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Hello everyone. Noob here. :wavey:

We're seriously considering purchasing a Golden for our family to enjoy/love.

I work full-time, my wife is at home and we have a 9 year old son and 7 year old daughter.

We have a fenced in yard, but the dog would be mostly in the house.

My mom has a lab/dachshund mix that my kids absolutely love and she is willing to care for our Golden when we are away.

We are in the Chicago area and have considered a rescue golden, but since this is our first dog I want to get used to having one before considering a TLC situation.

So that's where I'm at...now on to my question...

If we get a puppy, do we have to pay $1200+?

I've been searching for local breeders, but there's no prices. And the couple I have found are asking up to $2000.

Are these show quality dogs or something?

I kinda thought the $300-$400 was more realistic. Or are goldens in that range that price for a reason?

If there are any breeders in the Chicago area that could help or you could refer us to, I'd appreciate it. We're taking this very slow since we know how serious bringing a new member into our family is going to be.

Thanks!
 

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I am not a breeder and I dont live anywhere near Chicago but I wanted to say welcome!! Hunting for a new family memebr can take FOREVER!!! My personal observation on prices is that the back yard breeders tend to sell for the lower price ranges, but you may end up paying more becasue of health problems later on... When you buy from a good breeder you get a health certificate and have less chances of cancer, hip problems etc... We paid about $1000 for Maximus and rescued Leonidas as a puppy! Both are wonderful dogs!!

Anyway, I know I am not much help, and there are many breeders and more experienced golden owners here who will be of more help I am sure!! Congrats on the decision to get a golden!!! :)
 

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we bought layla from a breeder for 350. came with health certs, shots, and wormed just like the rest of her siblings. it all depends on where you look; we searched forever.
 

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Hi and welcome!

I just want to clarify something. All rescue dogs are not TLC cases. You can find a lot of really nice dogs in rescue. If you adopt, you get the benefit of a fully vetting dog who has lived in a foster home. That foster home will have worked on any "issues" that dog might have. Though most of them are baggage free because they are goldens! I personally have fostered over 40 dogs/puppies and the only "problem" I had come across was cat aggression in 3 of them. None of them had issues with humans at all.
 

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We are paying a lot more than 300-400 dollars. To me its worth it if you find the right breeder. But I agree a rescue golden would really amazing. Good luck on your search.
 

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Welcome to the group! $1200 - $2000 may sound like alot of $$ at first but when you think of the long term benefits of purchasing a healthy puppy from a great breeder, the cost is well worth the expense. Good luck with your search.
 

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Hi,
My experience is an extreme case, but I learned the hard way. We paid $550.00 for our Golden from a backyard breeder. We lost her 2 months ago to cancer. She was 2 years, 10 months old. After all of our medical expenses, we were in it for well over $3000.00, and lost the love of our life:( It may have been a coincidence or bad luck, or poor breeding practices, but this time I will pay more for a puppy who has been bred responsibly. Good luck with your search.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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Contact the Golden Retriever Club of America for a breeder near you. Make sure they do all health clearances (check out our puppy section) yes, puppies can be $1200.
My dogs were $700 but that was 10 and 6 years ago. There are some great breeders in Illinois. Doolin is somewhere close to you, Wisconsin and Iowa have some good breeders also.
Do alot of reading here and find some good GR books.
Welcome and Congrats. Goldens are the best!
 

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Mandy's Mom
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I've always been pro-rescue and there are a couple in the Chicago area: As Good as Gold http://asgoodasgold.org/ is one of them.

However, after just adopting the most perfect 5 year old (Flirty) from a wonderful breeder who is very dedicated to the Golden breed, I can say with confidence that a good breeder is worth the effort searching for. He's on this list: Doolin Goldens and he's just north of Rockford. look him up! He's got pups right now. Just visiting with him and seeing his dogs made me confident in his dedication to the breed.

I've never had a puppy mostly because I work all day and take the easy way out with the housebreaking and the dog I just adopted from Doolin (Mac), is my third adult dog and it's great to know her history. :)

I'm sure you will get a lot of opinions on the Forum here, but that's good, gives you more to consider and you're doing the right thing by researching instead of heading to a pet store to buy your dog.

Good luck, keep us posted on your search and WELCOME ! ! !
 

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Kristy
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Welcome to the board... you're in a great place to gather information. I am a stay at home mom, we have girls ages 3,7 & 12 and I am in the same spot, basically, as you are. I would like to foster/rescue in the future when my kids are older or gone, but right now I am much more comfortable with having a dog in my home that I start. I can see it's parents, know the family health history, know the dog's complete experiences etc. I also will be working very hard on training my dog and giving him the foundation to make him a family member who is ultimately a fun, giving dog. Temperament is the #1 consideration.... Plus, it's ok to want a puppy.... there is nothing sweeter in the world than a baby golden, check out some of the puppy photos :)

We had our golden, Baxter, for 10 years and he had to be put to sleep in October. I am someone who needs to have a dog in the house and I started searching for a puppy pretty quickly. I can't stress to you enough to take your time and not jump into the first thing you see. I have a deposit on a puppy who can come home with us January 4 (I am so excited) but even now, I continue to look around and see litters that look very promising.

Please check out the board here that has info on finding the right breeder. I agree 100% with the idea that you (usually) will get what you pay for. There are exceptions to every rule, but having young kids, temperament is everything for you all, as it is for me. A person who loves the breed and knows her dogs will put months of thought and consideration to the right breeding and that's who you want to be dealing with.

There is a breakdown of how much it costs to raise a litter of puppies from conception to 8 weeks on the breeder board. It is not cheap, at all. It is worth every penny to me to have a breeder spend tons of time with her one litter, do extensive personality evaluations from ages 5 - 7 weeks and then sell me the puppy that she thinks would be best suited for my noisy, busy home environment.

No, there are no guarantees for anything in life, but as folks here have discussed over and over, it is smart to do your homework and maybe you are at least stacking the deck in your favor for a long life with a happy, healthy dog who is perfect for your family.

My last point is to consider what you want from this dog.... love, affection, companionship and an on-going lesson for your kids on the responsibility human beings have to care for and keep the animals God has entrusted to us (among other things.) I hope to have my new puppy for a good 10 to 12 years... Looking at him as a long term investment, I spread his cost out over that time and think that $150 a year invested in a family member is very reasonable.

Just my input (probably more than you really wanted) but I have really put a lot of consideration into this and had to explain to my husband why spending over a thousand dollars on a dog in this economy made sense. I wish you all luck and will be so interested to hear how your adventure progresses!

p.s. Breeders referrring each other is a great way to get started. Most of the good ones will at least know of each other and you have a good shot of at least getting an ethical person. Also, find one who pursues hobbies with his or her dogs, therapy work, obedience etc. That let's you know they are truly serious about knowing the breed. Also, the good ones will generally have a wait list for their babies.
 

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I think that it would be very hard to get a Golden for $300-$400 whose parents have all the required clearances-OFA/PennHip for hips, OFA for elbows, an annual eye check by a veterinary opthamologist and a heart clearance from a cardiologist.

If that's your budget, I would check into the rescue groups though. As noted before, they vet the dogs, most of them use foster homes and rescues range in age from very young pups to teenagers and young adults to seniors.

Now, I do think that $2000 is awfully high! I would expect around $1000-$1500 in your area. I am in northcentral Wisconsin and most well-bred puppies up here are in the $800-$1000 range. Prices do vary depending on geography, with prices in the major cities being higher than prices in the more rural areas.

And I second Doolin as a great breeder :) Mac's website is www.doolingoldens.com

Also, Nalyn's Goldens just south of Madison has puppies available too www.nalynsgoldens.com

And there is great information on the Golden Retriever Club of America site www.grca.org
 

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Grumpy Old Man
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If we get a puppy, do we have to pay $1200+?

I've been searching for local breeders, but there's no prices. And the couple I have found are asking up to $2000.

Are these show quality dogs or something?

I kinda thought the $300-$400 was more realistic. Or are goldens in that range that price for a reason?


Thanks!
Generally speaking puppy prices vary by Breed and Location. More common Breeds like the Labrador are often less expensive. (supply and demand)

Golden puppies can become very expensive if you aren't careful, so do a little homework prior to searching for breeders. Check the GRCA (Golden Retriver Club of America) Website for information about how to look fo a nice puppy.

Generally speaking, any breeder worth his/her salt will have completed health screening exams for at minimum Hip, Elbows, Eyes and Heart. These are the minimum, if they haven't completed these, walk away.

The breeder should also be involved with some type of organized activity with their dogs. Believe it or not it takes some education and experience to train ones eye to see the faults or shortcomings in a particular dog(s) (No dog is perfect). The best place to get that experience is in organized activities and events where lots of dogs are present, working and viewable. If a breeder is not involved in some type of activity, walk away because they're lacking necessary experience critical to making sound educated decisions.

Don't fall prey to clever marketing gimicks. The popular one right now is the "Rare White Golden" or here on the west side of the big pond, the "Rare English Creme Golden". They aren't rare and you shouldn't be paying an inflated price for one.

Price of a Puppy
Most Breeders with any sense of ethics at all, base the price on the records, performance and health, of the parents and ancestors in the pedigree. A puppy whose parents and ancestors show outstanding performance, superior health and longevity, generation after generation, are going to demand a higher price than one whose ancestors lack those qualities. Most breeders that make the effort to make sound decisions and do things right will charge from around $800 to $2000 for a puppy. (I have seen puppies as expensive as $4,000, so they can get very expensive for the serious competitor.)

You may see pups advertised for less than $800, but you should be asking "Why" is the price lower. What shortcuts did they take? Is there a warranty if something doesn't go as planned? Is the pup defective (mismark, bite, etc.) in some manner?

A pup with allergies or orthopedic problems will get very expensive, very quickly, so while a $300 puppy may look good up front, the cost of ownership may be much higher over the long run. Ask lots of questions.
 

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I just want to say welcome to the forum!! Oh, and WOW, you have been given such a wealth of advice!! We have really knowledgeable forum members here, you came to the right place.

Good luck on your search!
 

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Tracer, Rumor & Cady
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May be a noob question, but a reasonable one to ask... :)

Please note that there are lots of breeders out there that ride the coat tails of reputable breeders. They charge the same price or even more....and don't do clearances and/or are not involved in dog events.... So just because you see a $1,200.00 price tag and a pretty website....dont get taken for a ride.... research!

To your first question....I fully expect that you will be hard pressed to find a well-bred Golden puppy for 300-400 dollars. You will surely find a nice dog or even puppy from rescue....

Read the forum often :) ....you will see the good the bad and the ugly about the breed...You will see the hours that go into training, exercise.....the dollars spent on vetting, the time spent grooming....

Spend the time....save your pennies, do the research and invest the energy now....you wont regret it.
 

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Welcome to the forum. You have started on the right foot - asking questions! I first came to this forum when we started looking for a pup. I was given a ton of information, and after searching for quite awhile found our Tucker, for about $1000. We ended up with a great dog, and a new friend - the breeder. You will find that a good breeder knows where all of their pups are, and how they are doing. They will be there 24/7 for the life of the dog, to answer questions, provide advice, etc. Make sure you visit a couple of breeders and meet their dogs. You will be surprised how different the dogs can be- even noticeable to the noobie! We met about 7 dogs at Tucker's breeder, we met his mom, grandmom, and dogs from his mom's previous litters, so we got a really good idea of the temperment of her dogs. The best thing we did was involve our kids in the process. They knew that it wasn't going to be an instant gratification type of thing. In our case, the pups were not even born when we first visited the breeder. The breeder sent us pictures along the way, and we went to visit them at 6 weeks, and they took off from school to pick up Tucker when it was time for him to come home. It was really a great family experience. Good luck on your search!
 

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Welcome to the forum. Swampcollie gave you some good advice. When I bought my Golden 9 years ago, I just answered an ad in the paper. Paid $250 from a 'backyard' breeder. And they were very nice people, the guy had a college degree, good job, and a very nice home.(not some ******* as sometimes associated with a backyard breeder) This pup came from the 2nd litter of his female golden. Good references from the first litter. But other than akc registration papers, I didn't get a health guarantee. Didn't expect one for that price. She lived to be 8.5 years of age and died from megaesophagus/phenomena. Poor genetics? Possibly, don't really know. But she was a great pet and glad I had her. But no doubt, much higher risk factor with a backyard breeder.

If cost is a concern, I would look into a rescue group. You can get some great goldens at a decent price. And they need a home. I just got a rescue lab mix and couldn't be more pleased.

Best of luck with whatever you decide.
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum. Our first golden was a retired breeder from a backyard breeder cost $300. Her conformation was not great, but she was a sweet, loving dog. She died last June at age 10 from cancer. Our current goldens came from shelters and they are wonderful, healthy dogs. We searched for several months to find them. They cost $90 - $175.

Jenna, the pictures of your rescue goldens and Ian are precious!
 

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In my experience, Goldens with full clearances are at least $700, but anything over about $1800 is liable to either be a scam or a highly rarified show breeder.

As people have said, having full clearances may drive up the upfront cost of the puppy, but they more than pay for themselves in the long run by lowering the chances of expensive (and painful) health problems in the long run.

That $500 difference in the upfront cost of the dog could easily pay for itself ten times over if the dog has just one of the preventable health conditions that clearances help lower the chances of.

Make sure a potential puppy's parents have the big four clearances as a bare minimum: heart, eyes, elbows, and hips. Make sure those clearances are done through the real agencies (CERF, OFA, etc.) rather than just by the local vet. It's a cost-effective choice, not to mention it's infinitely more ethical to put money towards a litter that has the best possible chance of a happy, healthy life.
 
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