I don't think anybody can stay immune to the charms of a great quality golden retriever. They are handsome, very friendly, great with the kids, and were it human it would be the perfect spouse! But finding the right one can be a bit tricky. You see, not all golden retrievers are the best quality. Most of the puppies you can find in a pet store are actually not very healthy. So how do you find your golden retriever?
The answer lies with a quality breeder. Most pure bred dogs are prone to disease. Natural selection, the process of evolution from natural adaptation, favors cross breeding and dogs are no exception. However, everyone wants a "purebred" dog. But nowadays, a lot of these genetic problems can be resolved through proper breeding practices.
The problem is, most pet stores really don't care about proper breeding practices as long as they get profits. So most pet stores sell tons of puppies but rare are the puppies that will live long and healthy lives. Breeders are people who breed their animals and sell the off-spring. Some still fall into the category of money first, quality later, but there are those out there who actually love their animals and take the time and effort to breed them properly. These are the breeders you must find.
One place you can start to track down the proper breeder is to contact the American Kennel Club (AKC). This organization can help people to find the right type of breeder.
The quality breeder is well aware of the problems caused by pure breeding animals, and you should be too. In the case of golden retrievers, the common health problems that can arise are hip problems, namely hip dysplasia, and cataracts. Good breeders will have their breeding dogs checked before they are allowed to have puppies to ensure that the puppies they will have will not inherit any of these recessive traits that will only give the puppy a life of hardship.
Knowing this, you should always ask your potential breeder for health papers. Check to see the agencies involved in these papers. They should be agencies like the OFA (Orthopedic Foundation for Animals) which checks the animals for hip dysplasia or the tendency to develop hip dysplasia or other complications of their bones through X-rays. Any breeder who refuses to show papers to verify the health of his animals is untrustworthy.
Lastly, the quality breeder is actually an animal lover. He or she will be very proud and open about the animals in question. You should feel very comfortable in asking about anything, as the breeder should be open to answering them. These questions can range from accomplishments to health and physical qualities as well as personality and traits. Also, if your potential breeder is actually willing to sacrifice monetary gains for the well being of the puppy, then you know s/he is the real deal.
So that's it. By arming yourself with information, finding the right breeder and the right dog is that much closer. Just remember, buying the right dog form the right people is not only good for the buyer, it's good for the dog as well.