Goldens are beautiful, loving, friendly creatures who turn heads as they walk happily along with their heads high and tails waving. If a Golden is the right dog for you, you will probably never want any other breed, as owning a Golden can be one of the most rewarding experiences you can imagine.
Loving a Golden throughout its lifetime can be a 12- to 14-year commitment, so you should be sure to understand all that owning a Golden Retriever entails. They may, or may not, be the right breed for you.
Here are a few things to to consider:
Time and Attention Goldens are social dogs who truly need to be with their people: busybodies who are underfoot, following you from room to room, watching you cook, helping you in the yard. In rescued dogs these traits are sometimes exaggerated because they are starved for attention and companionship. Some Goldens are downright needy in their desire for attention from their humans.
Consider your lifestyle and your schedule: Do you travel a lot? Do you work long hours? Do you have children’s activities most days? Do you have time in your life to give a Golden the time she or he needs?
Exercise Goldens require consistent exercise daily. If they do not get 20-30 minute walks twice each day or outside playtime, they may develop behavior problems (such as chewing or digging) and not be the calm house pet you expected. They do not take themselves for walks. They need you. Plan ahead before you adopt a Golden. Find dog parks, trails, and places you and your Golden will be happy and safe getting exercise.
Leashes Goldens were bred to be sporting dogs. They are easily distracted by birds, animals or moving objects and must be kept leashed when being exercised outside of a fenced yard to keep them from running away. A leashed dog is a loved dog!
Small Children People automatically assume Goldens are the perfect dog for a family with children. Like any dog, Goldens will growl and can bite if teased, frustrated, or physically harmed. Golden puppies quickly grow up to be rambunctious adolescents. They are strong bundles of energy that easily can play too rough with young children, especially when they are 6 months to two years of age. Goldens can be wonderful family dogs, but NO dog should be left alone with young children – ever.
Expense – Food, Grooming, and Vet Bills Feeding one medium-size dog will cost about $500-$600 a year.
Goldens, like all breeds, are prone to certain hereditary conditions, such as skin allergies, hot spots, ear infections, hip or eye problems. You need to be prepared to provide adequate veterinary care when your dog needs it.
Goldens need to be brushed and groomed, have their nails clipped and their ears cleaned. This can be done by you or professionally.
Your Home Goldens are medium to large sized animals. The standard size for males range from 23 - 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh proportionally from 65-75 pounds. Females stand around 21.5 - 22.5 inches and weigh 55-65 pounds. They normally possess extremely active tails making clean sweeps of coffee and end tables. Quite simply they need room. Uncluttered houses are a must!
Those beautiful coats shed! No matter how you try, there will always be some dog hair around the house, on your clothes, and, yes, sometimes in your food! And Goldens will track dirt, mud and snow into your house. Some are messy drinkers and will drip water on the floor when they take a drink.
Goldens are retrievers – genetically programmed to carry shoes, laundry, your children’s toys as well as their toys in their mouths!
Training Goldens, like most dogs, benefit from training to be obedient and to know what is expected of them. Goldens tend to be sensitive or soft in many training situations. They must be handled carefully with a loving, firm, but gentle approach.
Commitment Goldens have an average life span of twelve to thirteen years, although fifteen year-olds are becoming more common. Consider what your plans might be during this time. Are you prepared to still welcome the responsibility of a highly social Golden when you have a family, return to work, or have an “empty nest?” Think forward!
After reading all this, do you still feel a Golden is for you? If you have the love, sense of humor, commitment and environment to welcome a Golden into your home, be prepared to fall in love and be rewarded by being loved right back by one of these beautiful Golden souls!