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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've never owned a Golden before, but my family is looking to buy one in the next month. I don't know much about them, so what are some things I should ask the breeder. What are common health issues with them? Also, what should I look for in a puppy? I'm nervous about getting a new breed dog I've never had before, and I don't want to make any mistakes..
 

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chew chew chew
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First off, I would avoid getting a puppy around Christmas, unless you have been on a waiting list for a while with a good breeder and it just happened that the pups are ready go go home. A lot of questionable breeders will have 'Christmas' puppies.

Read up on this forum, there is lots of information on what to look for - health clearances, red flags and so on. If you can post where you are you'll likely get pointed in the direction of some great breeders near you (as well as maybe some to avoid) and you can always ask about a breeder as well. I always advise people to talk to 4-5 breeders to see what they do, what they provide and so on, and THEN get on a waiting list for a pup which may take up to a year (you don't want to go with the first person who has puppies for sale, it's better to do your homework and make sure you get the right puppy, not the right timing/price). There are a lot of health issues in this breed, so it's wise to make sure your future pup is as healthy as possible (not just a vet check, the parents NEED to have their clearances done) so you're not spending thousands at the vet to deal with issues.

Also, check with rescue, there are always lots of dogs and puppies looking for homes.

Lana
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks so much for replying, I'm located in Northern NJ, do you know of any breeders around here? Also, what kind of health clearances should the parents have?
 

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I've been golden(less) since my search started in late August. My goal is to have one by June 1st. Read all you can on the breed. I've purchased many books, and borrowed from the library, as well as reading this forum. Be sure to talk, talk and talk some more to eveyone you meet along your way who has a golden. I go to the pet stores like Petco and PetSmart, where they let people bring in their dogs and I look for goldens their too and talk to their owners. You can go to Breeders.net and put your zip code in to find a breeder near you. Good luck.
 

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Since this will be a new breed for your family, are you familiar with the good and the bad of the breed...just want to make sure you guys know what you're getting into and have set realistic expectations. Good luck with your puppy search.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Since this will be a new breed for your family, are you familiar with the good and the bad of the breed...just want to make sure you guys know what you're getting into and have set realistic expectations. Good luck with your puppy search.
I read that they are very bouncy and energetic, and that's exactly what we are looking for so that won't be a problem. Also that they don't like being left alone for a long time which isn't a problem either since there is somebody home a majority of the time so he/she would only be alone a few hours a week. Is there anything else I should know about them?
 

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Spend some time in the puppy section on this forum & you'll see what you're in store for. The GRCA website also has a wealth of information.
 

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The first few posts on this forum give you the information you need to find a good breeder.
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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Thanks so much for replying, I'm located in Northern NJ, do you know of any breeders around here? Also, what kind of health clearances should the parents have?

Mandatory health clearances should include the following, and should also be certified by a specialist, not just a vet:
  • Hips (OFA or PennHIP certified) - checked for Hip Dysplasia
  • Elbows (OFA) - checked for Elbow Dysplasia
  • Heart
  • Eyes
  • Most breeders will also do a test for Thyroid issues, which are increasingly common in the breed as well.
There is a Puppy Buying Checklist at the top right of the forum that has some more great advice on looking for a reputable breeder.


If you're looking for a breeder, please go to the puppy referral link at www.grca.org (Golden Retriever Club of America).
As arcane stated in another thread a few days ago, just because a breeder is a member of GRCA doesn't mean that they follow all responsible breeding practices... it just means that they paid $25 for a membership, so be sure to do your research on each breeder.

Also take note that some of the best breeders do not have websites, (and just because a "breeder" has a great website, doesn't always mean they have great puppies!) so be sure to pick up the phone to make some phone calls too.

There are a handful of great breeders in your area, their names slip my mind right now, but you could start a new thread called Breeders in NJ or something along that line, and you should get some great referrals from other members in that geographical area. :) Good luck with your search and don't be shy to ask any other questions if you have them!
 

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At the top of the forum is alot of great information under the Puppy Finders Fact Checker. Also look at the Golden Retriever Club of America website http://grca.org/
 

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Sounds silly, but I also recommend the book Golden Retrievers for Dummies. We read it back when we got our first golden and it was very helpful with what to expect and how to pick good breeders. I need to re-read it again soon!

Are there any other good books out there now?
 

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Sounds silly, but I also recommend the book Golden Retrievers for Dummies. We read it back when we got our first golden and it was very helpful with what to expect and how to pick good breeders. I need to re-read it again soon!

Are there any other good books out there now?
I also have that book and found it to be helpful. The other one I bought and read twice from start to finish was "Before & After Getting your Puppy" by Ian Dunbar. It is excellent.
 

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Sounds a bit like role reversal, but a good breeder will also be asking just as many questions of you. You've researched the breed, the breeder will want to get information about you and your family--your activities--to see if you are a good match with a bouncy golden, or one that is more mellow.

A good breeder will also want to see what, if anything, you've done to prepare yourself for your new family member; like you, my husband and I hadn't owned a dog since we were kids, and we were very green--our breeder gave us information on the local golden retriever club, and the Golden Retriever Club of America, because she felt that we would benefit from being with other owners who owned the breed to also learn from them--and she was right!
 
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