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Hey guys! My name is Ryan, I am a sophomore at the University of Alabama and have been wanting a golden retriever for a while now. I am finally in a position to think about getting one, but I don't want to rush into anything. I want to do some research and make sure that I can offer the best home possible! So any info that you could give me would be super helpful!

Heres some questions and topics to get started.

1. How to chose a breeder. Any recommendations for good breeders in/around Alabama?

2. Any info/ tips about how to train a golden as well as how to potty train.

3. Our fence in the backyard is quite small, probably only like 4ft. I know that this is probably not tall enough fo ra golden retriever, but could an electric fence be installed to prevent from jumping the fence?

4. Any other information that you're willing to share with me about how to successfully raise a golden retriever puppy is greatly appreciated.
 

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Hi Ryan! I can probably help you a bit, I got my first Golden when I was a junior in college. I will say it’s tough, depending your work load in school and work? It can be hard to balance. I’m nowhere near AL so I can’t help you as far as help with a reputable breeder but if you hang around here and do some searching, there’s a post for everything. If you just search “breeders in AL” that’s a good start & im sure others will chime into this post. Do you also work while in school and have means of income for a puppy? If not I would take a look at your financial situation and determine if you can afford a dog. It is similar to having a child, aside from the purchase of the puppy itself your looking at vet expenses, monthly food and toy etc expenses. I know I wouldn’t have been able to do it without having my roommate who worked at petco who gave me her generous discount for food and other items. Aside from the overall expense of the dog, I take it you live off campus? In a house with somewhat of a yard? I’m sure others will have comments but if you have roommates - are they on board? Pet lovers? Ready for the constant work that is having a puppy in the house? When you are crate training the puppy, he/she will not like it at first. The sounds of a puppy crying all night is unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before. My roommates had to get up early for class and I’m surprised they didn’t kill mme for the late night noise. I don’t see a problem with the size of the yard, I had a tiny backyard with maybe a 4 foot fence. But I never left her out there unsupervised at all and I would discourage you do don’t either. Another thing to think about is how you will train the puppy and it’s level of energy. Golden retrievers are high energy and puppies are handfuls. Your going to want to at some point, put the puppy into training. It’s very important that you do so as means of socialization and training basic commands. I really enjoyed training my puppy, it was a nice break away from school and studying & helped me bond with my dog. They require a great deal of attention, patience and overall time. Depending how you are as a student and overall social person in college would be something to consider. If you like to go out and be a normal college student, it can be hard balancing that and a puppy. You aren’t going to want to crate a puppy all day while you are in class/at work and then all night while you are out. It just won’t end well. Golden rets are social dogs and they want to be with their human as much as possible. By the time I got my pup, I was more chill lol I moved my studying to home to be around her. If I went out, I had my roommate with her who was a homebody. If you have roommates who are willing to help you out, that’s great. But know that when you ask them to watch or help with your puppy that they will need to abide by your rules as the owner. My one roommate didn’t care about my dog jumping on her, she encouraged it, thought it was fun to act all crazy. It’s cute when it’s a puppy, maybe but when your dog gets bigger it isn’t cute. So they really have to be on board with whatever program you are running. Anyways, this ended up being longer than I meant but these are all things I wish I knew. It is very rewarding but takes a lot of time, energy, money and patience. I now have my second golden, a puppy & every dog is different. I think it’s doable, but consider everything. Anything people post on here is great knowledge, im a better owner by being on here. There’s not a topic on here that is untouched & the fact that your on here says you are serious about research and learning about the breed that you want. You can never research enough so take your time & I bet you will be a great pup parent!
 

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Welcome to the forum-Rolllllll Tide!

When you are ready to find a breeder, members can give you a breeder referral.

You may want to visit the Golden Retriever Club of America's website, they also have a breeder referral too.

https://www.grca.org/

There is a lot of good info in the Puppy up To 1 year section-

Golden Retriever Puppy (up to 1 year) - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

There are threads called Stickies at the beginning of the section with good info.

Choosing a Golden Retriever Breeder and puppy has a lot of good info also with Stickies at the beginning of it-

Choosing A Golden Retriever Breeder & Puppy - Golden Retrievers : Golden Retriever Dog Forums

Good luck in your search.
 

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#3. Yes, you can install underground fence. Good quality collar costs about $450.00 + underground wire $50.00-250.00 depending how many feet you will need. You can install it yourself.
#4. You dog will need a lot of attention everyday, if not you, then someone else, for the great part of the day.
We are a family of seven and got out first dog last summer, because kids wanted. For the first four months kids spoiled her, I didn't have to wash, feed, walk and train her, because kids did all this, but quess what? From 11 lb cute little puppy she grew into 55 lb dog. Harder to walk her when she starts pulling leash. Winter came, who want to take dog to potty break outside in 20 degrees freezing night and morning, or rainy days? Nobody. But mom will do it of course.
Jumping. Who wants a 55lb dog to jump on them when they enter the door, coming from school/work? Nobody.
Who will train the dog not to jump at people when they are coming at you? Everyone who comes up to a dog has to, so dog will eventually learn.
Who will be with the dog when you want to go somewhere to spend there whole day? Not everywhere dogs allowed.
Training is the least of worries in this case.
If you want to have a happy dog you will have to invest TIME.
 

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Only you know if you have the time and proper home for a puppy.

Financially, expect to pay about $2,000 for purchase price and $60 or so a month just for food and flea and heartworm prevention monthly. You may want to consider insurance if you don't have access to a few thousand dollars for emergency veterinary care. For about $70 a month you can get pretty much everything covered at 90% if you start before a dog has any pre-existing conditions.

Spend some time in the puppy section and you should get a good picture of the time it takes to raise a Golden puppy and common issues.

Another important part to consider, where will you be living after college? I know it can be very tough to find pet friendly rentals, especially for large breed dogs.
 

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“Another important part to consider, where will you be living after college? I know it can be very tough to find pet friendly rentals, especially for large breed dogs.” This is a very good point. After college, I had a hard time finding nice pet friendly places. I found them but it came at a lot of turn downs with places I wanted to live. Even the “pet friendly” ones can ask for special deposits or non-refundable amounts. We pay a pet rent..yes a pet rent. It’s “only” 25 pet dog but depending where you are financially get be an issue. I also decided to have roommates after college to save money. Co-living was great but not everyone I lived with loved my dog as much as me. They “like” dogs but you’d be surprised how many people like dogs from a far. It’s nice to pet in the park but after a long day of work, walk through the door to be jumped on and bothered. So even if you live with people now who can deal with it or enjoy it..it’s hard to say what your future living arrangements will be. Will it have a yard? Will you move home to your allergic parents house, will you take a job that requires a ton of hours? It’s really hard to think about all of this but as I’ve said before..this forum can really help you & researching every last thing will better prepare you for a HUGE commitment.
 

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My son raised a puppy for me in Tuscaloosa when he was at UA. I think he found it very easy for a dog in a college town.
I second the suggestion to start saving your $$!!
And when you get ready, just ask about the breeders you run across... someone will know them or be able to advise. I can't think of anyone offhand in AL that I would totally trust but it's past my bedtime.. If you can go to Atlanta area there are many wonderful breeders there.
 

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Hey Ryan,
Good for you for doing research!

First, there is nothing like a Golden Retriever. It is important, however, to remember several things:

1) they are yours for life. Just like if you decide to have a child, you don't give up a dog because it has become inconvenient or your new digs won't allow dogs. You find one that does. If you move overseas, it goes with you (trust me - personal experience)

2) they are people dogs. In other words, they do not do well alone. They NEED to be with people. It is one of the reasons why the Turkey Goldens have such a difficult time as strays.

3) they are expensive. Any dog is, but Goldens have a high incidence of hip dysplasia and cancer. So, when you get your pup, sign up for health insurance right away -- it's a lot cheaper in the long run (again, personal experience)

4) there is nothing like a Golden puppy. But like any puppy, THEY NEED TRAINING. Not just potty training <G> ... but they grow to be big dogs, and their weight alone can knock people over if they can't keep four paws on the ground.

5) did I mention that they are yours for life?

6) please consider rescues as well. Rescues sometimes even have puppies. One of the nice things about getting a dog through a rescue (other than saving a life), is that you usually do not have to go through things like potty training. They may have other issues.

7) Goldens tend to remain "puppies" longer than many other breeds. Mine is 6 now and she still acts like she is 6 months old.

8) many people like invisible fences but also remember that if the dog does break through the fence .... you know to go greet the squirrel across the road ... very often it will be afraid of coming back through the fence to the yard because it will get shocked again.

9) Goldens do not make good watchdogs. Well ... unless there is a leaf rolling across your lawn or a squirrel. If someone breaks into your house, your pup will most likely bring the intruder something to play with ... or a shoe .... a pillow ... a sock .... your underwear .... and then proceed to show him around the house.

10) did I mention that they are yours for life? Even when it becomes old and less "fun"? <G> (yes, this is my soap box)

Good luck and I really look forward to seeing the newest member of your family!!
 

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I would think that the money and time would be the hardest part for a student or recent college grad. I know that a lot of the younger people at my office work long hours and cannot afford a dog walker and they choose to live in town, so even though they make a decent wage (engineers) they have high rent and many of them do not live in pet friendly buildings. Having had a dog since I was 20, I was never able to live where I wanted to live, even in the 90s and early 2000s, because finding dog friendly housing was difficult. It's even worse now that the rental markets are so good. You're unable to go to happy hours unless they start early and your boss lets you go. When you're older you have more money so you can hire a dog walker and you have more freedom at work, so you don't have to ask anyone if you can leave the office at 3:30pm to grab a drink with colleagues and be home at the regular time. That said, even though I felt like I had to make a LOT of accommodations for my dogs, I have no regrets. Also, if you have roommates that are happy to take on dog care, that can help.
 

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Hi Ryan! I'm new here too although I've raised 3 Goldens over the last 27 years. I agree with everything said here about the time, commitment, and expense. I don't want to discourage, but please think your decision through carefully and read through as many posts in the puppy section as you can. Also, plan on purchasing a good quality vacuum unless you have time to brush your dog on a daily basis. Good luck!
 
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