Thank you for your interest in Harvestime Kennel. Golden Retrievers are the only breed that we are involved with. I am impressed with the versatility of the breed, the ease of training them, and their wonderful dispositions! Unfortunately, as with any popular breed, there have been many poorly bred Goldens. Sometimes these are from families that aren’t educated in health issues and clearances and think “AKC”, or the color of the dog, stands for quality. Sometimes they are from breeders who want to make a quick buck and don’t want to risk getting clearances, since it would certainly cull some of their breeding stock, not to mention the expenses involved. I think the quality of Golden Retrievers has been declining over the years and it is difficult to find a reasonably priced, quality Golden.
Our family has been involved with Goldens since 1989. In 2018, 2019 and 2020 we were awarded Best of Menasha Small Businesses. We have been members of the Winnegamie Dog Club since 1994 where we have trained in Obedience, Conformation and Rally. I have been an Obedience/Rally Instructor at the club since 1996 and had been the Director of Training from 2009-2014 and 2017-2018. I also an active member of Northern Flyway Golden Retriever Club since 1993, as well as belonging to the Golden Retriever Club of America. Our family has competed in Obedience, Conformation and Rally for the past 20 years. I also attend two to three seminars each year dealing with training methods, grooming, nutrition, conditioning and handling.
My children, now adults, competed with their own dogs as early as age 11 in the ring and grew up training, raising, and loving Goldens at our 2-acre country home! Now my daughter's family, Stacia & Rene Rosas, also have five Goldens from my kennel and breeds them in the Minneapolis area. My son's family, Rob & Heather Enigl, breed our Goldens out in Bozeman, Montana. My step-daughter, Tiffany & Nick , also has several Harvestime dogs and are breeding as well in the Lakewood area. ALL dogs bred by my children are bred to the high standards that my own kennel has! I co-own all of their dogs and have control over their breeding choices. Information about their litters is also posted on this site.
We are a Christian family and firmly believe in giving back for the blessings we receive! Either a puppy is donated to a Service Dog organization, or at least 10% gross profit of each litter is donated to a charitable organization such as Life Promotions, Heifer International, World Vision and Covenant House. As much as I love my dogs, I love people even more, and we focus on how our dogs can enhance the lives of the people they touch!
All of the dogs we own have multi-purpose pedigrees and come from reputable breeders. They all have hip, elbow, eye and heart clearances, as do their parents and several generations back. We also do genetic testing for Degenerative Myelopathy, Ichthyosis, and Progressive Retinal Atrophy. Although there is no absolute way to eliminate all health issues in a pup, by having generations of ancestors with clearances, it certainly lessens the odds of the problems occurring! I like to see many Champions (CH) in a pedigree. These dogs are bred for correct structure, coat and movement, not to mention beauty. I also like to see Obedience titles (CD, CDX, UD) and Rally titles (RN, RA, RE). This shows the train-ability of the dogs and their willingness to please. Hunting titles (WC, WCX, JH, SH, MH) and tracking titles (TD, TDX) will show the dogs ability to do what they were bred to do. I don’t focus on hunting titles in a pedigree because, although these dogs are very intelligent, I feel they are often too high strung for the average family pet. My goal is to produce healthy, friendly, beautiful dogs that are easy to train and have moderate to lower energy levels. Several of my pups had been donated as service dogs with NorthEast Wisconsin Service Dogs. Since 2013, we have donated many pups to Occupaws, CHAMPS service dogs in MO, K9 Comfort Dogs and Journey Together and Retrieving Freedom Service Dogs.
Not only is the genetic background important to consider when choosing a puppy, the socialization and health care are also important factors! All of the pups from Harvestime Kennel are raised in a grated whelping box right on the main floor in our home for the first 5 weeks. This can get a bit smelly, but I think it is essential that pups experience all the sights, sounds, and smells of an active household. At 5-6 weeks the pups are transferred to a completely separate nursery in our kennel. This climate controlled room has numerous toys, ramps and extra room for romping and exploring. The pups learn to use a doggy door and begin to housebreak themselves.
At birth each pup is given a different colored collar, and we monitor them separately throughout their time with us. The pups are weighed daily to ensure they are gaining weight equally. At 4 weeks the pups are introduced to a variety of sounds by sound effect CDs played at various volumes. When a pup gets used to hearing thunder, fireworks, sirens, and gunshots, and finds that nothing bad happens to them, they will more easily accept these sounds in their new homes. We also introduce them to a variety of playthings including stuffed toys, rubber balls, metal and even pigeon wings. If weather permits, we let them play in water. The pups are held a lot. The rule is- if you’re watching TV- hold a pup!
The pups receive very complete health care. Dewclaws are removed around three days old. We don’t allow them to be held by visitors until they are three weeks old. They are wormed at two, four, five , six weeks and again at seven weeks. The pups receive a complete veterinary check-up where eyes, ears, lungs, hearts and overall health is checked at 6 weeks. They get their first vaccination at 7 weeks.
The pup’s personality traits are evaluated every couple days from 5 to 7 weeks. It’s surprising how much personalities can range in a litter! When the pups are reserved for a family, a Puppy Preference Questionnaire is to be filled out. This asks what you are looking for in a pup’s personality and energy level, if you’re looking to compete in any area, and what color and size you prefer. Because we interact so closely with the pups, we choose which pup goes to your home. The cute, sleeping puppy with the halo on that you just can’t resist, may actually be the “brat” puppy who may not fit your level of experience and patience at all!! It is VERY important that you understand that we will choose which puppy you will receive. We do not make exceptions to this rule.
We recently created a U-Tube Puppy Session that is required to watch prior to getting your pup. The session takes about 90 minutes and I discuss house training, health care, nutrition, demonstrate basic obedience training, and how to groom your pup. You will also receive a folder with a ton of information! I stock many of the grooming tools that I use. Your pup will go home with a stuffed toy that has been in the whelping box for a few days to ease the transition from our home to yours.
It is very important that our pups go to good homes! Dogs are wonderful pets but also are a huge responsibility! Goldens can live 10-13 years, so this commitment needs to be well thought out! If, after reviewing the information on the Puppy Purchase Contract, and understanding that WE will pick out the puppy for you (with your choice of sex and color), and that NO breeding is allowed, please contact us to get on a reservation list. We always have a waiting list! Your "spot" is determined by the date you contact us. After a litter is born, there 3 days to reserve a pup from that litter based on your seniority on the list. At that time, a $200 non-refundable deposit is required, as well as the Puppy Preference Form. I do not take reservations for specific litters. There is a $100 non-refundable deposit to be added to the reservation list.
Please contact us my email or phone with any additional questions or to get on the reservation list.
Blessings, Deb & Rick Zierler and Harvestime Kennel
Here is a professional's perspective on our kennel:
"To whom it may concern, April 12, 2015
I am a veterinarian with over 30 years of veterinary small animal experience, and I have been to visit and tour the Harvestime Golden Retrievers kennel in Wisconsin, owned and operated by Debra Zierler and her family.
I have examined puppies from a number of her litters. I witnessed her whelping areas and the areas where she raises the puppies. The whelping boxes are all located in her house, on the main floor, and the puppies are under almost constant supervision, especially when they are young. The whelping and puppies boxes are very clean and are made of sturdy, easy to clean materials. The puppies are kept in the house, until they are old enough ( 5 weeks), to be in a new larger kennel area, designed specifically for this purpose. The new kennel area has heating and air conditioning, and access to the outside through covered doggie doors into a fenced in run area. It is perfect for playtime and social interaction among the puppies and with people.
I have seen puppies from 1 day old, up to 8 weeks of age at Harvestime. They were healthy, of a good body weight for their age, and were comfortable being handled. When I have performed physical examinations on these puppies, I have not discovered any health related abnormalities. The puppies are stimulated from day 1 and well socialized by the time a person would pick up their puppy. Deb and her family are constantly handling the puppies and there are plenty of toys of various textures and sizes and sounds for all age puppies to play with. Many of the puppies are already potty trained by pick up time.
I have also seen many of Deb’s breeding stock, and examined a few of the dams. They all seem to be happy, healthy, and very well socialized. They all LOVE people.
As the recipient of 3 puppies from 3 different litters, I have been very impressed with each and every one. They are confident, intelligent, and love to be with people.
I am the Director for Puppies with Purpose, an organization that raises and socializes puppies to prepare them for training to be service dogs. Starting out with puppies that are healthy, well socialized, and of excellent temperament, is paramount to the success of our program. Therefore, we are very picky concerning which breeders we will work with.
Deb’s dedication to only breeding top quality sires and dams, and having all of the health clearances performed on the breeding stock, helps us start with the healthiest and most qualified puppy possible.
I would recommend Harvestime Kennel and Deb Zierler and her family, to anyone who is looking for fabulous, loving and healthy Golden Retriever puppies.
Dr. TerriAnn Tucker-Warhover, veterinarian and Director of Puppies with Purpose, a CHAMP Assistance Dogs, Inc. program.