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Memories Golden Retrievers
Congratulations! A Golden Retriever will bring great joy to your life.
Did you know you have two choices to choose from?  You could get a puppy or give an adult golden a new forever home.  Check out these reasons why it's a good idea to adopt a rescue.

If a rescue doesn't seem to fit into your plans be aware!  Before you run out and buy that cute fuzz butt there are some things to consider.   The parents of the litter should have their clearances from OFA (hips and elbows), CERF (eyes), and a heart clearance from a board certified cardiologist.  You should also ask about any thyroid problems, seizures and cancers in the lines.  Other common problems are allergies and skin conditions.

A responsible breeder's dogs have been tested for any genetic health problems, and have sound temperaments.  These breeders are normally involved in obedience, agility, dog shows, fieldwork, and help with rescue.  They are usually affiliated with the national breed organization, GRCA. Sometimes they are members of an all-breed or golden breed club in their area.  Responsible breeders will be able to give references other than past puppy buyers, sell pet puppies on a limited registration or a spay/neuter contract, and have an agreement for you to sign.  If you encounter a breeder who doesn't meet with the criteria mentioned above they are either unknowledgeable, irresponsible, or both.  Make a careful and thoughtful decision on whether to purchase from an unknowledgeable or irresponsible breeder.  The more lucrative the litter is for this type of breeder, the more likely they will be to continue to breed less than desirable dogs.  

Never purchase a puppy from a pet store.  Pet stores always purchase their puppies from irresponsible breeders or USDA breeders.  USDA breeders have only one purpose.  To crank out lots of puppies!  Pet stores will often offer to replace your defective puppy rather than insist their breeders do any testing before breeding the parents.  Since most of these genetic problems don't show up until the pup is several months old, the guarantee will have expired or you will have become so attached that replacing the pup won't be an option.  If you do keep the defective pup you could face some very costly veterinary expenses.  Pet store puppies usually come with temperament problems as well, and they can range from mild to severe.  No parents are available to observe so you have no way of knowing what type of temperament your pup inherited.  The impulse to "rescue" a pet store puppy can be overwhelming.  This good intention will go for naught.  Once purchased you will have rewarded the industry with money, freed up one more cage to fill, and created a demand for another litter. Your purchase has perpetuated the misery of the breeding females who spend their lives in small cages having litter after litter, and creates a hardship on rescue groups trying to deal with the overwhelming number of dogs dumped in shelters due to health and temperament problems.

Once you have found a responsible breeder, which of the pups is for you?  Most likely the breeder has asked you a number of their own questions.  Responsible breeders know how to evaluate their pups, and will probably have a good idea which pup in the litter will fit your personality, lifestyle, and goals for the pup's future, i.e., family pet, obedience/agility/performance, or show prospect.