Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. It is not surprising that everyone wants to have one in their home. They easily become a part of you because they are naturally charming.
Yet, picking a golden retriever puppy can be one of the most demanding things to do, given that you want to come home with the best possible friend who would not give you any attitudinal and health-related troubles, given that they’re going to be around for the next 10 to 12 years of your life.
Two things are important to consider when you want to get a golden retriever puppy; a quality breeder and a quality pedigree.
The two come hand in hand, as quality breeders, will only breed dogs with quality pedigree, putting into consideration factors like good health and temperament. This is because the parents are likely to pass these qualities down to the puppies.
Once you find a good breeder, you are certain that you’re going to be provided thorough information on the pedigree of the puppies, with some breeders even providing registration papers for the parents of the puppies to help you make an informed decision.
How To Pick A Golden Retriever Puppy
So, what do you have to look out for when choosing a golden retriever puppy?
Be Certain A Golden Retriever Is What You Want
It does not matter if golden retriever’s popular in the US, you have to be sure you really want this particular dog breed.
Why? Golden retrievers are athletic, energetic dogs that will require about 1 to 2 hours of exercising each day. Thus, if you are a busy person, it might not be convenient for you to get a golden retriever
Also, the overall cost involved in keeping a golden retriever is quite a whooping amount, with Forbes putting the estimate at $83,000. This involves costs from getting a puppy to feeding to health costs, etc. Thus, you should be absolutely certain you are up for this before you get a golden retriever.
Golden retrievers tend to shed quite heavily during the shedding season, so if you’re allergic to dog coats, this breed is not the best for you.
However, if you have no issues with none of these factors, you are good to go. A golden retriever might just be the right breed for you.
Get Your Retriever Puppy From A Reputable, Quality Breeder
As we have already indicated, it is important to purchase your golden retriever puppy from a reputable, quality breeder, one that pays attention to the health and overall characteristics of the parent dogs before breeding them.
This way, you are assured of healthy puppies. Ask your veterinarian for referrals to quality breeders.
You can also make enquiries from a local retriever club. Once you find a quality breeder, you should ask about the puppies’ pedigree and be sure you are convinced before you make the purchase.
You do not want to get your puppy from a low-quality breeder or a puppy mill. Puppy mill breeders only care about getting as many puppies out of the parent dog as possible, so they could sell more for money.
They are into unscrupulous breeding practices which produce unhealthy puppies. Getting your retriever from a puppy mill will only occasion you lots of healthcare costs later, even though you might get your puppy at a relatively low price as compared to a quality breeder.
Do You Need A Male Or Female Golden Retriever?
Generally, a lot of people prefer male goldens to female goldens. In deciding what gender you want, make sure the decision is solely yours as there are a lot of misconceptions out there on what differences lie between male and female golden retrievers, although as puppy stages, there really aren’t much differences.
Nonetheless, let’s look at what these seemingly differences are;
It is the belief that male golden puppies are slightly larger than their female counterparts, but note that they’ll both eventually grow, so you might want to consider both genders.
You should also consider the cost of spaying and neutering if you’ll be looking to do this, as spaying is more expensive than neutering.
Another speculation is that male retrievers are more overactive and difficult to train than female retrievers. Others avert that female retrievers are more independent and loving than male retrievers.
What you need to understand is that all of these are largely generalizations and that whether you opt for a male or female golden retriever, it should be because you want to.
Assess The Puppy’s Eyes, Coat And Build
You want to make sure you are getting your money’s worth and that you are going home with a healthy puppy. Thus, you should assess the puppy’s physical appearance.
Examine the puppy’s eyes to make sure they do not appear to be squinting or rubbing their eyes. Pick puppies with no drainage or redness, rather clear and concentrated.
Make sure your puppy’s coat is dazzling, not toned down or patchy. Also, the fur should not have that many bald spots, as that can be indicative of some skin problems.
The overall build of the puppy is very important, and you should take a critical look at all the puppies, comparing their heads, noses, ears and mouth, so you can notice any unevenness in shape or form if there is.
Look at how your puppy walks to make sure they’re not limping, as this could signal a serious health risk.
What Personality Are You Looking For In Your Retriever?
Energetic and aggressive, calm and gentle, friendly and outgoing, shy and reserved. These are some personalities of golden retrievers.
Whichever one you want is solely up to you, as only you know what your home and family are.
Generally, put into consideration your lifestyle, so you know what personality you want in your retriever.
Let’s look at some ways you can know what personality a puppy possesses.
- Watch to see if your puppy is dominant or submissive. You’ll notice this through their reaction to other puppies in the litter. You can tell whether they are aggressive or friendly.
- If your puppy is running around and barking a lot, it might be indicative of their energetic personality and it tells you they may not be so calm.
- You can also toss your key or a toy to see if your puppy’s eyes will follow in that direction and even go pick it up. If it does, you might be in for an energetic bred.
- Your puppy should not have an issue with you touching its paws, ears, mouth and tail.
- You should also pay attention to how your puppy interacts with you or someone with you or the breeder. If they’re friendly, your puppy may be outgoing or very much interested in you.
- Another way to know if your retriever puppy is dominant or calm is to put it on it back, cradle them or roll it on its back on the floor. If it’s dominant, it will fidget, otherwise it should calm down soon.
Note that these are not absolute, as puppy behaviour may change as your retriever grows.
Choosing a retriever puppy is not easy but generally, make sure you are making the purchase from a recognized quality breeder as this saves you a lot of trouble and gets you halfway to getting a healthy puppy – the most important thing.
With the steps outlined in this article, you should have no issues picking a quality breed. Once you get home with your new friend, you should stay committed to it so both of you can enjoy each other’s company for the many years ahead.
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