Frequently Asked Questions:
Puppy Price & Policy
Royal River Retrievers is a small breeding kennel, and I only breed after many months (even years) of planning, when I am looking for something to keep for myself. The puppies from my breedings are placed in show, hunt, performance, service dog, therapy, and companion homes. My goal is to produce healthy, well-balanced, structurally-correct dogs that have outstanding temperaments. When a person or family contacts me, they are asked to complete the Puppy Questionnaire. I want to ensure that the puppy has the right personality/temperament that I feel would be best suited for the person/family and their lifestyle.
All puppies are given maximum socialization right from the start. They are whelped and raised in my living room and are handled and played with every day. I expose them to Early Neurological Stimulation, early scent introduction, new situations, some basic training, crates, baths, weekly nail trimming, other dogs, and numerous adults and children. At three weeks, pups are started on potty training, making them want to be CLEAN, for faster, easier house training!
I go to great measures to ensure that every single puppy in a litter has individual attention and has more than adequate socialization. At 7-8 weeks old, my puppies are brought to pet-friendly local businesses such as North Yarmouth Academy, Bates College, hair dresser, chiropractor, and nursing home. They also attend a full day at PupStart Day School for Puppies just prior to going to their new homes, to get socialization with new dogs/puppies of various shapes and sizes.
I require that all Royal River Retriever buyers must commit to continuing the socialization and training by attending a minimum of 18 weeks of puppy socialization/obedience classes so that he/she will become an enjoyable companion at home and out-and-about. Why do I ask this? Because studies estimate that 96% of dogs who end up at shelters have NO formal obedience. They don’t know how to be a “good” dog because no one took the time to teach them!
Sire and dam have health clearances (at minimum- hips, elbows, heart, and eyes) which can be verified on the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals website, and the parents are at least two years old. All puppies receive first vaccinations, routine worming, and a health certificate from my veterinarian before going to their new homes. Each puppy will be registered with AKC and will have a HomeAgain 134.2kHz microchip implanted. Please familiarize yourself with the Sample Contract for Seller and Buyer Representation, Rights and Warranties.
All puppies are placed in the most suitable home, in my judgment, regardless of color or sex. Companion (non-show) puppies are sold with a spay/neuter agreement and have an AKC Limited Registration (not for breeding.) Show vs companion quality is not apparent at birth but by overall structure, movement, and temperament which cannot be judged until a puppy is at least 8 weeks of age. Companion puppies will be available after temperament tests and final evaluation of show prospects at 8 weeks. Any show, performance, and service dog prospects have priority over companion puppies and are selected first. I will take your preference into consideration, but the final decision will be mine as to where each puppy will go. Any puppy I agree to be left intact will only go to proven competitive show and/or performance homes, whose goals are training, showing, and/or responsible breeding. In certain cases, these puppies will be co-owned with Royal River Retrievers.
I am always available to answer any questions and give additional support and advice from the beginning of my relationship with potential buyers through the life of the dog. I enjoy getting updates/photos on the puppies as they grow, learn new things, and get old — as much and as often as owners are willing to share.
Pet/companion puppies for 2017 litters are $2,800; 2018 litters are $3,000 and sold with AKC Limited Registration. There will be a $500 non-refundable deposit payable upon approval of your application. (Deposit will be refunded if a puppy is not available; or if in my judgment, the available puppies do not fit your application. I reserve the right to deny any home I do not feel is best for a certain puppy.) Transportation costs above and beyond the cost of the puppy are the new owner’s responsibility. Such costs include, but are not limited to, additional health checks required for flights and/or border crossing, airline tickets, crates for transport, and gasoline reimbursement if I deliver the puppy to you.