A reputable breeder is one who stands by the dogs they breed.

A reputable breeder is a member of a state breed club.

A reputable registered breeder is someone who has passed an education course, has signed and acknowledged the Code of Ethics, upholds the Code of Ethics and follows all health and other recommended breeding practices. 

A reputable breeder strives to improve the quality and health of the breed and is not someone solely breeding for profit or to meet market demand.

Contact your state breed club for advice and a list of its breeder members. The GRCWA offers a breeders directory of breeders that are members of the GRCWA - Breeders Directory Read through our Puppies page so you know what responsible breeders do. The worst place to get a puppy is a pet shop and irresponsible backyard breeders. Buying from a pet shop or a backyard breeder perpetuates the inhumane practices of puppy mills as well as pet overpopulation and is detrimental to the Golden Retriever.

 Buyer Beware

Social media pages and websites mass producing and even auctioning puppies to the highest bidder should be considered not only unethical, but in complete breach of not only the governing state registries [Dogswest, Dogs NSW, Dogs QLD, Dogs VIC etc] but also the national registry [ANKC] Code of Ethics. Remember, registered breeders agree to uphold and promote the Code of Ethics. If a breeder is breaching that code, what other recommended breed practices are they breaching? Many online classified websites should also be met with caution. Please, contact your state Club for advice on contacting breeders.

Golden Retrievers are a popular breed and you generally have to wait 6 -12 months for a well bred healthy puppy. If you don't wont to wait that long your best option is to look at a different registered breed or rescue a dog from a rescue organisation.

Due to the breeds popularity some people, hoping to make a profit may breed with their Golden Retriever without thought to the breeds welfare or maintaining the breed's excellent temperament and characteristics. 

There are unethical breeders in the market. Do your homework.

Responsible Breeding Article

Experience with the breed – how long involved?

Club membership and breed involvement – how long, do they show, obedience etc?

Health testing of their breeding stock – do they do it and what tests do they do?

Health checks of puppies – do they do it?

Home visit – can we see the environment where our puppy has been raised?

Home visit – can we meet the parents of the puppies? The sire may not be available if an outside stud was used, but you should at least be able to meet the mother, see her interact with her puppies and have info about the father.

Will the breeder be available and willing to help and advise you after purchase of a puppy?

Copies of the official Health Certificates for Sire and Dam

Copy of pedigrees of Sire and Dam

Vaccination and microchip paperwork for puppies

Pedigree and registration papers for puppies – these should be available at the time of purchase

Diet Sheet

Sales agreement

Copies of the official Health Certificates for Sire and Dam

Copy of pedigrees of Sire and Dam

Vaccination and microchip paperwork for puppies

Pedigree and registration papers for puppies – these should be available at the time of purchase

Diet Sheet

Sales agreement

Dogs sold with main registration papers (blue forms) are eligible for competition in dog shows. If bred, their offspring can be registered.  

Dogs sold with limited registration papers (orange forms) are eligible for competition in obedience, trials, and other canine disciplines. Dogs on the limited register cannot be shown and if bred, their offspring cannot be registered. Breeders usually register the puppies which are being sold as pets and companion animals on the limited register. 

Vet checked simply means, checked by a vet. This usually happens at the time of micro-chipping and vaccination of puppies. The vet will listen to heart and check the overall well-being of the puppy. HEALTH TESTED means the puppies parents have undergone a series of agreed upon tests to help identify their suitability for breeding. This is with the aim of promoting and producing healthier puppies.

What are the Health Tests recommended by the Golden Retriever Club of WA?

  • Hip and elbow xrays for adults prior to breeding as per the ANKC Hip and Elbow Health Scheme.  
  • Have a current (within 12 months of breeding) eye certificate from a board-certified opthamologist
  • Have a heart certificate from a board certified cardiologist. 


Why are these Health Tests important?

The risks for many significant health issues can be greatly reduced through careful breeding practices, beginning with certain screening examinations of the parents of a litter. Each breed (and mixed-bred dogs too) has its own particular hereditary problems and Golden Retrievers are no exception. Failure to screen for these conditions before breeding results in taking unnecessary risks for genetic disease and frequently leads to distress for the buyer and dog alike. The GRCWA recommends and promotes these health tests to help to produce healthier puppies that will lead healthy lives with a minimum number of health issues.

Importing dogs and semen is expensive. Breeding dogs is expensive. At best, breeders hope to cover their costs when breeding a litter. More often than not, with small litters the costs substantially outweigh the monies recouped in puppy sales.   However, if you are buying a puppy as a companion animal, the price should not be inflated more than the average price for a puppy.

NO!!! The price is not indicative of quality. Such a price is unfortunately usually relative to what the public will pay.

Quality to an owner should relate to how well one can talk to and relate to the breeder, both before and after purchasing the puppy. Trust and reliability in the documentation of the puppy, its health testing and that of its parents should form a solid basis for quality.

Quality relates to the health and soundness of the puppy you are purchasing, whether for a pet or a show dog. Please ensure all the correct (and complete) health testing has been carried out on the parents of the puppy prior to purchase, this includes certified x-rays of the hips and elbows, Eye certifcation and Heart certification by a qualified expert. Be sure to request and sight ALL documentation.



State Breed Clubs