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Looking for a Puppy

You’ve done your research and decided that the Golden Retriever is a perfect fit for you … congratulations! We hope the information below will assist you in your next steps of deciding where to purchase your puppy.

Looking for a Puppy

Things You Should Know

Your Golden Retriever will be living with you for the next 10 to 15 years, so take some time to find a registered breeder who cares about selling you a healthy and happy puppy. Look for a responsible breeder, who has the interest of the breed uppermost in their mind. Don’t purchase impulsively – all puppies are cute and adorable. Take the time to read the extensive information across this website and get in touch with the club if you can’t find what you are looking for.

If you’re not sure, please visit our Is a Golden Retriever Right For You? page.

You need to be sure that a Golden Retriever will be the right breed for your family. There are unethical breeders in the market. The Golden Retriever is a popular breed and some people, hoping to make a profit, may breed with their Golden Retriever without thought to maintaining the breed’s excellent temperament and attributes. The breeder should display a good knowledge of Golden Retrievers and be willing to discuss freely all aspects of the breed. Such a breeder’s aim is to produce and raise puppies to uphold and improve the breed’s quality and temperament. Be prepared to answer the breeders’ questions about you, your home and your lifestyle. Responsible breeders will be just as interested in making sure their puppies go to good homes as you should be in finding the right puppy for you.

Looking for a Puppy

Research, Research, Research

  1. Learn about the hereditary problems in the breed. You need to be well informed about hereditary diseases, the certificates required and what the scores (hip/elbow) mean so that you have the best chance of owning a healthy puppy.
  2. Choose a breeder who is a member of DOGS Victoria. The puppies will be registered with DOGS Victoria. The sire and dam’s hip and elbow certificates must be lodged with DOGS Victoria before puppies can be registered. Members must abide by the DOGS Victoria code of ethics.
  3. Choose a breeder who is a member of the Golden Retriever Club of Victoria (GRCV) or their State’s breed club. A GRCV member should be well informed about the breed and existing hereditary conditions. The GRCV member may have carried out more hereditary tests than the minimum the club requires. Members must abide by the club’s Code of Ethics.
  4. Meet the breeder in person. Visit the breeder to meet the mother (dam) and to see the living conditions of the puppies. The mother should be friendly, sociable and a good example of the breed. The puppies should be clean, healthy and sociable.
  5. Visit the father (sire) if he is available. The sire should be friendly and sociable and be a good example of the breed.
  6. View all the hereditary certificates and have the breeder explain the results to you. The minimum requirements for listing on the GRCV’s Litters Available page are for both parents to have a hip and elbow grading certificate, a heart certificate and a current (annual) Australian Canine Eye Scheme (ACES) certificate.
  7. Don’t pay a deposit until after the puppies have been born or there is a puppy available or you have visited the litter. Deposits are refundable under Australian Consumer Law unless you change your mind. Refer to information below on Consumer Laws. The dam may not conceive or there might not be enough puppies born. Alternatively, your circumstances might unexpectedly change because of ill health, a work transfer or other unexpected event.
  8. If you buy a puppy with purchase conditions about future breeding or showing called “breeder’s terms”, make sure these are spelled out in a written contract, which both breeder and buyer sign and retain respective copies of. Be clear about the conditions and contact the Golden Retriever Club of Victoria (GRCV) if you are concerned or do not quite understand the terminology. This will avoid disagreements later. The link above to Choosing a Breeder provides more information including advice on breeders terms.
  9. You should view the Certificate of Registration and Pedigree for both the dam and sire.

Looking for a Puppy

Know Your Consumer Rights

If you decide to go ahead with purchasing a pet, it is important to know your rights, as a consumer, under the law. Buying a pet is no different to buying any other type of good – your purchase is covered by the Australian Consumer Law (ACL), which came into full effect on 1 January 2011. All consumers now have the same protections, and all businesses have the same obligations and responsibilities, across the whole of Australia. Under the ACL, the purchase of a pet is just like any other purchase made by a consumer – the same protections apply. For example, when purchasing a good or service, the ACL automatically provides the consumer with certain rights or consumer guarantees.

If there is a problem – a consumer’s right to a remedy

If you have purchased a pet and something goes wrong, you may have rights against the seller if they failed to meet one or more of the consumer guarantees. Generally, you are not entitled to a remedy if you change your mind about a purchase or if the problem is due to something beyond the seller’s control. However, if the seller provided an ‘express’ warranty or an additional promise about the quality, condition, performance or characteristics of the item purchased, they must uphold that guarantee.

Your entitled remedy will depend on the issue and whether the problem can be classified as major or minor. Effectively, a major problem is when you wouldn’t have bought the pet if you had known the nature and extent of the problem prior to purchase; for example, an animal has a terminal or serious health issue. In this case, the consumer has the right to choose which remedy the seller will provide. This will either be to:

  • have the problem with your pet corrected for example, with veterinary
  • treatment and/or medication;
  • return your pet to the seller and have it replaced with another one; or
  • return your pet to the seller and have your money refunded.

When the problem is minor, the seller can choose which remedy they will provide. It is recommended that you attempt to negotiate an outcome that both you and the seller can agree to. If there continues to be a disagreement, Consumer Protection can provide advice and help you resolve the dispute. (Note: it is the buyer/consumer who has the right to choose which remedy – such as a refund – if there is a problem with the health of a puppy). If you have a problem, contact Consumer Affairs Victoria 1300 55 8181 or you can lodge a complaint with Dogs Victoria if the seller is a member 03 9788 2500.