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Hi everyone!

I lurked on this site for a while before making an account, and then I lurked for another little while longer before making this post. I've been looking for the right breeder for a while now, but my husband and I haven't been ready to actually put in an application until closing on our house. We're located on the Central Coast of CA, but we're willing to make a drive for the right pup and breeder. I'm having a hard time finding them, though. Most sites I've looked at haven't been updated in a while, sometimes in years, which makes it really difficult to see who meets my criteria.

Some background: I raised a light-coated, English-bred Golden puppy nearly ten years ago as part of a puppy-raiser program for a dog training company I used to work for. I named her Daenerys (Dany for short). She was the first dog who was "mine", and I loved her to pieces. She was the best girl (sorry to my past and current dogs!), and everyone who met her wanted to take her home. Dany eventually became a Service Dog and went to live with her handler. I've been dreaming of adding a Golden to my family ever since. Giving Daenerys up was so difficult, but I still got to see her every once in a while. When Dany was about 2, her handler informed me that Dany had been diagnosed with a congenital bone cancer. Daenerys crossed the Rainbow Bridge before she turned 4. We were all devastated. I'll be honest: I would prefer a lighter-coated puppy like my beautiful Dany, but I've seen first-hand what happens when breeders don't put health first and buyers don't check thoroughly for clearances, so I've been focusing on European-bred Goldens, but my search hasn't been limited to them.

I worked with Nicholberry Goldens in Clovis, CA for a little while several years ago and I loved her set-up and her dogs, but I especially appreciated her puppy-raising techniques. Her health clearances were pretty spotty in the past, but they seem to be looking better in recent years. My big qualm right now is pricing; her puppies are in high demand, so she's charging a lot of money for each, and I just can't justify paying that much. I looked on a few directory-type sites and found Dry Canyon Goldens in Utah. Her clearances looked to be in order, and I love the way she raises her puppies (Puppy Culture, ENS, and Volhard PAT). I also liked that, while her dogs are lighter in color, they're not all "cream" and she mentions on her site that color is not her sole focus. I was about ready to submit an application, but then I saw that she's been breeding the same bitch repeatedly with no breaks: May 2019, February 2020, and September 2020. From my limited experience, this is not something a reputable breeder would do, and I would rather work with someone who gives their bitches a rest between litters.

And here's where I ask you for help: I want to find a breeder who raises their puppies using Puppy Culture and ENS protocol/techniques and performs all appropriate health clearances, including the Four Core Health Clearances and ichthyologist testing. I am attracted to the lighter coat color, but it's not my primary focus. We have family in AZ, OR, and WA, so those would be ideal areas if we need to venture outside of CA. Any help or suggestions of breeders in those areas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
 

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I'm sorry for your loss- Dany sounds like a wonderful girl and I know she enhanced the life of her person after she left you.
Forget about the PC and ENS requirement. I cannot think of a single good breeder who doesn't do ENS and many of the PC things but no one calls them that. Good breeders have been doing ENS exercises for decades, because it benefits their puppies.
Look at the lists on this site for NorCal and the western region and then email everyone on the list. Color is cosmetic. Most litters have a full array of color, and there are light puppies in most litters. Concentrate instead on the full clearances and the DNA.
 

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I'm sorry for your loss- Dany sounds like a wonderful girl and I know she enhanced the life of her person after she left you.
Forget about the PC and ENS requirement. I cannot think of a single good breeder who doesn't do ENS and many of the PC things but no one calls them that. Good breeders have been doing ENS exercises for decades, because it benefits their puppies.
Look at the lists on this site for NorCal and the western region and then email everyone on the list. Color is cosmetic. Most litters have a full array of color, and there are light puppies in most litters. Concentrate instead on the full clearances and the DNA.
Thank you; she was a fabulous dog, and she did so much good for both her handler and me. I've attached some pictures of her. The last one is blurred to protect her handler.
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Thank you for your feedback too. That's good to know! I suppose since I didn't see it "advertised" on a website, I just assumed they weren't using those exercises. I've done a little more looking at the forum and am noticing that reputable breeders don't always keep their websites updated because they're not a "business"; they're busy breeding, showing, and caring for their dogs. I've been searching for "NorCal" and "California" in the forum, and I've seen a few informative threads, but I'm having a hard time finding breeder lists by area. Can you point me in the right direction?
 

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Welcome to the forum. The search engine here is hard to use. Here's one thread
 

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Welcome to the forum. The search engine here is hard to use. Here's one thread
Thank you! That's super helpful!
 
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