IS A GOLDEN RETRIEVER RIGHT FOR YOU?
For more information about the Golden Retriever:
- Goldens are happy, happy, happy! Life is one big GAME! Untrained, they will jump up to greet you and kiss you all over. Because of this, an older, trained and less bouncy dog is a better match for families with younger children. Goldens are very rambunctious for the first 3-4 years of life, and remain puppyish throughout their lives.
- Goldens like to carry things - including papers, your socks, shoes, and anything else not hidden away! Don't be surprised to find your articles of clothing outside in the yard when you have a golden retriever around.
- Goldens will find the water. They like to play in rain puddles, pools and at the beach.
- Many people envision the calm, sedate seeing eye or service dogs when they think of the golden retriever. It's important to realize that most service dogs came from special breeding programs designed to produce calmer dogs. In addition, those dogs have had extensive training. Some goldens have a higher activity or energy level than others, while some goldens may be more calm and sedate, requiring less exercise. It's important to think about how much activity you plan to provide a dog on a daily basis, and choose a dog accordingly.
- Goldens are eager to please. They are easy to train and can quickly learn simple commands such as "sit", "down", "stay", etc. Because of this, they are a good dog for a family without much dog experience.
- Goldens are generally good with other dogs. However, some may need homes as only dogs. People often ask if they should have pairs of opposite-sexed dogs (male-female combinations). With goldens, it's more important to match up temperament vs. gender, being sure that if one dog tends to be dominant, only adopting a more submissive dog.
- Goldens have a high prey-drive. If you have small dogs, cats, or other small pets in your home, its important to realize some goldens may chase them. Most can be trained to ignore the pets, but it will require effort and consistency on your part, and a dedication never to leave your golden alone with your other pets unsupervised until fully trained and safe.
- Goldens are typically 65-80 lbs. They have long fur that does require frequent brushing to keep away mats. Their coats collect debris such as sticks, dirt, mud, etc, that can be spread throughout your home. If you are a clean-freak, this might not be the dog for you.
- Goldens are prone to certain genetic health problems, such as hip dysplasia, cruciate ligament ruptures and tears, skin allergies, ear infections, thyroid deficiency, seizures, and glaucoma, just to name a few. Recent studies have shown 80% of goldens will be diagnosed with arthritis in their senior years. Many will have "hot spots" during summer months due to allergies. Others will require thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
The World of the Golden Retriever: A Dog for All Seasons
by Nona Kilgore Bauer
The Golden Retriever: All That Glitters
by Julie Cairns