The Process

If you believe you are ready for a Gravitas Golden Retriever, this is our process for puppy placement:

  1. We are a Good Dog Recognized Breeder, this helps you feel more secure that we are legitimately who we say we are!
  2. Our Puppy Application can be filled out and is the first step towards getting a Gravitas puppy!
  3. Upon approval of your application, we will send you a sales contract that you will send back signed and with a $500 deposit towards the $5,500 purchase price. Contracts are only sent after Step 1 is approved. We accept various forms of payment including CREDIT CARDS. We understand that this may not be financially possible for some people so please look into our Guardian Home Program ( as an alternative. We donate quite a few puppies each year to our non-profit to become Service Dogs and to First Responders, we are unable to accommodate any other donation or discount requests.
  4. Receipt of signed contract & deposit will put you on our waitlist for upcoming puppies.
  5. Once a litter is born that may have your future puppy, we will contact you!
  6. We do NOT place puppies on a first-come-first-serve basis. Instead we try to match puppies to their new homes based on a number of variables. We will work very closely with you on this, however we take this decision very seriously and believe it is in everyone's best interest!
  7. Puppies will go home at 8 weeks old.
  8. Additional training & longer stays with us are available at a discounted board and train rate. We are professional dog trainers & certified behavior consultants... this is our day job so your puppy is in the best hands possible!

Common Questions

What Health Testing do you do?

We follow all recommendations for genetic and health testing pertaining to Golden Retrievers. You can read more about recommended health testing from the Golden Retriever Club of America:
The OFA recommendations can be found here:
Please note that 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. According to 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 can make on the genetic side of things. It is critical to understand that the the things we CAN test for are not necessarily more or less important than the things we CANNOT test for. Every breeding we do takes this into consideration.
Screening for genetic diseases is available for SOME hereditary conditions. The genetic testing we do is usually through Pawprint Genetics or UC Davis. They test for all recommended, known, genetics conditions that sometimes afflict this breed. We are happy to share Genetic Reports with anyone upon request!
A report screenshot is below of one of our dogs:

Do you show your dogs?

Great question! Although all of our foundation dogs come from pedigrees with show champions in them, No, we do not show our dogs or participate in any AKC trials or events. Our full time, day job, is training Service Dogs and consulting on pet dog training and behavior issues. We also have 3 young kids, and try to save our personal time for family fun, our dogs included.

Showing dogs is an admirable thing to do, but it is very time consuming! Also, the priority with showing dogs leans more towards looks than health/temperament. While we try to adhere to the breed standard, our program leans more towards health & temperament, and we think they are all beautiful 😉

If you still are not convinced, please check out the documentary called “Pedigree Dogs Exposed“.

Also please know there are MANY wonderful, ethical breeders who DO show their dogs but still maintain their priorities of health and temperament. We just happen to be a program who will always be more proud of the number of Service Dogs, Therapy Dogs, and great Companion Dogs that are living healthy, happy lives than any Champion Show Dog we may produce.

How much are your puppies?

Our puppies are $5,500 at 8 weeks old regardless of gender. This price is not negotiable.

This price reflects the years of planning, importing dogs, health testing dogs, etc that have gone into building our program where it is. We appreciate your understanding that we are not a puppy mill, and we prioritize quality over quantity.

We accept various forms of payment including CREDIT CARDS. We understand that this may not be financially possible for some people so please look into our Guardian Home Program ( as an alternative. We donate quite a few puppies each year to our non-profit to become Service Dogs and to First Responders, we are unable to accommodate any other donation or discount requests.

Included with your puppy is a “swag bag”. Your Puppy Swag Bag will include:

  1. Health/Vaccination Records
  2. AKC Reunite Microchip Info
  3. AKC Registration paperwork
  4. Bag of Zuke’s Mini Treats
  5. Adaptil Junior Collar
  6. Small bag of Purina ProPlan Savor
  7. Soft tug toy
  8. Snuggle Puppy
  9. Treat dispensing toy
  10. Clix House Line
  11. 1-2 other chew items
  12. Free month in “Poop School” House Training Group
  13. Operation Socialization Puppy Passport

Where are you located?

We are in Visalia, CA.

We are able to deliver puppies anywhere in California at an additional charge.

If you are outside of California, as many of our families are, then we can assist in arranging your puppy to fly to you either in-cabin or cargo at your expense. We have flown puppies both ways (our own puppies included!) and have never had a problem doing it either way.

What are the different stages of puppy/dog development and what should I expect?

This infographic is a great visual of what to expect:

Dog Development Infographic

How do you socialize your puppies?

As a dog trainer & behavior consultant, I knew that from the start of our breeding program I wanted to incorporate all cutting edge puppy raising protocols that would set our puppies up for success from Day 1. A few programs we have incorporated into our program and made into our own include:

  1. Puppy Culture
  2. Avidog (now owned by Good Dog)
  3. Enriched Puppy Protocol

The short of it is that these programs involve introducing novel items & experiences into the puppies’ day to day life until they leave the litter. These experiences add up, setting the pups up to become the best version of themselves that they can be AT THAT AGE. Building confident & resilient puppies is the goal whether they are going into a pet home or a service dog organization. Each program was developed by a breeder for their own breed, therefore adapting these programs for OUR puppies is normal & recommended based on their developmental journey.

We have a daily socialization packet that we use every day to ensure that our puppies get the correct amount/type of experience. A few examples of things we do every day (depending on age) include:

  1. ESI (Early Scent Introduction) involves exposing newborn puppies to novel scent items briefly to stimulate their senses and possibly confidence as they grow up
  2. ENS (Early Neurological Stimulation) involves adding small stressors to the puppy during the neonatal stage; those stressors include holding them in different positions and tickling their toes.
  3. Stroller/car rides
  4. Playing or exposing puppies to potentially scary sounds such as fireworks, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers etc. Usually paired with food to make it a good experience
  5. Games that help puppies become more operant… Operant Conditioning teaches dogs (or humans) that their behavior will lead to a consequence. We focus on positive reinforcement here at Gravitas Goldens so generally food and praise are used as the consequence (reward).
  6. Outside adventures (we live on 1 acre here)
  7. Meeting new people including children
  8. Meeting puppy safe adult dogs that are not their mother
  9. Early potty training
  10. Off site field trips

What else will I get when I pick up my puppy?

Prior to picking up your puppy you will get access to a private “Litter Webpage” which gives you an online Puppy Manual including shopping lists and answers to all the questions about raising, training, caring for a puppy etc!

Your Puppy Swag Bag will include:

  1. Health/Vaccination Records in EMAIL
  2. Trupanion Health Insurance Offer/Code which covers the puppy without a waiting period *IF* you choose to buy/activate it
  3. AKC Reunite Microchip & Registration Info
  4. Limited AKC Registration is provided after certain contractual obligations are met by the new owners
  5. Bag of Mini Treats
  6. Adaptil Junior Collar
  7. Soft tug toy
  8. Snuggle Puppy
  9. Treat dispensing toy
  10. Clix House Line
  11. 1-2 other chew items
  12. Operation Socialization Puppy Passport
  13. Blanket or Pet Towel with Siblings/Mother’s scent

Why Gravitas Goldens?

We love it when prospective buyers ask us a lot of questions! We WANT you to do your research and due diligence. We will be doing the same with you! While the internet these days makes puppies easily available with a “Buy It Now” button or PayPal link… we do not. Our puppies are not for everyone who has the money. They are for those who will provide a good home and hopefully that puppy becomes part of your family.

As for why you should choose us… well, we know of some other wonderful, ethical breeders out there… so we cannot say we are the only good breeder around. However, what we can say is that we know of very few breeders, if any, who started out with the education and hands on experience that we have with such a variety of species! Tigers, rhinos, giraffe… we’ve trained it! Gravitas Goldens tends to be more similarly aligned in breeding practices to the Service Dog industry. We attend breeding and reproduction conferences almost every year to stay up-to-date with our breeding practices and make improvements as needed. Our experience with breed clubs and most show breeders has been that they do not prioritize the same things we do, and do not share in looking at the WHOLE dog. Purebred dogs have gone downhill over many years due to selective breeding becoming TOO selective. Heavily selecting for traits that win blue ribbons has not done our dogs any favors. They are not as healthy as they used to be, and temperament & longevity have gone downhill as well. You can read more about unethical breeding practices HERE.

Gravitas Goldens looks at the big picture that includes health, temperament & longevity. For every genetic disease test that we can do on our dogs, there are a number of things we CANNOT test for. Cancer, longevity, epilepsy, etc etc etc are all health issues plaguing many breeds including Goldens. We look at longevity in pedigrees as a way to attempt to make the best decisions we can make.

Genetic diversity is very important to this process as well. Inbreeding became popular in many domestic animals to help select for certain traits. This has backfired enormously on our purebred dogs and contributed to the issues they currently have. At Gravitas Goldens we import 1-2 new breeding prospects from other countries almost every year. These dogs go into a Guardian Home and are then evaluated once old enough for their health and temperament. These dogs are chosen based on how they might contribute new genes into our breeding program and keep our coefficient of inbreeding lower than the breed average.

Breeding dogs was not what we planned to do, ever. As we saw the need for good dogs in the Service Dog field and even just good pet homes, the idea started to grow. We are passionate about it, we are ethical about it, and we take this responsibility very seriously. Our training business and non-profit both have 5 star reviews, as does Gravitas Goldens, because of the care we take in the service and puppies we produce.

We believe in honesty and transparency. This is evident in the fact that we provide a 24/7 Live Puppy Cam to our clients so that they can enjoy watching their puppy grow up, but also see that their puppy is being raised in a clean, caring environment.