Hi! We're Grizzly Goldens
I’m Katie and since I was about 10, I have been quite involved with our Golden Retrievers: Helping with the puppies, brushing the dogs, feeding and watering, and going on delightful walks with them. Over the years, I became the manager and enjoyed being at the center of the Grizzly Goldens’ action. Now that I am married to the love of my life, Jaimz Hodge, we both have become the proud owners of Grizzly Goldens! I only love my “job” more as time goes on, even if it’s not always super easy. Difficulties have only helped us learn, and help prepare us for our future adventures.
One of my favorite things about managing Grizzly Goldens is how much I learn! There are heaps and heaps of amazing educational things to know about the Golden Retriever breed. A lot of my knowledge is picked up from years of talking with other Golden Retriever breeders,  reading online studies, forums and also  chatting with various specialists and veterinarians. There seems to be an endless supply of knowledge that you can glean about keeping our beloved companions healthy and thriving in every way . There is also so much to understand about how the social and environmental aspects of life directly impact our Goldens in both positive and negative ways and what WE can do about it in our little corner.
 Our History 
My oldest brother, Isaac Vannoy, started Grizzly Goldens (formally Grizzly Kennels) in 2003 with his first Golden, Princess . Around 2010, he placed this business in my hands to manage. I would take care of the dogs, communicate with our customers, set up appointments, and edit the website. Since I am from a big family (9) there was never a shortage of family members involved and helping with the details of what breeding and raising puppies entailed.

My husband and I became officially Grizzly Goldens owners in 2019, changing the name to reflect the fact we are all about Goldens, hence Grizzly Goldens, no longer Grizzly Kennels. We previously would receive calls from those looking for a boarding kennels or another breed so this change has definitely made what we do and who we are much clearer. We have been primarily overseeing everything with the puppies from the birth to take home. Our oldest daughter Talitha has started to become an important part in socializing with Jairus not far behind.  Our puppies also learn to be around small children and know what is acceptable. Our children also learn what is appropriate behavior towards the pups with their interactions monitored with our puppies and dogs. Both learn and grow from this "golden" interaction! Puppies see kids and associate them with something wonderful!

 Our Family Grows 
A big, but positive change arrived to our breeding program in spring 2023 when friends and fellow breeders Joe and Tanya Lair aka Golden Girls Adventures and myself were chatting. I was talking about how I might be up all night with kiddos and Jaimz was up with the birthing mother and her babies with us both exhausted the next day and feeling like we weren’t able to give our best to both our puppies, dams and kiddos.

After being immersed in Grizzly Goldens for over twenty years I thought I might be saying goodbye to the legacy and dreams to preserve this incredible breed. Because this was not sustainable or fair to kiddos or our beloved Goldens. Tanya remarks “ I absolutely love the whelping part of breeding; being in that litter box with mama supporting her and welcoming each puppy into the world is one of the biggest highlights in my life! I wish I could do it more, I just am not great at the logistics of finding the right families for the litter.” This both stunned me and then caused me to have hope. Hope that this may not be over for me.

Sure enough, a long story short is that Joe and Tanya (along with adult sons nearby), have plugged in and take the reins with all things dam and puppy care for the first weeks of life while we have them back in our home for the final weeks when the babies are older and our kiddos get to play a vital role in behavioral training along with us.

This expanding of our Grizzly team has been both a blessing a gift to us as our litters THRIVE with having opportunities that they wouldn’t have had if it wasn’t for the Lair family. While in their home, they get to go to local nursing homes which is one outing that helps them experience so many new faces, smells and sounds with simultaneously being loved on at the same time and bring joy to residents there.

Joe and Tanya also have experience in all things Golden and breeding related and have a heart to always improve and go the extra mile. Our Grizzly puppies are reaping the benefits.

 Our Practices 
Socialization is an important factor in raising good pups, and I’m happy to say that our dogs are well socialized and  pre-loved. We implement the Puppy Culture protocols with our puppies as they grow. This helps prepare them for their new lives and families so they are confident and well-adjusted puppies ready to take on anything new with an exuberance known to the Golden breed.

Since music is a big part of who I am, our puppies being a part of our home-life hear sounds like piano, cello, singing and even panflute on occasion.

 Sounds of a blow-dryer, vacuum, blender and other loud sounds are also normalized so it's not a big shock later when they are exposed to them.

One of our strong beliefs as a business is to “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” It’s not our business, but the Lord’s, and we want to run it in a way that is pleasing to Him!

God bless you all,
Jaimz and Katie Hodge

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