Always purchase a puppy from a registered breeder where you can see the mother and siblings of your puppy.  You will be able to see first hand the temperament of the mother and the conditions in which the puppies are being raised and socialised. Quite often though, the sire will not be available for you to meet as he might reside elsewhere or the breeder has used artificial insemination in the case of an overseas stud dog.

A registered breeder in Western Australia must be a member of Dogswest, the controlling body for pure bred dogs.  Breeders must comply with the Dogswest code of practice.  A breeder who is also a member of the Golden Retriever Club of WA must also comply with their code of ethics.

For further information on backyard breeders, the rationale people use for purchasing from one when they are not looking for a show dog and why it is important you buy from an ethical, registered breeder

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Pet Shop
Purchasing a puppy from a pet shop or dealer is a poor choice.  The Golden Retriever Club of WA do not allow members to sell their puppies to a pet shop or dealer, so the puppies in a pet store come from sources other than registered breeders.  These puppies are often poorly socialised and have no paperwork such as a pedigree or the parent’s health certificates.  There is no opportunity to meet the puppy’s parents.

Backyard Breeder
A backyard breeder is also a poor choice.  This breeder has little knowledge of the breed and the hereditary defects in the breed.  The puppies’ parents are unlikely to have been screened for hereditary defects such as hip dysplasia and eye and heart defects.

Registered Breeder
A responsible breeder will interview you.  He will want to know if you have owned dogs in the past, whether the puppy will be a part of the family, what lifestyle the dog will have, if you have adequate fencing and time for a dog.  He will stress that a dog ownership is a lifetime commitment.

A responsible breeder will have a long involvement with the breed.  You will be able to see this by the books, photos, sashes and awards that are displayed in his home. He will be able to tell you about the health problems in the breed and explain the health certificate results.  He will have a good knowledge of the ancestors and relatives of the puppies and will be able to tell you many things about the dogs in the puppy’s pedigree.

The responsible breeder will belong to a Golden Retriever Club and perhaps other dog clubs.  This shows a depth of interest in the breed.  If the breeder is involved in showing, obedience, tracking or retrieving all the better, he will have access to other breeders and their knowledge. He is more likely to be up to date on hereditary problems and have a social network of colleagues to ask for advice. He has a reputation to uphold.

Many breeders accept responsibility for their puppies long after purchase.  They are willing to help with advice and any problems that may arise as the puppy matures.    They see their responsibility continuing for the life of the dog.  The breeder is the first person you should contact if your circumstances change and you are unable to care for your Golden Retriever.

Certificate of Registration and Pedigree
The Certificate of Registration and Pedigree is an important document and verifies that your puppy is a pure bred Golden Retriever.  The certificate shows your dog’s registered name and registration number and his official pedigree as recorded by the Australian National Kennel Council. You should receive the original copy of this certificate when you collect your puppy.
Limited Register
There are two registers for purebred dogs, the Main Register and the Limited Register.  Dogs registered on the Limited Register are not able to be shown at conformation shows, are not to be used for breeding and are not to be exported.  In all other respects the dogs are equal.  A dog can be transferred to the Main Register on application by the breeder and registered owner.