You should discuss with the breeder how your puppy will be chosen and at what age. 

Some breeders will choose the puppy for you.  An experienced breeder has experience in assessing puppies and they are well equipped to choose a puppy that will match your family and fit in with your lifestyle.

If you are choosing the puppy, let the breeder help with your selection.  Give the breeder information about your household, your lifestyle and whether you are looking for a particular puppy to pursue competition work such as conformation, obedience or other activity.  This will assist the breeder in advising you on the choice of a puppy and the best match between you and the puppy.

Personal Preferences

Consider your personal preferences – whether you are interested in a male or a female puppy, if you have a colour preference, or any other requirements. If you are undecided the breeder can guide you in your choice.  Seeing the breeder’s dogs will also help you make these decisions. 

Golden Retriever puppies are lighter in colour than their final adult colour – ear colour is a good indication of the colour of the puppy’s future adult coat.  The breeder will be able to give you an indication of the puppy’s final coat colour.

Visiting the Breeder

When you visit the breeder you should find a clean environment, healthy and well socialised puppies and a dam with good temperament.  Often the sire does not live with the breeder, but information on him should be available.  It may be possible to arrange to meet the sire. 

The breeder should show you all the health certificates for both the sire and the dam and explain what the certificates and results mean and answer any questions you have.

The breeder will be able to advise on the personality of the puppies to assist you.  Be guided by the breeder regarding personality.  The breeder is with the puppies all the time – you may only be visiting when they are sleepy or tired after a big day and you won’t see their true character.

You should avoid a breeder who allows careless handling of puppies as there is a significant risk of disease or injury.  Avoid puppies showing signs of timidity, or those in an obviously neglected condition.


When you collect your puppy the breeder should provide you with a complete record of worming and vaccinations, feeding and care instructions and the puppy's pedigree.

You should receive:

  • Certificate of Registration and Pedigree (the original copy)
  • Copies of health certificates  
  • Vaccination card – dates and type
  • Detailed diet sheet
  • Information about the breed