Is the Golden Retriever the right breed for your family?
Buying a Golden Retriever is a long term commitment and not an impulse decision. Your Golden Retriever will most likely be a part of your lives for 10-15 years. Owning a dog is expensive – the initial purchase price is only a smidgen of what you will spend over its lifetime. Think ahead 10-15 years of veterinary bills, food, bedding and toys. Apart from these physical needs, your Golden Retriever is a gun dog and will require regular exercise and training to drain mental and physical energy. It is imperative that you make the time to train, educate and exercise your dog or he will be ill-mannered, bored, destructive around the house and engage in 'landscaping' the garden.  The Golden Retriever is a large and strong dog.  Hence, it is essential that puppies receive a lot of education so that he or she will mature into a well-mannered adult.

Golden Retrievers do not make good outside dogs.  They were bred as companions and love to be an integral part of family activities.  If you are not home very much and are looking for a dog to live in the backyard, don’t get a Golden Retriever! If you are looking for a guard dog, don’t get a Golden Retriever! Although they are a large dog with an imposing bark, the typical Golden Retriever is friendly to everyone. If you are fastidious and house proud (or married to one), don’t get a Golden Retriever! This is a dog who will shed throughout the year (despite daily brushings) and moult at least once a year.  You must also make the time for adequate grooming to keep his coat clean and healthy. Golden Retrievers also love the water which includes not just swimming but also playing in muddy puddles; and they have a natural radar for finding bodies of water!  They delight in being wet and dirty, which might be frustrating for some owners!   

Armed with this knowledge, if you would still like to have a Golden Retriever join your family, read the next section on looking for a puppy or you might even consider adopting an older Golden Retriever.