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Hi, everyone! My boyfriend and I are planning to add a puppy/dog to our family next spring (2006) when I graduate from college. I grew up most of my life with a golden retriever/black chow (she looked just like a retriever, but was black) cross that my family had to put to sleep a couple of years ago. I have always wanted a purebred golden retriever.

I know I have plenty of time to read up on and really begin questioning this decision, but I have a couple of question now about breeders.

1) Are litters available year round? Does this vary regionally? I know some breeders might only breed once a year. Is there a "best" time for availability?

2) How much in advance should a breeder be contacted to get on a waiting list? (e.g. Should we start contacting 6 months, 3 months, etc. before we are hoping to find out?)

3) I understand that $700-1500 is the average price for a puppy. If for some reason we cannot afford this (I shop ALOT!), what kind of price is average for a cross/mixedbred?

4) Regarding crossbreds, are there reputable breeders that breed these? Or is there some other way to find out about their availabilty?

I hope all of these questions are clear, lol. Thank you in advance for your responses!

- Anna
 

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Sebab said:
...
1) Are litters available year round? Does this vary regionally? I know some breeders might only breed once a year. Is there a "best" time for availability?

2) How much in advance should a breeder be contacted to get on a waiting list? (e.g. Should we start contacting 6 months, 3 months, etc. before we are hoping to find out?)

3) I understand that $700-1500 is the average price for a puppy. If for some reason we cannot afford this (I shop ALOT!), what kind of price is average for a cross/mixedbred?

4) Regarding crossbreds, are there reputable breeders that breed these? Or is there some other way to find out about their availabilty? ...
Anna, I'm no expert (I'm not a breeder and we only get a new puppy maybe every 10 years or so) but I will try to offer at least some answers to your questions...

1) some breeders plan a litter or two for around Christmas time (for obvious reasons which I feel is a mistake) and it would seem spring is another time... but really you can find pups available all-year 'round

2) for myself, I would try to be within the top 4 on any waiting list, otherwise you may be waiting in vain and have to do it all over again... usually it doesn't cost anything to be on a waiting list... its only after the puppies are born that a breeder usually asks for a deposit (often non-refundable)

3) I know you can definitely find pups MUCH cheaper than that, especially if you search locally (the price range you've quoted appear to be what most Internet-advertised breeders seem to be asking)... example: we purchased our Sidney for $350 and that was with first shots, health clearances and a health guarantee... so far he has been a wonderful dog (see avatar picture above).

4) someone will probably shoot me for saying this but... I believe the whole idea of breeding a cross-bred is a scam. The Goldenoodles (GR and Poodle mix) and Labradoodles (Lab and Poodle mix) that breeders are currently getting top dollar for is ridiculous... First off, there is no standard for these "breeds"... that means you have no idea of what they will look like, size they will grow to, or have predictable instincts and temperament. These 'breeders' are touting and selling these dogs as hypo-allergenic but when you do a wild 'out-cross' breeding you cannot possibly predict what physical traits will be expressed in the pups. After the litter is born (and in some cases the pups are grown) you must then select for the desired traits and then start 'line breeding' (i.e."in-breeding") A LOT to 'set' (make predictable) those desired traits... and it is only after those traits can be predictably expressed in all the pups of a litter that you can now say you have a new breed. This would entail a good many years of conscientious breeding and detailed record keeping to achieve... these breeders simply have not done the work, they been at it for too short a period of time! If you are willing to accept the unpredictable nature of a mixed breed then please go to an animal shelter and save a life instead, and it will be a lot cheaper to boot.

Hope I've helped some...
 

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Maybe things are different here in Canada but I payed $700.00 (plus tax) 6 1/2 years ago for my golden. The price is much higher now. The breeders say it gets rid of the impulse buyers. Our breeder usually has puppies for sale twice a year and she only breeds the bitches a total of 3 times. She co-owns most of the dogs (which means she has the dogs in family homes until breeding time when she'll get the dog when it's time to breed and then again when it's time to whelp.) Carol takes extreme efforts to breed for personality and character more than looks in her dogs which I love. She still shows the goldens that she feels are a cut above for the ring but mostly she breeds for personality. Mojo was the runt of his litter of 6 and he's a small golden. He's the size goldens used to be before they changed the standards. He weighs 54 pounds and is 21 inches at the shoulders. He is so lovable and that is so much more important to me. The other golden I had (Toby) was a big boy. I never measured him but his head was to my upper hip and I'm 5'2". Toby was 13 when he passed away but he also had a great personality. His breeder was known to breed for the "king" sized dogs. I much prefer Mojo's size.
As for the mixed breed - what's with that? When you get a dog that has different genetics in it (like a golden and shephard) you have to wait to see what traits come out. I have a mixed breed dog (Zoe) that I love to pieces but I had a hard time with her in the beginning. Zoe has definite terrier traits in her but when I took her to the kennel for boarding the woman there told me she also has some husky in her with the traits of the husky as well. She's a black and white dog with black spots on her white legs (Australian Shephard), ice blue eyes (that scared the heck out of me at first) (Husky) wiry fur/hair (terrier) and when she runs she jumps and leaps in the air like a goat or giselle. I don't know exactly what she's made of but I do know that she's one stubborn and very smart dog and has given me a run for my money. She's also the sweetest and neediest of dogs (I got her from a shelter, she had been there for 8 months) and she makes me belly-laugh every single day. I paid $42.00 for her from the shelter and left knowing I had saved another dog from a life in a very small kennel. If you are going to buy a mixed breed dog, please check out your local shelter. The shelter here was a No-Kill shelter but the humane society can't keep them for that length of time and they desperately need homes. If you don't find the exact one right away then go back, again and again, until something clicks. The problem with me is all the dogs clicked and I wanted to bring them all home. When I got Roxy there were 44 dogs to choose from and only 16 when I picked Zoe.
Purebred or mixed breed (my husband calls them "North American Bitsa" - bitsa this and bitsa that) is a totally personal choice - just whatever you choose do it wisely and carefully. I would say to use your head first when choosing a dog and your heart second but sometimes that's very difficult.
When we were looking to get our dog my husband got on the internet and did a lot of research. We still had Toby but knew he wasn't going to be around for much longer. Hal wanted a dog that met a certain criteria - one of them being the animal had to be good with children. He wanted a macho dog but the more he searched and researched the more he came up with the same dog. He finally came to me and said that if we were going to get another dog the only dog that met the requirements he had was the -tada - Golden Retriever - well, da - I could have told him that but sometimes I just have to let him go through the motions to get to the spot I know he's going to end up at anyways. We've never looked back with Mojo.
 

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mojosmum said:
Maybe things are different here in Canada but I payed $700.00 (plus tax)...
This brings up a curious question that has been nagging (and confusing) me in several different posts lately... I just thought, 'Well, why not mention it here, now?'

This forum is obviously populated by people from English speaking countries (duh!)... the problem is 3 of those countries all have a monetary unit called the 'dollar'... Australia, Canada, and the U.S. ...and each of these dollars have a different value in relation to the others... AND to be honest, I don't really know what the current exchange rates are. So when we talk about the cost of things how do we know which dollar is being cited unless the poster mentions their country? and does anybody know the approximate exchange rates between them?

I don't really think this topic belongs in this thread and under its thread title but... I really couldn't figure out under which category it should go into, and it has been bothering me for a while now... so I figure, since we are talking cost in dollars, why not stick it here?

Example: in the above postings... the $700-$1500 range is in who's dollars? and the cost of Sidney is $350-U.S. because we got him in Michigan... and the $700 mojosmum paid is Canadian, my guess is that's about $400 or $500-U.S., is that about right? And mojosmum, since you mentioned it, how much is tax in Canada? It's 6% here in Michigan. This is all so confusing.

EDIT: I just saw... the original poster is from Iowa (U.S.) so that answers one of my questions.
 

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1) Are litters available year round? Does this vary regionally? I know some breeders might only breed once a year. Is there a "best" time for availability?

Just depends, it's never predictable, ever. There is no best time. THe worst time is christmas time, many GOOD breeders DONT breed then because it's a bad time for a poor lil pup to be introduced to the family. To much chaos and travel.

2) How much in advance should a breeder be contacted to get on a waiting list? (e.g. Should we start contacting 6 months, 3 months, etc. before we are hoping to find out?)

I started looking about 1 month ago and I get mine next monday! I think I found a good breeder. I think if you DO A LOT OF research and call all the breeders around you can get one within a few weeks. You want to see them at 5 weeks anways, its hte perfect time to see them, YOU DONT want to go and see a pup and buy it. You should go to several breeders (I went to 2) and pick between them.

I was looking for a breeder to say a few key things. I wanted them to say to me "You must keep the dog as an indoor pet or I won't sell you one, you must agree to spay/neuter or I wont sell you one, If anything ever happens and you can not keep the dog, please bring it back to me."

3) I understand that $700-1500 is the average price for a puppy. If for some reason we cannot afford this (I shop ALOT!), what kind of price is average for a cross/mixedbred?

I am paying $1,100 in Atlanta Georgia

One breeder said to me " I dont need to give a heatlh garuntee, my dogs never have problems" um excuse me, if your dogs never have problems then why WOULDNT you give a heatlth garuntee. You want the breeder to put you at ease and if anything weird happens durring the first year of the dog she would replace the puppy. All breeders handle that issue very differently. No one can ever really give you a health garuntee, and besides if I had it 3 years and it got hip displasia am I gonna take it back? I doubt it. You just want to hear they have confidence, and you want the parents to have "Clearances" and you want proof of it.

4) Regarding crossbreds, are there reputable breeders that breed these? Or is there some other way to find out about their availabilty?

You asked how much a cross breed mixed breed is?? Um free? not sure what ya mean, try the pound!! I dont know any good breeder who would mix dogs on purpose!!
 

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In Canada we pay a 7% tax called the GST (Goods and Services tax) and an 8% tax called PST (Provincial Sales Tax). For Mojo we had to pay the 8% because we were the end user in this transaction. Mojo cost us $756.00 which would be about your $500.00. Please remember that this cost was 6 1/2 years ago. I know the price has gone up but I don't know to what.
 

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Should i be worried, because my puppy cost $400 CAN. The breeder told me they're not registered, but she said she didn't register the parents because she just wanted a dog and didn't want to pay an extra $700 on each dog to get them register. She told me the grandparents were registered though. I did have to pay a $200 deposit and this week when i go to pick him up i'm to pay the other $200. She said there would be a 1 year health gurantee on any genetic defects of disease, but is that too short of a health gurantee? I read in most books that it should be a lifetime heath gurantee, but even when I called around most only gave a 2 year max lifetime heath gurantee.
 

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Most reputable breeders will have their puppies sold before breeding. So get on a waiting list. Spring seems popular for new litters and gives you the summer to train outdoors.

Look at the contracts they make you sign and what guarantees. Remember, some of those guarantees require that you give up your Pup in order to cash in the guarantee. After a year would you give up your pup because he is showing signs of Hip problems?

Sehab, if you can't afford new, try rescues if you are ready to take on that responsibility. That way you can still get a pure-bred. Or the SPCA has many mixed breeds looking for a home.

Good point Monomer about the dollar. When talking dollars we should put $500 CDN, or US, etc.
 

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Tracy said:
Should i be worried, because my puppy cost $400 CAN. The breeder told me they're not registered, but she said she didn't register the parents because she just wanted a dog and didn't want to pay an extra $700 on each dog to get them register. She told me the grandparents were registered though. I did have to pay a $200 deposit and this week when i go to pick him up i'm to pay the other $200. She said there would be a 1 year health gurantee on any genetic defects of disease, but is that too short of a health gurantee? I read in most books that it should be a lifetime heath gurantee, but even when I called around most only gave a 2 year max lifetime heath gurantee.
Tracy, the short answer is Yes.

What do you have in writing? What are the health histories of both parents? Just because they are registered doesn't mean they are good for breeding. 1 year is short since most defects won't show until later. And most contracts arent worth the paper they are written on.

Your breeder didn't register them because she isn't interested in breeding for good qualities, she is after a quick sale. You may have no problems at all, but you may be buying into years of expensive Vet bills and heart ache.
 

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Also visiting breeders...

1) Are litters available year round? Does this vary regionally? I know some breeders might only breed once a year. Is there a "best" time for availability?

We are checking with breeders in the VA, MD, PA area and finding that many breed in the spring and fall, although one said she breeds "every other season." Another spoke about a split season??? but she was so very snooty that I didn't care to follow up with her, so I never found out what that means.

3) I understand that $700-1500 is the average price for a puppy. If for some reason we cannot afford this (I shop ALOT!), what kind of price is average for a cross/mixedbred?

PLEASE tell me where you got this average price? I haven't gotten a clear answer from anyone I've asked, but have gotten jumped a bit for asking if $300-$500 is a reasonable price. One breeder suggested that if price matters, then we have no business raising a puppy. So. Mostly, we are hearing $400 to $2,000. The really snooty breeder quoted $2,500 but we didn't visit her pups because of her attitude.

4) Regarding crossbreds, are there reputable breeders that breed these? Or is there some other way to find out about their availabilty?

IF (BIG IF) I had some reasonable assurance that we could get a healthy, happy pet that was a mixed breed, say from the pound, etc., then I wouldn't mind. I have gotten pound kitties and loved them. I figure this pup will grow into a large dog that will be a family member for the next 10-15 years. So, we're going to bite the bullet, pay the $$$ and go with a purebred Golden.

I hope your search is going well, Anna. Let us know when your pup arrives, and if you get any more good info on choosing, etc. By the way, where do you live?

jmartin
 

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I read in most books that it should be a lifetime health gurantee, but even when I called around most only gave a 2 year max lifetime heath gurantee.[/QUOTE]

My breeder, who is very reputable & respected, gave me a 2yr. health guarantee. But said that if I did not want the golden at anytime during his lifetime, she would gladly take him back! Now that is a great guarantee...because for me that would be if he got sick and needed medical care that I could not afford, she would take him back....she never wants to see any of her dogs given away to other people no matter what the reason.

That tells me the love she has for the breed and the love she has for the individual pups she helps bring into this world.

By the way, I got Ty in Conn.(I live in MA.) and he cost me $1000 and worth every penny. $1000 divided by the number of years (hopefully atleast 14) of a healthy pup, doesn't end up being expensive at all in my eyes.
She told me what it cost for all the vet care from pregnancy till pups are 8wks old and it averages about $500 a puppy(she showed me the receipts) and that is if all goes well.(and that's not counting labor....hers)

Ty comes from an amazing pedigree.....his Mom & Dad are both Champions and his granddaddy(His Mom's Dad) is the No. 1 Specialty Winning Golden Retriever of all times.(Rush Hill's Haagen-Dazs....call name "Kirby") And has sired 100 champions. He has his own website at www.rushhill.com
Even if Ty hadn't had all that "Blue Blood"....I would still be grateful for the time, love and care she put into keeping this breed with all the atributes that make a golden retriever one of the most loving, even tempered, lovable, funny family pets and one of the best investments you will ever make in your pet owning lifetime!!:nchuck:
 

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pixiepurls said:
HEY!!! My puppy is a kirby relative as well!!!

http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=75759

this is my dogs mom, as you can see Kirby is her grandpa!

I live in Georgia, USA. My pup is a doll :)
Pixiepurls, they are cousins(I guess) At least "kissing cousins"...:p

Here is Ty's Mom's(Sorbet's) pedigree. I have a pedigree the breeder gave me going back 5 generations....Ty has another relative on another forum who shares "Kirby" as his granddaddy....Small world! Thanks for the info.
http://www.k9data.com/pedigree.asp?ID=79003
 
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