The Golden Retriever – Is It The Right Dog For You?
Having a Golden Retriever for a pet is the greatest in my opinion. They are wonderful animals that are a joy to be around. They are always happy to see you when you come home, love to be by your side, are great with kids, and are just darn good looking.
But, and it’s a big but, they are a fair amount of work to take care of. If you already own one you know what I am talking about. If you are considering getting a Golden Retriever you want to make sure you are ready for the commitment it requires to properly care for one of these beautiful dogs.
Every year thousands of Golden Retrievers are abandoned at local dog pounds, and rescue centers, for various reasons. Sometimes the owner gets sick and can no longer care for the Golden, or often the owner is forced to move to housing that does not allow pets.
But a very common reason that Golden Retrievers end up at shelters and rescue centers is simply because the owners decide they are just too much trouble to take care of. As sad as this is, it happens more that you would think.
People are drawn to the beauty and the popularity of the Golden Retriever, but they never do any research on what is required to properly care for this breed. After a period of time they find out that it is more than they bargained for, and they give the dog up.
Golden Retriever’s are a great breed, but unfortunately they are definitely not for everyone. First of all they are a large dog. If you have a very neat house with a lot of fragile breakable items, a Golden is not the right dog.
Golden Retrievers are constantly walking around wagging their tails, so anything you may have on a coffee table, which is just the right height, will be cleared off in a wag or two.
They also shed their beautiful coats quite often, so there will always be dog hair to vacuum up. They will also require at least a brushing once every week or so to keep their coat looking good, and free of knots and tangles.
Daily exercise is probable one of the hardest requirements to fulfill for the Golden Retriever. If you have a large yard, and maybe some kids to throw the ball, and run around with your Golden you are all set, but if you don’t have that, then you will have to provide at least 20 minutes of exercise for your Golden at least once and preferably twice a day.
This can be a problem if you work long hours, or live in a region where weather is a concern, like New England in the winter. Giving a Golden Retriever proper exercise is something you have to do every day.
If they do not get the proper exercise, it can cause behavioral problems. They are also prone to becoming overweight very easily without proper exercise, and can also develop health problems.
The Golden Retriever is definitely not a dog you can just leave in the house all day. They have also been know to get bored without proper exercise, and start getting into mischief by chewing on things around the house.
Golden Retrievers like any dog require regular health care from a veterinarian. They will require the normal vaccinations and shots. They are also number one on the list for certain health problems like cancer, and hip dysplasia, which is a disease of the hips in the rear, causing problems walking, which can lead to surgery.
If you are looking for a watch dog the Golden Retriever is not the right dog for the job. They will often bark if an intruder approaches but that is about it.
Golden Retrievers need to be with people. They love to be with the family and be involved with what is going on. They want to be part of the family. If you are looking for a dog to leave outside in a kennel, or dog house, or down in the basement away from the family, the Golden Retriever is definitely the wrong dog.
Golden Retrievers also seem to need to be involved in everything you do. They are definitely not a stay in the corner all day type of dog. Whatever you are doing, they seem to need to be there, even if it is as simple as dusting the coffee table.
The only time I can get rid of my Golden Retriever Molly is when I get the vacuum cleaner out. Then she runs for her life. Other than that she is my shadow wherever I go in the house.
If you think that could be a problem, then the Golden Retriever might not be the right dog for you. I suppose you could train them to stop following you, but I really think it is just their nature.
Don’t change your mind just because of what I say, just realize that these are the needs and traits of the Golden Retriever. There are thousands of people like myself that wouldn’t have any other dog besides a Golden Retriever.
They are sweet, loveable, beautiful dogs. They just require a lot of care, attention, and exercise.
If after reading this you still think the Golden Retriever is right for you then find a reputable breeder, and speak to them. Just be sure you can make the commitment for the life span of the Golden that you choose, which can be twelve to fourteen years or longer.