2 boys currently, 3 yrs and 5 months from Highlight Goldens out in PA.. But she does not breed that much at all, took me 3 years to get my second dog. She is currently breeding my older boys sister but not sure how far her wait lists are. Have you started to fill out any puppy question forms yet? That is usually the first thing the breeders will want to know. I know there are a good amount of litters currently on the ground and planned so you might get lucky and get a pup soon.
 

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Upon a quick glance, it’s clear that they aren’t doing the proper clearances. Didn’t see any hips or elbows at all, and not much of anything else either, and not one title in the pedigree of the current litter. There are also unknown/unmetered/unregistered dogs pretty close by in the pedigree, and unsurprisingly, the dogs have poor conformation.

They say they are a hobby breeder but they do not have a hobby, they just breed.
So far it seems that the breeders who have puppies available aren’t necessarily the best options. I’m contacting every breeder that you recommended.
 

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I have 2 boys currently, 3 yrs and 5 months from Highlight Goldens out in PA.. But she does not breed that much at all, took me 3 years to get my second dog. She is currently breeding my older boys sister but not sure how far her wait lists are. Have you started to fill out any puppy question forms yet? That is usually the first thing the breeders will want to know. I know there are a good amount of litters currently on the ground and planned so you might get lucky and get a pup soon.
Oh how sweet to have two goldens. Highlight was on my list to contact. I’m working through the list and yes I’m working on all the puppy applications. Also working on a personal note about us. We are still very much in the grieving process so I’m only doing a little each day. If you get any info on puppies available please let me know. Thank you so much. :)
 

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So far it seems that the breeders who have puppies available aren’t necessarily the best options. I’m contacting every breeder that you recommended.
If I’m interpreting correctly, then yes you are correct. There are lots of unethical breeders who always have puppies available. The ethical ones breed less frequently, and I wouldn’t expect most of them to have available puppies right away. But they may have availability on their next litter or you can get on their list.
 
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