Despite being a wonderful breed, the Golden Retriever is not the breed for every family. I happen to think that they are great dogs but please take a moment to consider the negative aspects of the breed as well as the positive.
1. Their Coats
These dogs will shed. Year round they will shed some but twice a year they blow their undercoat and you can brush for a week and still be getting undercoat out. In addition, the breed is supposed to have a field coat. That coat is resistant to stickers but it is not immune. This means that they need to be brushed weekly throughout the year. There is also a very light oil to the coat that is designed to repel water. Some people claim that this oil creates more of a doggy odor than non retriever breeds.
2. Watch Dog
Nope, this is not a good watch dog. Although most will bark at someone new to their home, it is usually a greeting bark. Do not expect any protection from a Golden
3. Health Issues
Many breeds have more problems, but this breed has a variety of issues. Hip and elbow dysplasia, heart murmurs, cancers, skin issues and allergies, and eye problems to name a few. You can minimize the risk by making sure the parents and grandparents are healthy dogs but it does not guarantee your dog will be free from health problems.
This dog was created to work. It is a retriever who was designed to run the fields, use their noses, and swim after prey. The fluffy dog walking up and down the run way at Westminster Garden does not adequately portray the energetic and active dog that most Golden's are. Daily walks are great but do little to drain the energy in a meaningful way. Owners need to make plans to meet their exercise needs.
Goldens are sometimes described as a dog following a nose. That great nose can lead them vary far from home, and can fail to notice roads, cars, or other dangers. This is not a dog that will naturally stay close to home. You will need to have a kennel or fence for when you cannot be with your dog.
6. Long Puppyhood
Golden puppyhood can be a little tougher than most breeds. Please be aware that the classic naughty puppy behaviors will last a little longer with a golden than with many other breeds.
Goldens have a wonderful disposition. They tend to love everyone they meet. They are happy go lucky dogs that are seldom affected by adverse circumstances. Since everyone is their friend, Goldens easily transition to new homes, even as adults. It also makes them wonderful dogs for therapy work and great family pets.
2. Work Ethic
Goldens love to work. This makes them ideal partners for obedience and field events. They are wonderful hunting partners
3. Sturdy Structure
Despite the health issues listed above, this breed has a sturdy structure and natural athleticism. Combined with their good natured temperament and they are often listed as a top family dog.
Goldens have a natural intelligence and ability to learn and retain what they learn. In combination with their wonderful work ethic, this makes them ideal candidates for any competition venue.
Goldens are pretty dogs. Their golden coat, expressive eyes, and enthusiasm for life make them a joy to be around.