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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I have zero knowledge of breeders or puppy buying. When I searched my area for puppies for sale I was more expecting posts on fb groups or pet adoptions with fees around 150-$300 but I got mostly breeders for around $2000. I'm not looking for a show dog or purebred, just that it's a dark golden pup. I don't care about certification, just that the dogs are well cared for, healthy, and well tempered.
So my first question is : is it even possible to buy a golden puppy for less than 2k? If so where do I look?
Second, money isn't an issue but I've never been the type to pay several hundred (500+) on any animal, I'm usually a sucker for the ones in cages without a home... But if I were to go to a breeder and pay the high price, does anyone have recommendations or experiences with breeders in Iowa, or Illinois near Iowa, or Wisconsin near Iowa??
Thanks!!
 

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Welcome!

Here is a list of MW Breeders-


Breeders in Iowa and surrounding states are included, good luck.
 

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Welcome to the forum. We acquired our golden in April of 2020, and I had/have many of the same general attitudes about our "pet", so I figured I'd chime in from a "pet owner perspective".

Hello,
When I searched my area for puppies for sale I was more expecting posts on fb groups or pet adoptions with fees around 150-$300 but I got mostly breeders for around $2000. I'm not looking for a show dog or purebred, just that it's a dark golden pup.
I understand the "not looking for a show dog", but not the combination of "not...purebred, just that it's a dark golden pup." There's a lot of routes you can go if you aren't specifically looking for a dark golden, but your options narrow somewhat when you make the "I want a dark golden..." decision.

Somehow, we seem to associate "show dog" with "well-bred prices". True, "well-bred" is more likely to be conformant to the breed standards (show or field), but "well-bred" is also extremely important to us "just a pet" owners. "Well-bred" means the breeder has paid special attention to minimizing the chances of hereditary health issues, as well as alignment to the temperament qualities that makes goldens so popular.

And?

"Well-bred" is going to come with a price. Unfortunately, chances are that if you see "a deal", you'll be rolling the die with your puppy's health/temperament. I'm not foolish enough to tell you it won't work out. But, I will say that any money you save will be minimal compared to the additional risks you'll be taking on.

I don't care about certification, just that the dogs are well cared for, healthy, and well tempered.
I thought that, too. But, here's the rub. Breeders that care for their dogs, make sure they're healthy, and that there's a history of certifiable health in the puppy's pedigree, are charging "well-bred" prices. Breeders that are "selling deals" (and, too often, even those that don't) just don't have the level of knowledge/interest necessary to meet the simple standard of "well cared for, healthy, and well tempered".

When we were looking for a golden, we went to one of these "deal" breeders. I live in SoCal, and well-bred goldens go for $3,500 in my locale. This breeder was "only" asking $2,000 for her puppies. None of her personal dogs (one male, three females) had health certifications for their hips, elbows, eyes, etc. The breeder's comment when I asked? "Oh, if you're going to demand those, then you're going to have to pay a lot more." Uh-uh. I almost wanted to buy the puppy just to get it out of there, but I had zero desire to take on the health risks associated with a puppy bred by someone who just didn't care.

So my first question is : is it even possible to buy a golden puppy for less than 2k? If so where do I look?
My guess? Sure. But, even if it is perfectly healthy (which is never a 100% thing), you're going to spend a lot more than that on the dog over its lifetime. It's your call, but it's just not worth it for me. Also, I don't want to give people like that "other breeder" any incentive to stay in business (although, sadly (to me), 22 of her 24 puppies were already sold and just waiting to turn 8-weeks so they could be sent to their new homes).

Second, money isn't an issue but I've never been the type to pay several hundred (500+) on any animal, I'm usually a sucker for the ones in cages without a home... But if I were to go to a breeder and pay the high price, does anyone have recommendations or experiences with breeders in Iowa, or Illinois near Iowa, or Wisconsin near Iowa??
I'm sure you'll get some pointers. But...

Be prepared to wait. Many (most?) of those who take the time-and-effort to breed well-bred goldens are "hobby breeders". This means that their hobby is the golden breed, and they tend to breed for their own enjoyment/purposes. With the popularity of the golden, I doubt they've ever produced enough puppies to meet the actual demand. And, with the current COVID nonsense, there's even more demand and less supply.
 

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Welcome to the forum. We acquired our golden in April of 2020, and I had/have many of the same general attitudes about our "pet", so I figured I'd chime in from a "pet owner perspective".


I understand the "not looking for a show dog", but not the combination of "not...purebred, just that it's a dark golden pup." There's a lot of routes you can go if you aren't specifically looking for a dark golden, but your options narrow somewhat when you make the "I want a dark golden..." decision.

Somehow, we seem to associate "show dog" with "well-bred prices". True, "well-bred" is more likely to be conformant to the breed standards (show or field), but "well-bred" is also extremely important to us "just a pet" owners. "Well-bred" means the breeder has paid special attention to minimizing the chances of hereditary health issues, as well as alignment to the temperament qualities that makes goldens so popular.

And?

"Well-bred" is going to come with a price. Unfortunately, chances are that if you see "a deal", you'll be rolling the die with your puppy's health/temperament. I'm not foolish enough to tell you it won't work out. But, I will say that any money you save will be minimal compared to the additional risks you'll be taking on.


I thought that, too. But, here's the rub. Breeders that care for their dogs, make sure they're healthy, and that there's a history of certifiable health in the puppy's pedigree, are charging "well-bred" prices. Breeders that are "selling deals" (and, too often, even those that don't) just don't have the level of knowledge/interest necessary to meet the simple standard of "well cared for, healthy, and well tempered".

When we were looking for a golden, we went to one of these "deal" breeders. I live in SoCal, and well-bred goldens go for $3,500 in my locale. This breeder was "only" asking $2,000 for her puppies. None of her personal dogs (one male, three females) had health certifications for their hips, elbows, eyes, etc. The breeder's comment when I asked? "Oh, if you're going to demand those, then you're going to have to pay a lot more." Uh-uh. I almost wanted to buy the puppy just to get it out of there, but I had zero desire to take on the health risks associated with a puppy bred by someone who just didn't care.


My guess? Sure. But, even if it is perfectly healthy (which is never a 100% thing), you're going to spend a lot more than that on the dog over its lifetime. It's your call, but it's just not worth it for me. Also, I don't want to give people like that "other breeder" any incentive to stay in business (although, sadly (to me), 22 of her 24 puppies were already sold and just waiting to turn 8-weeks so they could be sent to their new homes).


I'm sure you'll get some pointers. But...

Be prepared to wait. Many (most?) of those who take the time-and-effort to breed well-bred goldens are "hobby breeders". This means that their hobby is the golden breed, and they tend to breed for their own enjoyment/purposes. With the popularity of the golden, I doubt they've ever produced enough puppies to meet the actual demand. And, with the current COVID nonsense, there's even more demand and less supply.

This was extremely helpful. I've always thought that most of how a dog will be is a product of how you care for them and their environment, diet and exercise. I've had 'mutts' my whole life and to me they are just as capable of being sweet and loving pets. I relate it to costly name brands versus the supermarket brand. Most of the time, they taste the same, look the same, do the same thing, but just might be made of more expensive, high quality ingredients or product which can be desirable but seemingly unnecessary for most practical items. I just want a dark/orange colored golden because I've always grown up seeing them and really wanting one. If I had a friend or local that was having golden mix puppies for example, I'd jump on that. But it seems allot more intricate and difficult than I thought and maybe that makes me naive for thinking I could just find one at a pet store or shelter. In the end, to get a puppy that matches what I've grown up wanting, is worth spending a high amount for up front. Given that a dog is a huge personal investment that lasts 10-15 years, with the help of your input, I'm realizing that even if I'm getting one just for a pet and not for shows that going to the right breeder seems important.

And I definitely agree with you on the puppy farm or discount breeders... It seems awful. I feel so bad for those animals it's like child labor imo. They are supposed to be loved and prized, not used to keep reproducing pups to get a profit. Disgusts me. I read one place that has multiple dogs, over 10 breeding at a time all kept outside and in a barn during harsh winter.. It just seems like jail. And like your experience, I want to buy them all just to get them out of that farm. 😕
 

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I posted this on another thread, just to highlight the fact that the price of a puppy is fairly insignificant compared to the lifetime costs a pet owner is, hopefully, committing to. I'm reposting it here to make it easier for you to find/review.

There's a good guide on how to find a breeder/puppy on GRCA's website, and lot's more on this forum. Good luck!
878654
 
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