Fourth favorite dog in the United States, the Golden Retriever has won the hearts of tens of thousands of families. It's really no surprise.
With their sweet and obedient nature, their high intelligence and extremely good looks, their eager to please and friendly disposition, Golden Retrievers are a great addition to any family. Before you get one, however, keep in mind a few things.
Owning any dog requires some basic requirements, and owning a Golden is no different. First, are you ready for a dog? Will you let the dog be a part of the family, or are you planning to just leave it outside alone all the time?
Goldens want and need to be with people. They want to be a part of the family. They are very unhappy if left outside away from family members, and could get into trouble by chewing on patio furniture or your 100 sapling, or digging holes. So be sure you will have the dog inside with you.
Second, having any dog can be trying at times, especially a larger dog. Their bark is louder, they eat more, and they take up more space. If you have a tiny apartment, you might want to consider a smaller dog.
Third, Golden Retrievers require more attention and care than many of the other breeds. Their beautiful coat needs to be brushed twice a week.
Being an athletic dog bred for hunting, they need daily exercise, and lots of it. Be sure you have the time to devote to playing with your dog and taking him or her for daily walks.
Their high intelligence requires daily mental exercise. If not provided with enough physical or mental exercise they can exhibit behavior problems.
Fourth, Goldens are also prone to several health problems such as hip dysplasia and skin problems. Be prepared to deal with skin allergies that can develop into "hot spots." Itching due to fleabites and allergic reactions causes hot spots.
There are dog foods you can get that minimize itching. When shopping for a suitable dog food be sure it does not contain wheat and corn, two ingredients which many Golden Retrievers are sensitive to. A diet high in meat protein is best, although you will find that those foods are often the most expensive.
Fifth, poorly bred Goldens will be overly exuberant and boisterous. Look for a good breeder that is not breeding for money, or find a local Golden Retriever rescue. They will be able to provide you with a Golden that is easy to please and enjoys learning, characteristics you expect from this breed.
These considerations are a small price to pay for the love and companionship that a Golden Retriever will give you and your family.