The Golden Retriever – one of America’s most popular dog breeds – is an intelligent, confident and energetic Scottish gundog. In this interview, we speak with Samantha Snyder about the responsibility and privilege of breeding Golden Retrievers.

Breedera Spotlight is a regular feature on our blog and socials, highlighting responsible breeders from across our growing dog breeding community and showcasing their work, dedication and dogs.

Today, we’re spotlighting Samantha from Riverstone Goldens.

Samantha took her first steps as a breeder of Golden Retrievers – and later Kleine Munsterlanders – after recognising the importance of responsible breeding following the tragic loss of a beloved pet. 

Since then, she has continued to delve into researching and educating others on dog health, as well as fallen in love with performance sports.  

Riverstone Goldens belongs to the Golden Retriever Club of America, Allentown Dog Training Club and Keystone Retriever Club. And Samantha herself has a number of certifications to her name, including CPDT-KA and KPA-CTP. She is an American Kennel Club CGC Evaluator, ATT judge and is actively pursuing her International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants (IAABC) credentials.

Hi Samantha, so how did you get started in the world of dog breeding? What inspired you to start breeding Golden Retrievers? 

I purchased a golden while I was in college. He was my best friend, but unfortunately, he had congenital megaoesophagus and myanthis gravis. Despite fighting hard for him, I lost him before he was a year and a half.  

I dove into researching health and reputable breeding, I wanted to help educate others to avoid the same heartbreak and suffering that my boy and I went through.  

Since then, I have continued to focus a lot on health and education, but I’ve adjusted my program as I fell in love with confirmation and performance.  

Samantha Snyder of Riverstone Goldens Breeding Golden Retrievers

Wow, what a great mission! What do you love most about breeding Golden Retrievers? 

I enjoy the biddability and forgiving nature of goldens. They are goofy and easy to please!  

And of course, now you’ve begun to breed Kleine Munsterlanders? 

Yes, that’s right. While Kleine Munsterlanders add a little more serious component into my life and are a rare breed.  

I am hoping I can contribute to maintaining their purpose while helping them improve their diversity.  

What sets your breeding program apart from others? 

My goldens are truly versatile. Not only do they succeed in the breed ring, but also out in the field. They are extremely competitive in performance sports as well and have placed highly at National Championships in obedience and rally.  

They are also professional actors for HBO, Peacock and more.  

One of my favourite moments of achievement would be attending a show to support one of my puppy buyers. This boy is her first well-bred dog and it was both their first times in the breed ring in American Kennel Club.  

It was an extremely special moment to offer grooming and handling advice and then watch them win Best of Breed and a Group 2.  

Samantha Snyder Riverstone Goldens Breeding Golden Retrievers

That’s fantastic. You’re clearly extremely passionate about your dogs and the new homes they go to. How do you prioritise their health and wellbeing? 

My dogs are my family, first and foremost. Puppies are just an added bonus that I get to share with the world.  

All of my breeding dogs obtain passing Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) hip and elbow clearances, yearly OFA eye clearances, and an OFA echocardiogram along with genetic testing.  

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Regarding socialisation and training, I follow the AviDog program and utilise Early Neurological Stimulation and Early Scent Introductions. I start potty training at three weeks and crate training at four weeks.  

I’m lucky enough to be able to socialize my pups with a very dog-social cat. I also have an in with the local zoo, so my pups get to go on stroller walks to see lions, tigers, and more. My pups are also introduced to birds such as chukar, duck, and pheasant. 

You can find out more about Samantha and her Riverstone Goldens on her website Also give her a follow on Instagram @Riverstone_goldens.

About Breedera Spotlight

Breedera Spotlight is a regular feature on our blog and socials, highlighting responsible breeders from across our growing dog breeding community and showcasing their work, dedication and dogs.

The views expressed in these interviews are explicitly the breeder’s own personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of Breedera as a company.

We share these insights to encourage discussion and exchange of ideas within the breeder community. They should not be considered veterinary advice. For professional guidance, you should consult with a qualified veterinary professional.

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