Frequently Asked Questions
As a breeder of Golden Retrievers, what makes you different from everyone else?
We firmly believe that if you are going to do something in life, do it the right way and do it as best as you can. Our advanced health testing, cutting-edge socialization, and continual customer support provide the best experience possible for families who adopt our golden retrievers. Our goal is to improve the breed of Golden Retrievers and provide outstanding family companions.
I know that Goldens can be prone to certain health conditions. How do you keep your puppies as healthy as possible?
You are certainly right that every dog breed is prone to certain health conditions. This is why advanced health testing is one of our top priorities at Summer's Goldens. Every one of our adult dogs has their hips, elbows, eyes, and heart tested to ensure that only the healthiest dogs are bred. Not only are our adult dogs tested in these four key areas, but we also go the extra mile to ensure quality genetic testing for each adult dog. Not all genetic testing companies are created equal. We have chosen Embark, a partner of Cornell University's College of Veterinary Medicine, to help us minimize genetic health risks in our puppies as much as possible. Many breeders choose not to do these tests because they are an investment, but we truly feel that they are a vital part of responsible breeding.
Why does COI matter?
The COI (Coefficient of Inbreeding) of each adult dog shows how much genetic overlap there is between their parents' lineages. The lower the COI, the better. Using a genetic COI instead of just a pedigree-based COI yields much more accurate results. By carefully pairing adult dogs who have diverse genetic backgrounds, we increase the chances that their puppies will live longer, healthier lives. Many dogs who are poorly bred will have a high COI. This leads to decreased lifespan and a greater likelihood of health issues. We have very low rates of cancer in our dogs' lines, and this is partly due to our focus on lowering the COI. As a responsible breeder, we don't breed just for today. We breed with the future in mind to have healthy, happy Golden Retrievers for decades to come.
Besides health, what else do you focus on?
At Summer's Goldens, we focus on creating lifelong family companions. We strive to cultivate friendly personality traits in our Golden Retriever Puppies for sale. High-quality socialization during the first two months of a puppy's life is one of the most critical components of its lifelong development. Our puppies experience a variety of different surfaces to walk on; human touch all over their bodies; temperature changes; different sounds like fireworks, doorbells, cats meowing, and car engines; children; baths and nail trims, and more. We want our puppies to be more than just physically healthy; we want them to be mentally and emotionally ready for their future families.
I have been looking for a Golden Retriever breeder near me. Where are you located?
We are located in Wawaka, Indiana, in the Northeast corner of Indiana. We are only a 2.5-hour drive from the Illinois state line, including Chicago. We are also about a 30-minute drive from the Michigan and Ohio state lines. Other major cities within 2.5 hour driving distance are Indianapolis, Detroit, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Cleveland. If you are searching for “Golden Retriever breeders near me” and happen to be in one of these areas, we are certainly within close proximity.
What if I am not located locally? Do you offer delivery services?
While we encourage families to pick up their puppy in person so that they can meet the puppy's parents and see how it was raised, we understand that families' extremely busy schedules or limited ability to travel can make pick-up difficult. In these cases, we work with a trusted friend to personally hand deliver our Golden Retrievers to our adopters' homes to ensure they arrive safe and stress-free. We also utilize a flight nanny for our West Coast adopters looking to have their Golden Retriever puppy hand delivered. Whether through pick up or through delivery service, we strive to be a responsible, ethical Golden Retriever breeder in all that we do. If you are looking for a "Golden Retriever breeder near me," we have several safe options for delivery.
If you are interested in reading more about our breeding philosophies at Summer's Goldens, check out Our Story.