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Are Golden Retrievers Good For First Time Dog Owners

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They Are Good With Kids


Golden retrievers make great family pets. They have a bunch of qualities that make them perfect around babies and kids. They are intelligent and happy dogs who are always ready to play.

Goldens are perfect around babies because of their patience and obedience. They have a deep instinct to protect their families. This instinct means theyre more likely to bond quickly to newborn babies in your family.

They also mature slowly, even after reaching their full size and weight. This means theyll almost age with your children. Theyll continue to act like puppies, which is great for your kids. In addition, they have gentle mouths. This means they will take treats and toys from your kids very carefully.

If youre worried about how your golden retriever will react to a newborn baby in the family, there are a few things you can do in order to make the transition easier.

If Youre A Couch Potato Then This Dog Is Not For You

Golden Retrievers have high energy levels and they need to burn this energy off. Give your dog one or two hours of exercise every day otherwise shell mess up your home. Theres plenty of activities you can do, as Goldens are great companions for walking, running, playing in the park, swimming, and even hiking.

Besides running, Golden Retrievers need mental stimulation to thrive. You can teach her obedience training by yourself, as these dogs are known to be among the most obedient breeds. Other stimulating activities where Golden Retrievers register great results are canine freestyle and agility training.

Golden Retrievers were bred to work, so they need to be active to stay happy. Furthermore, the lack of exercise will generate a series of medical problems, including obesity and other related issues, such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, or problems with ligaments and tendons.

They Are Not Aware Of Their Size

Adult Golden Retrievers typically weigh between 5575 lbs, but don’t tell them that. And while Golden Retrievers are seemingly unaware of their actual size, for people, the combination of their size, enthusiasm, playfulness, and desire to be very close to their owners makes them seem larger than they are.

Be prepared for your full-grown Golden to think they are a lapdog.

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Do You Have A Big Enough Yard

There are many people without a garden or yard whatsoever that are some of the best Golden owners. Conversely there are others with huge yards and Goldens that dont get nearly enough exercise. So please dont think that a large yard is essential. Its nice to have for a Golden, but its not essential.

What is essential is that your Golden gets a good 1.5hrs or more of exercise over the course of a day. And a Golden will not exercise itself! You need to be out there with them, throwing for fetch, running, playing tug, not just letting them loose in a yard on their own. Theyll just sit by the door begging to get back in with their family.

An ideal situation would be a nice big fenced off yard where you and your Golden can play and they go to toilet. But if this isnt available, as long as you take your Golden out 2 or 3 times per day and exercise them well, dont be put off if you dont have a large yard.

Check out the best wireless dog fences.

Things To Consider Before Buying A Golden Retriever

10 Best Dogs for First Time Owners

Golden Retrievers have long been one of my favorite dog breeds.

Here are some things you should consider before you get a Golden Retriever. They are great dogs, but you have to be aware of what you’re getting into.

I was born a dog lover, but my love for Golden Retrievers didn’t really begin until 1997 when Duke joined our family. For over 20 years, Golden Retrievers have remained one of my favorite dog breeds.

If you’re thinking of adding a Golden Retriever to your family, I don’t blame you. However, there are 13 things I think every potential Golden owner should be aware of.

Also Check: 8 Month Old Golden Retriever Behavior

Best Dogs For First Time Owners

Thinking of bringing a dog into your life for the first time? Being a first time dog owner is a big deal. Its an exciting process to settle on the breed you feel will work best for you and your family, but it can also be daunting. Of course, theres the question of which breed best fits your lifestyle.

Common Disease Conditions In Golden Retriever:

As a prospective owner of a Golden retriever, you should be aware of their health issues that are more common in this breed. They are more prone to elbow dysplasia.

Heart problem is also more common in the golden retriever breed. Mostly reputated owners avoid breeding dogs with weak hips or with heart issues. But some puppy mill operators, backyard breeders, and others breed golden retriever to make a fast buck.

Certain cancers like lymphoma and hemangiosarcoma are also common in this breed. Their eyes are significantly more prone to pigmentary uveitis thus, it is recommended to screen them for eye tests annually.

Also, hypothyroidism and other thyroid-related problem are common in this breed. Luckily, you can easily get it to treat. Overfed Golden retrievers are obese and tend less to move. So, it is advised to keep an eye on their diet.

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Golden Retriever Puppy Or Adult

Golden retrievers are popular dogs, so theres unlikely to be a shortage of breeders in your area.

That said, their popularity has also given rise to a number of backyard breeders who are more interested in making money than breeding nice dogs.

All I can say is do plenty of research first, and look at online reviews or customer comments. If in doubt, use your common sense, and err on the side of caution.

In my experience though, Ive always thought adult dogs to be a better choice for first-time owners.

Theres significantly less hassle involved with an adult dog, and it gives you a chance to rehome or rescue a dog.

Some dogs might have been given up due to bad circumstances in the home, so never assume theres something wrong with the dog.

I havent bought a puppy in many years, and some of the best dogs Ive ever owned have been rescued.

More About This Breed

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  • It’s no surprise that the Golden Retriever is one of the top ten most popular dogs in the U.S. It’s all good with the Golden: he’s highly intelligent, sociable, beautiful, and loyal.

    He’s also lively. The Golden is slow to mature and retains the silly, playful personality of a puppy until three to four years of age, which can be both delightful and annoying. Many keep their puppyish traits into old age.

    Originally bred for the physically demanding job of retrieving ducks and other fowl for hunters, the Golden needs daily exercise: a walk or jog, free time in the yard, a run at the beach or lake , or a game of fetch. And like other intelligent breeds who were bred to work, they need to have a job to do, such as retrieving the paper, waking up family members, or competing in dog sports. A tired Golden is a well-behaved Golden.

    As well as giving your Golden Retriever physical and mental exercise, you should also be prepared to include him in your family activities. The Golden Retriever is a family dog, and he needs to be with his “pack.” Don’t consider getting a Golden unless you’re willing to have him in the house with you, underfoot, every day.

    There’s one other potential drawback to the breed: He’s definitely not a watchdog. He might bark when strangers come around, but don’t count on it. Most likely, he’ll wag his tail and flash that characteristic Golden smile.

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    Plenty Of Room Be Prepared To Share Your Furniture

    Golden Retrievers do not make great outside dogs. If you are wanting to keep your dog outside all the time, this breed is not for you! A Golden Retriever prefers to be inside with their family, enjoying the finer things in life, such as the comfort of your couch and bed.

    Youll need to have plenty of space to accommodate their size. Golden Retrievers are considered medium to large-sized dogs. Males stand 22-24 inches and weigh 65-75 pounds, females are typically smaller, standing 20-22 inches, weighing 55-65 pounds. These sizes and weights are standard, and they definitely vary.

    Its important that your Golden has enough room to freely move around and be comfortable. Dont forget that their wagging tail can easily knock over prized possessions that you have sitting on your coffee table.

    Once your Golden Retriever has grown accustomed to a comfortable lifestyle, like taking up half of your couch, they will continue to lounge on your furniture. Good luck changing this behaviour once it has started, LOL!

    Can You Financially Afford To Care For A Golden Retriever

    Forgetting the initial investment made for a Golden Retriever with good health and pedigree from a good, responsible breeder, the ongoing costs to keep a Golden fit and healthy for the 12+ years of its life is considerable.

    You should be prepared and budget to pay out for:

    I couldnt possibly calculate an accurate total cost per year, but a conservative estimate would be somewhere in the range of £1300 GBP or $2200 USD per year, likely more.

    So if moneys tight and youre already struggling to pay your bills it wouldnt be wise to get a Golden Retriever, or in fact any breed of dog. Either you, your dog or both may have to suffer by giving up on essentials occasionally. You shouldnt put yourself or a dog in this position.

    Read Also: How To Draw A Golden Retriever

    They Are Playful And Loving

    This breed of dog loves to love their humans. They enjoy cuddling, and as mentioned before, they love to play. Since they were made to hunt birds, games of fetch are their favorite and one of the best ways to satisfy that instinct.

    They keep their playfulness well into adulthood. The energy they have when they play is similar to a puppy. Theyll love playing any games you are able to teach them.

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  • YOU ARE LOOKING FOR AN OUTSIDE ONLY DOG Part of what makes Goldens Golden is their affectionate, people loving nature. This trait makes them VERY unhappy when they dont have a high amount of interaction with you. A Golden confined to the backyard can become destructive and LOUD! Imagine if you left your children alone most of the time until they reached adolescence. The wild child you are picturing is similar to what will happen to a Golden left alone that much. If you arent planning on your dog becoming one of the family a Golden is not the breed for you!
  • YOU DONT LIKE DOG HAIR Goldens shed a little all year round and then a couple of times a year- look out! If you have a problem with Golden fuzz becoming part of your dietary fiber or youre compulsive about always dressing in black this is not the breed for you! Goldens also need regular grooming to keep their skin and coat in good condition. You can easily learn to do this yourself or have your dog professionally groomed, but grooming time is something to factor into the amount of time you will need to spend caring for your dog.
  • YOU ARE A CLEAN FREAK Muddy paws, nose prints on every window in your house and car, and did I mention the hair? Enough said If you cant relax and enjoy it, you and your dog will both be miserable.
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    They Need At Least 2 Hours Of Exercise Daily

    Golden Retrievers are high energy, especially when they are young! You will find that the younger your Golden is, the more effort it will take from you to tire them out.

    If you think that you can just let your Golden out in the yard to play by himself, think again! He will be standing at the door looking in at you waiting for you to join him. Did I mention that Goldens love being with their humans?!

    Providing your Golden with plenty of exercise is a must! Putting aside 2 hours a day for physical activity is a good idea. Remember to not overdo it with puppies. A puppy needs only 5 minutes of exercise per month they are alive, twice a day. This means that a 3-month-old puppy can go for a 15-minute walk twice a day, and this should not replace their playtime.

    Golden Retrievers belong to the sporting group of dogs and were developed as hunting dogs. These dogs were bred to work, and they need to keep active in order to stay happy.

    If you enjoy the outdoors, then this breed is for you. A Golden Retriever will be happy to be your jogging partner, go hiking with you, enjoy nature walks, and go swimming.

    Meeting the exercise needs of a Golden is extremely important. It keeps them healthy, happier and calmer. A Golden that doesnt get enough daily exercise will have pent-up energy that will be released in other ways, such as destructive behaviour.

    They Are Easy To Train

    Golden Retrievers are smart, they love to please, and they enjoy learning. Thats why they respond well to different kinds of training.

    You also need to stimulate their brains with new tricks and games. Some of the great ideas to keep them happy and mentally stimulated is to provide them with physical activities, obedience classes, games, and toys.

    Of course, you have to be patient with your Golden Retriever. Its a very sensitive breed and you may hurt the dog if you treat it roughly during the training period.

    Recommended Reading: Golden Retriever Service Dog For Anxiety

    Will Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot

    All dogs bark and the Golden Retriever is not an exception. It is a dogs way to communicate with humans and with other animals. However, being smart dogs, this breed will not bark without a good reason.

    That said, he may bark to alert you if a stranger is around, though being the friendly type, hes more likely to invite them over for a cup of coffee instead of driving them off.

    Aside from giving you an alert, there are other reasons why a Golden Retriever will bark. Another one is when he wants your attention. This breed is a family dog and thrives when included in family activities.

    Therefore, dont be surprised if he suddenly barks at you if you seldom give him attention. That only means hes asking for belly rubs, or he wants you to take him for a long walk outside.

    As mentioned earlier, too much barking is not normal for most dogs, including the Golden Retriever. If your dog barks too much, it may be because he is suffering from separation anxiety, or it is his way of releasing his energy.

    Keep in mind that giving your dog harsh treatments, such as punishments, will not solve this issue. If youre not confident about giving your dog proper amounts of time and exercise per day, then you should consider if dog ownership is right for you at this time.

    Overall, the Golden Retriever may give happy barks to greet their friends, but too much barking should give you a sign that something is wrong.

    They Need A Job To Do

    Are Golden Retrievers Good First Dogs? ( Or A Bad Choice )

    Weve already established that Goldens are smart and eager to please. So, why not take advantage of those characteristics and give your Golden a job to do. Not only will your dog benefit from having his brain exercised, but you will benefit from a calmer and happier dog.

    They are called Retriever for a reason, they were born to fetch and retrieve. So, why not let your Golden fetch the newspaper for you, put away his own toys, or fetch things around the house for you like pieces of dirty laundry.

    Golden Retrievers can easily be trained to do pretty much anything if you take the time to show them how. They love to please you and will work for treats and praise.

    Golden Retrievers are happiest when they have a job to do, and when they know they are doing it well. Have you ever noticed a Golden carrying a stick? You also would have noticed the big grin on his face, because he had a job to do. Carrying that stick and bringing it home was his job.

    Goldens are hard workers, and natural people-pleasers, which makes them popular working dogs. Many Golden Retrievers have jobs as assistance dogs, therapy dogs, scent-detection dogs, and starring roles in movies and tv. shows.

    Im not saying that you need to employ your dog in a real job, but if you give your dog some simple tasks to do around the house, you will notice a happier dog.

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    They Are Easy To Care For

    Golden Retrievers are relatively easy to care for. With them, youll get a great opportunity to learn how to care for dogs

    They have a thick fur coat and they shed a lot during season change. However, you can control the amount of hair on your furniture by feeding them a healthy diet and brushing their fur daily for ten minutes.

    Check the dogs ears weekly to avoid infections, and brush its teeth often. You only need to bathe them occasionally and make sure to trim their nails regularly.

    One downside here is that Goldens love to eat. They can become overweight if you allow them to overeat.

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