Frequently Asked Questions
Questions About Recherche Goldens
“Recherche” is a French word that means “rare, sought out, choice.” We chose that word very carefully because we didn’t just want to breed English Cream Golden Retrievers. We set out to become the world’s best breeder. Perhaps our greatest strength is our constant pursuit of perfection. We are constantly learning, listening and growing as breeders. Our kennel is more “recherche” than it’s ever been because of this pursuit. The two main distinctions that set us apart are the quality of our Goldens and the quality of our program.
Quality of our Goldens: Our family of English Cream Goldens has some of the best pedigrees of any breeder in the world. Multiple World, International, European and literally dozens of country champions are in our dogs’ pedigrees (Please review their pedigrees on our “Our Dogs” page). Our studs are also International & National champions.
All our adult Goldens are tested for their hips, elbows, eyes and hearts. We are OFA, BVA and CERF cleared to breed. We also guarantee our pups against these and other health defects with a very friendly lifetime warranty.
Our Goldens were chosen not only for their incredible pedigrees and health clearances, but also for their wonderful temperaments, which are exemplary of Golden Retrievers. They are beautiful, calm and loving! If we have a Golden that is aggressive, excessively shy or has any other traits that do not represent the Golden Retriever and our kennel well, we will not breed them.
Quality of our Program: Recherche Goldens believes that whatever we do, it should be done to the best of our ability. We have done everything in our power to become the most professional, detailed and complete program in the world. Our training program is an excellent example of our dedication to excellence. We also have a staff of fourteen high-quality team members that are former vet technicians, former kennel operators and current competitive dog trainers that enable us to have the healthiest and best puppies possible. We compensate our employees generously so that they will stay with us and help us produce incredible pups.
We have over 19,500 square feet of professional, clean, AKC inspected and certified facilities. In every area imaginable, we strive to be the best.
We provide our clients with updates, videos, professional pictures and training information. We strive to improve with every litter. The detail of our website is a small representation of the dedication and professionalism with which we treat our calling. We are so grateful to have the opportunity of spending our lives engaged in our passion.
We are very organized and really do listen to what our clients want. We are here to serve and provide the best family members to the best families. Combine the quality of our pups with the quality of our program and you have a one-of-a-kind kennel….Recherche Goldens.
We are located in Statesville, NC. Our email address is email@example.com and our phone number is 980-223-2779 (Our email and phone number can be found at the bottom of every page on our website). Prior to visiting our property we ask that you read through our entire FAQ page and if everything looks good fill out our online Puppy Application. We will be happy to meet with you and give you directions to our home.
General Puppy Questions
Puppies go through a critical phase of development between five and twelve weeks of age, in which they mature very rapidly. If raised in an isolated setting, barred from almost any interaction outside of with their mother and littermates, they often grow into fearful adults. It doesn’t matter if the setting is a family home, professional kennel or vacant building – isolation can be a significant detriment to proper social development of pups, and avoiding that requires dedication and effort on the part of those raising the pups.
How does Recherche Goldens ensure our English Golden pups are well adjusted and meet all kinds of people and animals with a calm, assured confidence and friendliness? The key is to ensure our pups encounter all of the common scenarios and people groups which they are likely to experience throughout life with their forever families. Regular car rides, trips to the vet, trips to the store, meeting strangers old and young, meeting other dogs, loud city and household sounds – all these are woven into their daily lives here, giving them numerous opportunities to learn the art of encounter and adjustment, and to ingrain in them the confidence that something or someone new is not meant to be a source of fear, but of delight.
We are proud to have built a proven track record of successful, well-adjusted pups that fit seamlessly into the lives of their new families.
No. There are two main reasons why this is not a worry. First, the Golden Retriever is one of the best breeds in the world at social interaction and bonding with humans. Many people say that Goldens are loyal to their owners, but the truth is that they are loyal to the human race! Goldens should never be thought of as true watchdogs because they will bond with strangers naturally.
Secondly, one of the four pillars of our Puppy Training Institute is socialization. We take our puppies on weekly field trips and regularly introduce them to various children, teens and adults – both on and off of our property. They are trained to be fearless of strangers and to be comfortable in new surroundings. You can read more details HERE. We have never had a client complain that their trained puppy did not bond with them.
The most obvious difference is the lighter colored coat. AKC penalizes for a light colored coat but the British Kennel Club doesn’t. As a result, many English Goldens have a light cream coat. English Goldens also have blockier heads, a more leveled top-line and a more square and bigger muzzle than American Golden Retrievers. Most importantly, English Goldens have almost a 25% less chance of getting cancer and outlive American Goldens by almost 2 years on average. The vet bills incurred by a dog having cancer pales in comparison to the price difference between American and English Goldens.
Many people pay upwards of $10,000 trying to save their beloved American Golden from cancer. We encourage every person to visit our English Golden Retriever page to see more of the differences.
Information on the English Cream Golden Retriever temperament, care, history and health can be found in detail on the English Golden Retriever page.
Puppy Health and Registration
Yes. Our dogs are dual registered with the American Kennel Club and the Kennel Club in their country of origin. Information about the AKC can be found on their website. Recherche Goldens recommends only purchasing a pup that is AKC registered. Many other North American registries do not conform to the high level of standards upheld by the AKC.
Buyers receive a copy of their limited registration AKC paperwork when they pick up their puppy. The final copy will be mailed to the buyer after we receive proof of spay/neuter. Each of our adult Goldens have had their DNA profile completed with the AKC. This may be seen on each individual dog’s webpage.
Paw Village has the most complete listing of the International titles we have found. You may see all the titles and what they stand for by CLICKING HERE .
Limited Registration means that the dog is registered but no litters produced by that dog are eligible for registration. A dog registered with an AKC Limited Registration shall be ineligible to be entered in a breed competition in a licensed or member dog show. It is eligible, however, to be entered in any other licensed or member event. These events include: Obedience, Tracking, Field Trials, Hunting Tests, Herding, Lure Coursing, Agility and Earthdog.
Breeding is a very complicated and serious decision. So many people have decided to breed dogs because of the financial benefits. An ethical breeder does not breed to make income- they breed to advance only the healthiest Goldens to the happiest homes.
Hip Dysplasia and many other eye and heart diseases have been spread by irresponsible breeders. Because of the intense dedication it takes to breed appropriately, 99% of our pups will only be sold as pets. BEWARE of any breeder that is willing to advertise selling FULL registration to ANYBODY that pays extra. Once again, that breeder is not breeding for the betterment of the breed but simply for profit.
As a rule of thumb, if a breeder is breeding for profit then they will cut-corners in every way possible to save money.
Each of our Goldens have had their hips and elbows checked by the OFA or the BVA (British Veterinary Association). They also have been checked by an ophthalmologist yearly and a cardiologist/veterinarian and have been cleared with the OFA for their heart and the OFA/CERF (Canine Eye Registration Foundation) for their eyes. For individual information please see their individual web pages.
What we put into our dogs is as important as what we put into our own bodies. For this reason, Recherche Goldens takes very seriously what puppy food is the best for our puppies. We also have learned from experience that not all high quality foods agree with English Goldens sensitive stomachs. We have learned through trial and error that the best food for most English Goldens is TLC Whole Life Puppy Food and All Stages Dog Food.
Please take the time to read why we chose TLC over all the other dog foods by clicking HERE.
We spare no expense in making sure our pups are healthy and up-to-date on all their shots. Every puppy is treated for kennel cough, giardia, coccidia and roundworms. Each puppy is also micro-chipped. How long the pup stays with us before going home will determine what other shots they will receive.
Puppy Academy pups are given 2 sets of “puppy shots” which is Duramune Max 5, the vaccine for coronavirus, parvovirus, distemper, parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 and hepatitis. Canine College pups will be given a final 2 sets of puppy shots and rabies vaccines. Doggy Doctorate pups will be given a monthly dosage of k9 Advantix II for flea and tick and also a monthly dosage of Ivermectin (Heartguard), a heartworm preventative.
Each of our puppies come with a warranty which requires you to have your puppy checked by a vet within 72 hours after picking up your puppy. Your vet will need to check for any communicable diseases during that period. Your vet will also recommend a time to get follow-up “puppy shots” if you picked up your puppy at 12 weeks of age. Most vets recommend that puppies be re-vaccinated every 2-4 weeks until 16 weeks old.
NuVet is a powerful antioxidant that gives a tremendous boost to the immune system to prevent skin and coat problems, creates a defense against over fifty major diseases including hip and elbow dysplasia, and extends the life span of your dog. Please take the time to CLICK HERE to read more about NuVet and NuJoint.
We provide up to a Lifetime Health Warranty with NuVet/NuJoint/TLC usage. Don’t just focus on the length of a breeder’s warranty. Read through the details. We have a very fair and “friendly” warranty. Most warranties are almost not warranties at all. Our warranty really does protect your investment and it’s longer than those of most breeders. Details about what is covered, what is not covered, and how it is covered can be found on our Warranty Page.
Because we highly recommend NuVet, NuJoint & TLC, we will extend your warranty to lifetime if you use NuVet, NuJoint & TLC with auto-shipping. Dysplasia and other health defects are not only about genetics. It has as much to do with diet and proper antioxidant intake as anything else.
NuVet & TLC make it easy for the breeder to track those who continue to use their product and thereby allow us to reward them by extending their warranty. To order NuVet/NuJoint click HERE & to order TLC click HERE.
Puppy Training Questions
Every puppy from Recherche Goldens is automatically enrolled in Puppy Academy (Click HERE to learn the details). To summarize quickly, every puppy is potty trained, spot trained, crate trained, leash trained, stair trained, obedience trained, car trained and much more. We have 4 extended programs as well, Canine College, Master’s Program, Doggy Doctorate, Doggy Double Doctorate. Every buyer will receive a “Report Card” specifically designating your puppy’s performance in every area of training. You will also be given instructions on how to continue with the training.
We have many tools that help transfer the training from our family to yours. The best book on training that we have found and which we recommend highly is “The Art of Raising a Puppy” by the Monks of New Skete. You can find it on Amazon by clicking HERE. Another great book put out by the Monks of New Skete is “Divine Canine.” This book deals with handling issues of excessive shyness, dominance and separation anxiety. Click HERE to find this book.
A quick read that we put together is the Recherche Puppy Training Manual to help answer common questions on training your puppy. You may see and print out the training manual by CLICKING HERE.
Yes. Our most unique feature is The Puppy Training Institute. We have several levels of training including doggy doctorate and doggy double doctorate. Please visit The Puppy Training Institute page to learn more and see videos of graduates. To view what is covered in detail please take the time to read our Puppy Training page (click HERE).
Puppy Academy pups graduate at 12 weeks, Canine College pups at 16 weeks, Master’s Program pups at 20 weeks, and Doggy Doctorate at 6 months of age. Pups can be picked up earlier if it works with your schedule or up to 3 days later with no charge. We never stop training your pup so if you need us to keep a pup over 3 days after graduation it would incur a daily charge for boarding and training. We do this quite often and are happy to work with your schedule.
Questions About Our Process
Puppies are selected in order of deposits received. Puppy selection can be tough at an early age, so we wait until pups are six weeks old to begin the selection process. This gives the puppies time to develop physically and emotionally. Every puppy is assigned a separate colored collar from birth so that we can observe and note the personalities of each puppy as they grow. By six weeks of age they have enough of a distinct personality to share with the buyers.
Though we have never had a “bad” puppy in a litter there are still distinct personality traits that best match a family’s needs. We give personality descriptions and distinctions of each puppy using our own scoring system which we call the “Recherche Score.” We have trained over 500 English Golden Retrievers over the past 10 years. With our extensive experience, we have found that there are three distinct differences in every English Golden Retriever – Independence, Activity, and Maturity. Each pup is scored on a scale of 1-10.
The Independence score is based on how independent or dependent a pup is. A dependent puppy wants to be around you at all times. An independent puppy has a lower need for human company. There are pros and cons to both, and pups on opposite ends will fit perfectly in different families.
The Activity score is based on how active a pup is. The two extremes are a very calm puppy and a very hyper puppy. Your puppy is scored based on where they fall on this scale.
The last score is a Maturity score. This is not a scoring of their intelligence – that is virtually impossible to ascertain at five weeks of age. This score gauges how mentally and emotionally mature a pup is. Typically, the more mature a pup is, the easier it is to train. Once we total the “Recherche Score” for any given litter, we give the results to the future owners of the first pick of the males and first pick of the females. Once they make their choice, we go down the line based on which buyer placed their deposit first.
YES! This question is very commonly asked of breeders. The answers that are given by other breeders quite frankly are shocking. Many breeders refuse for you to visit their kennel until the pups are 6 weeks old. By that time the buyer has already committed emotionally and financially to that breeder. Recherche Goldens understands that parvo and other diseases are a very serious threat.
However, simple precautions can be made to eliminate that threat. We ask that if you choose to visit Recherche Goldens please do not visit another kennel beforehand. Also, please try to stay away from any unfamiliar dog just in case they have any diseases. Many breeders hide behind “trying to protect their dogs” as a motive for keeping their facilities concealed. Golden Retriever Club of America recommends that you find a breeder who has nothing to hide and is actually desirous of meeting with you.
Recherche Goldens simply ask that you first read through our entire FAQ page and if you agree with everything that you fill out our online Puppy Application. If everything looks good then we will make an appointment to meet with you.
We recommend that you bring a travel crate (~20 in. high for 12 week, 24 in. high for 16 weeks and 26 in. high for 6 months), some large bath towels, a small collar or body harness, a basic leash (NOT a retractable leash because they fear them at first), paper towels, garbage bags, some chew toys, water and a food and water dish.
It is our policy that if you can no longer care for your Golden because of a move, because of financial difficulties or any other reason then you must return you Golden to Recherche Goldens. We always want to make sure our pups go to quality homes, for the entire life of the animal. We will either find a good home for your Golden or care for him/her ourselves.
Goldens purchased from Recherche Goldens should never be sent to an animal shelter, a rescue center or given to someone else without prior approval of Recherche Goldens.
“Buying a cheap dog is great…if you can afford it.” The money you save by initially purchasing a dog can pale in comparison to the health problems that come with a puppy that is not well bred. Also, purchasing a trained pup is such an amazing advantage and allows you to own a blessing instead of a curse for over a decade. Buying a dog should never be like buying a vehicle. The decision concerning what dog you will have for 10-15 years should NEVER be based on price alone. We believe we are extremely unique in 2 areas…the quality of our dogs and the quality of our program. We are not aware of any other breeder that has better quality European Goldens than we do. We didn’t just get any European Goldens. We chose from the best we could find and the quality of the pedigrees, health clearances, temperaments and looks of our Goldens stand out from the rest.
Also, our program is extremely intensive. The average Puppy Academy puppy gets 250-300 hours of professional training. Canine College adds another 100-125 hours of professional training to that. Master’s Program adds an additional 100-125 hours for a total of 450 hours of professional training. Our Doggy Doctorate pups average over 600 hours of professional training (all training done by professional trainers!). Our prices depend greatly on the amount of training, the quality of the litter/pup and the amount of pups we have available at that moment. Please visit our Available Pups page to see our current pups and their individual prices.
The aforementioned training includes potty-training, complete obedience training, leash training, stair training, car training , crate training and more. All of our pups include a health certificate, microchipping, multiple dewormings, puppy shots, health examination, NuVet Starter Kit, Puppy Training Packet, multiple training videos, AKC paperwork, Lifetime Health Warranty and a lifetime of support.
To learn more details about what we do in The Puppy Training Institute, please click HERE!
We are very flexible with when you get your pup. We always highly encourage you to make sure not to have a lot of chaos right when you get your pup. You want the first few days to be very calm and relaxed with a very consistent schedule. This will help your pup adjust to your home and learn the routine. The potty training will transfer much easier if there isn’t a lot of change in the first couple of weeks. The date of your pup’s graduation is flexible. If that date doesn’t work than you let us know when you want your pups (Monday-Saturday) and we’ll do it. If it’s between training programs than we simply pro-rate the price difference (after a 3 day grace period). You can watch a video on us answering this question below:
Here are the 3 options of getting your pup:
- Pick up- obviously the least expensive option is for you to come here and pick up your puppy in person. We would love to meet with you and be able to go over our puppy packet in person and have our obedience trainer go through a training session with you. We live in Statesville, NC which is about 1 hour north of Charlotte International Airport. We are also about 10 minutes from a very large private airport called “Statesville Regional Airport.” We have pick-ups available Monday-Saturday from 9 am -2 pm. Typically pick-ups are around 45-90 minutes long and gives us plenty of time to go through everything.
- Shipment- because of the uniqueness of our program, we sell our pups all over the country. It is sometimes impossible or impractical to come and pick-up your pup in person. Because of this we have a LOT of experience shipping pups with United Airlines, Delta and American Airlines. There has been some bad press about this but we have shipped over 400 pups to us and from us since 2005 and have had no serious issues and only a very few minor issues. It’s very safe and affordable. We do all the work and book the flight for you. You simply let us know the nearest major airport. We will buy the travel crate, get the health certificate and book the flight. We then charge you the cost which runs between $700-$850 depending on the size of your pup/crate when you ship. The puppy packet is attached to the crate so you get all of your pup’s paperwork, shot records, report card, etc… when you pick up your pup at the cargo facility with the airway bill number provided. The worst thing that happens is a pup pottying in their crate. They are scared but not as badly as you think. Almost all of our pups were shipped in from Europe which is well over a 24-hour total travel time. Flying anywhere in the US is nothing for our older, crate trained pups. If we believed it was traumatizing or dangerous we would never risk our pups or provide this option. The only issues we run into is temperature issues so if it’s very hot or very cold than we have only United as an option.
- Delivery- this is one of our most growing and popular options. This is where we either drive or fly your pup directly to you and hand off your puppy to your home. There are 2 delivery options:
- Trainer Delivery- this is where we have your pup’s professional obedience trainer deliver your pup to you. Our trainer would go through the puppy packet in detail and then go through a training session with you and answer any question you may have. This is the most expensive option because not only is there the cost of the delivery put we lose our trainer for the time it takes to go to you and come home. We have to have our trainers work that much harder to make up the training the pups lose. Cost is dependent on where you live but ranges from $1500-$5500.
- Driver Delivery- this is where we employ a very responsible driver to deliver your pup directly to your home. They are responsible and very safe drivers. Currently every one of our drivers are in the ministry full time or just retired. This is an opportunity for them to make some money on the side as they seek to serve God and provide for their family. Because they don’t work in our kennel they won’t be able to answer any questions, go through the puppy packet or go through a training session. They will just deliver your pup to your home. Cost is much less though and runs only $0.89/mile there and back. For example, if you live 1000 miles round trip the cost would be $890.
1. Read through this FAQ page- We have designed this page to be as informative as possible. Even if you choose not to go with us we believe reading through every question and every answer will help you in your search for the right breeder and Golden Retriever. Also review our Available Pups page (Click HERE) to see what pups are available right now. We update our website almost every day, so if you see a pup on our Available Pups page you can almost guarantee he/she is available.
2. Fill out our online Puppy Application (CLICK HERE)- BEWARE of any buyer that won’t ask you questions except how to pay for your dog. They are obviously only breeding for money and not for the betterment of the breed.
3. If approved, place your deposit- Notice that Recherche Goldens does not have a BUY NOW button. We truly care who our puppies go home to. After we receive your Puppy Application, we will review it carefully. Typically we will get back with you within 24-48 hours. If you don’t hear from us please check your Spam/Junk folder as our response will most likely be there. If you still don’t see it, then please email/call us back. We will respond either way. If you are approved then we will give you the link to our payment page to place your deposit with a credit or debit card.
Dear Jamel and Charity Hamka,
With great interest I looked at your stunningly beautiful and detailed website, featuring your gorgeous English Cream Goldens and I am not at all embarrassed to admit that I cried because I did not have the good fortune to purchase my English Cream Golden from your kennel. In my overwhelming joy and anticipation of owning one of these beautiful dogs, I acted too hastily and was not selective enough and realized too late that I was dealing with a breeder who offered no information, made no photos, gave no ancestry details and did not ask one single question about us, caring little or nothing about his pup or what kind of home we were going to provide for it.
We paid just a little less than what you ask for your pups, but I would gladly have paid just a bit more in order to know that we would receive a “new member of the family” from an integrative, caring and supportive breeder, who has the best in mind for his dogs and their prospective owners. I am impressed with the in-depth care you are willing to provide from the time your pups are born until they go to their for-ever homes. The training, the exposure, the excellent food and vitamin regimen, all are a guarantee for happy, healthy and well-socialized dogs, making the transition from breeder to new owner so much easier.
I would have loved a few photos, a memento of my dog’s very first weeks, but I was not that lucky! My pup was one you describe on your website, one who was born in a kennel, lived outside until she came to us and who had to compete for her food and water with other siblings and other litters. To this very day she still gulps down her food in unbelievable haste, not chewing it and vomiting it up later, always worried someone will beat her to the bowl and afraid she will have to do without. She was terrified of stairs, any stairs, be it at home or in town and the very beginning principles of toilet training were completely unknown to her. With lots of reassuring, calmness and encouragement I trained my dog to believe that there always will be enough food, that it is o.k. if someone looks in your ears or touches your paw and that we take vitamins every day.
Thank you for the treat of looking at your beautiful website, which contains all the information any prospective English Cream Golden owner ever could wish for!