A Dog Lover’s Guide to Golden Retrievers


Written by Debra Sears in Dogs
Viewed by 34 readers since 07-21-2009

If you’re considering getting a dog, then you may be wondering what breed would be best. Golden retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds, second only to Labrador Retrievers. These dogs are a relatively new breed and were originally developed for hunting. They’re friendly and highly intelligent and stay as playful as puppies well into adulthood. These qualities can help you decide whether or not Golden Retrievers are the right dog breed for you and your family.

Golden Retrievers were bred for hunting during the 18th century. They became popular very quickly since they were able to retrieve the catch whether it was in the water or on land. They’re fairly large dogs, weighing between 65 and 70 pounds, and standing up to 24 inches at the shoulders.

Their large size and hunting background means that these dogs need daily exercise. Typically, a stroll around the lawn or down a busy city street is not enough to release the tremendous amounts of energy that these dogs contain. They need to be able to run and play and can do so for hours at a time. Owing a Golden Retriever means being committed to providing this physical activity that’s necessary for the dog’s health and well-being.

The personality of the Golden Retriever is one of main reason for this breed’s popularity. They mature slowly and love to play even as adults. This makes them very popular with families that have children, since the dog will seldom tire of playing with the kids.

That means that this is not the type of dog that can simply be tied to its doghouse in the yard or kept shut up in a crate. Goldens need to be with the family all the time in all activities. They need to be involved and interacted with – if they’re left alone too much they may become depressed and morose, leading to destructive behaviors and discipline problems. This is a breed to avoid if you aren’t willing to integrate it into your family life and treat it like a member of the family.

Golden Retrievers are friendly and highly intelligent. Easily trained, they can learn large vocabularies of over 200 words. Couple this intelligence with their sweet, outgoing personality and this makes them excellent for use as service dogs and in sport dog competitions.

However, the one area that Golden Retrievers are not easily trainable for is as attack dogs. They are extremely loyal to their families, but consider everyone to be their friend. If the family home were to be robbed, the Golden would show the thief where the jewels were located, wagging all the while. They can be very vocal, however, and while they won’t attack someone, they will bark loudly to let the family know that a new friend has arrived. So while being a guard dog just isn’t in their nature, being a watch dog is.

Golden Retrievers are friendly and intelligent and make a perfect family pet. Bred for hunting, their large size and sporting dog nature requires plenty of daily exercise. While they aren’t guard dogs, they will alert you to visitors. Keep these traits in mind when you’re getting your next dog – you can’t go wrong with a Golden Retriever.


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