Qualities to Look For in AKC Golden Retriever Breeders

Qualities to Look For in AKC Golden Retriever Breeders

Whether you are looking for a loyal family dog or a champion show dog, if you are thinking about adopting a Golden Retriever your search can start with a quality AKC Golden Retriever breeder. There are many benefits of adopting a puppy through an American Kennel Club (AKC) recognized breeder. One supremely important benefit is a guarantee of good health, which is passed on through good genes. Finding a reliable dog breeder can be a difficult search, so here are a few tips to consider.

How to Identify Ethical, Responsible, Humane Golden Retriever Breeders

Golden Retrievers are a beautiful breed and a very popular choice for families. They are intelligent, charming and loyal. Since they are so eager to please, they can be easily trained. If you are looking for a puppy that has both good health and a fine pedigree, it is vital to seek a knowledgeable and reputable Golden Retriever breeder. Finding a quality Golden Retriever breeder can mean filtering out a lot of people with less-than-desirable breeding practices and, sometimes, inhumane practices. So how do you find the worthwhile breeder in your search for your perfect dog? Here are a few tips to weed through them.


Depending on the kind of Golden Retriever you are looking for, a reputable dog breeder should have solid experience in two different arenas. The most important area of expertise for prospective casual and champion dog owners alike is breeding itself, in which the dog breeder should have extensive practice. This ensures your puppy will have great health and all the best physical and temperamental qualities. If you plan to rear your dog to show and compete for championship, your AKC Golden Retriever breeder should have experience showing champion dogs him or herself.


Your breeder should also have a working knowledge of the Golden Retriever breed and feel comfortable answering your questions. They should know AKC specifications and be able to tell or show you how their dogs meet them. Reliable breeders will be able to tell you all about the breeding and birthing processes, as well as provide proof of where their dogs originate.


In addition to rearing purebred dogs, some breeders offer training services. You should determine if this is important to you before beginning your search. It may apply to you, for example, if you are considering adopting a puppy and would like help with potty training. It may also apply if you are looking for a show quality puppy and want to learn how to leash train your dog. Talk to you breeder about his or her supplemental training services so you can determine the best fit. Above all, your AKC Golden Retriever breeder should operate in the dog’s best interest and be more interested in finding loving homes for them than making a sale. These are just some of the things to look for in a good Golden Retriever breeder.


A good breeder should be able to provide you with all the records pertaining to your pup, including vaccinations, de-worming and general maintenance schedules. You should also be given materials on the care and training of the breed. Registration papers and pedigree information should be made available to you at no charge, per AKC rules.


The dogs should be in a clean, well-kept environment. Water bowls should be filled; dogs should be well-socialized and happy. The dogs in the litter should not exhibit signs of neglect or fear. If something seems off, go with your gut on this one.

Club Membership

Breeders will ideally be a member of the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) or other similar clubs where they are educated on information pertaining to Retrievers. Clubs such as this are also helpful in keeping a breeder stay abreast of current regulations or changes in AKC rules.


It is best to find a Golden Retriever breeder who is willing to offer contact information for past clients, veterinarians or others in the field who can vouch for their breeding and training practices.


The breeder should be able to show proof that the parents of the litter were both evaluated for health issues such as hip dysplasia and other potential hereditary issues, and cleared of any eye or heart concerns that could be passed on.


A good breeder does not end their relationship with you when the sale is complete. You should expect a warranty that lasts for a reasonable amount of time stating that you may bring back the puppy should any health or developmental issues occur.  They will also often make it clear that you are welcome to contact them with future questions or concerns.


The website of the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA) is a good place to start your search. A list of contact people, by state, is under “Puppy Referral.” They will provide referrals for breeders that have puppies that meet the high standards of the American Kennel Club. These breeders must also adhere to the Golden Retriever Club’s code of ethics. On this website you will find valuable information about Golden Retrievers, as well. A breeder that is recommended by a satisfied owner is another excellent way to find one that is qualified. A good resource for information is also a friend who owns a Golden Retriever and will share his or her experiences with a breeder. At times a veterinarian may know about the standards of a Golden Retriever breeder and can verify that the pups are healthy.

Interviewing You

You will know the Golden Retriever breeder in question cares about more than simply turning a dollar if they interview you before handing one of their beloved pups over. Your past experience with the dogs, your living situation, and your intentions are just a few of the things the breeder may inquire about to be certain the puppy is placed in a safe haven.


When you have narrowed down your search, make a visit and be ready to ask the breeder various questions, including how long he or she has been a breeder of Goldens and if the breeder is a member of the Golden Retriever Club of America. Ask if references are provided of at least two people who have purchased puppies. If the breeder asks you questions, such as if you know how to care for a puppy or understand the temperament of a Golden Retriever, it is a good sign of concern for the pups. He or she may also ask if there is room for the dog to exercise outside or if you have young children. A good breeder cares about the puppy’s new home and family. When you know the breeder is knowledgeable and cares about the dogs, you are more likely to end up with a healthy, happy, well-adjusted Golden Retriever pup. By doing your research ahead of time, you can find an exceptional Golden Retriever breeder with a reputation for providing healthy, pedigreed puppies.

Qualities to Look For in AKC Golden Retriever Breeders

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