Let’s face the facts: dog breeding is typically unmonitored by federal, state and county animal control, and, without important guiding principles, can be devastating to dogs who are subjected to an unethical breeding program.
Discover the inspiring story of our commitment to ethical breeding fueled by our passion for responsible practices. Explore how we’re leading the way towards preserving the golden retriever breed in a healthy and sustainable way, and how you can join us in making a positive impact in the pet industry.
Getting Started as a Dog Breeder
Our first family golden retriever was adopted from a breeder in Greenville, South Carolina, who had a beautiful facility including a swimming pool onsite with a ramp perfect for dogs. We were able to observe the breeding process from start to finish including pre-pregnancy, mid-pregnancy, birth, and puppy meet and greets. Each experience was positive for our family and for all of the dogs in the program.
Our Journey: Learning the Importance of Strong Ethics
When we made the decision to become breeders of golden retrievers, we crafted our program based off of recommendations from our mentors and other successful breeding & training programs. It wasn’t until we began adding adult dogs to our breeding program that we were exposed to the ugly, unfair treatment of dogs in some breeding programs.
We continue to turn these encounters into opportunities to save and rehabilitate dozens of dogs. Yes, we rescue golden retrievers from breeders when needed. It’s been both an eye-opener and a heart-warmer to watch these dogs transform from being neglected to having a full, happy life as a part of a family.
It’s been a long road of learning to craft our breeding program, but through our research, mentorship, and hands-on experience, we’ve aimed to produce family-friendly puppies that not only meet breed standards but also excel in health and well-being.
Life with Five Goldens: Lessons in Love (and Chaos)
In 2021, our home became quite the circus when we brought in five adult golden retrievers to begin our program. We separated one dog per hour to spend quality one-on-one time with our family so that throughout the entire day each dog was receiving individualized attention. Though we had honest intentions, we soon realized that our initial routine of spending quality time with each dog sounded like a great plan, but wasn’t healthy for the dogs. Everyone was barking, acting out, causing damage to get attention, and, quite honestly, depressed. Plus, with dams constantly going into and out of heat, pregnancy hormones surging, and sires trying to do their natural-born jobs, the relationship between the dogs wasn’t healthy either. It was a tough realization, but it led to the creation of our guardianship program. We’re now able to give each dog a loving home, while allowing families to participate in a meaningful way.
Raising the Bar in the Breeding Industry
We’ve met countless people with a desire to breed their beloved pet. It’s a natural sentiment, and often begins with a family dog who has an outstanding personality and a temperament well-suited for being a parent. We’re here to be a resource for new breeders and those interested in pursing breeding utilizing the experience we’ve gained over the years.
During our time as breeders, we’ve faced judgment, doubts, and obstacles, but also found wisdom and encouragement. We’re still learning and growing, and we’re eager to share what we know to help others make informed, compassionate decisions that better the breed and lead to fulfilling and happy lives for the adult dogs in a breeding program.
Ethics That Make Tails Wag
At Southern Water Dogs, our commitment goes beyond just finding homes for puppies. We stand by the health, happiness, and well-being of our dogs. Whether it’s providing daily exercise, neurological stimulation, or endless cuddles, we prioritize the needs of our furry family.
We also know that responsible breeding means knowing when not to breed. We put our dogs and our community first, offering alternative services like training and swimming events when breeding isn’t the right choice.
Want to Join the Pack?
If our approach resonates with you, come see it in action! We’d love to have you tour our facility, meet our dogs, and see firsthand how we’re putting ethics and love at the forefront of what we do.
Violet is a stunning light colored golden with a gorgeous coat! She is extraordinarily intelligent and consistently seeks your approval and direction. Violet has a way of staring deep into your eyes as if she can read your mind. She is a petite golden with slender composition and elegant stature. Violet is quite the lady, and is lovingly attached to her guardian family, where she lives with them at the beach.