The Golden Retriever Breed Standard: https://grca.org/about-grca/akc-breed-standard/
Selecting a breeder: https://grca.org/find-a-golden/about-breeders/selecting-a-breeder/
This web site was last updated 12/03/2023. It's a labor of love! Working my farm has been my full time and only job for over 27 years (almost half of my life). I devote all of my time to do the best that I can to raise superior AKC Golden Retrievers (from European show lineages) and show-quality AOA Huacaya Alpacas (Kissing Cousins Alpaca Farm).
Tradition Goldens are carefully selected and bred to be normal in all traits... disposition / temperament / personality, phenotype / genotype, conformation / structure / bone size, instincts, breeding / mothering behaviors, pedigree and coat type. Nose to toes...all body parts must be normally formed and aligned. Everything needs to be considered in order to perpetuate consistency, health, soundness and quality in the breed for the future and to produce a dog you'll be very proud and happy to own that will give you years of fulfilling enjoyment.
Most Goldens we've tested have passed their breed health exams. More importantly and in addition, they also must prove their overall sound genetics by producing healthy offspring and if they don't breed sound, then that dog gets retired early. (I wish this was mentioned in the GRCA web site.) It's all about the love. It's been 150 years since the breed began and anyone who's honest knows it still needs work. I'm serious about improving the breed and only perpetuating genetics from dogs that are sound and from health tested ancestors and that consistently produce healthy puppies.
No application... we prefer to trust people...just please make sure you are ready to own a dog.
Pet Insurance: We recommend that you either utilize the AKC's 30 days free health insurance and consider insuring your dog, or perhaps even better...set up a pooch savings account ($50 or more per month) on your own. If you choose to save for your dog yourself and if the dog ends up not needing it (which is likely) then someday you can choose to buy a new puppy and go on a nice vacation with the money you would have sent to the insurance company. As we all know, vet bills can be very expensive, so being prepared is a really good idea.
AKC Registration: All puppies are initially sold with limited registration. If you desire a puppy from our program for breeding purposes, then you must let us know when you first contact us. We work hard to produce overall quality and want to perpetuate the breed, so we will only allow the absolute best from our program to be considered as breeding prospects (and we keep some of those ourselves). The dog must pass all of it's preliminary health testing for eyes, heart, hips and elbows and have genetic diagnostic tests done before I will allow unlimited registration. Once tests are passed, then you send us the results and a $500 full registration fee along with the status change form from AKC.
As of 2022 Tradition Golden Retrievers at Kissing Cousins Alpaca Farm is located at a new larger location on a 17 acre ranch in Chehalis, WA. Visitors are welcome and all parents are on site! The dogs will be very happy to meet you and so get ready for some Golden hugs! We practice full disclosure and when you visit you get to see where and how we raise the puppies...whelped in the house, then at 3 - 4 weeks old they go to the puppy pen where they have lots of room to run and play. Laura does everything herself, so you get to talk directly to the one person who knows everything about your future puppy.
Check out these songs about puppies...The Puppy Song (Nilsson), Gonna Buy Me A Puppy (The Monkeys), I Love My Dog (Stevens), The Dog Song (McKay), Like My Dog ...want you to love me (Carrington).
Please note: All European pedigree Golden Retrievers (bred to the English breed standard) have the same groups of champion European lineages with generations of various health testing on some of the dogs. Q. What makes the difference for puppy buyers? A. How the breeder selects dogs and manages their breeding program...and breeders have different reasoning and ways of doing things! We select females from our own litters using stringent criteria to make sure we have the absolute best breeding prospects that reflect the breed standard. Our breeding goals are comprehensive. All dogs are tested before breeding and on rare occasion, for a variety of reasons, sometimes a dog that has passed all of it's health testing still does not make a good progenitor of the breed so we "cull" those from the program and they get to go to their retirement family early. Again, we do not breed dogs that produce anomalies just to make puppies and sell the healthy ones. We are also working with other breeders to exchange information and do more to improve the breed!
Golden Retrievers, an AKC sporting group breed, have been the third most popular AKC breed for a long time and for good reason! Once you've owed a Golden you will fall more and more in love with this very loving breed. They LOVE people and they love life! They are a very intelligent, very biddable / easy to train, very eager to please, loyal, brave, devoted, extremely patient, and are very obedient, caring and respectful breed and they take things in stride. They are amazingly wonderful dogs, inside and out.
"I (Laura) worked for 16 years in retail and aerospace and for the last 27 years I have raised multiple species with beauty, overall health and soundness as top priorities, along with correct type, substance and disposition for the breed. Since 1997, I have successfully raised show-quality alpacas producing numerous show winners and some champions. I started raising purebred dogs in 2009. In 2014, English style AKC Golden Retrievers were added to the farm. I have studied various types of animal breeding for decades now. There is a lot more to it than eyes, heart, hips and elbows! Breeding animals with comprehensive goals of overall soundness (form to function), and correct phenotype, disposition and conformation can be very challenging work and also a labor of love. Breeders must cull when necessary and must put selection pressure on all of the traits you want to retain or they could be lost forever and you must select against the traits that you don't want or you could be stuck with the them. I'm the full-time caretaker, office staff and manure mover on the farm. I care for the dogs and puppies personally for hours every day, so you get to talk to the one person who bred, whelped and raised your future puppy. Tradition dogs are health and genetic tested before breeding; dams are typically bred on their third heat and are not bred on every heat cycle; dams typically have one to four litters. All puppies are sold with "limited" AKC registration and only after the dog has passed it's first round of testing is "unlimited" status authorized with the new owner. This approach helps to ensure that only the healthiest dogs are bred.
For your peace of mind, every puppy is sold with specific health guarantees for heart, hips and eyes to three years of age on a fair, two-page contract (request a copy for your review).
We promise to do everything possible to raise sound, healthy beautiful dogs. This is my full time job and I will be there for you down the road to provide support, so please stay in touch!" - Laura.
We work diligently to maintain the positive traits of the Golden Retriever breed that the breeders of the past worked so hard to achieve. We breed for overall health, physical / conformation traits, mental soundness / disposition / temperament, normal reproduction/lactation, longevity and Golden Retriever Breed Standards. There is a lot more to consider when making responsible breeding decisions than the basic eye, heart, hips / elbow and genetic testing! Fortunately, we have not yet had cancer or debilitating hip dysplasia reported back to us...and we pray this continues!
Based on the numerous pedigrees I have researched, all European "English Cream" AKC Golden Retrievers have the same collection of champion European lineages. We use k9data.com for pedigree information.
Please know that the term "English cream" is a description only (not a breed) based on the English GR breed standard which allows for the much lighter colors and also differs in other ways from the American and Canadian GR breed standards. The lighter colors are a popular trend in recent years and breeders must select for the lighter colors to produce them...hopefully they are still selecting for all of the other more important traits as well. Our Goldens have light cream to medium golden colored coats. Our puppies can range from very light to dark cream and sometimes into the medium golden shades as their adult coats grow in. There are no genetically pure white Golden Retrievers, nor should there be as it goes against the breed standard. They were originally bred to be a hunter's companion and yellow...golden colored.
Picking Your Puppy: The best way to pick a puppy is to to get to know it! So we give you all the time you need to make your choice. Here, you may visit the litters anytime by appointment and you actually pick your puppy on the day you take it home which is after the pre-purchase veterinary exam has been done. You should have the exam results before you pick your puppy! (And vet's want to see the puppies as close to eight weeks as possible.) Also, seven to eight weeks of age is when their personalities are starting to blossom, so you simply don't know what personality you're getting if you pick at a younger age.
Male or Female? Generally speaking, males are devoted and loyal. Females are sweet and precocious. These tendencies relate to the breeding behaviors of each gender. Both are wonderful!
We will work with you to find the best puppy match whether you are looking for a family pet, service / therapy, or that biddable field / hunting companion with that necessary controlled energy and athleticism. When you visit us, you will see where and how we raise our puppies and you will get to meet both parents of your puppy.
What is the difference between an American and an English / European Golden Retriever?
1) There is only one Golden Retriever breed in the world and it was originally created and developed in Scotland. Since then, the breed has covered the globe!
2) There are different Breed Standards for the GR breed: American, Canadian, English. Since the lines and standards are different, over many decades the breed developed a bit differently in different parts of the world. The English standard allows for extremes of coat color and is the standard used in Europe, thus some European Goldens have lighter coats, a stockier build and sometimes a calmer demeanor. Some have more drive than others, but all Goldens can be taught to be calm (start early!).
3) "English Cream" is a description, not a breed. Use caution with anyone who advertises pups bred for coat color as there are dozens more important things to consider when choosing matings. Coat colors generally deepen during the first couple years. A light "cream" puppy can end up a light to medium golden color at 2-3 years old. The off-white puppies will typically stay lighter as adults. There are no pure white Golden Retrievers, nor should there be as it not allowed in the breed standard. Our puppy's colors will range from very light cream / off-white to honey golden coats as adults.
4) Please note: IF YOU WOULD LIKE THE POTENTIAL FOR A LOWER CANCER RATE AND LONGER LIFE SPAN, THEN YOU NEED TO BUY THE PEDIGREE (EUROPEAN lineages...which come in all colors), NOT JUST THE CREAM COLOR. Large studies in 1998 (US) and 2004 (Europe) on Golden Retrievers indicated longer life (19 mos.) and much lower cancer rates (38.8% versus 61.8%) in the European bloodlines. However, our veterinarian told us that these days most Goldens live full lives which is really good news! To help dogs live longer (like they used to) please discuss with your veterinarian about doing as few vaccinations as possible and doing titer testing to see if boosters are necessary. Also, a partial raw diet may also help your pet live healthier and longer. Note: Only feed raw bones and NO RIB bones. And, for Golden Retrievers, waiting much longer to spay or neuter or not doing it at all can prevent disease and illness according to recent research.
Physical Testing: CAER Eyes, OFA Cardiac, OFA Hips and Elbows. We have our dogs hip tested using OFA and / or Penn Hip so that we only breed dogs with healthy hip joints. A veterinarian with 40 years of experience told us that tight hips (determined by Penn Hip) is highly heritable and the main factor in healthy hip joints over the life span of the dog. It's also important for breeders to do OFA hip assessments to know the conformation of the hip joint. Owners also need to manage your dog accordingly to avoid joint injuries...just like you would a child. Moderation is key during the first two years of growth.
Please note: There are various types of health testing available and sometimes a dog's results will vary between tests. For example, a dog with OFA fair, or "indeterminant" preliminary (>12 mos. old) hip results can score better on their final (>24 mos.) test or better than the breed average on a Penn Hip test. And, a dog with an audible heart murmur can pass an echocardiogram test and have a heart with normal structure and flow and be cleared for breeding by the veterinarians. A dog with certain findings on an eye exam can be given a "BO" (breeder option) designation. Suffice to say, ultimately "the proof is in the progeny". Any dog that produces abnormalities in its progeny such as cardiac, renal, craniofacial, or other functional defects described as heritable by a veterinarian, then it should not continue to be bred, even though it passed GRCA COE (Golden Retriever Club of America Code of Ethics) testing recommendations. The important thing for the breeders to do is to commit to not to keep breeding dogs that repeatedly produce heritable defects...period. Breeders should strive to make everything better with each generation. It's a process! According to the vets, the good news is that nowadays most dogs live long, healthy lives.
Individual assessments: We assess our dogs by the breed standards looking for even temperament, amiable dispositions, coat type, skin pigmentation, overall conformation (structure), balanced body proportions, head style, dentition, bone size, and movement in all gaits, etc. And we can not emphasize enough about mothering skills, reproductive efficiency, lactation and the weaning process. We let the dams naturally wean their puppies and stay with their litters even beyond eight weeks. Puppies from attentive and caring dams that are weaned gradually and naturally by their dams (not abruptly at 6 weeks) seem so well adjusted and that carries over to their interaction with humans! Think about it...it's like an intensive puppy boot camp with the dam as the drill sergeant. She teaches the pups "No!" (don't bite me) and "I still love you, but No!" (no more nursing), and (turns around playfully) "I still want to be with you, but the milk bar is closed, so No!", and (kiss, kiss) "You're a good puppy." So, when the puppy goes home with you it is already accustomed to reactions to it's wrong and right behaviors. This is not to say that the dam does the breeder's job of socializing, but the dam play's a crucial role as the puppy's first teacher...if she possesses good mothering skills and is allowed to stay with her litter! This makes our job of initially teaching the puppy what humans expect of it so much easier and most importantly less confusing and stressful for the young and very impressionable puppy!!!
Genetic Diagnostic Testing: Paw Print Genetics / Neogen Canine Health Check: Identifies markers for heritable conditions (known in the breed and with identifiable gene marker tests available) and carrier, affected or clear status which allows breeders to choose to produce puppies that are not affected and not carriers, so eventually, certain health conditions can be completely eliminated from the breed...if all breeders make these breeding choices.
OFA.org: Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (see OFA.org). Wiki page for OFA is: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orthopedic_Foundation_for_Animals
K9data.com: Web site for keeping track of Retriever pedigrees and also calculates coefficient of inbreeding (COI) and provides other data.
VOLHARD Behavior Testing: We have done this testing on four breeds of dogs and Goldens always score in the middle ranges...always. Just let us know if you would like to do this testing with your puppy and we'll do it together! It requires that a puppy be at least seven weeks old and does not know the tester. It's just a wink in time, but it can give you a clue as to your puppy's future tendencies. Through our years of experience, we find that at just eight weeks of age Golden puppies consistently either tend more toward a people-pleasing disposition..."Hey, what can I do for you?"or being adventurous with the "Hey, let's go explore!" attitude. Many more personality traits will blossom in your puppy even after eight weeks and how you raise your puppy will teach it how to act for the rest of its life. (Helpful hint: Start as soon as you get that pup in your possession and remain consistent. The more you yourself teach it, the deeper your pup will bond with you.)
Twenty-seven years experience carefully breeding award-winning registered livestock...alpacas, and over 14 years breeding canines starting with Great Pyrenees (2 dogs) and then English Springer Spaniels (3 dogs) before switching to American Cocker Spaniels (3 dogs) and Golden Retrievers (a pack!) and we love what we do! (Laura has also bred poultry, rabbits and goldfish since starting farming.) After acquiring our first breeding Goldens, we now typically retain the best females from our own litters as breeding prospects. We own our studs who we obtain from other breeders we know who work constantly to improve the AKC Golden Retrievers from European lineages.
With all the right ingredients, beautiful puppies become beautiful adults...
If you purchased a puppy and would like to do a Google review, that would be very helpful and much appreciated! If you were not 100% satisfied...Laura is always here for you and please get in touch!!!
We have a WA state business license for the farm (sales tax should be applied to all puppy sales) and a kennel permit with the county (requires inspection).
Charities: In past years, we have donated to The United Way, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, Samaritan's Purse, Hillsdale College and The American Humane Society.
Thank you for visiting! Visitors are welcome - Please contact to make an appointment. We look forward to meeting you and getting to know each other on your quest for a wonderful Golden addition to your life!
TO RESERVE YOUR PUPPY:
Reservations can be made any time. A $500 deposit is required to hold your puppy reservation and your position in the pick order. You can visit the litter any time by appointment. Puppies are examined by a veterinarian at seven to eight weeks of age and we do picks on the day you take your puppy home. This way you know the vet report before you choose!
INCLUDED WITH YOUR PUPPY:
Three Year Health Guarantee for heart, hips and eyes.
Fair, two page sales contract.
AKC Registration (Limited).
AKC Sponsored 30 days free health insurance.
AKC Reunite Microchip and sign-up form.
Beginning handling, socializing, and training daily.
Dewormed regularly (pryantel pamoate and / or fenbendazole).
First vaccination (1 DAPPv).
Detailed veterinary exam at 8 weeks with report for each puppy.
And our on-going support for as long as you need it!
"Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened." -Anatole France