What Golden Retriever Owners Already Know
The Golden Retriever has been consistently named one of the most popular dog breeds in the world with good reason — the breed has a little something for just about everyone.
Do you have kids? Golden Retrievers make great playmates. Do you need a service animal? If so, the easily trainable Golden is at your command. Are you short on space? Despite its large size, the Golden can be very accommodating.
Golden Retriever owners are well aware of what makes this dog so special, and if you're thinking about adding one to your ranks, you won't regret it. Here’s why.
A Motivated Exercise Partner
If you like to get out for a morning jog or bike ride, you won't have a better fitness companion than the Golden. This high-energy dog needs plenty of exercise — without it, it can become bored and engage in undesirable behavior.
Remember to consult with a vet before you and your dog partake in any strenuous or high-impact activities, though — you wouldn't want to hurt your best friend in the process.
Therapy and Service-Driven Dogs
Goldens are extremely intelligent, easy to train, and, most importantly, are gentle, friendly and genuinely love people. All of these elements are essential for therapy or service function.
Goldens' sweet, docile nature makes them excellent therapy dogs for everyone from sick children to seniors, and there are organizations nearly everywhere that can provide therapy dog assistance and training.
Young at Heart
Goldens have boundless energy and stamina bred into their DNA. Initially, this gave the breed the ability to tread miles without rest as hunting companions. Today's Goldens are much less likely to hunt, but that puppy energy stays in play until the dog is well into adulthood.
If you're looking for a dog with which to play and romp, the Golden is for you. However, they should be monitored with small children, as their exuberance can possibly cause accidents.
A Huge Foodie
Golden Retrievers love all kinds of goodies, and it’s easy for them to put on too much weight.
Be sure not to overfeed your Golden, and make sure your furry friend always has high-quality food. Also, to keep your pup on the lean side, exercise and play are key.
Soft-Hearted and Soft-Mouthed
Goldens were bred to carry their small catch back to their masters alive. That characteristic is still very much a part of the breed. Goldens are naturally soft-mouthed, which means they not only love to carry objects in their mouths, but they'll also give them to you in one piece.
A Golden actually won the “Guinness World Records” title for “Most Tennis Balls Held in the Mouth by a Dog" for holding five regulation-sized balls at once!
A Worthwhile Competitor
From agility to speed, obedience and field events, Goldens excel in nearly every type of competition. They are intelligent, quick learners and are eager to please.
If you choose to let a Golden compete, you won't be sorry — he or she will capture the hearts of audiences and judges alike!
A Chewy Canine
Goldens love to chew, as they are more of a mouth-based breed than most.
But, in order to avoid chewed-up shoes, holey socks or jagged table legs, make sure you have plenty of chew toys and balls handy.
With a Great Coat Comes Great Shedding
Goldens have a lux, thick coat that comes in a variety of colors. These stunning dogs turn heads, but you may have to invest in a top-of-the-line vacuum cleaner, as Goldens are shedders.
Their hair gets everywhere, so keep them well-groomed and -brushed. However, there is a silver lining to this problem — their hair doesn't clump up in dust bunnies as it does with other breeds.
If you want a friendly pup, look no further than a Golden. They are gentle giants that will stay by your side through thick and thin and love other people and dogs.
But beware: Because Goldens are so trusting and friendly, they don't make for great guard dogs. While they may alert you to a possible intruder, their instinct is to welcome them into your home rather than chase them off.
Like a Duck to Water
Going for a swim? Well, you'll be in luck if you decide on a Golden! They are strong swimmers that love the water.
They come equipped with broad tails, webbed feet and a waterproof, interwoven coat — all of which makes swimming a breeze.
A Fetch Master
If you want a dog to play fetch with, the Golden is your mate — they are "retrievers" after all! They are happiest when they have something to carry and are always eager to run for it.
Goldens are fast and reach speeds of up to 30 mph. Make sure to keep them fenced during this activity, however, as they can become distracted in the chase and run much farther than you think.
If they are trained properly, Goldens are generally quiet dogs, but when they are vocal — watch out!
Their loud bark is definitely worse than their bite, so much so that the “Guinness World Record” for loudest bark at 113 decibels is held by a Golden named Charlie. (A chainsaw comes in at 110 decibels for comparison.)
Prone to Separation Anxiety
Don't leave a Golden alone for too long. They are particularly susceptible to separation anxiety and depression as they are more social than most breeds.
If you have to leave your dog home for a few hours, leave him or her with an old T-shirt of yours, so your scent can calm them.
Suited for Small Spaces
If you're in an apartment and want a Golden, you can indeed have one. Although Goldens are larger dogs, if they are exercised daily, they are actually well-suited to apartment living, unlike many large breeds.
With proper training and attention, they will happily live life by your side in nearly every space.