After looking for several years to find just the right Golden Retriever to add to our family, we were thrilled to
come across Snitker Goldens! Right from the start, Rhonda’s careful and thorough attention to our needs and matching us with just the right puppy was evident. We own a large therapy practice and wanted to have a dog who loved children and had the temperament to be trained in Animal-Assisted Play therapy. The minute we met Ellie (Victoria x Bart) we knew she was a perfect fit! She is loving and affectionate, but also calm and obedient and we were simply blown away. An added bonus of Ellie was that as a Gold Select Trainee, we could be confident that she was getting a jump start on her obedience training while she was still being expertly cared for and loved. She earned AKC star puppy status and already knew over 20 commands on the day we picked her up, so we have been able to integrate her into our lives seamlessly and she has quickly become a much-loved presence for staff and children at our practice. Ellie instinctually can find the person in a room that needs her most and quietly and patiently finds them, sitting by them and lending her calming and relaxed presence. Simply put, we are amazed by her on a daily basis and Snitker Goldens and the Gold Select program will be the ONLY place we consider for our future Golden family members!
There’s no other place I’d rather go for our sweet puppy, Lulu. We got our first golden, Holly, from Rhonda almost 10 years ago! We decided to add to our family and knew Rhonda and her team at Snitkergoldens were the place to be! Rhonda is a dream to work with, very knowledgeable with all things golden! She is quick to respond and ready to answer all your questions! Rhonda and her team take great care when placing their puppies with their new families! She knocked it out of the park! Lulu and Holly have quickly become best buddies! They love to play and it’s been cute watching Holly with Lulu! Holly is so gentle with her and the two have a lot of fun! It’s obvious to see how much hard work and dedication Rhonda puts into her puppies! Lulu was sleeping through the night in her crate after a few nights! And we were amazed at how well she quietly sat and waited to be fed on day one! So far, no accidents either! That was Rhonda and her team! She helped lay the foundation for us to take over! They truly care for each of their puppies and it shows!! Best of all, we are so grateful to Rhonda for blessing us with another adorable well-mannered puppy! -The Blake Family
“Miss Pink”, Miss Bailey B June, joined our family in August of 2021.
We had been searching and researching for several years for our next family dog. After learning about the imprinting program and watching each new litter get so much hands on attention from birth, we knew we found our baby!
We put our name on the list for a Victoria/Bart puppy, and we were soon invited to take zoom classes to learn more about our sweet puppy to come! Stephanie made the classes fun and super informative!
Bailey has been a blessing and truly a gift to our family. Her calm demeanor and ability to tell us what she needs without barking is incredible. Our training process was cut in half due to all the hands on and time Rhonda gave each puppy.
We cannot wait to get Bailey formally therapy certified and allow her natural abilities to help others!
We cannot thank the Snitker families enough!! You all have done incredibly amazing work.
The Spiess Family
We have been very pleased with our experiences with Snitker Goldens. We adopted our first dog, Roxy, from Rhonda was she was 8 weeks old. She was a wonderful dog and we truly enjoyed her being a part of our family.
When she passed we naturally wanted to go with them again. We are a busy family with 2 middle school aged children active in many sports. Rhonda contacted us about a young adult female, Josie, she was training in the Gold Select program. This was a perfect option for our family and over the course of the next several weeks Rhonda kept up posted on Josie’s training progress and sent many photos and videos. She was very open and honest in communicating with us which we appreciate! From our experience with her years ago to now we can really attest to the true love and commitment Rhonda has for her dogs and that she wants them and their new family to thrive.
We have had Josie now for almost a month and it has been a great transition. We are working with her on the commands she learned with Rhonda. She is such a tender and kind girl and just loves the kids! She is so great with meeting new people-very calm and sweet. We have received many comments from people on how sweet of a girl she is!!
We have been very happy with Snitker Goldens and would definitely recommend anyone considering an English Golden to adopt from them!!
Eric and Kelly Phillips
I would highly recommend Snitker Goldens if you are in the market for a quality golden retriever puppy. My entire experience has been very positive! Rhonda and her team are extremely knowledgeable, professional, and provided me with all the necessary tools, information and documentation throughout the entire process. I truly appreciate her expertise and dedication to breeding healthy and happy puppies. The baseline that she established during the first 8 weeks has made my job at home easier than I ever imagined possible. From potty training, sleeping peacefully in her crate at night, sleeping through the night, and navigating and learning her new environment has exceeded my expectations. It is evident that our puppy has been exposed to so many sounds, sights and experiences which has made for a well-rounded and confident puppy. I am more than satisfied with our purchase and look forward to many years of companionship with our sweet girl!
We are so happy to have another Snitker Baby in our Family. Walker is everything that Rhonda said he would be. I love that she picked out the perfect pup for us. With Walker's sweet personality and inquisitive nature he will make a wonderful therapy dog and family member. Walker came home just a week ago and has not cried once in his crate and sleeps throughout the night and actually goes into his kennel throughout the day on his own. He loves to play with our Service Dog in Training, cuddle with us or just play on his own. I would highly recommend Rhonda and her team for fur babies.
Kelly & Denny Sharp
Des Moines, Iowa
Dearest Rhonda and Stephanie (and Todd and all the rest of you wonderful Snitkers)
This is a long overdue report on Sissy Belle (left) and Lily Grace (right) and their handsome big brother Dickens (middle)
We “accidentally” found Snitker Goldens a little more than 4 1/2 years ago after our old blue heeler Sadie crossed the Rainbow Bridge. We still had two Red Golden girls that we had rescued when they were young but my husband had decided he really wanted an English cream golden and he wanted a puppy. We had never “bought” a puppy or used a breeder. We lived in the country and always had extra strays and rescues. Anyway, I started an internet search. There are many breeders out there for English Creams. Some professional and some back yard breeders. Some seemed very good and credible and others not at all. We have homes in Texas and in NC so I tried to focus in those areas for convenience. However, I kept being “drawn” back to a page that compelled me to them. Nothing said they were Christians. Nothing bragged about themselves or touted their accomplishments. But they did tell about their policies and practices. There were photos of the family and the farm and the dogs. Even the dogs were smiling. 🥰 But mostly it was the tug in my heart. Finally, I sent an email. I filled out the application and asked, “Do you happen to have a male puppy available?” Quickly the answer came back by phone call, we have ONE! I asked the price. Having never purchased a dog or worked without a breeder I told Stephanie I would need to talk to my husband and call her back. I was sure he would say no. He said YES! The rest is a wonderful happy history!!! One of our employees asked, did they run out of dogs in Texas???? No. I truly believe that God Himself led us straight to Iowa to Snitker Goldens.
Dickens was our first.
To say he is the best dog ever is an understatement. He is stunningly beautiful. He is one of the most loving and loyal creatures anyone could ever want. He was almost house trained from the moment we picked him up. He has grown into everyone’s best friend including our friends. He took care of our two red girls as they were dying from cancer and loved them to the end.
3 1/2 years later, we added a Carlie/Goose girl to our pack—Lily Grace was absolutely perfect from the day I picked her up. She fit us to a tee. She and Dickens meshed and fell in love. She became best buddies with my close friend’s lab puppy nearly the same age. She’s very sensitive to all of our needs and comes to give love if she thinks we need anything at all. If she thinks we are sick, she runs to help. She’s quiet and gentle and elegant. She’s perfect.
We loved the Charlie factor so much that we begged Rhonda to make an exception and allow us the privilege of having one of her special pairing—Charlie/Sasha. It was a hard decision for her but we feel so honored that she agreed and we added Sissy Belle in May of this year—2020. She’s only 9 months younger than her half sister Lily Grace so they frolic and play and are quite the pair. She’s bright and intelligent and absolutely gorgeous. She is sweet and loving and coming into her own in such lovely ways. She’s learning come and stay and heel. All of the other basics she had mastered almost immediately. She too is perfect.
I realize this is long but what I hope to convey with is that Snitker Goldens are different. I’ve seen many Goldens everywhere in the world. Of course they’re all lovely and sweet. But there is a real difference in these and I know it for a fact. It’s the imprinting and the daily, almost hourly love and attention these pups are given literally from the moment they are born. I’ve watched videos of Rhonda, exhausted but still sitting on the floor with 12 little pups crawling all over her, massaging each one’s ears and bellies, teaching hem gently and sweetly but firmly at the same time, what is good behavior and what is not. No one else does this. She is truly gifted like no other. Her heart is for raising pure and good dogs that will be gifts from God to the families or individuals who need them forever.
I will always sing the praises of Snitker Goldens.
With So Much Love and Gratitude
Carol Anne (and Billie) Hanks
Sissy Belle, Dickens and Lily Grace
Murphy is doing great! She loves playing with her older sister Mia and brother Rudy. She is a big snuggler, and is so happy to see you when you’ve been away. She loves rides on Lake Michigan but isn’t crazy about being in the lake yet! She is “an angel” at daycare and she made it into the neighbor’s family photo. Pretty much everybody loves this dog especially us!️
Hi Rhonda & Stephanie!
We thought you might like to see what our Miss Purple (from Victoria and Bart) is up to these days – today she is 16 weeks old. Her name is Annie Rose, although we have shortened it to Annie. She has been a wonderful addition to our family. She is a fabulous puppy. Annie is so smart, attentive and intuitive, and friendly and very affectionate; every time someone new sees her their first reaction is “aww, look at that beautiful puppy.” She just makes people smile. Looking into her eyes could soften the hardest heart. She is so earnest in her desire to do what you want her to do. A few people have asked me if they could take her picture, and a few have asked where we got her.
She just fit right into the family the way a new baby would – it’s almost like she had a built in routine that fit right in with ours. She woke up in the night (around 2, 2:30) to go potty for 9 days, on the 10th night I woke up and was so startled that I checked to make sure she was breathing! I would carry her downstairs, take her outside, and as soon as her feet were on the grass she would go potty. I’d carry her back in, back in her crate and we both went back to sleep for another few hours. She’s had a few liquid accidents in the house, because of us forgetting that playing with Mellie is still vigorous play and she needs to go out right after. I’m still carrying her down the stairs (she’s 27 pounds) but I think she will master them in the next few weeks. She can go down 4 or 5 steps ok, but it must be too intimidating to start at the very top. I don’t mind carrying her – she snuggles in and doesn’t wriggle around, and when she’s sleepy, she puts her head down on my shoulder. Doesn’t that just make you melt?
Mellie, our 5 year old Lab is so good with her and is helpful in teaching her the ways of the world. From Annie’s first day at home, Mellie has not been too far from her. (picture above) I think Mellie has boosted her confidence in approaching the world – for example, on one of our first walks, Annie (8 weeks) was spooked and growled because she saw the plastic 3 feet tall guy that holds a “Slow” flag that a neighbor has at the end of his driveway, but when Mellie walked up to it and sniffed it, Annie followed her to sniff it alongside her. Mellie has probably seen the plastic figure 1,000 times, she never goes to sniff it anymore – I know in my heart she was showing Annie it was ok to come and sniff! If the trash truck doesn’t bother Mellie, it doesn’t bother Annie. It’s fascinating to watch. Same thing with introducing the doggie stroller; Mellie was fine with it so Annie was fine with it! (Pictures of that attached) We use the stroller for Annie on longer walks, so she could walk a bit then ride a bit. We are trying to be so careful about her growth plates and knees and hips! We still have several carpet runners down and different mats so she won’t slide on the hardwood.
There have only been a few things that have need extra treats for bravery -- learning how to ride an elevator, and how to walk across a swinging bridge. All it takes is one or two times, and she’s got it forever. We have accomplished almost everything on the socialization checklist – despite Covid, Annie has gone into stores to meet people, playgrounds, parks, parking ramp, my office. City streets and suburban streets. She has met people of all ages and races. I started carrying my hand sanitizer on the leash because people want to pet her. Thank goodness I have no problem with asking people to use it – we had to do it for therapy training. Teenagers love her (this always surprises me, I tend to think they are “too cool”. We caused a pick-up basketball game to stop because the guys had to come over and make a fuss over her.) Everyone on our street loves her. Mellie basks in the extra attention. Annie has, of course, gone to the vet for her shots, but she has also gone to the vet for a friendly visit where they let her ride on the table, sniff equipment, greet all the staff, and get treats.
We go in the car to go to different parks to walk and to go to our classes so she associates the car with good things to come. She is always up for a new adventure. She loves our son and his fiancé and has spent some time at their apartment in the city. Anisha, our future daughter-in-law, has longed for a golden retriever since she was a child. She adores Mellie, and is loving Annie to pieces. She has said that she wanted a dark honey golden, but she said last week, after spending the afternoon with Annie, that she is changing her mind and personality is more important than color and they want one like Annie. Maybe for a wedding present next summer, if they can find a house to buy! Their apartment, even though it is a two family house with a fenced yard, it is no pets allowed ☹
We have attended puppy kindergarten (currently in our 2nd session of 4 classes, she only has 2 more because then she’ll be too old) – not so much because we needed the basics, but because we want Annie to have proper socialization with other puppies. She has played with Mellie from day one – although Annie was doing the playing and Mellie was doing the tolerating. We were actually worried that Annie might be too rough with puppies because she is used to Mellie, but she was the exact opposite! She was the most gentle one in the class. She doesn’t like to be chased by other puppies and will run straight for our feet and sit between them for several seconds, until her curiosity gets the better of her and then she’s on her way back to the other puppies.
At the same time we started training classes at the Animal Humane Society; the first class was virtual – it was actually pretty good except for having to move the dining room table every week. She moved up out of that in a few weeks; we started Level 2 in in-person classes (masked, following good safety protocols) and she passed out of Level 2 in just 3 weeks. First picture above is at AHS class. When the instructor said Annie was moving up, and gave us her certificate, I said I didn’t think she was ready! Her loose leash walking in class is fine, outside in the real world it is not so fine but we are working on it. We walk 3 times a day, so are getting lots of practice. We have had our first Level 3 class, and it is going well. It seems like when we follow the instructions for the skill, she’ll do it twice and then she has it mastered.
Lest you think she is perfect, however, she is sometimes a puppy on a mission. I was worried for a few days that she has ADD! She had two speeds – fast and off. The “sleeping with pink duck” picture is an example—she an Mellie had been playing with it, next thing Annie’s sleeping on it! She is very busy, but able to play with her toys on her own, as well as with Mellie. She loves mulch, too much! Sticks. Pine cones. Loves to dig. (The playground picture above is where we discovered that digging in pea gravel was as much fun as digging in dirt.) For the first few weeks we were constantly fishing things out of her mouth. We also had to pay attention when she was using a chew toy – it was easy for her to slip from the Nylabone to the leg of a chair. Fortunately, she did not chew any furniture or sneakers. She loves to pick up sneakers and carry them around before chewing, but since someone is always keeping an eye on her, we have time to redirect. Fortunately she is excellent with us substituting a toy for the sneaker. I actually bought her last two toys based on their fabric – if it felt like sneaker fabric or rubbery, I got it. Worked somewhat ☹ Larry suggested giving her an old sneaker to chew and play with, but I feel that she won’t know “her” sneaker from mine, so that’s just asking for trouble!
She is getting over the mulch fascination as she discovers bigger sticks. She loves to sit outside and watch the birds at the feeders. This week squirrels are the new novelty. All normal puppy behavior.
We love watching her grow and discover the world. She makes us laugh with some of her antics. When she does a head-tilt I turn into mush – she’s just too cute. She is absolutely fascinating to work with because she catches on so quickly. The picture from 7-20, with the two of them running in their playroom, is the most recent photo.
Annie sleeps in her bedroom crate at night (probably for a few more months) and last month we started daytime crate training because I’ll have to go back to the office at some point. She goes in her crate from 8:30 – 10:30 a.m., then our next door neighbor, teenage dog-sitter comes over to take her out and they all play and have lunch, and I’m home by 1:00. In the afternoon when I am working at home, and I say that I have to go do email, Annie comes to sleep by my feet, with Mellie just a few feet away.
Having some experience with our dogs has probably helped with a smooth transition for Annie, but the bigger reason, we think, is because she is simply a fabulous puppy. Thank you so much!
I hope all is well with you and your family, both human and canine! We will be in touch as Annie grows through the year!
Why Snitker Goldens
We begin with quality tested and approved breeding Goldens and build on that solid foundation with our puppies. Championship pedigrees in their lines are our way of remaining true to breed standard. We strive to personally imprint each pup with positive, rewarding experiences – to nurture each one with love and care, realizing that each day we have your puppy is one day closer to the day you will hold him or her. We use this time to make that permanent impression on your pup, one which he or she will carry for a lifetime.
Learn more about Snitker Goldens.
How to Connect With Snitker Goldens
We are committed to our Goldens and pairing them with great families.
Contact us at any time to learn more about who we are and to meet our Goldens. You can connect with us on Facebook and YouTube.
Waukon, Iowa 52172 UNITED STATES
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