We are a small family kennel located in Fresno, California. Our Golden Retrievers are raised on our 3 acre farm, where they have a seasonal pond and a field built just for them to swim and play. They are not separated into a run or a dog area where they spend their days alone. Instead, our Golden Retrievers have their place among horses, chickens, an abundant garden and most importantly, many children. In short, they are a part of our family!
We have carefully researched pedigrees and are always learning more about how best to promote the Golden Retriever breed and grow specifically as English Golden Retriever Breeders. While English Golden Retrievers are distinctive in their conformation from their American counterparts, they are not English Cream Golden Retrievers or White Golden Retrievers. They are Golden Retrievers! We therefore proudly support the American Kennel Club and strongly encourage all of our Nicholberry families to register their puppies with the AKC. At Nicholberry Goldens, our focus is on temperament and health.
Before becoming English Golden Retriever Breeders, we suffered great heartache at the early loss of our American Golden Retrievers due to cancer, and to the degree that we can, it is our mission to spare families from such a painful experience. We believe that a Golden Retriever can and should live a long, healthy life and it is our goal to produce puppies who do just that.
It is also our belief that much of the illnesses which plague the Golden Retriever breed go hand in hand with a poor temperament. Inbreeding has done much to damage the Golden Retriever, frequently producing somewhat neurotic dogs of poor health. We are ecstatic about the temperament of our goldens and delighted that our dogs are not only gorgeous and healthy, but wondrously mellow and intelligent. Moses is our foundation male, imported from a world class English Golden Retriever Breeder in Germany to Raynox, and our blog is replete with examples of how fantastic his temperament is.
Puppies are born in our home and we are there the entire time to support the mama. Puppies are well socialized with the sounds of everyday living, including active and boisterous children! They spend their days with the family. Whether it's on the kitchen floor or outside in the puppy-proof puppy yard, they are constantly exposed to a variety of textures (grass, concrete, synthetic turf, tile), smells (cats, horses, goats, other dogs, and whatever's cooking in our ever "open" kitchen), and of course touch (lots and lots of cuddling!). Throughout their day, they are safely introduced to the outside world, playing and exploring, and most importantly, learning to trust the many hands who gently handle them.
We cannot overemphasize how critical exposure is, and much the way we “imprint” new foals, we “imprint” our new puppies. While they are in a “quarantined” area (in order to prevent any possibility of parvo and other illnesses), they can see and smell all of the activity on our little farm. A puppy’s greatest learning window is very short - from birth to 16 weeks – and we recognize the responsibility of exposing our puppies to the world so that they grow into confident, trusting, intelligent and relaxed dogs. (For more details about this CRITICAL period in your puppy’s life,).
Brian and I both come from a family of green thumbs. Brian grew up in the Great Lakes region, where the 6 children in his family were responsible for maintaining the Nichols Garden. I grew up in the beach town of Ventura, California, where my mother’s obsession with plants and gardening rubbed off on me. When Brian and I got married, we dreamed of owning our own little farm, where we could grow a gigantic garden, as well as raise children, horses, dogs and any other kind of animal that came our way! Seven years ago, our dream came true and even now, we pinch ourselves that we actually get to live in such a wonderful home. It’s not fancy, but it’s perfect for us. We simply love it!
As for “Nicholberry,” the name is very dear to our hearts. For years, Brian’s father and step-mother sent us homemade jam at Christmas. Our family rejoiced whenever the box arrived from Oregon, because it contained the coveted little jar bearing the name, “Nicholberry Jam.” When Brian’s father lost his fight to diabetes in 2006, we both felt convicted that we should name our little farm in his honor. Thus, “Nicholberry Farms.”
We love our life on the farm and are always delighted to meet new people, so if you are in the Central California area, please come visit us! We promise a fresh cup of coffee, home grown produce, the sound of children playing and of course, our wonderful English Golden Retrievers!