You should expect to put both time and effort into your search for your golden retriever. Remember, this dog will be a member of your family for up to 15 years–it is worth waiting for the right one. Think of the time you spend buying a car and, remember, it stays in the garage. Put at least that much time into buying the dog that will live in your home, play with your children, possibly sleep on your bed.
- Begin by educating yourself about the breed and make sure it is the one for you. Go to The Gaylan’s Bookstore for our recommendations on books about golden retrievers. For an honest evaluation of the breed, check out Your Purebred Puppy.
- Even if you want a family pet, go to local dog shows to see and interact with many goldens to get an idea of what you like. The AKC web site lists upcoming events
- Visit the AKC web site to gather information about dog ownership.
- Next, decide if you want a puppy or an adult.
- If you decide on an adult, you can often find one available from a purebred rescue or a local breeder. The GRCA maintains a listing of golden retriever rescue group on its site.
- If you are looking for a puppy, you want to find a reputable breeder. Check out What is a Breeder? for a good description. In North America, reputable breeders are members of either the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA)or the Golden Retriever Club of Canada (GRCC). These clubs maintain puppy referal lists through which you can find breeders in your area.
- Prepare a list of questions to ask breeders. Since reputable breeders usually have more buyers than puppies, you will need to be persistent. The Deleware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue has developed a list of questionsyou should ask breeders.
- Go visit one or more breeders, if possible, to meet the dogs and ensure the surroundings are clean and healthy. If all looks good, expect to put a deposit, usually $100 to $300, down on a puppy once the litter is born.
- Once you’ve found your puppy, start preparing yourself for his or her arrival. Go to The Gaylan’s Bookstore for books on puppy training and rearing.
There are a number of informative Internet sites dedicated to golden retrievers. These are the best places to turn to when you want to know something about golden retrievers.