How We Raise Our Puppies
We are devoted to raising healthy, happy, and well-socialized puppies. Puppy care begins long before the puppies are even born. Pregnant mommy dogs are spoiled, eating puppy food and daily vitamins to nourish themselves and their growing litter inside them. Mommies move inside the house two weeks before they are due to give birth, to get accustomed to the whelping box. We also clear our calendar, and rarely leave the house for more than an hour or so at a time. When the big day approaches, we post online when the mommy is in labor and how she is progressing. We also try to post pictures and updates as soon as the new litter has arrived and everyone has settled down.
Each puppy is hand delivered. While the mother does most of the work, we help tear open the amniotic sacs, then suction fluid from the puppy's nose and mouth. We then let the mommy lick and stimulate the new puppy before helping it latch on to a teat for its first meal. The puppy is then given its own color-coded collar. The puppy's weight is then recorded. The collars and scales are our two most important tools. The collars help identify each individual puppy. By weighing the puppies daily, we know which puppies are growing well, and which puppies need some help (by the form of nursing management or supplemental bottle feedings). The puppies are weighed daily like this until they are three weeks old. When they hit the three week mark, we consider them "out of the woods" and only weigh them weekly thereafter. The collars are also extremely helpful for puppy selection. We name each puppy according to it's collar. For example, a male puppy with a blue collar will be "Mr. Blue" and a female with a pink color becomes "Miss Pink". Of course, you may select your new puppy's name. We always notice personalities that develop, and can associate them with each individual puppy (Miss Purple is a little shy, while Mr. Yellow is an escape artist).
Socialization begins early on. The first form of socialization is simply handling the puppies to weigh them or while changing bedding. Every week they have their tiny, sharp nails trimmed. This is done for the comfort of the mommy dog (sharp nails scratch and damage teats), but also is a great socialization tool, as puppies are accustomed to having tails trimmed by the time they go to their new homes. Around two and a half weeks of age, socialization then grows into playing with each other and their mother. We allow them to walk around on different surfaces in our home (carpet, linolium, etc) and they are used to household sounds like the vacuum cleaner, television, washer, dryer, and of course playing children. At three weeks old, the puppies' whelping box is expanded to include a potty area and play area. This gives the puppies more room to play and move around. Puppies are not restricted to just their playpen inside, as they are let out numerous times of the day for play and socialization inside the house and outside, weather permitting. They get used to outdoor sights and sounds like farm animals and lawn mowers.
Puppies begin to eat moisten puppy food at three weeks of age. This first food is essentially a "mush". We gradually lessen the amount of liquid added to the food. When puppies are ready to go to their new homes at seven weeks of age, they are eating their puppy food dry. The weaning process starts at four and half weeks old. Puppies are completely weaned off of their mother's milk at six weeks of age and consuming puppy food only. Puppies are de-wormed every two weeks and will receive their first puppy vaccination at six weeks.
How Our Adoption Process Works
If you are interested in one of our puppies, please send me an email. First, I will send you a Puppy Questionnaire. I will review your answers and approach any questions/concerns I may have. Once I believe your family is a good fit for a Golden, you may be added to a waiting list.
Each female dog has her own waiting list, divided into two groups, those desiring a male and those desiring a female. I will typically add 4 people to each gender's list BEFORE the litter is born because I don't know how many puppies we will have until we actually have them. I MAY add additional people to the list (#5 and beyond) as long as they understand that if we only have 4 puppies of their desired gender, they will be removed from the list (I can't provide you with a puppy that doesn't exist). This is why our waiting list does NOT require a cash deposit.
Once the puppies have been born, I will contact those on the waiting list with directions with how to proceed. This includes signing our Puppy Contract and sending in a $200 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit to officially reserve a puppy and your selection order. Selection order is based off of the waiting list. If something happens to a male puppy (death, illness, injury), the individual at the end of male list will have their deposit transferred to another puppy of equal value (either of the opposite sex of the same litter if available, or to a puppy from a future litter).
Once the puppies are 4 weeks of age, we welcome visitors, by appointment, to see and play with the puppies. Just let us know when you'd like to visit!
The weekend closest to the 7-weeks-of-age mark is when you will come select your puppy, pay the remaining balance due, and take it home. Puppies are chosen by hourly appointed times, starting at 9am. Those first on the waiting lists come earliest in the day and have the most puppies to choose from. Those at the end of the list come later in the day and have fewer puppies to pick from. The last person on the list essentially gets the "last puppy". The "last puppy" has NOTHING to do with what's good and bad. It's all based on personal preferences on everything from gender, activity, personality, and even coat color and texture. If you are late for your appointment, those behind you have the right to choose before you (a first choice gets bumped to 2nd, a 2nd choice bumped to a 3rd, and so on). The reason we do this is to give each family plenty of time to meet and play with the puppies, choose one, and then spend time talking with us without having to worry about other puppy owners.
The whole process sounds a lot more complicated than it is. We have done this MANY different ways. We have found that this is the BEST way to accommodate everyone. Every breeder has their own policy and procedures, and this is ours.
Reserving A Puppy
Once you have decided that you would like to adopt a Genuine Golden puppy, please contact me via email. If you are more comfortable talking to a person on the phone, I will email you my phone number. I do not put my phone number on my website for various reasons. If we have puppies available, you may reserve one with a $200.00 NON-REFUNDABLE deposit. If we do not currently have puppies, you can be added to our waiting list. The waiting list is a list of people wishing to purchase future puppies. It costs nothing to be added to the waiting list. The list is divided by gender desired. When the puppies have been born, I will contact each person, going down the list. Those on the list will have the first right or refusal of the puppy. They may then place a deposit on the puppy to officially reserve it for them. Puppy selection is based on the order in which they are reserved.
If you have reserved a puppy but have not picked up your puppy by the time it is eight weeks old, you will forfeit your $200.00 deposit and the puppy will be sold to another family (unless prior arrangements have been made). In the event that you will not be able to pick up your puppy before eight weeks of age, a boarding fee of $10.00 per day will be charged for keeping your puppy. This is to cover additional costs of boarding, food, veterinary expenses, socialization, and training.
In the event that I cannot provide you with a puppy that you reserved (due to puppy deaths or illness), your reservation will be moved to the top of the next litter's waiting list. NO REFUNDS WILL BE GIVEN ON DEPOSITS.
Selection of puppies will be determined by the order in which reservations are received. The first to reserve a male will get first pick of the males, and so forth. We reserve the right to pick(s) of the litter if we wish. Our decision to keep a puppy/puppies may be made before the litter is born, or after the litter has arrived. Individual puppy pictures will be placed online to view beginning at three weeks of age and updated weekly. Puppies will be picked out at approximately seven weeks of age, and may go home the same day. You will be appointed a time to come and select your puppy and take it home. Puppy pick out day is almost always the Saturday closest to seven weeks of age mark. Those first on the reservation list will have the earliest appointments starting at 9:00am. If you are unable to come at the appointed time, you will bumped down on the selection order list and others will be allowed to pick their puppies before you
Genuine Goldens Puppy Package
When you purchase a puppy from Genuine Goldens, you are buying more than just a puppy, you get a complete package deal. Each new puppy owner also receives:
- Health/Vaccination record
- Access to our online Genuine Goldens Puppy Manual
- Information on the Golden Retriever Breed
- Copies of your puppy’s parents’ pedigrees
- Sample of puppy food to get you started
- Puppy bandana with your puppy's siblings/mother's scent on it
- SUPPORT FOR THE LIFETIME OF YOUR PUPPY. We’re here to help you with anything you may have questions about, from housetraining to grooming and every aspect in between. If for any reason you are unable to keep your puppy, no matter what the age or circumstance, you can return it to Genuine Goldens. We will happily re-home or even keep your dog. We brought these dogs into the world, and the last thing we want is for them to end up in a shelter somewhere.
We offer a 72-hour health guarantee against communical diseases and a 1 year health guarantee against hereditary diseases on our puppies. This means you must take your puppy to see a licensed veterinarian within 72 hours after you take it home.
Our puppies are sold with AKC Limited Registration. This means that your dog will be registered with the AKC under a spay/neuter contract, meaning the dog must be spayed or neutered and cannot be bred or be shown in AKC Conformation events. Your dog will be eligible for all other AKC events such as Obedience, Agility, Rally, etc. If you do breed an AKC Limited Registration dog, the puppies will not be able to be registered AT ALL with the AKC.
Shipping a Genuine Golden Puppy
Genuine Golden puppies are able to be shipped to the continental United States starting at eight weeks of age. Shipping will cost an additional $500. Your puppy will first visit our veterinarian to receive a full health exam and certificate of health. We will make all flight arrangements. Your puppy will fly in a travel crate, which is yours to keep. We must receive your shipping fee and the remainder of you puppy balance at least two weeks before your puppy's flight date. Puppies do great at flying. They really don’t know the difference between flying and riding in a car. We ask that you are at the airport to pick up your puppy before the flight lands and to collect your puppy as soon as possible. Depending on the distance your puppy has traveled, it may have been in the crate for several hours. As soon as you pick up your puppy, we would like a phone call so that we know that it arrived safely.