+1.760.272.1230 info@desertgoldens.com
John McDonald: “He was a truly great great dog who lived a long and healthy life.”

“Marlowe” has passed away after almost 14 wonderful years. Marlowe’s parents were “Player” and “Sasha” and we purchased him from you at Red Mountain Goldens in 1999. Saddened as we are by his death, we wanted to let you know what a truly wonderful one of a kind dog he was. Kind, gentle, loyal and loving, he brought years of joy to our family. He was a truly great great dog who lived a long and healthy life. Whether playing ball, swimming in some mountain lake, or just laying around the kitchen playing “cutestuff” he shared his love and made a real difference in our life.

John McDonald
San Diego, CA

Leslie Slakoff: “Nancy did a great job matching us with the perfect puppy.”

A stroke of luck led me to Nancy [over] 14 years ago.  I purchased my first dog from her and Maui could not have been a more perfect pet.  She was always in great health, was gorgeous, incredibly smart and had the best temperament.  Nancy did a great job matching us with the perfect puppy. We lost Maui a year ago and sadly, also lost touch with Nancy.  Fate stepped in again and we found Nancy!  We’ll be picking up a new puppy from her in a few weeks and I have no doubt she will again find the best puppy to fit into our growing family.  I can not say enough good things about our experience with Desert Goldens!

Leslie Slakoff
San Diego, CA

Kathi Sanger: “Nancy Knapp is so well respected and now I know why.”I met Nancy by “accident”
Kathi Sanger: “Nancy Knapp is so well respected and now I know why.”I met Nancy by “accident” through an email to a breeder I had emailed that had a similar name. Of course there are no “accidents” in life and I met Nancy. I originally started looking for a rescue Golden because I had such a good experience with my previous Golden. I had him from 7 months to almost 14 years. My experience with the rescues this time was not as rewarding to say the least. I decided that it was time to research breeders and I found Nancy.

We emailed and spoke on the phone for a couple of months until I finally decided that Nancy was where I wanted to go to get my next Golden. She was full of information and encouragement. I had such a good feeling about her and how she breeds her dogs, I had no question that I was making the right decision. I finally took the trip to pick out my “Cooper” with a friend who drove me…I had never had a puppy before and I’m sure I wouldn’t have this time if Nancy wasn’t there to help me every step of the way. She told me how to set up my house, what to buy, and how to handle the puppy stages.. I couldn’t have asked for a more handsome, kind, and wonderful Golden than Cooper..He is just 5 1/2 months now and growing into a little doggie. Everyone stops me on the street to adore him and say how handsome and wonderful he is… I searched for 9 months for him and all of my diligence paid off. Nancy Knapp is so well respected and now I know why. My dog is so important to me and I wanted to be sure that when I made the decision that I was going to be happy. I KNOW I made the right choice and I couldn’t be happier!

Kathi Sanger
Los Angeles, CA

Gilly Shaeffer: “He has the most even and pliable temperament…”
We just love our Buddy. He is a wonderful boy, affectionate, gentle, smart, and everyone’s friend. He just recently passed the Good Citizen test in August. One of his favorite things that he likes, is doing training and he is quite a good hiker. Hank is quite crazy about Buddy. He is one year and almost five months and weighs about 70 lbs. This is our third Golden but the first pup from Desert Goldens. He has the most even and pliable temperament of all our dogs and is a beautiful boy inside and out.

Gilly Shaeffer
Los Angeles, CA

Karon Edleson: “…I had to admit, I was very impressed.”
When my 13 month old Golden died of bladder cancer, needless to say, I was devastated.  I swore I would never get a Golden since I had lost a nine year old to cancer the year before.  I waited a year and spent my time researching breeders.  While I know the breeder is not responsible for cancer, I did realize that good ones screen thouroughly and do not over breed just to make a fast buck.  Nancy’s name came up repeatedly for “good” breeders and after reading the testimonials in her behalf, I had to admit, I was very impressed.

After deciding that we could no longer live without a Golden, I called her and put down a deposit on a future puppy.  From day one, it was a smooth transaction and all of my questions were answered, while awaiting for “his” arrival.  When we drove to Palm Springs to pick up our “Atticus” we were ecstatic!  It was very difficult to choose since the entire litter was adorable.  An hour later, Atticus was in my lap drivng back to San Diego.

From the moment he became a member of our family, we had an instant connection.  Today, he is six days away from turning one and all I can say, is my research paid off.  He is perfect!  Very affectionate and gentle in nature, not to mention very handsome!  From the minute he arrived in our household, he got along great with our nine year old female Golden.  In fact, they are inseparable.

Nancy’s puppies are awesome and she genuinely cares for them and loves what she does.  She sent us home with detailed instructions and said we could call whenever we had an issue or question.  I think I have emailed her at least half a dozen times, mostly to send updates on Atticus!  Heaven forbid I lose another Golden in the near future, but I wouldn’t hesitate to call her for another one!  They are lovely dogs… possibly the best breed out there!

Karon Edleson
San Diego, CA

Marcia Larson: “Many thanks to Nancy for her help and advice…”
We purchased our first puppy from Nancy three years ago.  He has amazed us and our friends with his intelligence and his striking good looks and has become an adored member of our family.

One year after purchasing our male puppy, we purchased a female puppy from Nancy.  She is also a delight and a beautiful, intelligent addition to our family.  Any time we have the dogs out, we are stopped by people admiring them, both for their beautiful composition and their gentle, friendly demeanor.

Nancy was a huge help to us as we prepared to purchase our second puppy from her.  Rather than simply selling us a puppy that she had “ready to go” she asked us many questions about our 1 year old male to determine what type of personality would best fit with his.  We took her advice and waited a few months and were delighted with the companion puppy we chose for him.  They are absolutely the best of friends.

Many thanks to Nancy for her help and advice in both choosing the pups, but also for her availability to help us whenever we’ve had questions or issues arise about housebreaking, feeding, etc.

Both dogs are beautiful, friendly, intelligent and most importantly of all, healthy.  When the time comes for us to add another dog to our family, we will certainly be looking to Desert Goldens again.

Marcia Larson
San Diego, CA

Daryl and Julie Gionnette: “From day one, Abbey has been the most incredible dog.”
Words cannot express the absolute love, joy and excitement we have felt since we got our first Golden from Nancy three years ago. Abbey, then five years old, was being retired from Nancy’s breeding program and was ready for a full-time family. From day one, Abbey has been the most incredible dog. She is outgoing, affectionate, intelligent, calm, loyal and has the sweetest personality, everything that Nancy promised she would be and more. But what could be better than one Golden Retriever? Two!! One year after Abbey joined our family we contacted Nancy again, this time looking for a puppy that would be sure to keep Abbey playful for years to come. Nancy matched us with a male puppy that has the personality traits that are a perfect fit. Fletcher, now 2, is a beautiful light blonde color and has a disposition that melts hearts. He is the most loveable little guy and so full of character. Both dogs have bonded so well together you would think they were mom and pup. People often stop us on the street during our walks and remark on how truly beautiful and well-bred these dogs are. We both feel incredibly blessed to have these most perfect furry babies as part of our family. Nancy’s Golden Retrievers are truly the best.

Daryl and Julie Gionnette
Southern California

Miki Yamada: “My 9-year-old daughter Kana fell in love with Wally at first sight…”

…our life in California could never be better with Wally. We drove more than 8 hours to your place, to meet Wally. My 9-year-old daughter Kana fell in love with Wally at first sight, and he in her. He has been her loyal buddy ever since. I never expected him to be so loving, so mellow, at such a young age, and yet so playful just as a puppy should be. He brings joy, love and laughter everyday.

Miki Yamada
Northern California

Irwin and Dede Levinson: “…Irwin and I are enjoying our precious Barney…”
I am writing this letter to tell you how much Irwin and I are enjoying our precious Barney, and to let you know how much we appreciate you and all of your efforts. Even though we e-mail almost daily, I think it is important to have some document to show your clients a little about Nancy Knapp. In 2001, Irwin and I came to California for the 4th of July holiday week for a little break. While in San Diego I read an ad from a local newspaper about beautiful Golden Retrievers, and you wrote that they had wonderful dispositions, mild mannered, etc. I phoned you to discuss your special breed and was interested in seeing the mother and father. I was not interested in purchasing since I was in mourning because I just lost one of my Goldens, named Moose, who was twelve years old, and I had another Golden at home, age five, named Baylee.

You gave excellent directions to your house and we were there within two hours. Irwin and I were so impressed with your lovely home, your kennel conditions and your Golden Retrievers were spectacular to look at. They were blonde and well proportioned and just breathtaking. We were also impressed with you, Nancy. I have had dogs all of my life and knew you were knowledgeable about breeding and caring for animals. You really knew your “stuff” and Irwin and I did not want to leave without giving a deposit on one of your puppies.

We live in Florida and I certainly can find a Golden Retriever here in my area, but I cannot find a beautiful and mild mannered one. Barney is our fourth Golden and he is one of the best dogs we have ever owned. You did promise me that when I walked Barney on the street, people would stop and ask me where I found such a beautiful Golden Retriever. That is very true. Wherever we take him, we are stopped and asked where he came from.

The timing seemed perfect. I wanted to own Barney, so four weeks after we saw Barney, he was ready to make the trip to Florida and you brought him and stayed with us for a week. It was one of the best weeks we ever had. We thoroughly enjoyed your company and we had a lot of fun showing off our part of Florida. You were particularly important in introducing our five-year-old Baylee to Barney. We could not have done it without you. Baylee was mourning the loss of Moose and was not interested in seeing a puppy take Moose’s place. Anyway, you did a great job and we appreciate your hard work.

I am fortunate to have you as my friend and my Barney and Baylee soul mate. You advise me on diet, allergies (which Baylee struggles with), weight and behavioral problems. You are a walking source of information and you can be very proud of your achievements.

Nancy, thank you for bringing such joy into our lives. I wish I could repay you in some way, but I know I cannot. The love from one of your Goldens is worth everything. It is the only love money can buy.

Dede and Irwin Levinson
Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Jan Spann: “…Nancy is nationally known and respected.”
I have been associated professionally with Nancy Knapp for 10 years. I have known her as a breeder of Golden Retrievers. I have also dealt with her through her rescue work with golden retrievers, and I have had the pleasure of employing her as a Humane Educator and Adoption Counselor for the Ramona Animal Shelter, San Jacinto, CA.As a breeder of Golden Retrievers, Nancy is nationally known and respected. Her breeding can be found through out the United States. Her breeding has also been accepted into guide dog programs and working companion dogs for the disabled. She also trains working companion dogs. I have reviewed her breeding techniques and requirements thoroughly. She breeds for positive temperament and physical soundness. Any disease process from contagion is non-existent. Her vaccine and anti parasite programs eliminate any concern over disease her breeding techniques are so critical that a litter of 8 puppies can only be separated by sex. The variations coat color, size, and weight are almost negligible.

In the ten years I have known Nancy as a breeder, I have never known her to produce any puppy with a congenital malformations (i.e. hip dysplasia, severe over/under bite, entropion, hernia, etc.) She constantly monitors the health and well being of her dams and stud dogs. Pelvic X-rays of her breeders have eliminated the fear of any congenital malformations. I have referred my personal friends to her for puppies.

As a golden retriever rescue worker, Nancy is very thorough. She checks the adult dogs for personality or temperament first. If they pass her scrutiny, she has them immediately spayed or neutered. There is no cross breeding into her breeding program, nor does she want any questionable puppies produced by random breeding. I have on occasion signed rescued dogs to be euthanized from Nancy. These dogs were either physically or mentally (personality) not capable of being placed. She is as meticulous with the rescue dogs as she is her own breeding with respect to placing the dogs. I have personally witnessed the almost 2-3 hours Nancy spends explaining training, feeding, care, health, vaccinations etc. to prospective owners even before they take the puppy. She volunteers to help whenever possible if there is a problem or question. Her purchase contract is one of the best-written contracts I have seen.

Nancy Knapp was without a doubt one of the best Humane Educators and Adoption Counselors I had the privilege to employ. She spent hours with prospective adopters trying to find just the right dog, cat, puppy or kitten for the family. She volunteered her time to make house calls to work with house breaking, barking, and general obedience problems. All this work was to ensure the animal remained in the home and not returned to the shelter. Her success rate was a testimonial to her ability to work with animals.

Jan Spann
Riverside County Humane Investigator

Catherine Finkenstadt: “…it’s been a GLORIOUS match…”
I met Nancy after a long search for a reputable golden breeder. I’d found most of the breeders in the Southland of California close to puppy mills in that I would not get follow through or have any contact beyond buying a puppy. That was not enough for me being a first time dog owner. I knew I wanted to be able to have first hand contact with someone who knew more than I and could help me through any troublesome times.I contacted Nancy by virtue of a recommendation and immediately knew from the first phone call I would be lucky to get a dog from her. She was extensive in her questions to the point of being uncomfortable for me…but I also knew, unlike any other breeder whose properties I’d visited, she would absolutely give me the best match…and in one phone call.

From there I’d wanted a female…and she’d only had a litter of only males…I couldn’t wait, so I agreed to taking a male knowing it would be a bigger dog than I’d imagine.

Through circumstances and life choices, whereby Nancy judged it would not be good for the dog to have him .i.e. I could not take him to work with me in early days before all his shots and would be left alone all day. She kept the dog for me…. so whilst I missed the puppy stages. I got pictures and daily emails about how he was….

Cut to the day I could pick him up…stressful day…I’d bought cages and restraints and everything. I bring “Tucker “ home…he’s disoriented by steps, exhausted and completely freaked out …I do have to call Nancy about how to get him down steps so I can begin to housetrain him (it was hot dogs!) as I have steps in and out of my house to the back yard

From then on it’s been a GLORIOUS match…he has NEVER chewed or torn anything up in the house…he is completely content being a shadow of me…and he will continue to be. I’m lucky enough to bring him into work (it was a point of my last contract) but he’s so easy it’s not an issue.

When Nancy says she breeds for “temperament” like so many do…with her it’s TRUE…I wish I could invite anyone who reads this to meet my 2 ½ year old golden, he’s mellow, never jumps up, takes voice commands easily and LOVES children, they are like a beacon to him he just licks them all over, and the most he’ll do is be excited to see you and then settle down in your company.

Nancy has given me the best gift in my life…a golden who beats describing…and I’m not being overly gushy. I’ve met people who have goldens who need a “two or three year cooling off period” before they get “manageable”…Tucker was “cool” from the time I brought him home. I think I called Nancy asking if there was anything wrong with him since I didn’t need the fence I’d built, the dog gate I had for my car,…nothing. I

NEVER expected a dog who is happy being happy and just happy being alive with me.

He brings me joy and love in a way I never expected and I owe that all to Nancy and her breeding program.

Catherine Finkenstadt
Los Angeles, CA

Gara Rakow: “Cali is an unbelievable dog.”
We got our dog, Cali, from Nancy when he was approximately 3 years old. We already had a three year old Golden, Shelbi, whom we had since she was a puppy and did not want to go thru the puppy process again. Cali immediately bonded with Shelbi and they have been best friends ever since. Cali is an unbelievable dog. He is the cutest, sweetest animal who never leaves his parent’s side and he absolutely loves children and other dogs. Getting Cali from Nancy was an incredibly simple process. She gave us all of his records which were extremely organized and she was very easy to deal with. We would not hesitate to get another dog from Nancy, either a puppy or a full grown dog. Her Golden Retrievers are the best!!!

Gara Rakow
Los Angeles, CA

Denise Savastano: “Nugget is best dog in the world…”
… I purchased a puppy from you for my then 4 year old son, Nicky. We named him Nugget. Thanks to you, my son, Nicky who is an only child has had his best friend Nugget to grow up with. Nugget is best dog in the world, we love him so much and he has brought such great joy and memories to our life. You promised to sell me a dog who would be a great friend to my son and Nugget more than met any expectations I could ever have.

Thank you again for coming into our lives and blessing us with Nugget.

Denise Savastano
Lake Matthews, CA

Gina Champion-Cain: “…frankly, they’re better than children!”
What Nancy did was so much more than sell us puppies, she gave the gift of a family. Gordie (8yrs) and Katie (2yrs) are my children. Frankly, they’re better than children! Gordie and Katie come to work with me every day, which surely gives credit to their demeanor and of my devotion to them. The surrounding downtown business owners and workers know Gordie and Katie by name and treat them as if they were family. They steal hearts wherever they go! Every animal has spirit and personality, but Nancy’s Golden Retrievers are such rays of light, and that can only be a result of her love and knowledge of the breed and the puppies themselves. Nancy, though a superb businesswoman, also becomes a friend….someone you can count on through the puppy stage and well into your pet’s senior years. Absolutely nothing negative can be said! Thank you so much for all you’ve given me through my babies!

Gina Champion-Cain
San Diego, CA

Sam Page: “My experience with Desert Goldens has been nothing short of incredible.”

My experience with Desert Goldens has been nothing short of incredible. I contacted Nancy about a year ago. My through research looking into Golden Retriever breeders in the Southwestern U.S. ended with an email correspondence with Nancy about the litters she had or was expecting, and how many pups she had available (of course many were already spoken for, as the quality of breeding at Desert Goldens is quite well known, as I found out). I had grown up with goldens, raised puppies, and always had one in my life, so I had a very strong idea of what I was looking for in a puppy. The puppy that Nancy provided me with, a female named Oey, has now been with me for almost a year. She is everything I could have ever wanted and more. She is gorgeous beyond comparison with an incredibly sweet and playful demeanor that belies a congenial intelligence, all qualities that I know Nancy intentionally and successfully breeds for. I am constantly stopped on the streets or on hikes and asked about Oey. Her vet always comments on what a conscientious breeder Nancy must be since Oey’s eyes, ears, coat, teeth and hips are as healthy as he has seen. For as much as I believe that I got a perfect Golden girl from Nancy, I also believe that producing litters of puppies like mine is the rule at Desert Goldens, not the exception.”

Sam Page
Actor, Los Angeles

Ivonne & Violette: “We would have been lost without you!!!”
Sebastian is our Golden Sunshine!!! We love waking up to his darling face every morning. He has brought immense joy, countless smiles, and kind love to all of our family.We respect the great effort invested by Desert Goldens to ensure high-quality breeding. We value your ongoing commitment to the baby goldens!!!

There is no book, or information source that can compete with a voice that speaks from experience. It is very, very comforting to know that we can always count on you and your extensive knowledge about Golden Retrievers. You have been there every step of the way; we thank you so much for that. We would have been lost without you!!!

Ivonne & Violette
Downey, CA

Perry and Charlene Williams: “Shelby is a spectacularly bred Golden Retriever.”
Shelby is a spectacularly bred Golden Retriever.

Since we got her from Nancy at Desert Goldens, it’s been non stop compliments from everyone who sees her.

Her temperament is solid, she loves everyone, especially children, and she is a joy to be around. We appreciate all the research that it took and continues to take for Desert Goldens to produce animals that one can be assured will be a family asset, constant companion, and life long friend.

Shelby has all of the wonderful breed characteristics, well bred golden retrievers should haven. She posses’ the sweetness and loyalty that we were looking for. We got it all, beautiful breeding, beautiful in spirit, and beautiful to look at.

Thank You Nancy……….

Perry and Charlene Williams
San Diego, CA


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