Frequently Asked Questions
We strive to breed healthy Golden Retrievers with the correct type and temperament. Sire and dam are compliant with health GRCA Code of Ethics at the time of breeding, at a minimum. Any puppies we do not keep, we sell as pets on AKC Limited Registration. Please visit our FAQ Page for more information. We encourage research before purchasing a Golden Retriever, or dog in general. Here is information from the Golden Retriever Club of America on some important topics: https://grca.org/find-a-golden/more-topics-before-you-buy/
What health tests do you do on your Golden Retrievers?
We require OFA hips and elbows after the age of 2, annual eye exams by a veterinary Ophthalmologist, heart clearances by a board-certified veterinary Cardiologist, and DNA testing for each Golden Retriever in our breeding program.
Our Golden Retriever breeding dogs undergo strict health testing, and you can access these detailed health screening results by visiting ofa.org. If you have any questions on this, please let us know.
We strongly advocate for transparency by publicly sharing this essential health data. Our commitment to maintaining accessible health screenings is important to advancing the overall health standards within the breed. We believe accessing these health screening results aids in informed decision-making, ensuring the continued well-being of the breed we love so very much.
Do you offer a health guarantee?
Each puppy comes with a 1 year hereditary health guarantee. Our top priority is health.
What training programs do you do with your puppies?
We follow the Puppy Culture program with each of our puppies. We make sure our puppies are properly adapted, ready to go home to their new homes, and set up for success! Check out our blog post on how we raise puppies inside of our home. Also check out our instagram highlights where we post videos. We also plan to have a live stream for puppies starting in 2024 so you can tune into the puppies for your daily dose of cuteness. More information to come!
How early can we pick up our puppy?
We like for our Golden Retriever puppies to go to their new homes at 10 weeks old. We make exceptions for this depending on each circumstance. The reason we like to keep puppies until this age is because it gives the puppy more time to socialize with littermates, mom, get in some training to make the transition easier, etc.
What goes home with puppy?
Each Golden Retriever puppy goes home with limited AKC registration, a lifetime AKC reunite microchip subscription, and a small bag of high-quality puppy food to ease any transitions.
We also provide a folder with veterinary records and documentation of their first round of vaccinations. Additionally we provide a small blanket with their mother's scent, a list of recommended reading/training materials, and recommendations on what we think is the best type of puppy food for your Golden Retriever. Should you have any questions, we are always here for you!
Do you ship puppies?
While we do not ship puppies, we will happily fly your puppy out to you or you can fly into XNA airport to pick up your puppy. All fees associated with this are at your expense. While we are located in Arkansas, many of our puppies go on to live across the U.S. We have puppies living in Louisiana, Oklahoma, California, Kansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Michigan, Illinois, Washington, and more!
What sets you apart from other Golden Retriever breeders?
Each of our dogs are pets and live inside our home. As members of the Golden Retriever Club of America, our Golden Retrievers are health screened and DNA tested before becoming a part of our breeding program. We submit this information to OFA and it is available to view on ofa.org. We select sires to compliment our females. We make sure these sires also have the high standards of health testing we follow at the time of breeding. We cannot say for certainty that every puppy we produce will be free of hereditary issues, because genetics are complicated. However, we do these tests in order to stack the odds in the puppy's favor and we stand behind all puppies produced with a 3 year hereditary health guarantee.
We want something out of every litter to pass onto the Golden Retriever breed and to compete with. We want a sound Golden Retriever with proper structure and temperament that is capable of doing what the breed is meant to do. We participate in various dog sports to ensure our Golden Retrievers are well-rounded. We are not breeding just to produce puppies to sell. Because of this, our litters are limited and selective. We believe in quality over quantity.
Do Golden Retrievers shed?
If you do not like shedding, we do not feel a Golden Retrievers is right for you! We highly recommend regular brushing, a good quality vacuum cleaner, and regular grooming.
What is life like with a Golden Retriever?
Golden Retrievers are amazing dogs. They are so much fun and easy to exercise. They are retrievers and that means most of them almost naturally enjoy the game of fetch. They are generally, friendly and biddable. They are also so excited to learn! They also love to bring you anything, so channeling that retrieving drive is so important for a well-balanced Golden Retriever. Luckily we have lots of tips for you!
People forget that Golden Retrievers are a sporting breed. They weren't meant to lay on a couch all day, though many of them have excellent off-switches. But a well-balanced Golden Retriever requires appropriate physical exercise for their age. We love this about the breed because it makes them so fun and versatile. They are a mouthy breed so they need appropriate toys (with supervision!), play time, and training. We strongly believe that, with proper exercise and training, Golden Retrievers make the best family companion.
Do you sell "English Cream" Golden Retrievers?
In our breeding program, the Golden temperament is far more important to us than the shade of gold. We highly recommend not making a decade-long commitment based on color. The Golden Retrievers in our breeding program are all shades of Gold because we breed dogs based on temperament and structure, not color. Color does not dictate how healthy a dog is, how capable it is to perform the primary function of this wonderful breed, or how long they will live.
Many breeders who sell what they call "English Cream" golden retrievers claim they are rare and/or healthier. This is just marketing. Light Golden Retrievers have always been a part of the breed. We recommend reading this great article from the GRCA on the topic.
Do you sell Golden Doodles?
We do not breed or sell mixed breed dogs. We believe in preserving the Golden Retriever. We love the sound and predictable temperament of the Golden Retriever.
Are your puppies temperament tested?
In our breeding program, we prioritize the comprehensive development of our puppies. Each puppy undergoes Volhard temperament tests by a Service Dog trainer when our Golden Retriever puppies reach 7 weeks old. These tests are invaluable in unveiling a deeper understanding of each puppy's behavioral traits, allowing us to ensure optimal placements for our dogs. Many of our Golden Retriever puppies are destined to become remarkable service dogs or therapy dogs. Thus, our commitment to maintaining and delivering predictable temperament is paramount in fostering the success of our puppies and their new owners.
What "pick" of the litter will I get?
In our breeding program, we prioritize the careful matching of puppies with their optimal homes. Unlike traditional methods where buyers select from a litter, we take the lead in selecting first picks, aligning with our specific breeding goals. Each of our breedings has a purpose. Each of our Golden Retriever puppies undergoes meticulous temperament testing, enabling us to do our very best at thoughtfully pairing them with compatible owners. While we value your preferences and certainly take those into consideration, our primary aim is to ensure that every puppy finds a fitting and nurturing environment. Matching a puppy with the right family brings immense benefits to all involved parties—enhancing the dog's well-being and fostering a harmonious relationship within the home.
Do you sell dogs with full breeding rights (full AKC Registration)?
We prioritize responsible breeding practices and care deeply for the puppies we produce. Thus, all our Golden Retriever puppies are offered with AKC limited registration. While our puppies can participate in various AKC performance activities, we do not provide breeding rights. This policy is meant to safeguard the welfare of our beloved puppies, ensuring they are nurtured in loving homes without concerns about indiscriminate breeding practices. Your puppy can still engage in AKC performance activities.
Do you compete or show your dogs?
Our Golden Retrievers are shown in AKC, IABCA, and/or UKC. We strongly believe that showing our dogs helps us keep the best in our breeding program. We compete in Conformation, Obedience, Scent Work, Rally, and Dock Diving. Through these competitions, we not only exhibit the wonderful characteristics of our Goldens, but also deepen the bond between handler and canine companion. We cherish each moment spent together in the ring, fostering a strong relationship that reflects the heart and dedication we invest in our breeding practices.
Do you offer training for puppy buyers?
Each first time puppy owner is required to attend a puppy class of their choice. We believe this builds a bond and communication between owner and puppy. This is to set the puppy up for success. We offer puppy classes at our home for puppy buyers at a small cost. This involves group socialization and basic manners. More advanced classes are available upon request.
Do you want to hear from me after we purchase a puppy?
Of course, we love puppy updates! Join our Golden Retriever community on our dedicated Facebook Puppy group. Share the golden moments and milestones of your journey with your Sleepy Grove puppy—we adore seeing these updates and photos. Your stories are invaluable to us, and love to hear about your experiences and are always here to address any questions or concerns you may have. Stay connected with us; we're here to support you every step of the way.
What if we need to rehome our puppy?
Should the need arise for any of our Sleepy Grove bred Golden Retriever puppies to find a new home, we care for their well-being.
In this circumstance, we require the puppy to be returned us. This ensures that our beloved Golden Retriever puppies don't end up in shelters and are responsibly placed in suitable, carefully vetted homes. Our commitment is to secure a nurturing and well fitting environment for the puppies we produce, minimizing the chances of them being in shelters and ensuring their continued welfare.