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 How to Identify a Reputable Golden Retriever Breeder 
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Post How to Identify a Reputable Golden Retriever Breeder
How to Identify a Reputable Golden Retriever Breeder
by: Camille Goldin

Golden Retrievers can make wonderful pets, having been bred for their gentle, friendly temperaments. However, some breeders are willing to breed dogs with behavioral problems, and members of the breed can have health problems. How to find a breeder who is trying to improve the breed rather than breeding purely to make money?

Serious hobby breeders, those interested in improving the breed, frequently belong to clubs of those concerned with responsible breeding, so ask what memberships breeders have. Good breeders usually show their dogs to help maintain high standards of the breed. A responsible breeder will not simply sell you a dog and say good-bye, but will discuss with you your knowledge of how to raise a puppy and be sure that you and the Golden Retriever are a good match. Good breeders have their puppies dewormed and give them their first shots, or immunizations, before selling them. They are also willing to spend some time instructing you on feeding, training, and veterinary care.

One way to predict what your puppy will be like when it is an adult is to study the parents. Responsible breeders will have the parent dogs on the premises, ready to meet potential buyers. Golden Retrievers are active dogs, but the dog should be able to settle down to go indoors or to be petted. If it is hyperactive, the chances are its puppies will be too. Aggression can be another behavioral problem. Ask to see the breeder’s dogs interact with each other and with humans. A dog should be able to tolerate having its food bowl moved without biting the person, and should not fight with other dogs. A mother dog who is protective of her puppies is likely to have puppies who grow up to be fear biters. Watch for unwarranted timidity or nervousness, since they can predict behavioral problems in the puppies.

The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is concerned with inherited defects in many breeds, including golden retrievers. Hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism and heart disease are common problems among Golden Retrievers and cooperating certified veterinarians help OFA to maintain records of dogs and the state of their bones, joints, thyroid glands and hearts. Before going to see puppies, ask the breeder for copies of OFA reports or look them up at It can take up to two years for hip or elbow dysplasia to be diagnosed, so Golden Retrievers should not be bred before they have their full growth at age two. This is also a bad practice for female dogs.

The Canine Eye Registration Foundation maintains records of dogs certified free of eye diseases. Common eye problems in golden retrievers include bilateral juvenile onset cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and eyelid and eyelash problems. Ask for a CERF certification or check at

The American Kennel Club (AKC) began the Breeder Referral Program in 1992. The purpose of the program is to put potential buyers in touch with responsible breeders. The program includes a network of AKC-educated clubs for owners of purebred dogs concerned with responsible breeding. The clubs keep tabs on local breeders and their dogs and refer callers to those they consider responsible. The AKC can be found at The parent club for golden retriever clubs is listed at the AKC website as the Golden Retriever Club of America, and its website can be found at, Choose your breeder and puppy carefully so that you and your new companion will have many happy years together.

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Camille Goldin narrates how to identify a Golden Retriever breeder. Visit to learn about taking care of Puppies. ... iever.html
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Fri Jan 07, 2011 9:57 am
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