It has been quite a journey to find the right Golden Retriever puppy. The first breeder didn't work out and we learned a lot along the way that no one shared with us.
As it turns out, our puppy is not a girl from Alabama, it is a boy from Georgia and will be named Rebel. Let me share some of the lessons we learned.
We had two references for 2 different breeders originally. We chose one of them and paid the $300 deposit. The breeder gave us a whelping date of October 28/29 and we waited. The breeder gave no feedback without our prompting and continued to tell us "No puppies yet, soon." Since the gestation of a dog is 58 to 68 days we knew something was not right as the clock kept ticking. He finally told me there were no puppies, wait 4 months for another try.
This is a reputable breeder of Labradors but he occasionally breeds Goldens. He should have known if momma was pregnant or not! We don't believe he actually had the dog at all. Once he lost our trust we wanted our money back. It took 2 weeks but he did finally return our deposit.
Hubby and I tag teamed research for another puppy and after countless calls, emails, texts etc.. we finally hit gold with a breeder in Georgia. We were immediately presented with health records and pedigrees of both parents and he ONLY breeds Golden Retrievers. Hallelujah! Both are free of Hip Dysplasia, elbow and other known problems for the breed.
The breeder told us that he has one about to deliver any minute and another who will whelp at Thanksgiving. We immediately sent our deposit and have been ecstatic ever since. Puppies were born that very same night. Three girls and 8 boys. We are 2nd in line to pick from the boys but all girls were spoken for.
The sire was imported from Europe and is so creamy he is almost white. He is a champion show dog and so handsome! He has a stockier build than American Goldies which is likely why he is winning in the show ring! The dam is an American Golden and also a beauty! Both are AKC of course.
In a few weeks we will be traveling to pick our puppy and gotcha day should be around Christmas. I simply can't wait!
Moral of the story, if you want a pure bred Golden Retriever, pick a breeder who specializes in only Golden Retrievers. And if they won't show you the pedigree and health records up front it is a red flag.