Choice in Purchasing a Golden Retriever
(Updated January 29, 2024)
There are a lot of dog breeders out there. As a perspective Golden Retriever buyer, your goal is to find a quality breeder that can provide you with a happy, healthy Golden Retriever puppy who will bring you and your family many years of joy without complications in the puppy’s health or temperament.
As a Golden Retriever breeder, our goal is to find a loving person or family who will provide a great home and a healthy environment for one of our babies. These goals can be challenging for both parties. Many new or dabbling breeders have a different concept of and motivation for breeding compared to our own. Over the past 5 years, as the number of choices of breeders have more than quadrupled, the task of finding a good breeder has become quite daunting for the puppy buyer, and many have been disappointed with prior breeder experiences. A common idea among many pet owners has been, “Hey, let’s breed our female Golden Retriever with our neighbor’s Golden down the street. It’ll be a great experience for the kids and we could sure use the extra money.” …and so they’re off and running in the highly competitive and seemingly lucrative world of breeding dogs. When you think about the price of a puppy these days and do the math, it sure seems like a quick way to make a lot of money, and maybe even quit your 8 to 5 day job.
However, so, so much goes into the development of a breeding program that is capable of producing a healthy and happy, premier-quality Golden Retriever, or any dog breed for that matter. It is very hard to know all the considerations and pitfalls of becoming a dog breeder until after you have developed experience. Many breeders jump out of the breeding business just as fast as they jumped into it because: (1) the start-up costs can be over-whelming if the breeder is doing it right without compromising or ignoring important necessities and procedures, (2) it requires a lot of hard work with a very steep learning curve, and (3) there are liabilities involved with failure and poor business practices. The chances of having people become very upset with the breeder are extemely high with inexperience and mistakes. When you consider the tools of the internet, social media, and review platforms such as Google, a bad reputation can develop quickly. But also keep in mind, Google reviews should not be the deciding factor in choosing a breeder. Positive reviews of a business can be bought or fabricated, and often are by paid website maintenance services. Google has not quite developed the ability to verify paying customers of their business listings that result from a Google search. That is why anyone can leave any review they want for any business listed on Google. Nonetheless, there are other things that should be considered as you are searching for the right breeder to purchase a puppy from.
Some breeders decide they want to breed several different breeds to capture a wider interest of puppy buyers. They may breed Goldens, Poodles, Shih Tzus, Bulldogs, Labs, and they may try mixing between pure breeds. However, there are substantial differences in what you need to know to be proficient in breeding one breed of dog versus another breed. You've probably heard the old adage, “Jack of all trades, Master of none!” This is why "puppy mills" are often frowned upon by the public. We feel that when a business tries to learn all the breeding essentials involved in several different breeds or decide to take on cross breeding, they either have to employ dedicated individuals who specialize in each of those breeds, or they are probably not going to be as knowledgeable as a breeder who only specializes in a single breed or one mixed breed.
Some breeders jump right into the “designer” or cross-bred versions of dogs so that among other things, they can avoid the scrutiny of the American Kennel Club. When a breeder breeds the popular puppies of today such as GoldenDoodles (Golden + Poodle), Goldadors (Golden + Lab), LabraDoodles (Lab + Poodle), or some other cross breed, the puppies are not classified as an AKC registerable purebred and therefore, no AKC paperwork is required to register the litters of those cross-bred puppies. And, while mixed breeds are becoming more and more popular among pet owners, the classic personality of the breed is degraded when cross bred. What do we meant by that? Anytime a purebred is crossed with another breed of dog, the classic traits of personality and expected behaviors become a mixture of the two breeds. For example, some people would not choose to own a Poodle but they would be getting part of the personality traits of a Poodle when they purchase a GoldenDoodle.
For at least four decades, the AKC Golden Retriever has stayed at either 3rd or 4th place among the most popular breeds in the U.S. The reason is simple: They are beautiful, sweet, intelligent, gentle, loving, non-aggressive, and make the perfect family dog. Cross-breeding will change the classic character of a dog breed so that a pet owner may very likely end up with something unexpected or something they hoped to not have to deal with in their pet’s personality traits.
We only breed classic, pure-bred Goldens. We don’t breed any others because we want to focus all our knowledge, our dedication, and our attention to what we’ve owned and raised for over 45 years: the AKC Golden Retriever. In the 90's we first started to dream about becoming a breeder. Then, in 2004 we began planning with thorough research on what it would take to become a premier quality breeder of Golden Retrievers. We knew that we would have to move away from the west coast to make this happen. Two years later in 2006 we moved to the Midwest and Golden PuppiesTM was born. Here are some of the distinctions to consider with Emery-n-Denise’s Golden PuppiesTM when making your search for a quality breeder:
- Our Experience With Goldens for Over 45 Years - When you've owned a Golden, your beloved Golden and your heart convince you that no other dog choice comes close to this magnificent breed, all things considered. We've always owned Goldens along with a few other breeds in our younger years, but the ideal choice for a furry family member became crystal clear to us after being around many different breeds over the decades. In those 45 years, we have been through just about every experience you can imagine with Goldens. We hope you will agree that this qualifies us to be regarded as a premier quality breeder, as well as a breeder who offers trustworthy, intelligent, and well-informed advice to past or current Golden owners as well as those seeking to adopt one for the first time.
- Our Breeding Knowledge of How to Do it Right - We started educating ourselves about breeding dogs a few years before retiring from our professional careers. We talked to veterinarians, other breeders, other Golden owners, dog food manufacturers, and just about anybody who had an opinion about Goldens BEFORE we started... because we wanted to do it right. is our story.
- Our Resident Puppy Doula - Most breeders (especially inexperienced ones), believe that when a female dog whelps her puppies, it is a most natural and innate process that the mother is perfectly capable of doing completely on her own. For the most part this is true, and most breeders do not interfere with the birthing process of the pups. However, Emery-n-Denise have learned over the years if you assist with the delivery of the pups, it brings more calmness and confidence, and less stress and exhaustion to the pregnant momma. It also insures little or no losses of the puppies. Loss of a puppy can happen if the critical timing and urgency of the momma to act quickly on it does not occur when it is birthed. There is much to do immediately after a pup comes thru the birthing canal which must be done quickly to preserve the pup's life such as: removal of it's birthing sack, detachment of it's umbilical cord, and stimulation of the puppy with aggressive licking all over the pup's body. The normal timing between successive births of the pups is normally 20 to 40 minutes. This gives the momma plenty of time between deliveries to recoup her strength from all the contractions, pushing, and time-critical tasks. But if two puppies come out fairly close together, say less than 10 minutes of each other, it doesn't give the mother enough time to do all the things that are necessary to preserve both puppy's lives. In addition, a momma will begin to tire of exhaustion after the first 6 to 8 pups are born, and her ability to keep up as more pups come out can be challenging. That's where having a doula or mid-wife avoids these complications and insures each pup's survival. Ms. Denise is very experienced at this and both she and each of our momma dogs enjoy her participation in the whelping of a litter.
- Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) - Research and development on the use of ENS began to be explored with newborn puppies in the late 1950s and 60s by the U.S. Military and NASA, and continued with the American Kennel Club in the mid to late 2000s. It is extremely beneficial in giving newborn puppies a jump start on their relationship with humans, human acclimation, and promoting a balanced temperament. In 2015, Emery-n-Denise began performing the ENS maneuvers on all our puppies for a two-week period starting on day three. We have written for those interested in learning more about this most helpful series of procedural exercises that are known by the acronym, ENS.
- Health Histories of Our Breeding Dogs - To offer the public a healthy, happy Golden Retriever, a breeder has to find the right parents. This takes a huge amount of research and effort. Things like lineage, health history, appearance, and personality of the parents are key. The health histories of the parents are not where we stop. Determining the are essential to insure the best possible outcome of future litters when a male and female Golden are mated. This is a very lengthy and complicated process going back 6 generations, involving 128 dogs in the lineage. Doing this insures our puppy litters will be healthy which means our customers will be happy. If neglected, the inbred problems may come back to bite the breeder (pun intended)!
- Our Health Guarantee, In Writting - A reputible breeder will always (or, should aways) stand behind the puppies they are offering by including a written health guarantee of at least one year. This protects the buyer so that after taking their puppy home and they discover from their veterinarian that the puppy has a congenital health defect or a genetic health issue, the buyer has some type of recourse. We have a one year health guarantee to protect our customers.
- Our Willingness to Help You Thru the First Year - The first year of your new puppy's life is the most crucial. This is because in addition to house training, you will be making a number of trips to the Vet to get examinations, booster shots, de-wormmings, and advice. Vet bills like everthing else have sky rocketed. This is where we think we stand out from most every other breeder. As we mentioned previously, we've been through just about every experience you can imagine with Goldens and we've learned how to proceed with the same course of action a Vet will prescribe if symptoms in your Golden begin to occur. You could just make a Vet appointment and spend one to two hundred dollars, or you could call us. We are NOT licensed Veterinarians, nor do we have any certified training in the medical field of animals, but we'll ask you a number of questions when you call us, probably quite a few more than your Vet would normally ask. We may tell you to go to your Vet if we think the situation is serious enough. But chances are we've probably been there and gone through the same experience in our 45 years as Golden owners and, we can advise you what steps to take that were successful for us. This is a valuable part of our program we think you will benefit from.
- Our No-Loss Deposit Policy - When you get on our reservation list, the deposit is $300 for 1st Priority, $200 for 2nd Priority, $500 for a puppy that has already been born and is currently available, or $1,000 for a puppy that is ready to take home immediately. Although deposits are non-refundable (unless we default by not being able to provide a puppy to you), we also understand that sometimes unforeseen circumstances come up that make it impossible to bring a new puppy into your home. So in these cases, you have no alternative but to cancel. However, we will keep track of and give you credit for your deposit(s) and allow you to postpone your puppy purchase until circumstances permit you to get back on the waiting list for a future litter. This is one of the reasons we created private customer accounts so that both you and we can keep track of your deposit(s) and honor this promise to our buyers (read the next bulleted item below).
- Our Customer Accounts With Login - At the top of our website, you will see our login menu. When you place a deposit to get on one of our waiting lists, you will create a customer account with your own personal username and password. This allows you to keep track of your position on our waiting list. No one sees your information except us, and you can log back in periodically to see if your position on the waiting list has improved (which almost always does for various reasons). You can also keep track of your deposit, your balance, and your contact information. We don't know of any other breeder who offers this to their customers. We think it gives our customers flexibility and peace of mind.
- Our Microchip I.D. With No Mix Ups - One of the most shadey things some breeders do when you go to pick out your puppy is: (a) they either tell you what puppy you are getting and you have no say in the matter, or (b) they let you choose from a group of puppies, and then you come back in a few weeks when the puppy is ready to take home. But how are they going to keep track of your puppy to know that it is the one you picked? Many breeders will tell you they put a colored piece of yarn around its neck or tie it to its paw; some use toenail polish; some use a permanent marker on its bare skin. We've seen it all and none of that works. It's the first sign of an inexperienced breeder. There is only one reliable way to insure the puppy you picked out is the puppy you eventually take home: microchip the puppies. This is a safe and and fail-proof method. There is no possibility of mix-ups. We also enroll your puppy with lifetime membership in the AKC Reunite database, free of charge.
- Our Track Record in Breeding Since 2006 - One thing that speaks volumes: We have never had an unhappy customer who felt they were treated unfairly. How do we do that? We put our customers first with the respect we would hope to get if we were in your shoes. It is the right way to do business, especially if you are caring for one of our babies.
- Our Health Records and Veterinarian's Report - All our puppies come with a written Health Record and a comprenesive Veterinary Examination Report from our licensed veterinarian. The dates and vaccine labels of all initial vaccinations and de-wormmings are provided in our written records along with our recommended follow up treatments and future exams throughout the life of your puppy.
- The Wealth of Information on Our Website - We don't hire outside services to write any of the information you see on our website. No ghost writers, no bartering with product manufacturers who pay us to boast about their products, no pop-up ads from 3rd parties, and we don't track your internet activity with cookies so that others can find out what you have been recently considering to buy on the internet... and then the next day your email is spammed full of advertisements for those very items! No we don't do any of that. Everything you see or read on our website is 100% ours, written by us, photographed by us, graphically designed by us, and managed by us. We research everything we can about Goldens on a daily basis, we scrutinize all information carefully based on what we have tried ourselves and have put into practice (because not everything you read or hear is true), and we pass this wealth of information along to you. Do other breeders plagerize our information? Probably, but we don't have time to worry about that and our information is for everyone, even if you aren't a customer or decide on another breeder.
We hope this article has helped you to develop confidence in us as the best breeder to put your trust in and, and at the same time, we are also developing that same trust in you to provide an excellent home for one of our pups. When you sacifice your time by reading the information on our website (we know, it's a lot to absorb), that speaks volumes to us by letting us know how serious you are taking this awesome responsibility. But we love you for doing it...