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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

Our family recently lost our best friend due to an aggressive, untreatable cancer. We鈥檙e not in a rush for a new pup but are aware of the long waitlists some breeders have. We are open to putting deposits down but some breeders we saw are non-refundable. What if we end up getting a pup from a breeder, we would need a refund from other breeders we applied to.
We have two small children (under 5) and 2 cats (one senior). We live in Toronto and have a cottage in the Kawarthas so breeders within two hour drive from the two locations are preferred. I am looking for a golden similar to the pic below. I鈥檓 not sure if it鈥檚 a specific type of golden that I鈥檓 looking for. I鈥檓 only familiar with American and Golden.
Any direction or advice would be much appreciated!
Dog Plant Dog breed Carnivore Tree
 

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Sorry for your loss. I'm from Ontario too and will be taking a puppy home this summer if all goes according to plan! By the time my puppy comes home with me, I will have been waiting (on a waitlist) for ~1.5yrs so I totally understand how tough it is to wait! Unfortunately, there aren't many substitutions for waiting right now. Most reputable breeders have a waitlist during normal times and COVID has made these waitlists way longer. Deposit policies vary between breeders...some take deposits to get on their waitlist, others take deposits when a breeding is confirmed and others take deposits when the pups are born. The first step is to figure out what criteria you want/need in your breeder (this includes figuring out what deposit policy you are comfortable with).

The reason some breeders have a non-refundable deposit policy is that the breeder puts effort into reading questionnaires, doing phone calls and/or visits with prospective puppy families to make sure their future puppies will go to the perfect homes. If you have been chosen as a home for one of these future puppies and then decide to go with a puppy from another breeder, the first breeder may be left scrambling trying to find another quality home for the puppy and all their effort that went into getting to know you will have gone down the drain. Your deposit will be kept as compensation for the time that they will have lost. Non-refundable deposits are taken to discourage you from getting on multiple lists and encourage you to committing to a puppy from that breeder. If you are uncomfortable with this, you can filter your search based on breeders who do not require non-refundable deposits. Note that the waitlists for breeders who do not require non-refundable deposits are usually longer because of people who want to keep their options open.

I recommend starting a spreadsheet to keep track of breeders you have looked up and what their practices are. For example, I had a row for each breeder and a column for various criteria such as deposit policy, health guarantee, OFA clearances, price, distance from home, whether they show their dogs, etc. Then, I colour coded the spreadsheet. Red for the breeders who didn't meet enough of my criteria (I did not reach out), yellow for the breeders I needed more information on, and green for my top breeders (I prioritized reaching out to these). You could add the look of the dog to your criteria for selecting breeders if you wish. Usually, breeders have a section of their website where you can view their dogs. If their dogs look like what you want yours to look like, this could be a check mark for that breeder. Please remember that the health of the dogs should always hold more value than looks.

It's typical for puppy buyers to reach out to multiple breeders to introduce themselves and ask for more information. It's also not unusual for puppy buyers to be on more than one waitlist if no deposits have been made and no puppy has been promised to them yet. Once you make a non-refundable deposit, it's generally understood that you will go with a puppy from that breeder.

Where to find breeders? Start with the Golden Retriever Club of Canada (GRCC) and the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) website. The GRCC has a breeders list and the CKC has a puppy list. Note that this is just a starting point and you will have to do additional research on each breeder to figure out whether they are breeding ethically...not going to name names but in my search I found a some CKC breeders who didn't do all the appropriate testing for this breed.

Hope this helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
This is so detailed and extremely helpful! I really appreciate. I鈥檓 sure you are counting down the days to when you get to meet your new best friend in the summer. Good luck with the pup :)
 
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