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Discussion Starter #1
Hello, I'm a newbie member here but have spent months reading and learning from this forum.
My husband and me are searching for a Golden Retriever puppy! We have waited years to be in a position to be able to fully care for a pup and are now excited to find one. Its been a few months since our search started and we learned a lot along the way.
We are in NJ so are focused on searching in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts.
So far we have found breeders with 5 year waiting lists, 12-18 month waiting lists or some who offer me to call back in a few months when they might be starting breeding. Two breeders had pup's available!!! One was $4000 but available in a few weeks and the other was $5500 WITHOUT CLEARANCES and on further research into the breeder - I wouldn't want to buy from them.
I'm hoping someone can help - what is the best approach here? Go on a waiting list for a year and have some hope.. keep calling and asking? Are there any other ways to find a healthy and responsibly bred puppy these days? I know there are probably hundreds of people in a similar situation - feel free to share your experience so far! I'd love to hear.
 

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5500 without clearances.. I think I know who you are talking about (in NJ).. they are fairly notorious, several threads on the forum on them if you search.

If it was me, I'd call the breeders back in a few months, who are planning litters at that time. And/or expand your search to the Midwest and Southeast - driving or flying to get a pup is pretty doable, though with additional considerations due to COVID right now.

Best of luck!
 

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Have you contacted the Golden Retriever Clubs in NJ? I think there are at least two. No way would I even consider paying either of those prices for puppies without proper clearances and titles on parents.

Have you contacted Sunfire Goldens? I have no idea about planned litters, but they normally have all clearances and I was in a training group with a very nice lady from NJ that occasionally breeds her Sunfire dog. She may be on a co-ownership with them, I'm not sure?? It was a nice dog and would have been suitable for any situation.
 

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My gut says that the majority of breeders who might have puppies available anytime soon are likely high-volume breeders who do not adhere to the Code of Ethics and who are taking advantage of the current level of demand by raising their prices accordingly. I live in NH and I'm friends with several breeders in New England and I'm pretty sure most reputable breeders in New England are still pricing their puppies in the $2500-$3500 range (full clearances, champion parents, etc.).

I think at this point, any reputable breeder who maintains any kind of formal waitlist will not have available puppies until 2022. My best advice for you at this point is to identify no more than 3-4 breeders who seem to be reputable, and who perhaps indicate they are planning breedings in the next year or so, and stay in touch and establish some sort of relationship with them. Follow their Facebook page (and comment when applicable - helps to get your name familiar to them), fill out an application (if they are still accepting them), and in your initial contact with them, acknowledge that you know they likely won't have puppies available soon but ask them when would be a good time for you to check back in on their future breeding plans. If they give you an answer... be sure to follow through by recontacting them in that time frame. If they don't answer you, then plan to politely check in with them every few months (or whatever timeframe seems reasonable) to just reiterate your interest (attach another copy of your application to facilitate their ability to refresh their memories of who you are). As the pandemic subsides, consider attending a breed show (you can find what shows are happening and where on the AKC website or on InfoDog). Find out if your selected breeder(s) are attending and ask if they might have a few minutes to chat with you at the show (after they're finished showing). Buy a "catalog" at the show which will provide you with the names of the owners of the dogs in the show (it may provide you with new leads).

Mostly you just need to be patient and politely persistent. Keep in mind too that some of the puppies who have been sold during this craze might yet be returned to the breeder when their owners return to work and find they no longer have time for their dogs. If you are open to buying an adult or older puppy, it's worth making that clear to breeders as well.

I assume you have seen this thread already (which lists a lot of the breeders in New England) but just in case: Looking For Breeder Advice [New England]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
5500 without clearances.. I think I know who you are talking about (in NJ).. they are fairly notorious, several threads on the forum on them if you search.

If it was me, I'd call the breeders back in a few months, who are planning litters at that time. And/or expand your search to the Midwest and Southeast - driving or flying to get a pup is pretty doable, though with additional considerations due to COVID right now.

Best of luck!
Appreciate your thoughts! thank you :) glad to know it wasn't only me that had that experience
 

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Have you contacted the Golden Retriever Clubs in NJ? I think there are at least two. No way would I even consider paying either of those prices for puppies without proper clearances and titles on parents.

Have you contacted Sunfire Goldens? I have no idea about planned litters, but they normally have all clearances and I was in a training group with a very nice lady from NJ that occasionally breeds her Sunfire dog. She may be on a co-ownership with them, I'm not sure?? It was a nice dog and would have been suitable for any situation.
I agree totally on not getting those puppies! I wouldn't like to encourage that behaviour.

I haven't tried Sunfire Goldens but absolutely will do now - thank you. I noticed they have some litters coming as mentioned on their website so thats a good sign. Thank you!
 

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My gut says that the majority of breeders who might have puppies available anytime soon are likely high-volume breeders who do not adhere to the Code of Ethics and who are taking advantage of the current level of demand by raising their prices accordingly. I live in NH and I'm friends with several breeders in New England and I'm pretty sure most reputable breeders in New England are still pricing their puppies in the $2500-$3500 range (full clearances, champion parents, etc.).

I think at this point, any reputable breeder who maintains any kind of formal waitlist will not have available puppies until 2022. My best advice for you at this point is to identify no more than 3-4 breeders who seem to be reputable, and who perhaps indicate they are planning breedings in the next year or so, and stay in touch and establish some sort of relationship with them. Follow their Facebook page (and comment when applicable - helps to get your name familiar to them), fill out an application (if they are still accepting them), and in your initial contact with them, acknowledge that you know they likely won't have puppies available soon but ask them when would be a good time for you to check back in on their future breeding plans. If they give you an answer... be sure to follow through by recontacting them in that time frame. If they don't answer you, then plan to politely check in with them every few months (or whatever timeframe seems reasonable) to just reiterate your interest (attach another copy of your application to facilitate their ability to refresh their memories of who you are). As the pandemic subsides, consider attending a breed show (you can find what shows are happening and where on the AKC website or on InfoDog). Find out if your selected breeder(s) are attending and ask if they might have a few minutes to chat with you at the show (after they're finished showing). Buy a "catalog" at the show which will provide you with the names of the owners of the dogs in the show (it may provide you with new leads).

Mostly you just need to be patient and politely persistent. Keep in mind too that some of the puppies who have been sold during this craze might yet be returned to the breeder when their owners return to work and find they no longer have time for their dogs. If you are open to buying an adult or older puppy, it's worth making that clear to breeders as well.

I assume you have seen this thread already (which lists a lot of the breeders in New England) but just in case: Looking For Breeder Advice [New England]
This is really solid advice, I appreciate it a lot and you make very strong points! Its sad to think that people would be returning dogs when they return to work but I guess its also the reality. I'll continue the search and take your comments on board. Thank you.
 
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