Are You Ready for a golden retriever?
Puppies can be adorable, irresistible bundles of fun. However, growing puppies also need a lot of attention and a structured routine, which can be especially tough if your life is a busy one!
Before getting a puppy or a dog, make sure you will be able to care for them and give them a happy, healthy life. The questions below will help you work out if you’re ready for the commitment and help you make the right decision on whether a golden is the right breed for you before you bring one home.
A dog will be a big part of your family.
It’s important to consider not only how a dog would impact your own life, but also whether your lifestyle is suitable for owning a golden retriever. No matter how much you may want a golden retriever, it won’t be fair on them if you’re unable to fully commit and cater to their needs.
Can you give a golden retriever a happy life?
Before buying a puppy, ask yourself the following questions to ensure that you are capable of giving them the best home possible.
Do You Want a Social Dog?
Golden Retrievers Are Social Dogs
If you are looking for a dog that you can stick in the backyard to entertain themselves or leave at home while you go have a fun day out on the town, a golden might not be the dog for you.
Golden retrievers are social animals, and they love to be with their families. If you are looking for a one-man dog the golden retriever isn’t for you. They socialise with everybody and everything.
If you’re considering a golden retriever, you should be the type of person who wants their dog to be part of the family and involved in daily routines, a person who likes to take their dog with them when they do things.
Whether that’s frolicking at the beach or hiking, going to breweries and coffee shops, or just walking around the neighbourhood, if you get a golden retriever you should plan on taking them with you.
They’re social dogs and all they want to do is be with their families. Life outside isolated from their family is a punishment for the golden retriever.
Do You Have Time to Exercise a Dog?
Goldens were bred to retrieve game and hunt in the fields all day.
So if you take a dog with those sort of genetics and pen them up inside all day, you’re going to have problems.
A bored golden that is full of pent-up energy, leads to hyperactivity, which can result in unwanted barking, chewing, jumping, lead pulling… almost all unwanted behaviours stem from your pup being bored. This is not a golden being naughty, this is a completely natural release for bored dogs with no other outlet for their energy.
So how do you prevent boredom?
Goldens are smart and need to be both mentally and physically stimulated.
This means lots of training and activities to mentally stimulate them. It takes up a lot of time to keep a golden well trained and occupied, so if playing with and training your dog a few hours a day doesn’t sound fun, or just isn’t possible for you, then a golden might not be the dog for you.
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. 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.
Are You Okay With A Non-Spotless Home
Golden retrievers SHEDD!
Goldens are known for their beautiful, fluffy golden coats.
However, thanks to that coat you will almost always have a thin layer “fur-fetti” all over your house.
I even find a Golden hair in my lunch. Does it bother me?
Not in the slightest — I am already under the golden spell and I’m totally in love.
I bet most golden parents would say the same, but if you really don’t like fur everywhere, then this probably isn’t the breed for you. Goldens drop hair around the house all year round and when they are dropping undercoat huge chunks and volumes of hair will be coming 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.
Do You Like Grooming?
Golden retrievers are recognised by their beautiful golden coat, but all that beauty comes with a price!
Their long coats need lots of brushing, they also need their nails need to be trimmed, their ears need to be cleaned, their teeth to be brushed, and they need regular baths.
It’s a lot of work!
But you know what? No matter which type of dog you get, you’ll need to do all of these things to not only keep them looking nice, but for their health, too.
So sure, goldens might need a little more brushing than some breeds with shorter hair, and their ears might need to be cleaned a little more because they’re floppy, but grooming any breed of dog takes work!
You can check out this post to learn more about golden retriever grooming.
Do You Want a Large Dog?
Goldens aren’t small.
They are a big dog and with that happy, swishing tail that is just coffee table height they can seem a lot bigger. A golden typically weighs between 28 to 40 kilograms and they are between 20 to 24 inches tall at the withers (the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades).
This means that there’s a lot of dog to brush, they take up a lot of room on the couch, in the bed, or in the car, and you can’t just pick them up if you want to take them somewhere.
But it also means there’s more dog to snuggle with (goldens are the best snugglers).
So, if a big dog sounds like a lot of work to you, or an inconvenience to you, then maybe a golden retriever isn’t right for you.
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.
Not Ready? Don’t Lose Heart!
If you’ve read through the questions and answered no to any of them, then your circumstances may not yet be right for owning a golden retriever. You may be feeling disappointed, but as a dog lover you’ll understand the importance of owning a dog only when you can make its health and happiness a priority. Your golden will be worth the wait, and once your circumstances have changed then we can help you along the journey to finding your perfect golden companion.
Next Step - Finding Your Golden Retriever.
If you have answered yes to all of the questions above, then you’re ready to commit to keeping a golden happy and healthy.
Now for the next decision – Where should you purchase your golden from?