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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 we 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.

Gravitas Goldens Ethics Of Breeding

Gravitas Goldens Ethics Of Breeding

Gravitas Goldens Puppy Raising

Gravitas Goldens Puppy Raising

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.

Longevity is one of our top priorities. We do all recommended health testing, however there is a lot we cannot test for. Cancer is the primary plague of this breed, but we don’t know much about the different types of cancers as far as what causes them... in our talks with Veterinary Oncologists, it is likely a mix of genetics and environmental factors. No one can guarantee how long your next puppy will live unfortunately. However, by looking at the longevity of the lines and working towards outcrossing to produce a low coefficient of inbreeding (increase genetic diversity), that’s the best bet we as a breeder can make on the genetic side of things.

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.

We are also members of the Good Dog community, which helps promote responsible breeders AND helps us screen our new puppy families as well. Good Dog requires breeders to show proof of health testing, etc to achieve a designation. We are proud to be an "Excellent" breeder!

Rebecca Corso Avidog Certificate


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.

Common Questions...

Proud Member Of:

Gravitas Goldens Member Golden Retriever Club of America

Gravitas Goldens Association of Professional Dog Trainers


Gravitas Goldens Member Of IAABC

The GRCA provides puppy referral as a convenience to puppy buyers to find out about breeders who are GRCA members and their litters. GRCA takes no responsibility whatsoever for any puppies/dogs that you may acquire through GRCA puppy referral. GRCA is not responsible for any breeder’s sale practices and sales contracts, nor will GRCA be involved in any manner in contract disputes between puppy buyers and breeders. Availability of puppies and conditions of sale are at the sole discretion of the individual breeder. Buyers are encouraged to read ACQUIRING A GOLDEN RETRIEVER, as found on the grca.org website, for general information about obtaining a puppy, to take as much time as necessary to locate a reputable breeder from whom they feel comfortable purchasing a puppy, and to investigate breeders and their puppies thoroughly before committing to a purchase. You are not obligated to purchase a puppy from the breeders whose names you obtain from GRCA puppy referral.