Questions for the Breeder

You’ve decided to add a Golden Retriever to your family.  You want to visit a breeder, but don’t know how to tell one breeder from another (the good from the bad!)  So just how do you evaluate a good breeder?

Many people ask this same question the first time they visit a Golden Retriever breeder.  It’s natural, as you may feel bewildered as to what types of intelligent—and crucial—questions.

That’s why I’ve included these next several questions. You may not want — or need — to ask all of these questions, but then, again, you may. Some can be dropped into a casual conversation and others might be more formally asked.  This list provides you with an initial point at which you can open a dialogue.  Depending on the answers you receive, you’ll discover that you may have some follow-up questions of your own.

sitting together in garden

Let’s start off with some general questions about Golden Retrievers and breeding in general:

1.  How long have you owned Golden Retrievers?

2.  How long have you been breeding them?

3.  Why do you own them?  Do you show them or are they kept as family pets?

4.  Personally, what do you see as their most important single characteristic?

5.  In your years of handling these dogs, what health concerns seem to reappear?

6.  How would you describe the “ideal” Golden Retriever?

The questions above make for wonderful, all around conversation.  The following questions are more specific — they are designed to help you target your choice of puppies:

1.  Do you have a written contract and a puppy guarantee?

2.  At what age do the puppies go home with me?

3.  Do you intend to keep one of the puppies for yourself?

4.  How often do your dogs have puppies?

5.  Are your puppies whelped in your home?