Ethics of Breeding & Puppy Raising

Gravitas: seriousness and importance of manner, causing feelings of respect and trust in others.

Gravitas Golden Retrievers was founded due to what Rebecca feels is a LACK of reputable and ethical breeders. So many dog trainers/behavior consultants wish that more of us would breed dogs because we are exactly the people who should be breeding dogs. Rebecca sees day in and day out what happens when genetics and upbringing have not been prioritized… the behavioral and health implications can be devastating.

We started Gravitas Goldens due to a long standing love of the breed, an appreciation for what a good family dog should be, and a belief that it is people like us who will be the best stewards and advocates for the breed.With our Service Dog work at CSDA, it also became clear very quickly there are not enough suitable dogs that have what it takes. Service Dogs need to be incredible tolerant, low-to-medium energy, patient and friendly dogs that can handle the demands and stress of their job.

We did NOT start Gravitas to make money. It took us several years from the time we started considering breeding Goldens to the time we had any puppies of our own. Our foundation dogs were curated very carefully from well respected, ethical and reputable breeders around the WORLD. Most of our foundation dogs were bought as puppies, and so then we gave them time to “grow up” and do all breed-appropriate health clearances and testing before considering them for breeding (READ MORE HERE).

Our priorities for Gravitas Golden Retrievers are temperament, health & longevity.

Aside from selecting foundation dogs for good genetics, we also implement a puppy raising program to set the puppies up for success from the day they are born. We were fans of the Puppy Culture program for many years before we had our first litter. We had seen time and time again in our training business how puppies raised with this program (or other similar ones) are usually WAY ahead of other puppies the same age that did not receive anything. We are also members of the Avidog Breeder College and have appreciated the knowledge gained through that program as well.

The care and consideration we have put into our breeding program also applies to our puppy buyers. As trainers, we have seen too many times where people think they are ready for a puppy and are immediately overwhelmed. No matter how great the puppy is, or it’s pedigree is, or if Puppy Culture was used… sometimes people just are not ready for the 1-2 YEARS it can take for your puppy to mature and “grow up”. We screen applicants very carefully and do our best to provide after support for you and your new puppy for these reasons.

Important reading:

Top 10 Reasons NOT to Get a Golden Retriever

It’s Not “All In How You Raise Them”: The Role Of Genetics In Behavior

Socializing Your Puppy: Why “Later” Is Too Late

The Dark Side of Socialization: Fear Periods and Single Event Learning

Genetics, Behavior, and Puppy Temperament Testing


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