... Every Golden Puppy

  • Will be placed in a safe and loving home for its entire life.
  • Will be carefully matched in qualities and abilities so that it will fit into the lifestyle of its new family.
  • Will live in a family who understands puppy needs and behaviors.
  • Will live with a family that has the knowledge and understanding to provide for these needs, and the ability to focus puppy energy into positive behaviors.

These dreams can become a reality if the breeder, orchestrates placement of his or her puppies into approved homes by carefully screening prospective buyers and by studying the personality and behavior of each pup so that he or she really know what each pup is like.

I breed on a limited basis, so I have many more requests for puppies then the number of pups one or two litters a year can provide. Careful interviewing of a prospective buyer goes beyond finding out the size of their family and the ages of their children.

One question I always ask is what is this dogs job description going to be? This causes folks to really think about what they want from this dog. Most people say, "its just a pet". But, again, what qualities and attributes do they want this pet to have. Often, active families want an active dog to keep up with their lifestyle. They enjoy puppy energy and channel it into hikes, camping, trailing along on a horse back ride, chasing snowballs, etc. This lively enthusiastic, bright-eyed pup, might wear out a harried working mom with three little tots. She might be better suited with the mellow pup, the lady or gentleman of the litter who would be lost if placed with the active family mentioned above.

When I screen my prospective buyers I ask them to visit our horse farm on the weekend (winter or summer) to see my dogs and to witness a field demonstration. I do marks with one dog, a blind with another and a moving base-ball handling drill with the third.

This demonstrates the field ability, athleticism and trainability of my dogs. After this demonstration then we go to inside and discuss their lifestyle and the attributes they want in a pup. We look at pedigrees, clearances and they get to meet the rest of "the crew". The pros-pective buyer's response and their willingness to meet me gives me my first insight into the kind of dog this family is looking for.

After seeing my dogs and meeting with myself and my husband I know if these folks are going to offer one of my puppies the kind of home it will need. If we mutually agree that there is a good match between the breeder and the buyer, then I will begin my search for the right puppy for this family.

By: Phyllis Walsh

(To be continued in "Auditions")

This article originally appeared in the Golden Retriever News, official magazine of The Golden Retriever Club of America.

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