Is a Golden Retriever the Right Dog Breed for You?
So, you read THE WATCHER a dozen times, you've seen Golden Retrievers
working as guide dogs, and now you want to buy a Golden Retriever puppy
of your own. However, before you bring one of these cuddly yellow fuzz
balls home, you need to be sure a Golden Retriever is really the right
dog for you and your family.
The Golden Retriever is a big, muscular dog, weighing in at 55 to 75
pounds and standing 21 ? to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. This dog breed
has a broad skull, which may be why Golden Retrievers are so intelligent.
Coat colors range from a deep, honey colored gold to a light gold that
is almost white. The palest gold or darkest gold colors are considered
to be undesirable, as are any white patches or markings.
Did you know that Golden Retrievers were originally bred to be working
dogs? They are members of the Sporting Group. These dogs are high energy
animals and need plenty of exercise, especially while they are less than
three years of age. This desire to stay busy is one reason that Golden
Retrievers make good rescue, Seeing Eye, or drug sniffing dogs. If you
do not keep them occupied, they will find ways to amuse themselves, such
as eating your entire shoe collection.
If you are an avid gardener, you will need to be sure you have a separate
area where you can contain your dog, since most Golden Retrievers love
to dig. While they are going through their puppy stage, they are also prone
to chewing up shrubs.
Since Golden Retrievers are large dogs, you may want to consider the
cost of food before buying your puppy. These dogs eat a lot. Also, since
Golden Retrievers are
prone to hip dysplasia, you may want to ask your veterinarian about
feeding your puppy food that is especially formulated to help large breeds
If you have small children, you may need to consider whether a Golden
Retriever puppy will be too boisterous for them. Although adult Goldens
are excellent family dogs, puppies can be quite mouthy and rowdy. They
may accidentally knock toddlers down while they are playing.
If you do buy a puppy
when you have small children, you will need to find time to teach him good
manners quickly. You may want to attend
obedience classes with him, so that he is used to other dogs and people
and learns how to act when he is outside the house. Training your puppy
before he is too strong for you to control easily is a good idea.
need frequent grooming to keep their coats from tangling. You will
need to pay special attention to the area behind your dog's ears, as it
is prone to developing large mats. Frequent grooming will also help you
alleviate dog hair on furniture, which can be quite heavy when your dog
is shedding his coat. In addition, you will need to have enough time to
check your dog for ticks after he goes for a romp in the park or other
grassy and wooded areas.
If you still feel that this is the breed for you, be sure to look for
a good breeder to buy your puppy from. A healthy, good tempered Golden
Retriever makes a wonderful, intelligent companion.