Top Questions About Buying a Golden Retriever
Who is eligible to purchase a Sunnyside Meadows puppy?
- The right family for our puppies is one that will be able to give the puppies the amount of attention and love that we give them here in our family.
- You will need to have sufficient time to attend to the physical and emotional needs of your puppy. If no one is at home for extended periods of time, then now may not be the best time for a new family member to come home.
- A puppy is a live animal that must be cared for. You cannot just remove the batteries and place them on a shelf for later. Someone will need to be available every day to care for the needs of the puppy.
- While we do not require any amount of room for the puppy to be able to get out to play in, your puppy will require exercise. It can be done through walks, trips to the parks, or just general playtime in the yard.
- In general, we expect someone who is considering one of our puppies to be fully committed to the amount of care the puppies will need to remain healthy and happy. A puppy is willing to give unconditional love in return.
How much does a puppy cost?
- Our prices are listed in the individual description of each puppy on the Available Puppies page.
What is the process for purchasing a Sunnyside Meadows puppy?
If you are looking to get a puppy now (i.e. the puppy is shown on the puppies for sale page) this is the procedure for getting a puppy:
- Select the puppy you are interested in from the “Puppies for Sale” page.
- Click on the button that says "Make a Deposit".
- Follow the link to complete placing the deposit with PayPal.
- You must then decide whether you will come here to get your puppy, or have it shipped to a major airport near you. We can make all flight arrangements for your puppy’s arrival. We will need to know what dates and times work for you to receive your puppy, and will contact you to obtain this information.
- We will send you the puppy’s care information, shot/health record and payment information for the puppy’s final balance and shipping cost a few days before the puppy flies home. Set aside some time to visit on the phone to go over any questions you have about the puppy’s arrival, and feeding/general care instructions.
- If you will be picking up your puppy here, you will receive all the above at that time. We love to meet our puppies’ new families.
If you are looking to get a puppy at a future date (i.e. the puppy is not shown on the puppies for sale page at this time), this is the procedure for getting a puppy:
- First, fill out the contact form, and request to be placed on the mailing list. You will be notified when the litter is expected to arrive, and given a chance to place a deposit on a litter, in the order that you filled out the contact form. The deposit to be placed on the reserved list for a litter is $500. This contact will place you on our “notify when born” list, which means when a litter is born that matches the criteria you specified in your contact form, we will notify you.
- Once the litter has been born that matches the criteria/timing you indicated on your application, all applicants for that litter will be notified. If you decide you do not wish to get a puppy from that litter, you are welcome to forward your deposit on to a future litter indefinitely. However, if you chose to pass on the litter that matched your criteria, you would be placed on the next litter’s list after any other family who had already committed to that litter.
- At the time we notify you of the litter’s arrival, you will be given the option to go ahead and reserve a puppy from that litter. Once the puppies reach 7 - 8 weeks of age, you will then be asked to choose which puppy from the litter you want. You can come here to choose your puppy in person if logistics permit, or via photos and a video clip (we also offer a FaceTime call with the puppies) if you are from a distance. Puppies will be chosen in the order their families were placed on that litter’s waiting list. Puppies can go home beginning at 8.5 weeks of age.
What vaccinations, dewormers, etc. do you give?
- Sunnyside Meadows follows a Core vaccination program built around the needs of the Golden Retriever breed. We use vaccines produced by Neotech. See below for an outline of Neotech’s Philosophy:
NEOTECH, LLC is a United States Department of Agriculture licensed veterinary vaccine manufacturer that strictly adheres to the core vaccine principle endorsed by veterinarians, scientists, and dog enthusiasts. Our philosophy towards vaccination of dogs is simple, avoid over-vaccination of dogs by only using simple and potent vaccines.
The core vaccination principle states that dogs should only receive vaccines that are safe and effective in stimulating immunity against the most lethal and infectious viral diseases. The core vaccines are canine parvovirus, canine adenovirus type 2, canine distemper and rabies. Other canine vaccines that claim to protect against diseases that do not represent a significant threat to the dog population are considered non-core vaccines. Furthermore, non-core vaccines have limited efficacy against clinical disease and may potentially cause harm or injury.
Although the core vaccine principle applies to dogs of all ages, it especially applies to young puppies. Young puppies have a functional, but underdeveloped, immune system with a limited ability to fight pathogens and respond to vaccination. Therefore it is unwise to challenge the puppy’s immature immune system with non-core vaccines against diseases of little or no consequence.
For many years, scientists and veterinarians assumed that vaccine-induced immunity was not attainable in young puppies due the puppy’s underdeveloped immune system and a high circulating level of maternal antibody. NEOTECH has discovered the 3 keys to stimulating immunity in the youngest of puppies, often after just one dose.
NEOTECH vaccines are presented in single antigen and simple combination forms. Unlike many complex combination vaccines, NEOTECH’s canine parvovirus and distemper virus vaccines are two separate vaccines. NEOTECH discovered that by separating these two antigens, vaccine-induced antibody production in the puppy is much more efficient than complex 5, 7, and 9 antigen vaccines containing canine parvovirus and distemper virus.
NEOTECH vaccines are modified live virus vaccines containing an unrivaled number of live vaccine particles per dose. NEOTECH’s vaccines contain live vaccines particles that closely resemble the wild-type virus, thus resulting in a greater level of protection. The greater number of live vaccine particles per dose permit a short period from vaccination to protection, a high initial level of protection, and a long duration of protection. The greater number of live vaccine particles per dose enable NEOTECH vaccines to stimulate protection in the youngest of pups with a high level of maternal antibody. This often occurs after just one dose.
NEOTECH’s vaccines only contain core vaccines. Since a dog’s immune system has a limited ability to respond to vaccine challenge, an immune response to a non-core vaccination that stimulates immunity to a disease of little or no consequence is a wasted immune response. This wasted immune response is at the expense of a much needed immune response against the most prevalent and lethal diseases of dogs (core vaccines). Since NEOTECH vaccines are void of non-core antigens, protection is only stimulated against core diseases.
10061 Hwy 22, Dresden, TN 38225
Do I have to come pick up my puppy, or can you have it delivered?
- We prefer that families come here to pick up their puppy, if possible. We enjoy being able to meet our puppies new families and can also give you the opportunity to meet your puppy’s parents. However, if the distance is too great that you are not able to drive here, we can send your puppy to you via American Airlines Pet Travel Service (PPS Pet Safe Service). Our pet travel agent will take care of setting up the arrangements for your puppy to fly to you, and delivery will be to your local major airport. The cost for shipping is $550 additional. This covers the total cost of the puppy’s airline ticket, travel crate and veterinary issued paperwork/health certificate. Over the past 15 years that we have used this travel service, we have been happy with the care and handling our puppies have received as they fly home to join their new families. Our puppies fly from Chicago, Illinois, O’Hare International Airport or occasionally, Indianapolis International Airport.
Do you offer Full Registration?
- Yes, we offer full registration for an additional charge.
- If you intend to breed your dog, please let us know. We encourage good breeding practices, and request that you implement the same. Breeding for the high genetic quality that we strive for, and the fact that all of our parents are fully tested, lowers the chance that any Sunnyside Meadows puppy would not pass the same tests that their parents have. Feel free to ask us any questions that you may have.
How are your puppies socialized?
The training your puppy receives in its first 8 weeks can last a lifetime. Thus socialization is not taken lightly at Sunnyside Meadows. Following is a general schedule each litter follows while here:
- 0-3 weeks — The puppies are maternally socialized. This simply means they are cared for and taught by their mother. Human contact is limited to healthcare and frequent but short contacts.
- 3-6 weeks — The puppies are imprinted to human contact with petting and light play as well as continued training from their mother.
- 6-8 weeks — The puppies spend time meeting different aged humans (primarily children) and are placed in different environments to accustom them to change. They will also interact with other adult dogs and see and hear various other animals.
- 8-12 weeks — The puppies are now ready to go to their new homes and start their skills training.
- Socialization never ends. As puppies join their new packs, they will instinctively seek their level in the family hierarchy. Although we love them dearly, they must be trained and taught that they are at the bottom of the family hierarchy. A very big help to learn how to communicate with your puppy is to enroll him or her in a puppy basic obedience course as early as allowed by the instructor. Classes are offered at most pet supply stores and canine schools in your area. This class not only teaches your puppy skills, but continues your puppy’s socialization to you, other people, and other dogs.
- The importance of beginning to train your Golden Retriever as soon as he comes to your home cannot be over emphasized. Just a few minutes each day spent in fun interaction and training with your puppy will reap life long benefits. By learning how to interact with your puppy, and understanding how a dog’s mind works, potential behavior problems will be avoided. Help your puppy understand what your expectations are through obedience training. A well mannered Golden Retriever puppy is one who will be loved by all and welcomed everywhere!
Following is my recommended schedule for your Golden Retriever puppy once he/she is in your care:
- 8-16 weeks — Take your puppy to its veterinarian for a wellness check shortly after your puppy comes home (within 3 days). Start to potty train your puppy. I recommend the crate-training method. Teach your puppy to sit and stay. Take your puppy for short walks, but limit interaction with strangers and their pets until his or her immunizations are complete. Finally, enroll your puppy in an obedience class. This class will strengthen the bond between you and your puppy, teach you both about basic obedience and be a continued socialization opportunity for your puppy. This class can be started as soon as your puppy has complete his puppy shots (usually between 12 and 16 weeks). If you prefer, professional trainers can also do individual classes, or come to your home for private lessons.
- 16+ weeks — Once a puppy is trained, he or she will occasionally relapse or possibly start an undesired behavior. Review the basics with your puppy to remind them of your expectations. There are many additional courses and training that is offered and you may consider more classes.