Before you make the decision to buy a Golden Retriever puppy really sit down and think about it. A dog is a 10-20 year commitment and an active dog such as a Golden Retriever is an even bigger commitment because of their exercise requirements.
- Golden Retrievers crave human companionship and are not dogs that expect to be left outside most of the time; they expect to be with you and more importantly, doing something a reasonable amount of time during the day.
- If all members of the household work during the day you have additional issues. An older dog can hold their pee for 8-10 hours ‘usually’ but they won’t like being confined alone for that long. We do not recommend crating a dog for more than 4-5 hours as a standard procedure.
- You lose some freedom. No longer can you just decide at the end of a day of work to head out for a night on the town… you have to make sure care for your dog is handled. Want to go away for a weekend on short notice? You better hope your dog sitter or kennel is available on short notice.
- Cost. Golden Retrievers can be expensive; not just the initial cost of buying a puppy but they can be expensive throughout their life. Make sure you can really afford one before making the commitment.
- Time – A Golden Retriever puppy will take up a lot of your time with potty and basic obedience training. It doesn’t stop there. Golden Retrievers are working dogs. Goldens don’t just want to be active, they also want to be challenged and stimulated intellectually. Even if you have a yard for your Golden Retriever to play in they will want to do activities with you. If you don’t find the time to work and play and find activities to do with your Golden they will find their own activities… and some of them might be detrimental to your house and personal items.
Cost of a Golden Retriever Puppy
The most obvious cost of a Golden Retriever puppy is the initial cost of buying the puppy from a breeder. We only recommend buying a Golden Retriever from a reputable breeder who shows/trains their own dogs in competition and whos main goal is improving the breed as opposed to profit. That can be expensive. It can vary in different areas of the country but here in Colorado I expect to pay $2000-$3000 for a Golden Retriever puppy. Buying a puppy from a top end breeder makes it more likely you will have a long-lived, healthy, trainable, friendly Golden Retriever puppy. It is more expensive and takes more time to research and acquire a puppy this way, but it will be worth it in the long run.
Of course, buying the puppy is just the 1st expense; there will be plenty more. Here is a list of common expenses:
- Golden Retriever Puppy – $1500–$5000 – 1-time expense
- Food/Water Dish – $10-$20 – 1-time expense
- Leashes, Collars, Harness $10-$20 each – multiple
- Toys – $5-20 each –Never ending
- Food – $50/Month Minimum
- Treats – $10/Month Minimum
- Walking $15-$25 per walk – If you work full time.
- Doggy Daycare – $50-$75 per visit – If you work or just to socialize
- Boarding – $50-$150 per night – If you have no one to watch your dog on vacation
- Veterinarian – $100-$200 per visit – Once per year at least. More as a puppy.
- Training – $100-$200 per class – Should do at least the puppy obedience.
The above is just an example of the expenses of owning a Golden Retriever. Trust me, there are plenty more.
Researching Breeders and Potential Litters
It takes time to find the perfect Golden Retriever. And it starts with finding the perfect Golden Retriever breeder. This is challenging… very challenging. Since the best breeders are not breeding for profit, they do not always have polished, up to date, websites. Some will only have Facebook pages. A few might not have any internet presence at all. Unfortunately, the ‘for profit’ breeders and puppy mills will have polished websites that always seem to come up on the 1st page in Google search results. You’ll have to wade through them to find good breeders.
Do not expect to get a Golden Retriever puppy quickly. Top breeders will have one, maybe two breedings a year. To get a great puppy you’ll have to get on the waiting list before the puppies are born and likely have to put down a deposit without a guarantee you’ll get a puppy. For Maple we were 3rd on the list a month before the breeding. The litter was only 3 pups. We got lucky. If we weren’t lucky the next litter for that breeder would have been 4-6 months later.
How to Find a Golden Retriever Breeder
- Google search – then wade through the results looking for quality breeders because unfortunately many of the poor breeders will be ranked 1st. (more info on how to identify them below)
- Referrals – Ask on social media for referrals. Then wade through the replies.
- State and Local Golden Retriever clubs. Here in Colorado we have the “Mile High Golden Retriever Club” that has references to breeders. These references tend to be better quality than the national dog clubs
- Golden Retriever forums – The main one I use is https://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/. There is a wealth of information there although you have to wade through a lot of personal opinions and preferences.
- AKC Puppy Marketplace -The AKC themselves have a [“puppy marketplace” –https://marketplace.akc.org/search-puppies. I’m torn on the idea of this. By listing Golden Retrievers for sale on the AKC website there is an implied validation of the breeder by the AKC, however in the fine print:
“AKC has no control over their business practices and is not liable for any dealings between you and any breeders, groomers or other service providers.” and “ AKC registration does not indicate the health, quality or value of a dog”.
On the above linked page they describe several icons that are shown next to some of the breeders listings:
- “AKC Breeder of Merit”
- “AKC Breed with H.E.A.R.T”
- “AKC Club Member”
- “AKC Champion Bloodlines”
When I checked this listings on the AKC marketplace of breeders that had one or more of these icons it looked like they were pretty good breeders. Especially the ‘Champion Bloodlines’. I also checked several without any of the icons. It was more of a mixed bag. I didn’t see any breeders that I would immediately discount but most of them did not have enough information on their website to make an informed choice without more research.
Edit 2023 – Having just completed a new puppy search in late 2022 here are some additional thoughts.
- Google search are likely a waste of time unless you have specific breeders/dogs you are looking at. Commercial breeders dominate the results and it seem that reputable breeders are using websites less and less.
- GoldenRetrieverForum is a great resource. You can search the history for your state to get a staring list. Once you find a breeder/litter you can ask about it on the forum and get valuable feedback from experts on Goldens.
- While the Colorado Golden Retriever Club had a small list of referrals the breeder we eventually went with was listed and if that hadn’t worked out we were on a list with another breeder from that list.
- Reputable breeders have very few litters. However if they are active in raising and showing their dogs they will know other breeders and might be able to give you recommendations.
- Reputable breeders are not breeding to make money. Their motivation is not to sell dogs. That means sometime their communication is lacking when you are inquiring about puppies.
How to Recognize a Great Golden Retriever Breeder
- The parents pedigrees. This trumps everything else. The pedigree shows the history of your potential puppies bloodline. If a breeder doesn’t have the parents pedigrees on their website and will not send you a copy it is a huge red flag.
- Health certificates. Reputable breeders are expected to conduct screening examinations for these diseases on the parents of a litter, and to disclose the results to prospective puppy buyers. This includes tests on: Hips, Elbows, Eyes and Hearts. These typically will be listed on the pedigree.
- Does the breeder show/train their own dogs? The top breeders are very involved in Golden Retriever competitions and their goal in breeding their dogs are to produce better dogs that will win more awards. Since they can’t keep every puppy from a litter, they sell most of them. It is very expensive to train and compete with dogs and they are offsetting some of the cost by selling puppies. Even if they do not compete with every dog they own, as you browse their website it will be obvious that they enjoy training Golden Retrievers.
- Meet the Parents – A breeder should be willing to let you meet the parents of your potential puppy. In some cases, the Sire is offsite and may not be available, but they should always allow you to meet the dam.
- Evaluate the environment the parents live in. Every reputable breeder we bought a Golden Retriever from we have visited. Do the dogs mainly live in cages? Or in areas where they can roam? Do they seem part of the family or do they seem like they are property? Go with your gut here. Two of our current dogs came from Colorado ranches. The other came from the Denver area with less room. The house in town had more limited area to separate the males and females but after three visits before we received our puppy it was obvious the dogs were family dogs.
Golden Retriever Pedigrees
Reviewing you potential Golden Retriever puppies pedigree is the best way to determine to chances of obtaining a great puppy. The pedigree shows parents, breeder, owner, and relatives of the parents. The detail on each dog shows the registered name, call name (name they are referred by in everyday life), their health clearances and titles won.
The main dog registries keep track of the official pedigrees. In the United States that is the AKC. However, that information is not freely available, and they charge for a copy of a dogs pedigree. However, a breeder should always provide pedigrees of any litter they are selling puppies from. Move on if they won’t. Another option is http://k9data.com/ which contains owner entered pedigree information on Golden Retrievers. The data on k9data is not complete but most reputable breeders will enter the information on their dogs. I’ve been able to research generations of my dogs history through k9data.
How to Read a Pedigree
Here is my dog Autumn’s pedigree:
If you can’t read the image here it is on k9data:
Let’s look at Autumn’s mom’s pedigree
1st is her official AKC registered name and birth/death dates
Her official name is: BR Final Approach
The letters after her name are titles won. CD RAE SH CCA:
CD – Companion Dog
RAE – AKC Rally Advanced Excellent
SH – Senior Hunter
CCA – Certificate of Conformation Assessment
Here is more information contained in the pedigree:
Call Name: Goose – name the dog is commonly referred as.
Hip Clearance and Elbow Clearance are listed. On K9Data if you click on one you can see all the clearances.
The pedigree on k9data shows parents, grand-parents and great grand-parents. In Autumns case (officially “Shaffers Princess of Fall”) you will notice EVERY Golden Retriever in her ancestry has titles. Not to be a dog snob but it does mean that all those dogs were very trainable, and their owners took the huge amount of time to train and attain the titles.
Now… lets look at a pedigree from one of my earlier dogs that came from what turned out to be a ‘puppy mill’ breeder.
If you can’t see the image on your device… well I can’t help you…that single copy of the pedigree is all we received from the breeder and they do not enter their dogs pedigrees into k9data.
I’ll describe it:
- It is hand typed. The breeder did not bother to pay the AKC fee for an official pedigree document to give to us.
- Not ONE of Rustie’s relatives on the pedigree had a title.
- The breeder based on our visit and their website… does not train or show their dogs.
Rustie was a good dog. A bit quirky. She died at 6 years old from two different cancers.
A great looking pedigree is not a guarantee that your dog will be the best dog you’ve ever owned. A bad pedigree is not a guarantee that your dog will be horrible. However, a dog with a great pedigree increases your chances that your Golden Retriever puppy will be healthy, trainable and an overall great dog.
Golden Retriever Health Certificates
It is important that any breeder you are looking to buy a Golden Retriever puppy from has done health testing on the parents. Just is important is that the testing showed no defects. At a minimum the breeder should be testing Hips, Elbow, Heart and Eyes. Hips should be rated ‘Good’ or ‘Excellent’ and everything else normal. The ofa.org maintains a database of all dog health clearances. Here is an example on how to find a dogs health Certificates:
If the Golden is entered in k9data.com you will see a section like this:
These link to the ofa.org search results for this dog. If there is no k9data on the dog you can search ofc.org. You must enter the dogs name without titles. Meaning BR Final Approach CD RAE SH CCA would be entered as BR Final Approach.
Once on the Goldens record at ofa.org you will see the summary of clearances:
And clicking on dogs name on this page brings up the results:
Many breeders are now are doing extensive health testing. While looking at a pedigree from a Golden Retriever breeder that participates in the AKC H.E.A.R.T program this is what I found:
I won’t list them out here because there are 18 different tests listed… including the eyes being tested 3 times at 2, 16, and 29 months old.
Golden Retriever Breeders to Avoid
This is a touchy subject. We’ve now owned 8 Golden Retrievers. (as of Jan 2023) Our first three dogs were from breeders that I would now consider… iffy. The last four were from well researched breeders who we feel are some of the best breeders in Colorado. And one is was an exception to the rule. I’m going to categorize the different breeders, give tips on how to identify each type, and give my pros and cons of each type based on our experiences.
To be clear…. All our 8 dogs were great dogs. I wouldn’t trade any of them for another dog. However, some of our dogs had significant health problems which were not only expensive but cut their lives short.
This is a term for people that are amateurs that decide to breed their personal dog. In general, they have little clue about their dogs pedigree and no understanding how ethical and selective breeding works. At best they are hobbyist that loves the breed and wants more of them and at worst they think it is just fun to have puppies and/or feel it’s a great way to make money. As you can guess they rarely will be able to provide a pedigree.
Our 1st dog we owned as a family came from a backyard breeder. We found her through a newspaper ad and paid $500. She supposedly was a true AKC registered dog but I came to doubt it since we have no records of her registration. She was so dark that sometimes people thought she was an Irish Setter and was an extremely nervous dog.
AspenLeaf was a great dog and was entirely devoted to us. We spend years hiking in the mountains of Colorado with her. Unfortunately, she had health problems including severe epilepsy and died from cancer at 6 years of age. However, she was our 1st dog and will always be remembered.
Not every individual that breeds their own Golden Retriever is a horrible breeder. When we lost our 1st dog our veterinarian had a client that had a puppy available from a private breeding. However, they were not amateurs and they knew what they were doing. I was not offered a pedigree and at that time did not know to ask for one but when I looked the parents up years later it turned out they both were exceptional dogs. The sire turned out to be distantly related to Liberty, Gerald Ford’s dog.
Amber was a great dog and could have competed in events if we knew about them. She is our longest living dog who died at 12 years old.
Puppy mills are commercial breeders that mass breed purebred dogs for profit. Some of them are truly horrific breeders where the dogs are mistreated, in poor health and live in cages their whole lives. The dams have litter after litter until they can no longer be bred at which time they are disposed of. Typically, these breeders are not allowing you to tour their facilities or visit the dogs. They are selling the puppies on Craigslist, Facebook, flea-markets, the street corner… anywhere they can convince people to make quick decisions for a low price. If you’ve done your research (which you are doing now) these types of puppy mill breeders are easy to spot and avoid.
However, there is another type of commercial puppy mill Golden Retriever breeder that is a little harder to spot. They usually will have a shiny, professional website that would put a Fortune 500 corporate website to shame. When searching Google for Golden Retriever puppies they tend show up at the top. Sometimes they’ll have Google ads. The breeders here in Colorado that I would go to 1st to buy another would never need to advertise; their puppies are always in demand.
When doing Google searches, I come across two different types of puppy mill websites selling Golden Retriever puppies.
- The marketplace websites – These websites list dogs for sale from multiple breeders. Some allow any breeder to list their dogs for sale (for a price) and some are virtual pet stores… where the website owner has breeder suppliers that provide them with the dogs. The one I kept seeing has a website that looks like Amazon for Golden Retrievers. Page after page of cute puppies at very low cost. They tout their health guarantees, AKC registration, 1st shots… all items required by most states. What is not there is information on the dogs pedigree, detailed health clearances, or information on the breeder except for their name. I tried to lookup several of the breeder’s names to find more information on them and came up blank.
- The slick, corporate, polished breeder website. These websites are obviously created by professionals. They will be filled with information. Almost too much information that really doesn’t tell you much of anything important. There will be lots of photos of Golden Retriever puppies and their facilities. Very little about the parents. They rarely have links to the Health Database for AKC dogs. They’ll claim ‘available upon request’ or just mention that they do health checks. Saw one website that listed them… without links to the actual results:
“PennHip (DI) Right .35/Left .43 (Mild Risk)| Elbow – Normal | Heart – Normal | Ichthyosis – Clear | Eyes – Pending | PRA-1 – Clear | PRA-2 – Carrier | PRCD – Clear | Degenerative Myelopathy – Clear”
That’s a pretty poor result… especially the hips. They are counting on the reader to see all that health information and assume everything is fine because of the amount of information listed. A reputable breeder would never breed a dog that had poor hip results.
They will have little information on their parents. Rarely will they link to the k9data or have an official AKC pedigree posted. They might have an unofficial pedigree listing. Typically, I see these when there are titled relatives. It’s not unusual for puppy mills to start off by buying high quality parents to start their breeding program. I found one that had a ‘champions’ page with listings like this: “IntJr. [dogname] 3xBOB,3xBOB BBX, 3xGrp1, 3x Grp1 BB”. Impressive list of titles although not formatted properly. I searched for each of their dogs on k9data and finally found one that was had their data entered. Those impressive titles… they were a culmination of titles won by their dogs grand-parents and great-grand-parents… not the parent dog itself.
These are just general comments about what I’ve noticed when searching for Golden Retriever breeders when we are look for a new puppy. There are obviously grey areas. A reputable breeder that has great puppies can have a very professional looking website and some breeders just don’t have technical ability to maintain a website with all the information you need before
I won’t list breeders that I think are puppy mills but all you need do is search for: “English Cream Golden Retriever Puppies” and you’ll find plenty. White and near white Golden Retrievers are big money makers because they are marketed as rare and imported. If you really want a light-colored Golden Retriever there are reputable breeders selling them, but it will take some work to find them.
As mentioned in the pedigree section one of our early dogs came from a puppy mill. It was obvious on our visit. We initially sat in the breeders house and met the Sire and signed the paperwork. Then the breeder gave us tour of her facility. We were horrified. She was bragging about her new kennels for the adult dogs that had mesh floors to make them easier to keep clean. We came to the realization that the dogs spent most of their life in kennels. On our way home we debated whether to forfeit our deposit and go elsewhere but in the end we decided to save a puppy. Rustie was a pretty good dog but died early from cancer.
Our experience with this puppy mill convinced us to never again buy a golden retriever without doing the proper research.
Several years after writing this article but before I migrated to this new website I was going through some old photo albums and found a few pictures of our visit to this puppy mill. Rusties mom, after the puppies were weaned was put back in the cages. Here is a picture of her.
If there is one thing I hope people take from this website is to never, never, never buy a dog from a pet store. You are almost guaranteed to get a Golden Retriever puppy that came from a back-yard breeder or puppy mill. Regulations vary by state but there will be little or no information on the breeder or parents. The puppy will be sitting in a small kennel receiving little socialization during the most critical weeks of their life.
Our 2nd dog came from a pet store. We wanted a companion for our 1st dog. It was a snap decision that was poorly thought out. Brandy was over 10 weeks old when we got her. (we were never sure… we had no information on her). She was the least social of all our dogs… she’d prefer to spend most of her time outside. She did have many of the traits of your typical Golden Retriever. She loved outdoors activities like hiking and camping and had a great nose. She died pretty early at the age of about 7.
Did I mention you should NEVER buy a dog from a pet store?
Common Traits of Breeders to Avoid
These are just guidelines. In our opinion a breeder that has more than a few of the following characteristic raises enough red flags that they warrant closer inspection. Unfortunately, you have to start at the breeders website. Many reputable breeders have old, out-of-date, and sometimes broken websites. However, there should be enough there to determine if they warrant farther investigation.
- A lot of dogs. Hard to put an actual number on it but once it gets past 10, I believe it warrants a closer look. However, be aware that many breeders list dogs that are co-owned, retired, mentored, live with other family members, or are deceased. For example, the 1st “AKC Breeder of Merit” I looked at had 15 dogs. However only 6 of the dogs were active. 5 were co-owned and 4 were retired.
- A lot of retired dogs. The breeder Rustie came from has 15 active dogs and 17 retired dogs. It’s good that a breeder retires a dog after 3-5 breedings, but it is obvious when a breeder is cycling through a lot of dogs to produce a lot of litters.
- Adult dogs for sale. Same as retired dogs. Sometimes a breeder is trying to dispose of dogs they can no longer breed. These dogs tend to be older. Occasionally a breeder will keep a dog from a litter to train for show or field events and that dog doesn’t work out and sometimes they will sell them. These dogs tend to be young and highly trained… just not title quality. That is different from a 5-7 year old dog being sold because they cannot longer be bred.
- A lot of litters. A small breeder might only breed every other year. The breeder we’ve used that has a lot of dogs has 8 litters planned for 2020; however 2 of those are from co-owned dogs. . Rusties breeder had dogs from 6 littles available IN ONE MONTH in 2019 and seem to average 2-3 litters a month. The puppy mills don’t list out past and future litters however you can use https://web.archive.org/ to view older versions of their website to check how often they are breeding.
- Females too old or too young to breed. Recommended breeding age is 2-6. It is dog dependent but outside that range should raise a red flag.
- Not have a pedigree or a link to pedigree data on k9data.com. If they don’t have it on their website, they should be willing to email it to you. Avoid breeders that hide the parents linage.
- No detailed health clearances. Do not accept a breeder that only claims their Golden Retriever puppies have their health clearances. Just because they were tested doesn’t mean the results were good! There is a Health Database for AKC dogs. (https://ofa.org/) Reputable breeders will have their dogs listed there and be happy to give you a link to their dogs health clearances if they don’t have a link on their website.
- Puppy Pictures – Puppy mills have so many litters it is hard for them to update the progress of the litter. Our breeders will post pictures of the various stages of puppy growth in the 8 weeks until they can be picked up. Several of the breeders we’ve gotten puppies even have a YouTube channel where they post videos of the puppies growing up.
- The parents photos look like corporate headshots. Framed perfectly against a beautiful background. The breeders we’ve bought Golden Retriever puppies from have pictures of the parents actually doing work: retrieving birds, posing for their titles, have their ribbons in their mouth. When you compare the pictures side by side it is obvious which ones have Golden Retrievers that are just being breed for the puppies and which ones are being breed to produce great puppies.
- Puppies available for sale after they are born. Every reputable breeder we’ve used has waiting lists that are full before the little is born.
- Ads on web searches. Puppies from good breeders are in demand and the breeder has no need to advertise to sell them.
We won’t post pictures from breeders we feel are puppy mills. However, search for “English Golden Retriever Puppies” and you will see plenty of ‘generic’ parent pictures.
Compare what you see on those websites to our last three (prior to Maple) dogs’ parents:
As you can see the last three breeders we’ve used are proud to show off what their dogs have done.
Choosing Your Golden Retriever Puppy Type
While there is only one Golden Retriever breed standard, many breeders tend to breed their dogs for specific purposes. While all Golden Retrievers will have all the great qualities one expects from one of the most popular breeds in the world some breeders will focus on producing puppies that excel in the events they specialize in. This can lead to their Golden Retriever puppies having specific looks and/or personalities.
A conformation event is commonly known as a dog show. If you have ever watched the Westminster Kennel Dog Show you have watched a conformation show. At these shows dogs are judged by how well they ‘conform’ to the breed standards.
While there are no guarantees on how a puppy will look or act no matter who its parents are, when you buy a Golden Retriever puppy from a breeder that that is trying to produce future champion dogs you are likely to get a beautiful, easily trainable dog that has an easygoing personality. Don’t worry… even Goldens that I would consider ‘laidback’ still like to be very active and are more than happy to go run through a muddy creek.
In our experience, conformation breeders own fewer dogs and breed them less often. It is They are primarily breeding to produce a puppies that can compete in the ring for themselves or a limited number of friends/co-owners. Often those people will get 1st choice of the puppies from the litter since they are looking for specific characteristics. For the remainder of the litter either the breeder will choose which puppies go to each new owner or will let the owners pick out their puppies; typically in order of deposit.
I’m admit when the breeder of our oldest dog, Pixie, informed us that she would be picking our puppy out for us I was a little irritated. We were spending a lot of money and had to wait over 3 months… at least we could pick out our puppy. But in hindsight it makes sense. We met with the breeder several times and she got to know our personalities a little bit and more importantly, learned about our lifestyle. She picked out a puppy that fit our family perfectly.
Field Dog Breeders
Also known as performance or Hunting dogs.
The Golden Retriever was originally created to be the perfect hunting dog and there are plenty of Golden Retriever breeders that attempt attain that goal. So, what characteristics make for a great Golden Retriever field dog? Most Goldens are very trainable and eager to please their owner, however field Goldens display some enhanced characteristics:
- Retrieving – Most Goldens like to have something in their mouth… but Field Goldens have a strong desire to go get something and bring it back to you.
- Marking & Nose – Marking is your dog visually knowing the area the item fell and then they use their nose to locate it if they didn’t see it land. Our Pixie loves retrieving tennis balls but if I throw one in the snow and she doesn’t see exactly where it went in, she won’t find it… and she rarely watches me throw it. Our Copper watches with an eagle eye where I throw a bumper and even if she doesn’t see it land will run patterns where she thinks it is until she picks up its scent.
- Swimming – Most Goldens love water and swimming, but field dogs will take to water ‘like a duck’ as the saying goes.
- ‘Drive to Retrieve’ – I don’t want to call it a ‘high prey drive’ because that has negative connotations for a dog. (the hunting and killing of prey). Field Goldens seem to be driven to retrieve and are less satisfied when their only activity is walking on a lease.
It’s not an absolute but Field Golden Retrievers tend to be smaller, leaner, more muscular and darker. If you hear the term ‘red head’ that typically refers to a field golden.
Field Goldens are great. But make sure you are willing to kept up with their high activity levels if you get one.
Breeders That Do It All
Training a dog to win a championship (conformation title) is hard. Getting a hunting title for your dog takes both a lot of work and a lot of land. Winning an agility title? That takes time, a real smart, active and trainable dog.
Believe it or not there are breeders that raise dogs that do it all. Our older dog, Autumn came from such a breeder.
Autumns dad is a champion who has both a
junior senior hunter and excellent agility title. Her mom is a senior hunter and excellent agility dog. Both also have companion dog titles. It’s no wonder Autumn basically self-trained herself on basic obedience.
Consider yourself lucky if you can find a breeder that competes with their dogs in a variety of events.
Golden Retriever Colors
Golden Retrievers have three official colors: Light, regular, dark. Any Golden Retriever that is too light or too dark is considered out of the breed standard.
It’s understandable that you might have a preference but also urge you to consider color to be a secondary consideration. 1st find a list of great breeders then research the colors of the parents being bred. At that point you can pick a breeding where the outcome is likely to produce a puppy with the color you want. Be aware… just because the parents are a certain color does not mean all the puppies will be.
Lately in the United States there has been a huge market for white/cream colored Golden Retrievers. Since they have been marketed as rare the prices are extremely high for dogs with poor pedigrees.
It is not impossible to find reputable breeders producing mainly light-colored Golden Retrievers. You’ll likely have to search nationwide. However, I urge you to ignore color and instead find the best breeder that has puppies available near you.
Final Thoughts on Finding a Golden Retriever Puppy Breeder
I hope after getting this far you still want to purchase a Golden Retriever puppy. Trust me Golden Retriever will become your best friend; always there for you, never judging you, a companion you can count on for a decade or more.
A Golden Retriever, or any dog, is a huge commitment. They are expensive, time consuming, and you will be responsible for them for over a decade. It is important to find the right breeder which will result in the right puppy for you.
To recap what we feel are the critical steps in getting a Golden Retriever puppy.
- Understand that this is a decade or more commitment.
- Realize the costs of owning a dog… not just upfront but ongoing.
- Make sure you can commit to the time it takes to own a dog
- Examine your lifestyle. Pick a Golden Retriever ‘type’ that fits it.
- Have patience… understand the time it takes to find a perfect puppy.
- Research, Research, Research
- Understand the difference between good breeders and bad breeders.
- Learn to read a pedigree.
- Understand a Golden Retriever health clearances.
- Do not be afraid to ask breeders for more information.
- Have patience… finding the right breeder takes time.
- Visit potential breeders if possible.
- You’ve found a breeder? Have patience… you’ll have to wait for months before your puppy is ready to go home.