|Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club|
16 Things to Look For in a Breeder
GHGRC recommends that you only purchase a puppy from a litter and breeder that meet the following criteria:
BOTH parents of the litter are 2 years of age or older.
Additional indicators of a responsible breeder:
In addition to being a GRCA member, they are probably members of their local GRCA member club, and/or are members of one or more local dog clubs (all-breed kennel club, obedience club, hunting retriever club, etc).
They are knowledgeable about the breed and are able to answer your questions. They have spent time studying the breed and researching pedigrees. They should be able to answer questions about the health, temperament, and longevity of the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents of any litter they have bred. They do not mind being asked these questions, and in fact generally love talking about these things.
They may likely NOT own the sire of the litter -- they have worked hard to find the BEST mate for their female and that is not always a dog they own or even one who lives locally. They should be able to answer questions about the sire and have photos of him available. They should be willing to put you in contact with his owner if you wish.
Most responsibly-bred Golden Retriever litters will not only have hip, eye, heart, and elbow health clearances on the sire and dam, but the litter pedigree will have 6 generations or more where nearly every dog has a hip and eye clearance, and 3-4 generations or more of cardiac clearances. (Elbow clearances became required much more recently.)
Responsible breeders rarely advertise in the local newspapers, preferring instead to place their puppies via word of mouth and the local club puppy referral network.
They rarely will have more than one litter available at a time.
They may have another breed in addition to Golden Retrievers, but rarely will be selling puppies from more than two breeds.
They may have a web site, but they will not sell puppies via the Internet and will require an interview in person before committing to selling any puppy.
They will probably ask YOU for references and will not be offended if you ask THEM for references.