So You Want a Golden
SO YOU WANT A GOLDEN
Goldens were bred to be hunting dogs, not couch potatoes. This means that they must have daily exercise. Let’s define exercise. A walk around the block
on leash is not enough! Leaving your golden outside in the back yard to "exercise himself" won't do it either. Your golden will need at least 30 minutes of exercise twice a day with input from you. Go out in the yard with him and play ball or tag or whatever. Your golden will teach you lots of new games. Take him to a field where he can run and play with you. When your golden is over 18 months of age you can take him biking, rollerblading or jogging. There are also many activities just for dogs that may have groups in your city. They include field training (even if you don't hunt this can be fun for both of you), obedience trialing, agility, tracking and lots more. Have you noticed the common denominator in all of the above exercise suggestions was YOU? These are
"people" dogs. If your golden does not get enough exercise he will become bored and frustrated and take to chewing (everything and anything), digging, barking and hyperactivity.
THE CLING ON FACTOR
Goldens were people dogs. As I write this I have one on my feet, another under my chair and 3 others as close as they can get. If you do not like having a
dog follow your every move (including following you into the bathroom & don't be surprised when he joins you in the shower) do not get a golden. If your idea of having a dog is to keep it exclusively outside, do not get a golden. Goldens are very social creatures who need HUMAN companionship.
Every dog needs basic obedience training and goldens are no exception. This will mean enrolling in an obedience class. Prices will vary but in my area the average price and length of a puppy kindergarten class is 7 weeks for $75.00 and a beginners obedience course is $85.00 for 8 weeks. These classes usually involve you and your golden participating in class once per week for approximately 1 hour plus practicing at least 1/2 hour at home each and every day. This is a big time commitment if you want to do it right.
HOUSEKEEPING and YARD MAINTENANCE
If you like to keep a perfectly clean house and a perfectly manicured yard don't get a golden. Goldens shed a lot. You will have golden hair in your carpet, furniture, clothes, food... That beautiful golden tail is just the right height to sweep everything off your coffee table in a single wag. Also because of their fun loving nature they tend to get dirty. If there is a mud puddle outside a golden will never walk around it. He is more likely to take a run at it so he can jump and land right in the middle of it. As for your yard your young golden will probably dig a few holes and chew up a few shrubs and your adult golden will
probably harvest your garden before you can. Peas and corn are special favourites of my dogs.
HOW MUCH DOES IT COST TO HAVE A DOG?
Having a dog can be expensive. The initial cost of the puppy is just the beginning. Let’s start with health. Like all dogs, your golden will need regular care from a veterinarian. Your puppy should have one set of vaccinations when you get him but will need boosters every 4 weeks until he is 4 months old followed by a annual check up every year. Each of these visits will cost approximately $100.00 - $200.00 depending on where you are located. Because young goldens are very active they can also be prone to injuries which may require veterinary attention. Every puppy needs a crate which costs about $150.00. A puppy, beginners and advanced obedience class will total about $250.00. A good quality food will cost about $50.00 - $75.00/month and then there is treats, toys, collars, leashes, brush, comb, shampoo, conditioner, food bowl, water bowl, city dog license etc.
If you are looking for a watch dog do not get a golden. Some will bark when the doorbell rings or someone comes in the house unexpected but most will wag
their tails and say come on in and throw my ball for me. Do you have a treat? Can I have it?
Goldens stay a puppy almost forever. I have a 12 year old who still acts likes to roll around on her back, squeaking a squeaky toy and a 8 1/2 year old who still gets "zoomies" in the house if he doesn't get enough exercise. They love to play, and play, and play.... At around 2 - 3 years of age they will become slightly more adult like but if you want a dog who is sedate and dignified do not get a golden.
The Golden Retriever's life span is approximately 10 - 14 years. If you bring a golden into your family you must be prepared to commit to him for his entire life. All your future decisions will have to be made with the dog in mind. Everything from little things like running errands or going for drinks after work to bigger decisions such as buying a new vehicle or home, going on holidays and having children.
The decision of whether to add a golden, or any dog for that matter, into your family is not to be taken lightly. All members of the family must agree. If even one family member says no the answer should be no. Please print this page and have your entire family read it and make sure everyone agrees before proceeding any further.
If the answer is YES, our family wants a Golden Retriever, go to our Learn how to choose a breeder Page, Rescue page or Puppy Referral Page.
If the answer is NO, a Golden Retriever is not for us or our family is not ready for the responsibilities involved with having a golden in our family at this time,
thank you for taking the time and making an educated decision.
Permission to publish kindly granted by Lianne Daradics