About Golden Retrievers

Is a Golden Retriever Right for you

It’s no surprise that we, as members of the Golden Retriever Club of WA (GRCWA), think Golden Retrievers are just about the best breed ever! And that’s because the sum of all the features that define the breed are a good fit for what we want in a dog and the inconveniences (yes, there are some!) are manageable to us.

Not everyone agrees with us, of course, and that’s exactly the reason that there are literally hundreds of dog breeds. Each breed was created with its own set of physical characteristics, temperament, and aptitude that make it desirable to some people, but less suitable for others.

Predictability of traits is the primary reason that purebred dogs exist. But not all purebred dogs are created equal and serious hobby/competition breeders offer the highest level of reliability for good health, temperament and appearance. With breeding programs guided by knowledge, purpose and passion, these breeders strive to produce puppies that closely match the breed’s ideal trait profile as described by the ANKC Breed Standard. That’s the breeder’s responsibility.

But the buyer has an equally important responsibility to carefully evaluate how well the breed’s characteristics match their family’s needs and limitations. Perhaps most critical is to honestly consider whether there may be any significant drawbacks that could cause distress for either the family or the dog. To assist with this, we have compiled here a discussion of some Golden Retriever traits, puppy requirements, and common scenarios that experience has taught us are difficult for some families to manage. Please consider these points thoughtfully, because these issues can and do cause Goldens to end up in rescue and cause significant emotional upheaval in families. We want to help you make the right decision up front, and if a Golden isn’t suitable for your household, perhaps another breed will be.

Golden Retrievers are exceptionally good looking, they are fantastic with children and other animals, they're loyal, biddable and love to please their owners. They have wonderful mischievous personalities and love to play. They are highly intelligent and can be easily trained, excelling in all dog sports and as well as being used as assistance dogs. What is there not to like? But before getting a Golden Retriever there are a few things to consider to see if a Golden Retriever is the right match for your family.

They are a big dog and with that happy, swishing tail that is just coffee table height they can seem a lot bigger. So you need room in your home for a Golden Retriever, they are a people loving dog and this means they follow you everywhere around the home, always wanting to be by your side, which in a small space could become annoying so you need lots of room, they are not going to be happy unless they are part of the family so if you want a dog just for the backyard don't get a Golden Retriever.

It is essential that your Golden gets at least an hour and half of exercise and stimulation a day, a Golden will not exercise itself! You need to be out there with them, throwing a toy to retrieve, running, playing tug and learning new games you can't just leave them in the yard by themselves they'll just sit longingly at the door begging to be let back in with their family. This is quite a commitment and something you need to be prepared for if your Golden doesn't get enough stimulation they will become bored and full of pent-up energy, leading to hyperactivity causing them to bounce around the house, barking and destructive chewing. This is not a golden being naughty, this is a completely natural release for bored dogs with no other outlet for their energy. Even if you do have enough time to look after a golden you will also need the energy, if you love being outdoors walking, swimming, hiking etc.. then a Golden sounds a perfect fit, however, if you prefer to stay at home watching the TV or don't like to go out when it's wet and cold then a Golden probably isn't right for you.

They remain enthusiastic and puppy like for many years, so early training is a must to teach them appropriate good manners, their minds and hearts are gentle but their bodies grow big and strong very quickly and can become over exuberant in their enthusiasm for life, they will need to be taught good manners and appropriate behaviour very quickly. They are eager to please and enjoy training but they get easily distracted by exciting sights and sounds, so you must be patient and persistent.

A Golden Retriever is a hunting dog they were bred to retrieve game so they like to have things in their mouths and carry things around, they have a strong desire to chew on things including your hands - you will need to provide them with lots of chew toys and teach them what is and what isn't appropriate to chew on. 

A Golden Retriever is recognised by its beautiful golden coat however, they drop hair around the house all year round and when they are dropping undercoat huge chunks and volumes of hair will becoming out. So you will always be finding Golden Retriever hair on your furniture, on your carpet, on your clothes even in your food. Golden Retrievers love the outdoors especially when its muddy so on occasion don't be surprised to find dirty, wet and muddy paw prints in the house, so if you love a squeaky clean spotless house you will have your work cut out for you and this is something to keep in mind. This beautiful coat doesn't look after itself you will need to groom your golden at least 3 to 4 times a week and even every day when they are loosing their undercoat if you want to stop mats and knots in their coat.

So is a Golden Retriever the right dog for you? 

Don't get a Golden if you have a small home, must keep your home immaculately clean, prefer a sedentary lifestyle or are short on time or money. They shed a lot of hair all year round, require a lot of time for exercise and are a 10 to 15 year commitment of your time and money. Golden Retrievers are adorable in their looks, temperament and personalities. The are a great family pet, life companion and friend, but you need to know and be prepared for what is involved with owning a Golden Retriever.