Thank you for taking the time to visit our page! I like everyone coming to this webpage to know right off the bat that all our dogs are beloved pets and family members first and foremost. You will find no animals living in dirty cages or dogs kept their whole life in outdoor dog runs here. All my dogs live indoors full time and are beloved and treasured family members. We do not believe in keeping tons of dogs here on our property as many breeders do. We feel this is both irresponsible and unethical as there’s no possible way for a breeder to meet all the emotional and physical needs of that many dogs every day. We only have one dog, Ivy, whom lives with us permanently at our home as our pet and we utilize guardian homes (please see “Guardianship Opportunities” tab for more info on becoming a guardian!) for all the rest so that all our dogs can live as spoiled and beloved pets just as they should! Breeding, in our opinion, should never be the primary reason for anyone having a dog but simply a secondary undertaking to bless other families with quality best friends, service and therapy dogs. We have undergone rigorous kennel inspections by the American Kennel Club and have been certified to not only meet but exceed all general caretaking, health, wellbeing, cleanliness, record keeping and ethical puppy raising standards. Additionally, we have been thoroughly vetted by the 3rd party organization gooddog.com and awarded the good breeder badge for responsible breeding as well as rated “excellent” for going above and beyond on our health testing practices. We have verified reviews from past puppy buyers there as well. A link to our gooddog profile linked below:

Rebecca – owner of River Heights Golden Retrievers pictured with Gemma, Henry and Minnie.
Ivy the River Heights Golden Mascot and our own personal pet. She is the best and most patient auntie to our litters, and a door greeter extraordinare. Our puppy buyers always love to meet Ivy on puppy pickup day.
A family love affair for goldens – the humans behind River Heights Golden Retrievers. Rebecca, Tyler, Elise & Oliver.

You really can’t claim to love dogs and only be in favor of rescue. If you truly love dogs and want the best for the species, you need to also support the idea of responsible and purposeful breeding. If the only dogs you deem acceptable to own are the sad and sickly dogs made by irresponsible breeding practices bought through the proxy of rescue, and demonize the practice of responsible preservation breeding then the idea you’re ultimately supporting is that the only dogs that should have a place in this world are those bred irresponsibly. We should want – DEMAND – better for our dogs. And that means advocating for the responsible breeding of better dogs. Dogs that can live long and happy lives free of hereditary health problems and emotional damage from being raised in a puppy mill void of human love, care and critical early bonding and trust with people. Rescue will always be necessary, but if we continue to vilify and discourage responsible breeding we simply won’t have any healthy, well adjusted dogs left to enjoy.  My mission is to bring healthier and better bred dogs into our community through responsible and ethical breeding practices. Dogs that have had only loving and positive interactions with humans from the start, correct socialization and full health testing to ensure they are unaffected by the many health conditions common in golden retrievers.

Sadly, the golden retriever breed currently has so many health issues because they have been so poorly bred by irresponsible breeders over the last 40 years. These “back yard breeders” or “puppy mills” as they are commonly called target popular and desirable breeds simply to make a quick buck off the puppies. They breed without investing any money into health testing the parents prior to breeding and thus end up producing masses of puppies that are affected by severe genetic disorders. Species experts predict if major preservation breeding efforts are not made by responsible breeders, this amazing and beloved breed may cease to exist in 30 years or so. In addition to a plethora of health problems, many of these puppy mill and backyard bred dogs have little to no positive human interaction, no socialization and no training prior to going to new homes. They often are fearful and have anxiety or aggression issues from previous neglect and abuse.

Elise and Ivy, Christmas

I, personally, cannot see a future without this incredible and loving breed and so I am working very hard to bring this breed back to health so we can continue enjoying America’s most popular and beloved family dogs