This section gives you an idea how well the breeder provides for your needs and the needs of their puppies. The more check marks you are able to put in section 2 and 3, the more reputable and responsible the breeder is likely to be.
Breeder is aware of their breed limitations and weaknesses (behavioral, genetic etc) and willing to admit them to potential buyers. All lines have them but not all breeders acknowledge them. Some have ‘breed blindness” where their breed is perfect.
Chooses dogs from long-lived lines for their breeds. A longer life not only demonstrate health but also a good temperament.
Ask to view the pedigrees of dogs they breed (they may be available online as there are registries for Goldens.) Look to see if any of the dogs are related. If so: how closely and in what way. If too closely related, there may be genetic disease passed down.
Note what titles (both conformation and obedience-related titles) the parents and grandparents have. Ideally either a championship or a sport title are good things to have. They are an indication of the dog’s potential trainability and temperament
Wants you to come to their location to meet the mother (and father if available) and the see where the puppies are spending the first 8 weeks of life. Look for a clean safe area with happy friendly confident puppies! Or they can show you this via webcam.
Look at how clean the puppy area is. There should not be excessive poop laying around. It should be cleaned up fairly promptly after the puppies leave it behind. Use your sense of smell. If there's excessive smell of urine or bleach be suspicious that there was a hurried cleanup before you arrived.
The mother dog should be on-site so you can meet her and evaluate her temperament grooming and overall health. Ask to see the results of any health test that have been done on her. Keep in mind that she may not look her best because she's just raised her puppies. Her body may be lean, fur may be thin but she should have clear bright eyes with no discharge, look healthy overall with no pest infestations (fleas or ticks). Some discharge is normal recently after birth as is bad breath. Female dogs lick their puppies to stimulate them and eat the droppings for the first few weeks. Her breath is likely to smell bad because of this but her teeth should be clean.
Look for a dog whose body language is relaxed and confident and who is not aggressive with her puppies.
Ideally you should be able to either meet the father; however a lot of Perth based breeders generally use an interstate or overseas dog to keep the pedigrees open. At the very least a picture of the father and his health tests should be avaialble. Ideally, if you can see the breeders adult dogs off site (such as at a dog show) that is ideal so you can see how comfortable they are out of their own environment.
Will provide you with the Australian National Kennel Council registration for the puppy (with the puppy's registered name on it). This usually is not available until a couple of months after you take the puppy home.
Will provide you with a receipt for the puppy or dog.
A good breeder will get to know the puppies individually. Many breeders have pups colour coded (collars or dyes) and make notes on them as they grow.
Anything from weight gain, to behaviours, interactions with other pups, response to new objects etc.
Some breeders may do some sort of temperament testing as part of getting to know each puppy. Be aware that the ability of these early tests to predict the dog’s temperament is very low since the social and physical environment the dog grows up in plays such a large role in shaping their temperament. The tests are only valid for the day that the test was taken. Each time a puppy learns something new, the results change.
Provides environmental enrichment for the puppies.
Breeder should have a heavy emphasis on environmental enrichment as the puppies’ exposure to new things between three and eight weeks is critical to start growing the puppies’ brain. They should be exposed to as many different surface textures, things with moving parts, sounds etc. as possible without stressing them.
Here are some examples of what can be done:
Moving puppies to a different room for just 15 minutes a day either with litter or a person, moving the litter box room to room each week as they grow, exposure to different textures and surfaces improves body awareness.
Adding new toys and objects daily: puzzles to solve, pop bottles, milk jugs, cardboard tubes to play with, crates to go into and climb on, obstacles like boxes, tunnels, hanging items, change stations on radio, access to outdoors to potty etc.
This needs to start from week 3 and continue until the puppy goes to its new home.
General Socialization: the Rule of 7s (as a minimum): Source unknown
By the time a puppy is seven weeks old, he/she should have:
Regularly posts photos of the litter on their website or blog.
Will willingly provide references from other people who have purchased puppies and now have adult dogs (ideally those aged 3 years and older). (They will likely not give you these until after they have had a chance to get to know you and know that you will be a good match for them and their puppy/dog. This protects their references. Also find out who their vet is and if they have been involved in checking the puppies and parents. Ask references about health and temperament issues and other concerns you may have.
Will only ask for a deposit once they have a puppy born and avaialble. Will likely ask for a deposit to ensure your commitment to a puppy from their litter.
Will have you sign a contract that agrees to all these terms and more. And they will sign it too. They will provide you with a copy.
Will ask you many questions about your living situation, family and long-term plans. They want to make sure that their breed and individual dog will be the best fit possible for your situation. They are not being nosy. They are looking out for the best interests of their dog.