Before You Start

Before You Start VideoA summary of what you need to know to begin the process of adopting from Golden Bond Rescue.

Adoption Fees

Our adoption fees range from $350 to $1500 based on a variety of factors such as the dog's age, where they came from, veterinary procedures they've undergone, etc. As a dog becomes available for adoption, members of the Adoption Team will determine that particular dog's adoption fee and it will be posted on the dog's web page.

**Our adoption fees help to cover the following: 1) vet exams; 2) all core vaccinations - rabies, DHPP, lepto, canine flu, bordetella and parainfluenza; 4) worming; and 5) neutering.

Thank you for your interest in adopting a Golden Retriever or Labrador Retriever from Golden Bond Rescue. Reading the information below is your first step in the process of adopting a dog from Golden Bond Rescue.

Where to Start

If you are interested in adopting a retriever from Golden Bond Rescue,  complete the online Adoption Application. No printed paper applications will be accepted. Applications must be complete in order to be considered. Please fill in all information requested. We reserve the right to decline applicants who cannot meet the needs of our second chance retrievers. If after reviewing our application requirements you're not sure you qualify, please email us prior to applying ( Remember, the application fee is nonrefundable.

After your application is received and reviewed by our Adoption Team, the adoption manager assigned to your application will call you to discuss the process involved in adopting one of our dogs.  After that conversation, if applicable, the adoption manager will order a home visit for you.  We are an organization staffed entirely by volunteers. Many of us have full-time jobs and families, plus dedicate our free time to helping needy retrievers. Thank you in advance for your patience with this process.

The adoption process can take anywhere from one to six months, depending on the needs of the retrievers we have in rescue and the specifics of your family situation. The more flexible you are about the kind of dog you want to adopt, the less time the process may take. For example, if your preference is for a female golden less than 3 years old, the wait will be considerably longer than if you are open to a male and are flexible on the dog’s age. Please remember that we place dogs with people; we are looking for the best situation for the dog, not necessarily your wish list.

Male vs. Female Retrievers

Many people interested in adopting a retriever express a desire for a specific gender.  In many breeds, the differences between males and females are striking, with notable behavior differences. (All of our retrievers have been spayed or neutered, so behavior issues such as marking and wandering are less of a problem.)

In the retriever breeds, the difference between males and females is primarily one of size. Males are generally larger, weighing between 65 and 80 pounds, while females tend to weigh between 50 to 60 pounds. Both sexes vary in color and coat length.

Retrievers are known for their friendly nature and devotion to humans. Each retriever is unique, and their personalities can vary as widely as it does in the human world.  In making a match between a new family and dog, personality and temperament are the most important factors to consider in finding the newest member of your family. Either gender will steal your heart with their endearing ways!

Average Waiting Time

Golden Bond Rescue works very hard to find the right placement for all of the dogs in our care. It is a process that can vary from a few weeks to several months depending on the circumstances. Placements are made according to what will be best for the retriever. It is not a first-come first-served basis, but rather which family is the best match for the dog. Each dog comes to us under unique circumstances and has individual needs that we strive to meet. In addition, each family also has individual circumstances which are taken into account in making a placement.

Fencing Requirements at a Glance

We feel that every adoptive home must have a fenced yard of adequate size for a retriever. A 5' minimum is required, except in certain circumstances where a 4' fence would be considered. Wood, welded metal or chain link are acceptable. We do not accept in-ground electronic fencing as a means of confining a dog to property. Fencing is intended to provide a safe and secure place for the retriever to exercise.

We will consider, on a case-by-case basis, applications from families who meet certain stringent requirements for a fencing exception. Please see our Fence Requirements section for complete details. If you do not have a fence and believe your situation warrants an exception, please email us first ( prior to applying to adopt.

Retrievers are highly social dogs and need to be part of a family. We do not place retrievers into homes where they would be "outside dogs." We realize that these criteria may eliminate some potentially good and loving families from adopting through our program; however, we are charged with the health and well-being of these dogs, and it has been our experience that homes which do not meet our fencing requirements often do not work out for our dogs.

Please see Fence Requirements for more detail.

Home Ownership

Golden Bond Rescue will consider renters on a case-by-case basis.  If you rent, we must receive a note from your landlord confirming that you are permitted to have a dog the size of a retriever at their property before we consider your application complete and will process it.

Geographical Location for Adoptions

The majority of our adoptions are made within our geographical area — Oregon, Washington, Alaska, and Northern California; however, exceptions have been made (for example, GBR return adopters or you have a special skill that would pertain to a special needs dog). These are rare and would require you to travel to the dog's location. Be aware, we do charge a $50 application fee and it will not be refunded if you live outside our geographical area and your application is denied. For those of you who feel you could be one of those "exceptions", we suggest you email us first at to explain why. We will happily refer you to one of our fellow Rescue Groups. There are goldens everywhere looking for loving families. Please refer to Other Rescue Organizations for a list of other retriever rescue groups.

Adopting to Families with Children

Golden Bond Rescue will not adopt to families with children under the age of 10 years old.

The demand for rescue dogs with "child experience" is high, so the wait to adopt for a family with children (ages 10 and older) can be long — up to six months or more. We do not want to discourage you from considering the adoption of one of our wonderful rescue dogs, but we do want you to have a realistic understanding of the probable delay. If you are willing to consider one of our senior retrievers whose easy-going, gentle natures are well suited to children, your wait may be shorter.

Safety is one of our top concerns. We are very careful about the retrievers we will place into families with children. Unfortunately, we have seen the temperament of retrievers changing. More and more of the retriefers released to us by owners or shelters are less like the retrievers of the past; they can be high-strung and/or kid intolerant. We feel it would be inappropriate of us to accept applications from families knowing the chances of placing a dog with them would be slim.  Generally, we will not place the following types of rescue dogs into families with children who are 10-14 years old:

  1. Retrievers who have had no exposure to children;
  2. Retrievers who were given up because of characteristics that are incompatible with children (for example, too energetic or mouthy);
  3. Retrieves who have no documented history (stray dogs) with children;
  4. Very young, exuberant dogs which might inadvertently harm children in rough play.

Please see Kids and Dogs for more information.

About Housebreaking a rescue retriever

Although most rescue retrievers are housetrained, they still require time, patience and training to fit into their new families and be good citizens. This training is an ongoing process. People who want to adopt a rescue dog because they "don't have time to train a dog" should think carefully about the time and commitment they have to give to any dog. Many of our dogs have "rough edges" which need to be smoothed out with patience and time. For example, some need obedience training, are shy in new situations, or need to be in a family where someone is home much of the time due to separation issues.  Senior retrievers are often the best choice for individuals or families with busy schedules. A quiet, gentle walk morning and evening and a restful day spent snoozing and waiting for their owners to return are often all a senior desires.

You Are Nearing the End!

Once your application for adoption has been approved, we will work diligently to match the right retriever with you. Adopting a retriever will change your life forever! We would like to remind anyone interested in adopting a retriever that there is no source (including breeders, kennels, humane societies, rescue organizations) that can provide you with a guaranteed perfect or pre-trained dog — even if they are goldens! Like many rescue organizations, we offer the benefits of being able to provide retrievers who are already spayed or neutered, who have had a sound fundamental health examination, and whose temperament is fairly well known (since they have all lived with our foster families). Some of our dogs have not had a loving family in the past — but some have. Some may have behavioral problems — but some do not, and some need special medical care — just as all dogs will eventually.  Most of our dogs need some level of training. All of our dogs need significant amounts of time, attention, patience, and love to adjust to their forever homes. Golden Bond Rescue is a resource for people who would like to give retrievers a second chance in life.

Thank You.

Golden Bond Rescue Volunteer Family