Our puppies have gone to some of the best homes in America. It is important to us that we continue in that tradition. We cannot say good-bye to our puppies without knowing that they will be loved and cared for in a similar way to how they are cared for in our home. Find out more information on this page to determine if a Summer Brook puppy is right for you.
Summer Brook puppies start their lives inside our home and raised with the utmost of care by someone who is home most, if not all, of the time. We raise our puppies to be companions for people who want to spend time with a dog. We don’t place our puppies in homes where they will be primarily living outside alone. With that in mind, we have several requirements before we will place a puppy with a particular family.
A Good Exercise Plan for a Large Breed Dog
First of all, we must be assured that families will have a good exercise plan for their puppy/dog. Walks on a leash are not enough. Dogs and especially puppies need opportunities to run and play off-leash in a safe place.
Homes Must Have a Fenced Yard
Golden Retriever puppies need a place to run and play off leash. A fenced yard is a necessity. Further, the fence must be a real fence. We will not place a puppy in a home with an invisible fence. There are a multitude of reasons for our dislike of invisible fences. See our post on Invisible Fences to understand why.
There are limited situations where families can provide an adequate space for regular off-leash exercise without a fence. It can be done, but it is a challenge. However, we are very opposed to puppies growing up with most, if not all, outside experiences being confined to a leash. At the same time, puppies need to be safe. A fenced yard is ideal.
Summer Brook Families Have Plenty of Quality Time to Give a Dog
Another big issue for us is the amount of time a family will have for a puppy. Most of our 8-week old puppies go to homes where there is either someone home most of the time such as a stay at home mom or retired person or to homes where someone works from home or has a full time housekeeper or to homes where someone could take their dog with them to work. We will not place an 8-week old puppy in a home where everyone is gone all day 5 days a week and the puppy will be left alone for most of the day.
A GOOD Plan Must Be In Place for Families Where Everyone Works.
We understand that most families are very busy and must work. We recommend that these families have two dogs. Ideally busy families could find an adult dog from another breeder or a shelter.
Ideas for providing necessary socialization and exercise for a Golden Retriever in a busy home include using dog walkers, having doggy door access to outside, and using a doggy day-care (only for older dogs). Some families take their dogs to relatives’ homes during the day. Golden Retrievers are very social and we believe it is cruel to leave a Golden alone all day long. Working families must have a really good plan in place in order to get a puppy from us. It is very difficult for working families to successfully raise a puppy and it is rare that we place one of our puppies in a home where everyone works.
No Overly Long Periods of Time in a Crate
We believe that it is unfair to leave a dog in a crate regularly for more than two hours straight or more than four hours per day (not counting overnight). If your life-style is so busy that your puppy must be crated most of the day, we’d not be the right breeder for you.
Stable Homes Only With Adults as Primary Care-takers
We only place our puppies in stable homes where adults will be the primary care-takers. Children, teenagers, college students, and even most young recent college graduates have too many changes in their lives and too much busy-ness in our opinion to take on the responsibility of a new puppy. Children can certainly help but an adult must ultimately be in charge.
Good Health Care
We have very strong opinions on how to keep dogs healthy based on studies done by the most respected experts in their fields of expertise. The guarantees in our contract are only valid if owners follow certain protocols. We provide very detailed information on how to follow these protocols.
Minimal Vaccines for Summer Brook Puppies
Our first health requirement is that your puppy follow a minimal vaccine policy. Most (if not all) schools of veterinary medicine are now recommending that dogs be vaccinated either every 3 years or have yearly titers to check antibody levels to see if they need a vaccine. Recent research has shown that yearly vaccines are not necessary and are in many cases harmful. Sadly, most veterinarians are still recommending yearly vaccines. We believe it is often for monetary reasons but sometimes because of lack of knowledge of the latest research. We do recommend yearly visits, just not the vaccines. See our Vaccine page for more details.
A second health requirement is that you wait until your puppy is at least a year of age before spaying or neutering her/him. A recent study done by UC Davis Vet school has shown that dogs neutered or spayed under a year have twice the chance of hip dysplasia and also double the chance of some types of cancer as those spayed/neutered at over a year.
Feeding a Premium Dog Food
A third health requirement is that you feed a premium dog food and that does not always mean feeding what your vet recommends. Some of the worst foods are being highly marketed to vets and even sold in their clinics. We don’t recommend any foods sold at Walmart or in grocery stores. Any food that is rated as 4 or 4 1/2 or 5 stars on www.dogfoodadviser.com would be a recommended food as long as the food contains no corn, wheat, or soy.
Ensure Proper Joint Development
A final health requirement is that during the first 1 1/2 years of your puppy’s life, you will do all you can to ensure proper development of your puppy’s joints by making sure that your puppy gets good age appropriate exercise such as leisurely walks and/or swimming and by keeping him/her off of full flights of stairs and not over-exercising with ball throwing, frizbee chasing, forced running, or forced jumping until your puppy has finished growing. See our contract for those details. We have done all we can genetically to only breed those dogs with the best of hips in their backgrounds. However, genetics is only a part of the problem. Environment plays its part as well. Since it is a developmental issue, new owners must do their part to give their puppy’s hips the best chance to develop as they should.
You Want to Give and Receive a Lot of Love from a Summer Brook Puppy!
Our most important requirement is that you have a lot of love to give to a puppy and that you are wanting a quality Golden Retriever puppy who’ll have a lot of love to give you back. We are aware that we have more requirements than most. However, we are not as intimidating as the number of requirements we have might indicate! We are here to be a help as you raise your puppy. We love our puppies too much to not send them all away to fantastic homes!