top of page

What Makes a "Good" Breeder?

You're looking for a Golden Retriever puppy and you're wondering how to get a quality puppy. You want one that's healthy, has a stable temperament and is also beautiful. Breeders are charging a lot. Will you get what you're paying for?

This list may seem unrealistic, but good breeders really do test for all these things. This is why your puppy costs so much. If you buy from a breeder that doesn't do these tests, you're not getting what you're paying for.

These are the health testing standards according to the Golden Retriever Club of America.

These can been researched by dam and sire name at

In addition a DNA test can help us to screen our breeding dogs to see if they're carriers or affected by many diseases common to a particular breed. If one parent is a carrier, but the other parent is clear, no puppies will have the condition. If both parents are carriers, 25% of the puppies will have the condition.

These are the ones that are currently considered the standard, but more are being added all the time.

  • prcd-PRA

  • PRA1

  • PRA2

  • Ichthyosis

  • DM

  • NCL

There's a wonderful website used by Golden Retriever Breeders that lists both OFA and DNA information on dogs.

A "reputable" breeder will make it easy for you to access their dogs health test results. After all, they've put a lot of time and money into it, and are proud of their dogs. They've made

the sometimes difficult decision to breed only their dogs that pass all of the tests.

What about after the puppies are born? How are they raised? There are many styles but this is how I do it:

My dogs are my pets and live in my home. They have rich lives full of hiking, training and love. I believe that this makes for happier, more stable puppies.

The puppies are born and raised in the home. They have lots and lots of enrichment opportunities and play obstacles. They run outside to grow strong and agile. Their play areas are kept meticulously clean and they're provided a litter box. Why? As early as 3 weeks puppies instinctively know to keep their bed area clean. If they're shown where the potty area is, they'll be much, much easier to housebreak. If they learn to live in filth, your job of showing them where to go will be very difficult. I expose the puppies to concepts and objects that will be part of their lives. They become comfortable with crates and learn the concept of a treat reward for an action.

Be sure to visit your breeder at some time before you've committed to a puppy. That's the only way that you'll be able to know how your puppy will be raised. Those first 8 weeks are critical to puppy development.

What about contracts and requirements from a good breeder? A good breeder will:

  • Care about the type of home that you will provide. Yes, the application will probably look ridiculous to you.

  • Want to educate you on all aspects of puppy rearing

  • Have taken the puppy to a vet for vaccination and health checks prior to their going home

  • Microchip the puppy

  • Take the puppy back if necessary

  • Want to stay in touch with you throughout the life of the puppy

  • Be aware that many breeders prefer owners that intend to train and show their puppy

So where do you find this breeder? Here are a couple of websites that are a good place to start: and If you want a really nice companion, be prepared to wait. Good breeders are breeding for quality, not quantity. I recommend applying and getting on several breeders lists. Reproduction is uncertain, and especially in the case of small breeders, there may not be another litter anytime soon.

Be willing to research, be patient, and hopefully you'll have puppy breath in your life soon.

46 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page