I place puppies from my litters in both pet and show homes. I also keep show prospects for my own showing. My pet home contracts require all pet homes to spay or neuter their puppies at the appropriate time. The optimal age for spaying and neutering is a hotly debated topic.
I refer you to your veterinarian and to various articles on this topic: Vet Med Today: Reference Point, Determining the optimal age for gonadectomy of dogs and cats, JAVMA, Vol. 231, No. 11, December 1, 2007, and Hovan, Rhonda, Perspectives, Deciding Whether and When to Neuter a Golden Retriever, GR News, September-October 2009.
I require a deposit to reserve a puppy from one of my litters. I also require a questionnaire be completed prior to or at the time of inquiring about one of our puppies. My contracts require that if for any reason you are not able to keep your puppy, regardless of age, that I have the right to have the puppy returned to me without refund. I guarantee that any puppy placed has no inherited defects relating to the heart, dysplastic hips or elbows, eye cataracts or pigmentary uveitis. You should know that pigmentary uveitis, an eye disease, is a concern in Goldens as well as Ichthyosis I and II, an inherited skin disease. See more about this and other health concerns at www.grca.org/health/health-concerns.html.
I urge you to research and investigate the breeder from which you decide to purchase a puppy. I do not support puppy mills or pet stores that sell puppies.
I also do not support breeders who do not follow the Code of Ethics for its breed. Any breeder that you contact should be able to explain in detail the health issues and clearances with which each of the parents of their litter has.
I refer you to the Codes of Ethics for each breed for what the parent club of the breed requires in breeding litters. I also refer you to Canine Health Information Center (CHIC) (www.caninehealthinfo.org) to research the parents’ clearances for the puppy in which you are interested. CHIC works with parent clubs and provides a resource for breeders and owners of purebred dogs to research and maintain information on the health issues prevalent in specific breeds.
Educate yourself before you purchase a puppy. The GRCA Website is an excellent resource for information.