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We only have one litter of puppies each year. When we have decided on a breeding we will make an announcement on Facebook and update the website with information about the parents of the litter. People who are interested can contact us through the website, request a puppy application and return that to us by email. If we do not think you are a good fit for one of our puppies we will let you know that right away. Otherwise we will keep your puppy application on file until the litter is born. At that time we notify everyone interested and let them know if we have a puppy for them. We also ask for a $500 deposit at that time. This is not a first come - first served process. We choose the homes we feel will be the best situations for the puppies.
We do all health clearances recommended by the Golden Retriever Club of America. The parents – and usually grandparents and great-grandparents of our puppies have all been certified clear of heart conditions, hip and elbow dysplasia, and have yearly eye exams by a veterinary ophthalmologist. They are certified clear of some genetic conditions such as ichthyosis and progressive retinal atrophy. This is not a guarantee that health problems will not arise but makes serious problems much less likely. We do our best to produce healthy puppies.
When you pick up your puppy (we do not ship puppies) we will both sign a puppy contract. It states what we expect of you in terms of care for the dog, that you agree not to breed the dog, that we must be contacted if you are no longer able to care for the dog and have the right to take it back or approve placement among other things. It also spells out health guarantees for the puppy. You may return the puppy within 10 days for a full refund if it has any documented disease or disorder acquired before it left our property. And there is a 26 month guarantee against certain hereditary defects that prevent the dog from functioning as a family pet. We are happy to share the full contract with anyone purchasing a puppy.
When they are seven weeks old we have puppies temperament tested by experienced breeders. Temperament testing evaluates a puppy’s energy level, aptitude for training and working ability, among other things. You can Google “Volhardt puppy aptitude test” for information about that process. Using the test results, observations we have made of the litter and information provided on the puppy applications, we match puppies with buyers. It has worked out very well in the past.
All puppies go home with paperwork needed register them with the American Kennel Club (AKC). It is the new owner’s decision whether they want to register them or not. Anyone who plans to be involved in AKC competition such as obedience, agility or hunt tests will want to register their puppy. A limited registration means that the dog may compete in all AKC events except conformation (dog shows) and that any offspring of the dog can not be registered with AKC. Anyone interested in showing in conformation or breeding the dog will need to make special arrangements with us.
We breed a mix of conformation (show dogs) and working (obedience, hunt, agility, etc.) pedigrees. There is an explanation of what all the letters before and after a dog’s registered name on a pedigree mean on the “About” page of our website. These are the titles that the dog has earned and show their different abilities. Many Golden Retriever breeders focus on either conformation OR working bloodlines. We bred what are called “Versatile” Goldens – excellent looks/ structure AND working ability.
We are currently charge $2500 - a $500 deposit when the puppies are born and we know that we have what you want, the balance when you pick up the puppy. We accept cash, Venmo, or a personal check.
The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) Code of Ethics spells out what is expected Golden Retriever breeders. This includes things like being fair and honest, disclosing any health or temperament issues with the dogs, doing all required health and DNA testing, and screening buyers carefully. Those following the Code of Ethics are considered responsible or reputable breeders. Please visit the Golden Retriever Club of America website for more information on this and on Golden Retrievers in general.
My recommendation would be to read every bit that you can found here: https://grca.org/
The Golden Retriever Club of America is loaded with resources and information about this wonderful breed.