Choosing a Golden Retriever

Your Time And Companionship
Goldens are outgoing “people” dogs. They need to be with, around, near, on the lap, or underfoot of humans, because they thrive on love and attention. In second hand Goldens these traits are often exaggerated. Goldens cannot be maintained as outside-dogs, they are indoor companions. Consider your life-style and household schedule—do you travel a lot, do you work long hours, are you busy with your children’s activities? In other words, do you have time to give the love and attention a Golden needs?

golde retriever baby

Exercise
Goldens need to have hard, consistent exercise daily (20-30 minutes twice a day) or they may have trouble adjusting to the calm house-pet role expected by most owners. Dogs will not exercise by themselves. Their owners must interact with them. Goldens that do not get enough exercise can exhibit behavior problems such as inappropriate chewing, excessive barking, unruly behavior, and digging. Fenced areas for safe exercise are a must! Senior Goldens also require daily walks and play-time in order to stay healthy.

Grooming
Goldens should be brushed every other day and professional grooming costs $30 to $50 every 6–8 weeks. Goldens need to have their toenails cut regularly and most Goldens need to have their ears cleaned frequently; both tasks are simple for the dog owner to learn to do.

golder retriever one week

Food And Veterinary Care
Feeding one medium-sized dog for a year will cost about $300–400. Routine veterinary expenses run between $200– 300 a year. Goldens, like all breeds, have certain hereditary conditions. They are prone to skin allergies, hot spots, and ear infections, and occasionally have hypothyroidism (underproduction by the thyroid gland which is easily treated with daily oral medication) or hip and eye problems. Though many expenses are hidden in the grocery bill (food, dishes, leashes, collars, brushes, shampoos, toys, etc.), they do affect the family budget!

Goldens Retrievers Are:
Extremely tolerant of children but, like any other dog, teased, frustrated, or physically harmed, Goldens will growl and can bite. Goldens can be good family dogs but no dog should be left alone with young children.

Medium to large-sized dogs. The breed standard is 23″–24″ in height for males, 21 1/2″–22 1/2″ in height for females, and weight 65–75 pounds for males, and 55–65 pounds for females. In our experience with Rescue Goldens, males can range between 23″–26″ at the shoulder and weigh between 75–105 pounds. Females can stand between 21″–23″ and weigh between 55–85 pounds.

golden retriever eyes

Goldens have an average life span of twelve to thirteen years although fifteen year–olds are not unknown. Consider what your plans might be in five to twelve years. Will you still welcome the responsibility of a highly social dog when you have a family, go back to work, have an “empty nest” when the kids go to college or when you retire and want to travel?

Don’t Get a Golden if:
You want a fastidiously kept home. Goldens are a long, double-coated breed and they shed constantly. You will always find some dog hair around, especially on rugs, furniture, nicest clothes, and, oh yes, occasionally in your food. Like any other dog, Goldens can get ticks and fleas and their paws will track dirt, mud, and snow into the house. Goldens possess active tails, making clean sweeps of coffee tables.

You object to a dog having your personal or household articles in his mouth. Goldens are retrievers—genetically programmed to carry laundry, shoes, kids’ toys, etc. in their mouths!

You want a guard dog. Though they may bark and growl defensively, when it comes to brass tacks, they’d just as soon kiss the intruder and show him to the silver.

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