Gun Dog Breeder Reviews for Sutter Bay's Retriever Junction
Testimonials (35) | Back to Sutter Bay's Retriever Junction
Submitted by: Matt Query on Sep 11, 2015
We picked up Thibodaux ("Tib"), our Golden Retriever pup, from Tracy and Tellus in late April of this year, when he was 8 weeks.

We've now had him for just over 4.5 months now, and we are so incredibly happy with our decision to get our bird dog from Sutter Bay.

I wanted to wait until he passed his 6-month birthday to write this review, and I don't think the text box will allow me to praise this dog, the litter, and the breeders enough.

No exaggeration, he retrieved his first toy duck after having him home for an hour.

The dog's temperament is incredible, so calm and intelligent. He's playful when its time to be playful, and he's calm when its time for training.

We started doing some gun training with him at about 5 months, and he didn't care one bit about the gun, just wanted to retrieve and get his treat!

His predisposition for the water honestly amazed me, jumping headfirst into the water after only introducing him to it for a couple minutes. His swimming ability is obviously intrinsic, but i've had water dogs my whole life and not one of them was as adept in the water as Thibodaux is at 6.5 months.

His intelligence became apparent after a short time of training, having sit, shake, lay, stay, and come down after maybe 2-3 weeks. As we continue to train him in the field, I'm continually impressed with how fast he's picking up "staying in the bird zone," as well as responding to "come" with more and more stimulus around him.

You often hear the "iceberg" metaphor when picking out a gun dog, in 90% is the litter/breed and 10% is the actual puppy. Well, if that is true, I can say with sincerity that I seriously lucked out finding Sutter Bay, because that 90% of gun dog quality is very present and I have Tracy and Tellus to thank for that. (and of course Tib's parents Dash and Shine).

I hope they forgive me for taking this long to write the review, I just wanted to really get to know the dog for 4+ months before I could offer a rounded critique of their dogs. And again, I rank them 100%, A+, maximum kudos. We have such an amazing pup, and are so incredibly happy we chose Sutter Bay.
Submitted by: susan cizik on Jan 06, 2015
Tracy Calhoun from Sutterbay Retrievers raises superb puppies. Our entire experience from inquiry to receiving our puppy was splendid. we felt very strongly that we were getting a healthy, happy, curious, smart puppy from this breeder and we have been completely happy with our girl. Tracy's blogs, photos and videos give a good sense of the care and early sensory training that these puppies receive. She really goes beyond the basics of quality breeding and newborn care. Her puppies are very special!
Submitted by: Cathy and Jesse Groves on Jan 05, 2015
We were lucky enough to score one of Ottie's puppies in October. Lucy is now 4 month old and is a real charmer. She can be crazy like most pups her age, but can also be a couch potato. We just lover her personality and her boldness. She is already very birdie and loves her duck wing.
Tracy was wonderful to work with and you can tell she loves her dogs and puts every thing she has into raising happy health pups.
Submitted by: Jackie Weisser on Aug 11, 2014
We are lifetime golden people. Our most recent addition from Sutter Bay will be 7th golden and he by far is the best of the bunch. Not only is he a beautiful dog in shape, size and color. He's a smart dog. Has great instincts. Loves to watch the skies for birds. Naturally curious. He defends his territory and is able to gauge his play with other age ranged dogs - not being overly aggressive with the older dog but holding his grown with the younger. On the flip side he's as lovable as they come. I will definitely return to this breeder in the future - no ands, ifs or buts.
Submitted by: Trevor Santochi on Aug 10, 2014
Love my Golden from Sutter Bay Retrievers. She is smart, energetic and good natured. Not to mention she looks great. Could not be happier
Submitted by: trina denson on Aug 10, 2014
We have had 3 Golden's before Sutter Home. We are so happy with our girl. She is the smartest and most calm of all the 3 we have had.

Submitted by: Denise Steffe on Feb 09, 2014
Jackie Mertens gave me a puppy from your litter and thank you for your service :) US Army :) Old Lyme Bell of the Ball :) yes :) twins :) some golden :) names lilly belles :) Mark :) del that sungolde :)
Submitted by: Wade Metz on Nov 15, 2013
We purchased a black lab pup from Sutterbay in February. Great temperament, easy to train, great around kids and maybe the birdiest dog we've owned in the past 20 years. She loves to hunt and wants to please.

We'd buy another dog from them without question.
Submitted by: Ralph Borrelli on Feb 18, 2013
Received our puppy a few days ago from Sutter Bay Retrievers and couldn't be happier. We purchased a Black Lab and received him at exactly 8 weeks old. He's been great, looks 5+ temperament 5+ personality 5+ you can tell they did a great job with the litter.
Communication was great throughout the process and everything was exactly as promised. The experience was worry free and we highly recommend Sutter Bay Retrievers.
Submitted by: David Lash on Sep 15, 2012
Getting a puppy from Tracy was a wonderful experience. We live about 12 hours away and she was not only helpful with keeping us updated throughout the whole breeding process but was very flexible with our schedule when it came time to pick out our puppy. Our dog Chevy is now a year old and he is fantastic, we couldn't be happier!
Submitted by: Amanda Jean Bielenberg on May 03, 2012
I absolutely love Sutter Bay and their dogs... When I was thinking about getting a dog from them, they let me come and hang out, talked about the dogs and training with me, introduced me to all of their dogs, and were so welcoming and friendly. After keeping me updated the entire breeding process, even sending me pictures of the newborns, I received "Riley," a beautiful golden retriever puppy, from them in November. She was in perfect health and was the best puppy I've ever dealt with. They even provided a "puppy package" with her.

Riley is now my favorite "person" in the whole world, and is the best dog I've ever had. She is incredibly smart, in great health, has the perfect temperament, and has quite the "individual" personality. I've only recently started getting really into training her, and she has an amazing drive to retrieve, will not stop looking for a bird (even if she doesn't see the mark), and has an incredible will to please me. She also is OBSESSED with water, and-even as a puppy-loved swimming more than anything. Most of all, she is a perfect family dog, as she "goes, goes, goes" when she is outside, and when she is inside, sits contently next to "her people." She is also friendly with everyone she meets, and has never once barked at a stranger.

Sutter Bay provided me with the best experience possible, and the best dog. They still keep me up to date on her parents and siblings, and love to hear how Riley is doing. A+ for Sutter Bay!
Submitted by: Dave Lash on Apr 23, 2012
Tracy was great with getting our new puppy. They were so helpful at posting pictures along the way and helping us with picking out the right dog. Our dog, Chevy has such a wonderful temperate and is an amazing 8 month puppy. He literally was potty trained in 2 weeks and is already a wonderful retriever. When the time comes and our 15 year old dog passes we will definitely look at Sutter Homes as our place to get a second dog.
Submitted by: Monica McFadden on Apr 17, 2012
My newest Search and Rescue partner (field bred Golden Retriever) came from Sutter Bay Retrievers. Tracy and Tellus are wonderful, responsive breeders, not only before and at time of purchase, but throughout the life of the dog. The puppies are well socialized and stimulated from birth on, and health is a major consideration. I highly recommend them!
Submitted by: Bud Eugster on Jun 18, 2011
We got all of the hunting dog we were looking for. Thanks Sutter Bay
Submitted by: Peter W. Brown on Feb 24, 2011
Bought a black female lab from Sutterbay. She's 9 months old now and the best dog (according to my wife) we've ever had. She is retreiving doubles, marks well, learns quickly, and receives a lot of compliments from my hunting pals and friends. Lots of energy. Tellus and his wife have been very helpful with terrific communications before delivery of the dog and when we have had any questions subsequently. One great hunting dog from a high quality and very helpful breeder.....
Submitted by: Melissa Nelson on Feb 21, 2011
We could not have had a better experience! We loved that we live close enough that we were able to travel an hour to meet the parents, Dash and Gamine, as well as Tracy. I love the fact that they post a lot of pictures on their Facebook page and website and if we ever have a question or or share pictures of our puppy, Kaylen, then we can. It was also important to us that the breeder that we got our new family member through someone who was a responsible breeder, respected in their field, and above all, nice people. Tracy and Tellus were awesome to work with!
Submitted by: Todd Zimmerman on Feb 20, 2011
Its been over 14 years since we've added a member to our family. I found Tellus and Tracy Calhoun of Sutter Bay Retievers on Gun Dog one year after we lost our Golden of 14 years. I was looking for a hunting partner and family member to bring into our house. They have an outstanding breeding/training program with a pedigree very deep in master hunters. I have been more than impressed with there transparency during the training period and their patience with a nervous dog owner. Tracy and Tellus have been fantastic and I would recomend them to anyone who is looking for a great program and bloodline.
Many Thanks
Todd Zimmerman & Famliy
Submitted by: David and Becky Omli on Feb 20, 2011
Tracy and Tellus were a pleasure for us to deal with for our puppy purchase. They were very informative about thier dogs and asked good questions about us and what we wanted in a dog. The 4 hour drive we made to pick up our puppy was well worth it. Thier dogs took a liking to our 11 year old son immediately and followed his commands to sit and retrieve. Everybody had fun! Best of all, our puppy didn't disapoint. She is wonderful.
Submitted by: Holly Dunning on Feb 20, 2011
We have a six month old Golden Retreiver pup from Sutter Bay [Woodrow]This is our 4th Golden from the same linneage. We were fortunate enough to find Sutter Bay as we had lost our 10 year old golden last Summer to Cancer. We just brought Woody back to Sutter bay last week for training, it is so obvious when you are around Tellus and Tracy they are operating in their passion both from the breeding side and the training side. They both love the animals and it shows in their dogs! If you are looking for a quality hunting dog and a family dog, I would definitely reccomend Sutter Bay Retrievers
Submitted by: Jeff Ausk on Feb 17, 2011
Tellus and Tracy offer outstanding dogs with great dispositions, yet with a hunting drive and instinct that will surely impress you. Our Golden has a great nose and a hunting instinct you pray for in a hunting dog. Sweet as they come too.
Submitted by: Lloyd & Darlene Dolby on Feb 16, 2011
Jasper just turned two yesterday and what a great dog he has turned out to be! He is smart as a whip, a terrific house pest and a wonderful hunter. To say we are pleased with him is an understatement. Thanks Tellus and Tracy!
Submitted by: Matthew McCarthy on Oct 29, 2010
Sutter Bay Retrievers is a top shelf establishment. When I was searching for a new Golden Retriever, I stumbled across Sutter Bay on this site. After speaking with them, I was delighted to be able to purchase one of their puppies. When it comes to blood lines and healthy breeding, Sutter Bay is one of the most conscientious breeders I've ever encountered. To me, this is especially important when dealing with breeds that can be prone to health issues (like Goldens).

Their expertise and professionalism with retrievers was refreshing. Polite and courteous, Sutter Bay was a joy to deal with. Since I live on the east coast and could not see the puppies in person, they were diligent in sending pictures of them and keeping me informed of their progress as they grew. When the time came, my dog was shipped directly to Boston, with no hiccups in transport. Our puppy arrived as expected... She had her dew claws removed (which every responsible breeder should do) and she was up to date with deworming and all other appropriate shots.

All in all, the experience of dealing with Sutter Bay was outstanding. If you're looking for 5 star customer service and (more importantly) a beautiful and healthy puppy, this breeder should be atop your list.
Submitted by: Matt Snow on Sep 10, 2010
We got our puppy Callie from Sutter Bay Retrievers in July of '09. She was from the Dash & Gamine breeding, and is one of the most intelligent and aware dogs I've ever been around. She's not the biggest golden, between 60-65lbs, but she is one of the quickest and most athletic I've seen, as well as being one of the sweetest and most beautiful. I started upland bird training her at 4 months, and her drive and heart are simply incredible. This dog is bird crazy! We got her trained to point, flush on command, and retrieve in little time. If i had the time to get in to field training, I have no doubt that this dog, could be a champ.
When you take her out of the field and bring her home, is when she really shines. She is so sweet, well mannered, and has a great temperment with kids of all ages and sizes.
We couldn't have had a more positive experience in dealing with the Calhouns. Tracy was always there to answer any of our questions (no matter how many, or how mundane). They would frequently send us emails and updates as to the puppies progress.
I've had golden retrievers my whole life, and this dog tops them all! Please be confident that Sutter Bay Retrievers produces some of the best in the country, and the Calhouns will exceed all of your expectations. We couldn't be happier with our experience.
Submitted by: Michael Thibodeau on Aug 03, 2010
I bought my pup from Tracy and Tellus in July 2009. He is now just over one year old and I couldn't be happier with how "Cooper" has turned out. His natural instincts far surpass those of the other goldens I've owned. He is extremely athletic, very focused, and easy to train. He is quite the character-he always seems to have that “twinkle in his eye.” I’ve taken him all over-backpacking, hiking, camping, the beach, in the city and Cooper always exceeds expectations. I’ve had numerous people pull their cars to the side of the road so they could see “that handsome dog….”
In all my communication with Tracy, I could tell she truly cared about her dogs. I recommend Sutter Bay without any reservations.
Submitted by: Todd Neel on Jul 23, 2010
Our female golden (Lilikoi) is from Dash x Gamine - we picked her up from Tracy and Tellus the end of March 2010. She is by far the most intelligent dog I've owned. House trained in less than two weeks, now at just less than six months her retrieval and hunt drive has really kicked in. We're well into sit, heel, and come, and she does long singles easily on land and water.

The Calhouns have been great about keeping up with Lili's progress, and have shown a real interest in her continued development and welfare.

We would not hesitate to recommend a pup from Sutter Bay Retrievers (and have several times already to folks who have been enthralled by Lilikoi).
Submitted by: Brian Perron on Jul 12, 2010
When we got our CLF "Wonka" from Tellus & Tracy, we weren't just getting a dog, we felt like we were part of the family. Tellus has done wonders with Wonka--his work with her has far exceeded his superb reputation. It's hard to put it into words--but Tellus has a special knack for figuring out what makes each dog tick. On top of this, we have been blown away at how the Calhouns have welcomed us--especially our kids at training days. We are so glad to have them in Oregon!
Submitted by: Patty & Kelly Snow on Jun 13, 2010
We were lucky enough to buy our Female Golden Retriever from Sutter Bay Retrievers 3 1/2 years ago when she was 8 weeks old, and have been totally satisfied with our purchase. Tellus and Tracy of Sutter Bay Retrievers are a class act and put their heart and souls into the care and training of their dogs. We sent our dog (STORM) back to Tellus for additional training and they even let her live in their home. Tellus drove her back to us in San Jose (CA) from Oregon and spent several hours working with our entire family. We now share a close bond.
Submitted by: Ben Whittenburg on May 20, 2010
I bought a male golden from Tellus and Tracy in March 2010. I live in Texas, and they made the process as painless as possible. I flew up to pick out my pup. They had a travel kennel, food, water, etc. ready to go. They helped walk me throught he process of clearing the pup with the airport/airline. Overall, they were very helpful and informative in getting my pup back to Texas with me.

As I write, my pup (Copper) is now 14 weeks old. He is the smartest dog I've been around. I have not trained a lot of dogs, but he has been the easiest by a long shot. Currently, he will sit, stay, here, whoa, heal, retrieve (single and double). He is actually doing doubles...will sit while I throw two bumpers and fetch the one I point him to first (pretty incredible). He is actually handling well too...will do back and over as directed. I can sit him out in front of me 20 feet and throw 2 bumpers and direct him to which one I want first using over and back arm signals. I have put him on some live pigeons and he loves fetching them as well.

All in all, he is incredible. I live in Austin and took him to a preserve/kennel where they train dogs. I showed the trainers some of what he is doing. The head trainer said Copper is a 1 in 1000 kind of retriever...said he had 1 yr old pups that couldn't do what he is doing. Only spend 10 minutes a day with him...only thing he struggles with is "down." For whatever reason, he just won't do it for me, but everything else has taken no time to teach.

Lastly, since I've had Copper home, I have called Tellus at least 5 times for advice, etc. He has answered every time and also answered all my questions, etc.

I will buy again from them no question. I think my family and hunting friends will too.
Submitted by: Frank Haak on Apr 10, 2010
We got an incredibly great golden puppy from Tellus and Tracy two weeks ago. We think they are excellent to deal with and very likable people as well. Do yourself a favor and check them out.
Submitted by: karen miller on Apr 03, 2010
Highly recommend Tracy and Tellus. Our new puppy is the smartest dog we've met and she was clearly well socialized in those critical early weeks. Sutterbay Retrievers is both professional and personal. I was comfortable calling at any time with questions and concerns and was confident in my decision to get our new puppy from them. We have been more than satisfied every step of the way!
Submitted by: Karen and Michael Butcher on Mar 28, 2010
Michael and I would recommend that you consider Sutter Bay Retrievers. Our experience with Tracy and Tellus has been absolutely wonderful. It is obvious that mindful decisions are made when it comes to the welfare of the puppies. We felt that the socializing was well thought out. The proof is in the puppy. We got her home and she really is a product of her environment at Sutter Bay. She is a great dog. We have no doubt she will be a great adult some day with continued appropriate experiences.
We appreciated the time taken by Tracy to answer questions and the kindness of everyone. We had pictures, videos and emails all through the process so we felt like we watched them grow up. We met the parents of the puppies and all the dogs we met were awesome.
It was so hard to pick our puppy when the time came because they were all so great, but even in that situation we felt supported.
In the end, we were not just shipped off. We had proper paper work, microchip, detailed information, dog food to go and just a lot of personal attention.
If you want a quality dog and quality support go to Sutter Bay.
Submitted by: Mark and Sarah Schoenborn on Mar 11, 2010
I bought a puppy from Sutter Bay Retrievers as a surprise Christmas present for my husband who is an avid duck hunter. Tellus and Tracy were GREAT! They exceeded my expectations and helped in every way possible for this little Christmas package to happen! Remi was about 10 weeks old when she came popping her head out of a Christmas wrapped box for my husbands amazement. She's now a gorgeous approx. 50lb 1-1/2 year old black lab who can't get enough of retrieving anything from her ball to fallen ducks and brings great joy and laughter to our lives. She is amazingly smart and exactly the personality I saw the day I picked her out. Thanks to Sutter Bay Retrievers for all that you do~
Submitted by: Lee Salmon on Feb 13, 2010
I've trained several pups from Sutter Bay. They produce some nice pups.

I've trained with Tellus and he is a great dog trainer.

Lee Salmon
Wind River Labs
Submitted by: Kelly Arterburn on Oct 28, 2009
A big Thank You to Tracy & Tellus Calhoun for providing us with a beautiful, intelligent and healthy golden retriever puppy. We purchased Darby at 4 months and she was the last puppy of the litter to go home. A sure sign of excellent breeding is when each puppy in the litter is a top quality pup. We have had Darby for a few weeks now and she has already bonded with us and is quickly learning everything we introduce to her. She has an amazing demeanor both when training and around children, strangers, and dogs. We have two little kids and Darby is great with them. She is so patient and quick to learn the correct way to interact with them. I can already tell that she has a great nose and desire to learn. Her ability to transition between work, play and down-time is exactly what I was searching for.
The level of service that Tracy provided was truly outstanding. She answered all my questions openly and honestly. I did not feel any “hard sell” tactics and I appreciated their straightforward approach to placing their pups. She carefully attended to all of the details of shipping. The service did not stop after the sale. She has been available at all times to answer questions and provide feedback. Tracy actually called me about 5 minutes after I emailed her one afternoon with a few concerns about Darby adjusting to her new food, etc. That shows the level of commitment they have to their dogs and their breeding program.
I am very glad that we purchased a puppy from Sutter Bay Retrievers! Darby is going to be a wonderful member of our family, hunting partner, and “Ranch Dog” at our Montana Guest Ranch.

Kelly, Yancey, Baylor & Molly
Submitted by: Patrick Boice on Dec 12, 2008
Golden Retriever
8 weeks old

We cannot say enough good things about Sutter Bay Retrievers. This is our family's first dog and we were not quite sure what to expect. We had never dealt with a breeder before and we really wanted to make sure we found a good one. There is no doubt now that we made a fantastic choice. You will not find better people than Tellus and Tracy Calhoun. They helped us along every step of the process and even went out of their way to make sure all of our questions were answered. I'm sure we were a pain sometimes with all of our amateurish inquiries, but they always took the time to make us feel like we were their most important clients.
We were also very impressed with their facilities. All of the dogs are very well cared for and have some great training grounds to run on. You can tell that they sincerely care for every single one of their dogs. That meant a lot to us.
We've been very pleased with our new pup. He has taken to his training well and has adjusted very well to house-life. It is readily apparent that he is going to be brilliant and athletic in the field. I only hope we can keep up with him.
I, for one, am not easily impressed by good service. I feel like if I’m buying something from somebody then I have a right to expect good service. My experience with Sutter Bay Retrievers goes far beyond that though. They treated us like family. They are good, genuine people who are highly invested in their dogs and I cannot envision having a better experience with a breeder. I highly recommend them.

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