Buying a Puppy: Tips on What To Know, Look For, & Verify Before Taking Home Your New Friend

So you’ve made the big decision to bring a puppy into your life. How exciting! Puppies are adored by everyone. Not every puppy will be the right fit for you. You need to consider your lifestyle, your surroundings, and your new puppy’s needs before deciding on a dog that will suit your personality and way of life.

Choose a Trusted Breeder

A responsible breeder is the best place to find a well-bred, healthy dog, whether you are looking for a family pet or companion animal. Breeders carefully choose the parents of each litter to emphasize desirable traits and minimize defects in their lineage.

What is the best way to find a reputable and responsible breeder? The following guidelines can help:

Contact Our Breeders

We have now gathered several breeders under network, all of whom are committed to:

  • Our puppies are healthily dewormed and vaccinated, and we work closely with licensed veterinarians to ensure they remain that way.
  • A carefully planned breeding program
  • As a Golden Retriever breeder, it is our goal to raise healthy, socialized puppies that represent the breed well and are ready to go into new homes with ease
  • We guarantee the genetic health of each puppy we place for a period of two yearstrusting a breeder

Meet Your Puppy In-Person

A puppy should never, ever be purchased without seeing it first. In order to ensure that you fully understand the puppies’ environment, the breeder should insist that you visit the puppy’s kennel or home where they live. Use your senses to judge the environment.

Buying a dog requires good observation skills. Clean conditions, plenty of space for the dogs, and a look of health and well-being in all regards are essential when visiting your chosen breeder. Puppies should be healthy, well-fed, lively, friendly, and free of any illness-related symptoms like runny noses, itchy eyes, blisters, or fleas.

Obtain information on the puppies’ socialization. As a breeder, the puppy should be raised in the house, with normal daily activities so that it becomes accustomed to sounds and human interaction. When in doubt, walk away. Trust your instincts.

Meet The Puppy’s Parents

You should be able to see the mother. A good breeder would not breed puppies without her present. If a breeder is unwilling to let you see her, walk away. Ask as well if you can see the father. 

This may not always be possible as the father may be owned by another breeder and used exclusively for stud purposes. In any case, the breeder should explain to you why he can’t be seen and should provide you with photos of him.

An official pedigree should also be provided by the breeder detailing the puppy’s lineage. At least three generations should be included (the parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents). 

Lastly, find out how often the mother of the litter has been bred and the number of litters she has had – If she has had multiple litters in a year, then this is too frequent.

Ask Questions

A reputable breeder will conduct an interview with you. To ensure you’re a responsible, intelligent dog owner, they want to know you understand what you’re getting into, that you’re capable of caring for the puppy. You will be evaluated carefully before the puppy is given to you. 

You’ll be asked about your lifestyle, where you live, if you have kids, if you have ever had a dog, how it was and what happened to it; if you have a fenced yard; and so on. Breeders who care about placing their puppies in good homes take the interview process seriously.

You should also expect the breeder to have a lot of knowledge about the breed and be able to answer any questions you may have.everything to know about golden retriever puppies

Get The Puppy’s Health Checked

Puppy Health Screening

It is important for each breeder to be familiar with the breed standard and be able to point out major, minor, and disqualifying faults. Breeders should also know about the major problems within the breed. 

Whether it’s Hip Dysplasia, Elbow Dysplasia, Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Heart Disease, Epilepsy, or another disorder, every breed has some problems that the breeder should be aware of. Breeders of reputable dogs will have developed a breeding program that reduces or even eliminates the risk of such disorders occurring in their dogs. 

Ensure that both the mother and the father have formal health clearances (even if the father is not present, the clearances should be on file). The mother and father should be at least 24 months old to receive final health clearances. Inquire about clearances of the parents’ grandparents and siblings as well.

Ask to see the puppies’ veterinary records. No reputable breeder would sell their puppies without getting them inoculated and having a general checkup.

OFA Heart Certified Parents

At my Golden Retriver Puppies, we provide a veterinarian-signed copy of the health certificate, records for deworming and vaccinations, and AKC registration paperwork.

Hip/Elbows Certified Parents

Breeders often state that their dogs are “hip, elbow, eye, and heart certified” or that they have “all clearances” and this information can be verified on the OFA website. Breeders should not hesitate to provide you with this information if you ask for it using the dog’s full registered name (with exact spelling) or registration number.

Puppy Has Received ENS

We started doing Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) to introduce mild stress to very young puppies in a controlled way. The pup’s immune system, cardiovascular system, and stress tolerance are improved by these stresses, which stimulate the pup’s neurological system.

Our pups undergo these simple exercises to prepare them for life. Since we see the benefits of Early Neurological Stimulation and know that it will help our pups grow into lovable canines, we will continue to use it.

Take Your Puppy to the Vet

Schedule a new puppy vet visit within a few days of picking up your new puppy, no matter what the breeder has already done. By doing so, your pup’s records will be reviewed by the veterinarian, giving them time to address any overdue care. Any potential health concerns will be identified through a full physical examination and lab tests. It is best to learn about problems before a breeder’s health guarantee expires.

Get A Guarantee 

Our 2-Year Genetic Health Guarantee

For the benefit of both the buyer and seller, we offer a 2-Year Genetic Health Guarantee which you can find here. The breeder intends to make sure that each puppy is in good health when adopted or delivered. Due to this, we ask that the buyer make every reasonable effort to have the puppy examined by a vet within three days after taking possession.

Can You Return The Puppy?

Under strict circumstances, we will offer returns on puppies. When a puppy or dog is returned for a replacement, the Buyer must include AKC and vet/vaccination paperwork.

Is There a Contract?

We do have a sales contract available for every puppy we sell. It is advised that your read the entire contract before signing. A copy will be provided to you.

Take Your Puppy Home or Have it Sent to You

Our goal at My Golden Retriever Puppies is to make the process of getting a puppy as stress-free as possible. Your puppy’s safety and happiness come first.Get your Puppy's health checked

Picking Up Your Puppy

It is ideal to pick up your puppy at the breeder, but we understand that this may not be feasible for everyone. If you cannot pick up your puppy in person, we offer two options for puppy travel and delivery:

Puppy Air Travel

Airport Selection

We will find and select the most convenient airport that provides a pet program and an incoming flight schedule that is most convenient for the pup.


To make sure your pup is well-prepared for the day of travel, we coordinate with you and the breeder. Our team will work with you and the breeder to coordinate schedules, and you will receive an itinerary for all flights.

Puppy Pickup

Our team will transport your puppy from the breeder to the airport. This is a great way for us to spend extra time with your pup to ensure that their travel day is as easy as possible!


The airline-approved kennel your puppy travels in includes absorbent bedding, food, and water.

Joyful Reunion

We will keep in touch to let you know your pup is on its way, and we look forward to hearing the good news that your pup has arrived safe and sound!

Puppy Ground Travel


Together, we’ll plan and confirm a travel date so that your puppy is ready to meet its new family on the day they’re brought home.

Puppy Pickup

Your puppy will be picked up from the breeder and brought to your home or a prearranged third-party location. It’s a lot of fun to hang out with your dog for the day (and to go potty together)!

Joyful Reunion

This is the best part! Bringing the love of your life into your arms from our arms to yours is always a pleasure!

Frequently Asked Questions

What Paperwork Should I Get When Buying a Puppy?

A dog breeder needs to provide all the necessary documents when you purchase a dog. You should expect to be provided with proof of vaccinations and health certificates. In addition, papers verify that a puppy was bred ethically. Expect the following:

  • Sale contract
  • Certificate of descent
  • Certificate of registration
  • Identification tag for the dog
  • Certificates of health and vaccination
  • Records of dog ownership and breeding

Do Puppies Have to be Vaccinated Before Selling?

You should vaccinate your puppy before buying it (the first set of shots). A reputable dog breeder will not sell puppies before the age of eight to ten weeks. Between 6 and 8 weeks old, puppies should have received their first vaccination shots against distemper and parvovirus. The puppies need their DHHP vaccinations between 10 and 12 weeks of age. 

Usually, a puppy cannot be sold or bought before 8 weeks of age in most states. Since puppies have their shots at a very young age, you should never be offered a puppy for sale without their first set of shots.

Bring One of our Golden Retriever Puppies Home!

We are dedicated to placing puppies with loving families because we love puppies so much. Witnessing that love has been a great honor for us.

At My Golden Retriever Puppies, Golden Retrievers are family. Dogs of this breed have demonstrated extraordinary character, temperament, and companionship for years, making them the perfect choice for families with or without children.

Looking for how much are golden retriever puppies? Check out our puppies which are all raised in a natural, free environment, which inspires, motivates, and allows us to experience unconditional love beyond our capacity to give.

One of the most special things we experience as a team is receiving a picture of one of our pups playing and enjoying his new home from one of our families. Hearing the joy a puppy brings a family every day makes me smile. Puppy love is the best.

Make your family complete with one of our Golden Retrievers. Get in touch with us today to meet your new furever friend!

Galen has been connecting quality Golden Retriever breeders with loving families since 2012 and is the founder of My Golden Retriever Puppies. He and his wife have four children and love spending time together, traveling (lived oversees for 4 years), enjoying the outdoors and connecting Golden families.