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Southern Golden Retriever Club

Buying A Puppy

First , take time to learn about the breed, do not buy on impulse.  Is a golden retriever the right dog for you - is now the right time for a golden in your life?  A golden is a 15 year commitment - do you know how big it grows, how much it eats and how much this costs, how much exercise it needs and training?  Can you afford any health costs?  Also do you work all day, what are your fences like, can you afford to board the dog when you go on holiday?  If you are ready for this commitment, read on.

The Southern Golden Retriever Club does not recommend any specific breeder, litter or puppy.  The Club Liaison Officer  has a list of puppies and occasionally adults who need rehoming.  It is up to you, the buyer, to ask questions.  Do not be afraid to do so.

Puppy Photo

What to look for when buying a puppy


The puppies and their mother will be in a clean environment.  They will not be nervous or aggressive and will accept polite calm visitors happily.  The breeder will obviously love the mother and puppies.  If the sire is available ask to see him.

The puppies should have been wormed at least 3 times, and will have had a vaccination before leaving, they should be socialised.  They should be at least 7 weeks old when they leave home.


Look around, choose a reputable breeder - a serious hobby breeder is preferable over a pet shop or backyard breeder who may not be aware of golden health problems, has done no health checks, nor given the puppies proper care.

How do you recognise such a person?  They will belong to a club and be involved in some aspect of the breed - show, obedience, agility or field trials.  Because of this involvement , they will have an idea of how good their dogs are and have some reputation among the other golden retriever people.

What do you want the puppy for - a good family pet, hunting dog, obedience worker or show dog?  Be honest with the breeder so they can help you choose the puppy that's right for you.

A reputable breeder will ask you questions - this is because they are concerned to find the best place for their puppies to go to.  They will ask about your fences, lifestyle, the dogs you've had in the past.

He/she will be able to show you certificates that are proof both sire and dam have had their eyes examined by a qualified veterinary opthalmologist in the last 12 months, that hips and elbows have been x-rayed, and possibly a heart certificate - this one is still fairly new, not all dogs have been examined.

He/she will provide you with the correct documentation - both a pedigree and NZKC Registration at no extra charge.   He/she should also provide you with written instructions on feeding and training and care and make it clear that his/her responsibility to this dog continues long after you have taken your puppy home.

He/she will give you a time period in which you can have the puppy examined by a vet to determine its state of health.

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