Why a Golden?

8 Reasons to Get a Golden Retriever……..and 3 Reasons Not To

by Tobi Paton

I have to admit it. Sometimes people tell me about the problems they’re having with their dogs, and I think to myself, “Why didn’t they just get a Golden Retriever?” No dog is perfect, but let’s face it, some breeds are better suited for family life than others.

I did a lot of research when I started getting into dogs, and considered quite a few different breeds. I also put serious thought into rescuing a mix breed dog. (Definitely think about whether this option is right for you!) For our family, we landed on the Golden Retreiver, and here’s why:

  1. Trainability – Golden Retrievers were bred to please. They are highly trainable animals. This is the reason they are frequently used as service animals, and they’re champions in obedience competitions.  If you’re happy, they’re happy.
  2. Great with kids – The Golden Retriever’s patience and gentleness make them very well suited to life with children. Not to mention that they usually adore kids, and consider themselves part of the family.
  3. Good Natured – There’s a reason that Golden Retrievers have a reputation for being relaxed, happy go lucky dogs. They are!
  4. Quiet(ish) – Some people don’t mind a barky or yappy dog, but with a house full of kids, we have enough noise. A Golden give you a woof or two when they hear something unusual, but they’re not the type to drive you nuts with incessant yapping, yelping or howling.
  5. Companionship – Golden Retrievers are happiest when they’re with their people. Whether you’re hiking in the woods, or vegging in front of the TV, Goldens are happy, as long as their people are near.
  6. Great Sibling – Some dogs are just not suited to life with a cat, hamster or rabbit. A Golden Retriever will usually adjust just fine to other animals, especially if they’ve been exposed from a young age.
  7. Exercise Buddy – Golden Retrievers love the great outdoors. They’ll hike for hours and they love to swim. If you want an animal to help you stay active, look no further.
  8.  The Coat – Did you know that dirt will shake right off a Golden’s coat? And they never need haircuts.  I know, I know, the shedding. We’ll get to that.

Goldens are an awesome breed but, I have to admit that they may not be for everyone. Here are some reasons NOT want to get one:

  1. The Coat – It’s time to address the elephant in the room. The shedding. Yes, Golden Retrievers do shed. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. About twice a year they’ll completely blow their coat, and then you’ll have hair everywhere. When that happens, brush daily with a Furminator or other deshedding tool. Oh, and if you have allergies, a Golden might not be the best choice. They are NOT hypoallergenic.
  2. The Size – The breed standard for a Golden Retriever is 55-71 lbs for females and 65-75 lbs for males. A dog that size is not for everyone.
  3. Needs Exercise – Golden Retrievers are not extremely high energy, but they’re definitely no lap dog. They need some room to move and regular exercise. If you can’t commit to regular workouts, keep looking. Maybe a Greyhounds is more your style.