Updated:  November 8, 2019

Hello and thank you for your interest!

We are sorry, no puppies are in the works.

Our fall breedings did not take.

We have no immediate breeding plans. 

Please check back late spring 2020. 

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!

Dana and Susan 

Bee and her 4 week old pupsNursing pups, just minutes old...Puppy Portraits- 7 weeks oldMother & Puppy TimeNursing Pups - 4 weeks old6 Weeks OldPuppy Swim at 7 weeksPuppy SocialKiss - 4 Weeks OldThe 3 Bear LitterOne Week OldIMG_6704IMG_9020IMG_6704Breeding News

Looking for a Golden Retriever puppy? 

Our process…

Please contact us only if:

1.  You have time to invest.

2.  You live in the New England area. (VT, NH, ME, MA, CT, RI)

3.  Your Golden Retriever will be part of the family.

4.  You understand the importance of training, socializing & playing with your dog.

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We sell our puppies only to people we have met in person.

We do not ship our puppies.  

What is Butternut Hill?

We are a husband and wife team of conscientious hobby breeders of AKC Golden Retrievers in northern Vermont, USA.  We have been breeding since 1998.  We are proud members of the Golden Retriever Club of America.  We have 1 to 2 litters a year.  Our dogs are vital members of our family and all live with us in our home, not in kennels.  We participate in different venues depending on each dog's needs and talents -- including obedience, tracking, rally, hunting, showing and therapy work.  Butternut Hill seemed to be a fitting name for us. We live on a hill at the base of Butternut Mountain, with our butternut colored Golden Retrievers, who love to eat butternut squash.  This is not a profit business for us.  It is hobby of passion and labor of love for the Golden Retriever breed.

Our Breeding Philosophy

We love the Golden Retriever breed.  Through our breeding program we strive to promote the health, temperament, workability and the beauty of the breed by adhering to the Golden Retriever Breed Standard as defined by the Golden Retriever Club of America.  We feel it is important to retain the ability of the Golden Retriever to be multi-purpose.  Each breeding involves in-depth research into the parent's pedigree, genetics, health history, longevity, structure, work ability and temperament.  We adhere to breeding practices as recommended by the Golden Retriever Club of America.  Each parent selected for breeding has PennHip / OFA Hip clearances, Elbow, Heart and Eye clearances. 

Our Puppy Raising Philosophy

Our puppies are born and raised in our home.  We pride ourselves on providing a wholesome enriching environment with an strong emphasis on socialization to get puppies off to the best possible start.   Similar to the military “Super Dog Program,” we perform Early-Neurological-Stimulation.pdf exercises as recommended by Dr. Carmen Battaglia.   Besides the important interaction with their mother and littermates, daily handling by us, additional enrichment activities begin at a very early age.  Our socialization include exposing them to a variety sights, sounds, smells, tastes and touches, which we feel allows them to better cope as an adult dog. 

Our puppies get to experience a variety of footing such as blankets, sheets, wood floors, tile floors, decking, carpeting, short grass, long grass, concrete, gravel, puppy agility equipment and sometimes snow.  They are exposed to toys of all shapes and textures.  They get to experience a variety of sounds from our household on a daily basis -- humans conversing, big dogs playing, television or radio playing, vacuum cleaner, washing machine, clothes dryer,  dishwasher, front door slamming, etc.  We believe in providing a variety of challenges such as climbing steps, going through a tunnel, playing follow the leader, learning to come to a whistle.  We trim the puppies nails weekly.  When the puppies are old enough, we begin the foundation for house training by taking the puppies outside as soon they wake to relieve themselves. 

All of our puppies are nurtured as part of our family pack.  As they mature they interact with our adult dogs and household cat.  The pups are exposed to car rides and short field trips to new safe experiences.  And if the season and weather allows -- an opportunity is given to the puppies to go for a swim in a clean, quiet Vermont pond.

Responsibility of Socialization Continues

We strongly encourage new owners to continue socialization throughout the puppy’s young life. We recommend going places with your Golden Retriever to dog friendly hardware or lumber stores, romp in open fields (with the landowner’s permission), enroll in a Puppy Obedience and Basic Obedience class.  These activities will help give the puppy a chance to experience new things and meet new people.  Care should be taken that these controlled experiences are positive, and do not the put the puppy in a risky situation with unknown dogs.  We recommend staying away from dog parks, especially until your puppy has become fully vaccinated.

Waiting to Spay or Neuter your Golden Retriever

In our puppy contract you agree to allow your female Golden Retriever to have one heat or to wait to neuter your male Golden Retriever until after 2-3 years old.  Why?  The latest studies on the effects of spaying or neutering your dog reveal many reasons:

Study Evaluates Early Neutering and Spaying in Golden Retrievers

UC Davis News and Information Golden Retriever Study Suggest Neutering Effects Dog's Health

Is the Golden Retriever Breed right for you?

Before deciding on acquiring a Golden Retriever it is important to become knowledgeable about the strengths and weaknesses of the breed.  A Golden Retriever is not for everyone   Is a Golden Retriever a compatible match for you?  Goldens require a good amount of daily exercise, personal time, training and grooming.  This breed is happiest when they are at your side or when they are working with you.  As a breeder and owner, there are several health issues with the breed that concerns us.  We recommend you read the following attachment from the Golden Retriever Club of America to become informed buyer: Information About Golden Retriever Health.

* If you would like to get a puppy from us:

1. Have patience — we only breed occasionally. 

2. Check on this page for announcement of breeding plans. 

3. Once breeding plans are in the works, submit an application. 

   PUPPY APPLICATION      If you have difficulties, you should be able to enter your information by copying puppy application and pasting into an email.

4. Initial visit will be scheduled once pregnancy has been confirmed.  

What is the cost?

The cost of a Butternut puppy is $2,500. 

How do you reserve a puppy?

Once the puppies are born:  We notify those who have completed steps 1-4.  Those ready to commit send deposit of $1,000 with the remaining $1500 due at puppy pick up.

Puppy Visit Weekend

Once the litter is close to 6 weeks old, we will have a puppy visiting day where families come, meet and spend time with the puppies.  This also helps us to get to know you and your preferences better.  However at this young age, the puppies are still 

What is the process of choosing a puppy?

The choosing process is a collaborative effort, but in the end we have the final say.  We spend a lot of time with the puppies.  We get to know each puppy's personality & energy level very well.  During the 6 week puppy visit, new owners are encouraged to let us know if there are certain puppies they feel they are drawn to.  We welcome and take into account this feedback into our final "choosing" of puppies.  The decision for puppy placement is made between around 8 weeks old — after the puppies have had their temperament test, breed structure evaluation and veterinarian health check.  This process seems to work out well for all. 

What else can you expect?

Each puppy will have received first set of vaccinations against parvovirus and distemper.  We recommend following Dr. Jean Dodds “Minimal Vaccination Protocol” and urge you to learn more about this beneficial vaccination schedule.  Each puppy goes home with our custom Puppy Packet, which includes AKC registration, 5 generation pedigree, veterinarian health certificate, photos of parents, copies of the parent’s health clearances, a sales contract, information on puppy training, worming, vaccinations, a toy with mother's scent, a chew toy for the ride home and enough food for a few days.  You can also expect a lifelong breeder relationship and support.

Butternut Golden Retrievers Will Always have a Home

If, for any unforeseen circumstance, you find yourself unable to care for your Butternut Golden there is no need to ever relinquish your dog to a shelter or rescue.  No matter the reason, we will provide a loving home.

Butternut Pet Sitting Service  

Call Dana  802-635-7377 

Dana provides a pet sitting service for any puppy we have produced.  No need to ever board your Butternut Golden in a kennel.  We hate the thought of it!  Why not give your Butternut Golden a vacation in the country instead.

Your Butternut Golden will play with their canine relatives, go for car rides, swim, run, play ball every day, cuddle and watch t.v., enjoy Dana’s delicious home cooked meals, and during the night, sleep in the bedroom with us.  We always enjoy the chance to see and spend time with the dogs we produce!  

Training and grooming is also available on request for additional fee.  Sorry, we do not provide services to the general public, but Golden Retrievers from Butternut Hill are always welcome.

Cost: $25/day — includes food.  Short notice is usually no problem. 

Call Dana at 802-635-7377  


Susan at Retrieve@ButternutGoldens.com

: : Our Favorite Links : :

Dr. Patricia McConnell - Your source for science and soul in dog training and behavior

Canine Nutrigenomics - The new science of feeding your dog for optimum health

Lupine Roman Harness

Dr. Jean Dodds’ Vaccine Protocol

NUTRISCAN: Salivary Diagnostic Test for Food Intolerance

Puppy Socialization - Rules of Many

K9data Pedigree Database ~ www.k9data.com

Orthopedic Foundation For Animals ~ www.offa.org

Infodog ~ www.infodog.com

Helpful link for:

Beginning the search for a Golden Retriever


American Kennel Club ~ www.akc.org

Burlington Obedience Training Club ~ www.botcvt.org

Champlain Valley Kennel Club ~ www.cvkc.org

Golden Retriever Club Of America ~ www.grca.org

Green Mountain Dog Club ~ www.greenmountaindogclub.org

Green Mountain Golden Retriever Club ~ www.gmgrc.org

Lake Champlain Rettriever Club ~ www.lcrcvt.org

Tracking Club of Vermont ~ www.trackingclubofvermont.org

Woodstock Dog Club ~ www.woodstockdogclub.org

Yankee Golden Retriever Club ~ www.ygrc.org

Yankee Golden Retriever Rescue ~ www.ygrr.org

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 web-site, 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

Retrieve@ButternutGoldens.com                                                                                © Susan Menne 2000-2018