The Golden Retriever Club Inc.
New Zealand

Choosing a Puppy
Once you have found a breeder that you can trust it is time to think about your puppy.  Take your time, you may have to wait.  Be sure that breeder knows if you want the dog for a particular purpose, other than just a companion (such as a show dog, obedience dog or field trials).  Very few litters have more than a few “show prospects” in them but a ‘pet quality’ puppy from a well bred litter has all the potential of growing up to be a sturdy, healthy Golden of proper size and temperament.  Good litters seldom go begging and it is not uncommon for litters to be pre-booked, therefore the chance of you getting a ‘choice’ of puppies depends on the size of the litter.

If the breeder offers you more than one puppy to select from, take each of the puppies you are considering away from the rest of its litter mates and observe its reaction to its environment and to you.  Puppies at seven to eight weeks of age should be willing to explore their environment and although a little bit cautious at first, they should investigate new objects and be fairly self-assured.  Speak to the puppy and try to see if it has any instinct to watch, chase, carry and possibly even return to you with the ball.  Some puppies are slower to develop the retrieving instinct than others are but you should not consider a puppy that does not show some interest or awareness of a moving object.  Does the puppy exhibit the type of personality you would want to live with.  Perhaps the bold, brash puppy that never stops getting into things would be too much for you.  And the easier going fellow who is agreeable and a bit more perceptive to your guidance would be a better choice.  While observing the puppies observe the dam as well.  The puppies may inherit any shyness or aggression from their Mother.  A Golden Retriever bitch should be watchful and patient with her puppies and should be happy to show them to you.  If the sire is available ask to see him too



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