How much is a well bred Golden Puppy in the state of Arizona?
Right now Golden puppies seem to range between $500 and $5000.
But price is not an indicator of quality. There are folks who charge too much and give you very little value in form of health testing and/or proving their dogs in return for their hefty price tag.
In general, a puppy from proven parents with full health testing will range between $2000 and $4500 in Arizona. At Anasazi our puppies are priced between $2500 and $3500 due to the high quality, comprehensive health testing and foundational training of our program.
Be aware that puppies from riskier untested or undisclosed failed test parents are also in the same price range. Don't pay more for less.
How important is health testing?
The Golden Retriever breed has several quality of life affecting and deadly diseases. Hip and/or Elbow Dysplasia can be crippling. Corrective surgeries are available but cost thousands of dollars and recovery for a large breed dog can be challenging. Subaortic Stenosis also know as SAS is a heart disease is found in goldens. This disease ranges from the mild cases where dogs fatigue more quickly to severe cases that cause a young, fit looking dog's heart to stop. We also have several eye diseases some of which cause blindness.
We find testing is an invaluable tool in reducing these issues. Though we know that testing does not guarantee we will never see these problems, it dramatically stacks the odds in our favor. We are big supporters of anything that can give a Golden a better chance for a healthy life and we believe most families will feel the same way.
Go to GRCA.org to become an educated buyer, unfortunately Arizona is rife with breeders who do not have the health certifications or purposely miss represent vet checks, preliminary reports or underage testing from foreign countries as "clearances" . Regardless of who you buy from always use to do your own verification. If you would by a car with out a card fax , don't buy a puppy with out verifying their mom and dad are healthy and it costs you nothing to check.
I just want a pet not a show dog, why does having titled parents matter?
Because you are looking for a pure bred Golden. If any dog would do, then we would encourage you to adopt from your local pound or rescue. If you are looking for a Golden, that means there is something about this breed that you need above and beyond the idea of a just a pet. When AKC and UKC Championships are earned, that dog has been judged not only against the other dogs in the ring but the ideal Golden described in our breed standard. Performance titles judge the dog's performance against the ideal work for that sport, such as obedience or retrieving hunt tests. Since you decided on a Golden, not just a pet don't you want a Golden puppy that is the closest to the ideal Golden as possible?
Curious about the breed standard? See it HERE
Titles are an excellent indicator of quality, desirable traits and temperament. Competition also takes dogs out of their backyard and into the real world. It is very difficult for a dog with a temperament issue like fear or aggression to be a successful competition dog.
Additionally, it shows that your breeder cares and is learning. Competition gets a breeder and their dogs out amongst their peers and mentors so they can learn more about correct structure, health trends in the breed, and see dogs of diverse pedigrees.
So, what do all the different Championships mean?
There are many dog sport organizations where breeders can compete. It can help to think of them along the lines of baseball. In baseball it is easy to know the skill and quality of players improves as you move through the levels from high school to college to minor leagues and finally the major leagues.
International Championships earned in the US are the dog show equivalent of a little league player. This title is not competitive as the dogs getting last place can earn a title in one day. They never need to defeat any other dog to earn this title. In fact there are some breeders that choose this venue because they know dogs lacking quality can earn titles with this organization. So, while it sounds impressive, it is where we start our young dogs for practice. Since this show is the only option available to rare breeds, International show Group Firsts and Best in Show wins can be quite an accomplishment when the top rare breed dogs in the country and AKC Champions are present. Asking a breeder who only shows in this venue if they have earned group wins or best in show wins is a great way to see if they choose this venue for the everyone gets a trophy aspect of this type of show because their dogs lack quality. If they can show you group win medallions or best in show ribbons, then the equivalent changes to be more like high school varsity level in the sport analogy.
UKC Championships are the next step up and would be college in my analogy. Here the dogs must beat at least one other dog three times on their way to winning this title. This title can be earned in as little as 4 shows and our dogs have always earned it in 4-6 shows as youngsters. This organization prohibits professional handlers and encourages family participation. We proudly belong the Caliente All Breed Canine Association, a UKC all breed club as we love the atmosphere and the openness to giving new people a supportive place to try out dog shows.
UKC Grand Championships I see as the minor leagues. Dogs here have to defeat at least 2 other UKC Champions in five different shows to earn this title or have group placements or best in show wins.
The AKC or American Champion and Grand Champion are the major leagues. Here the competition is extremely fierce and generally includes investing months or perhaps years of time and travel to achieve. Also at this level we pit ourselves against professional handlers who do this week in and week out as their living. We are very proud to say we have owner handled our dogs to amazing wins including Best of Breed, Winners Bitch at a Specialty show just for Goldens, Best of Opposite Sex in Sweepstakes also at a specialty as well as several Winners Bitches and Best of Winners.
What color will your puppies be?
At Anasazi we breed Golden Retrievers whose structure, quality, temperament and health is more important to us than color. We are trying to breed a whole dog and as long as the dog's color falls into the golden spectrum, we do not take color into consideration when picking breeding pairs. We do not breed with extreme colors as a goal. If you are looking for an extremely dark puppy, extremely pale puppy or the ability to pick a puppy base solely on color, we are likely not the breeder for you. Please see our plans page to view our current pairing; puppies will likely fall between the range of color of the parents.
You have and use dogs with European pedigrees, is that because they don't have as much Cancer or are Cancer free?
In a word, no. American lines and European lines both have health concerns and chief among them is Cancer. Sadly, our beloved breed has a higher than average rate of Cancer. This is true of all Goldens regardless of color, country of origin or look. The Morris Foundation has embarked on an important study containing 3000 Goldens from all backgrounds to find answers about Cancer. See the study HERE. Although a current study, the first "Hero" dog was lost to Cancer and was of completely European pedigree. When we choose to incorporate European dogs it is because of the great traits of that dog while understanding there are no Cancer free lines anywhere in the world.
Will I pick my puppy?
If you have a burning need to "pick" your puppy, we may not be the breeder for you. The short answer is no, we do not offer Picks. The full answer is a bit more complex because we are matching puppies to families. So, it depends on who the families are and who the puppies are. Sometimes families get to choose between more than one puppy because there is more than one suitable match. However, if there is a home with a very specific need and only one puppy has the skills and temperament needed, that will be their match.
We do honor your choice of gender and work closely with you to determine what you need in a puppy. We will also ask you to let us know who your two or three favorites are in your selected gender.
If any family is not satisfied with the puppy matched to them, they will gladly have their deposit returned.
Will I be able to meet the father of my puppy?
For most of our litters, the answer will be no unless you want to travel quite extensively. We are striving to improve every generation we produce. That means that we have to thoroughly assess our girl and find a boy who will not only build on her strengths but also improve her weaknesses, all while meeting our stiff health testing requirements. This means that we almost always breed to dogs who are not in the state of Arizona. At this time we do not even own a boy since it would be very doubtful any boy we owned would be the best match for our girls. It would be a very rare occasion that we would use a boy twice with the same girl since we are looking always for improvement. We like the freedom to choose the best where ever we find it which so far has always been a dog out of state or even out of our country. We will always choose quality over convenience.
Why do you sell on limited registration?
We believe that as breeders it is our responsibility to the breed and to future breeders to only add dogs to the breeding gene pool that represent the best our program has to offer. We are very selective of our show prospects. Though we always reserve the first two pups in each gender in the hopes of a rare and spectacular litter, sometimes there is only one show prospect puppy and sometimes none. Our companion pups are not destined for the show ring and as we believe proving dogs in competition to be an important piece of selecting breeding stock they are not breeding dogs.
Limited registration only excludes altered dogs from the show ring also known as the breed or conformation ring and breeding. Dogs on limited registration can compete in all AKC performance events. The wide world of fun performance events such as obedience, rally, dock diving, hunt tests, barn hunt and therapy work are all available to our companion puppies.
How can I be considered as a home for an Anasazi Golden?
We have a 4 step system.
Interest - Once a litter plan is announced, we will post it online and accept interest inquiries. The time frame to express interest will remain open at least until the pregnancy is confirmed.
Interview - Selected families that have expressed interest after the litter plan has been announced are invited to complete our initial survey along with a phone and/or in person interview.
Litter Families - After the pups are born and are 2 weeks old we will know how many companion puppies are available and our approved families from the interview step will be contacted to see if they would like to move from the interviewed families to our selected families for the litter.
Stand By - Anasazi always reserves 2 pups in each gender as potential show prospects. Because we are very choosy about what puppies go into the show ring, once evaluated at 8 weeks old, we may find that one or more of these reserved puppies are companion puppies. Families on stand by choose to wait until the pups are 8 weeks old to see if one of the reserved show prospects is released into a companion home.