The Upsides And Downsides Of Owning A Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are some of the most beloved dogs in the world and are known for their sweet and loyal temperaments along with the amazing physical beauty of their coats. However, owning a Golden Retriever is not for every dog lover.

Golden Retrievers are very social animals, especially with families and children. Unfortunately, this can cause separation anxiety — Golden Retrievers don’t want to be left alone too much. So, a Golden Retriever isn’t the best choice for a home that often sits empty.

A Golden Retriever will be at their best when they have a large, fenced-in yard and opportunities for plenty of exercise. These gentle giants need anywhere from 45 minutes to two hours of vigorous exercise every day, including plenty of walks. It’s no wonder Golden Retrievers take part in hunting trips, field trials, long bike rides, long walks, and canine sports that challenge their agility, obedience, and tracking abilities.

There’s a flip side to this: many Golden Retrievers are prone to bone and joint problems especially as they age. Too much high-impact exercise can compromise their mobility later in life. And because the average Golden Retriever weighs 55 to 75 pounds, some dog owners may be unable to lift their beloved pet if they’re unable to walk on their own.

Even considering mobility issues as they age, there are many pros to owning a Golden Retriever. 

  • Goldens are smart, easy to train, and live to please their owners; this is why they’re increasingly being used as service dogs.
  • While Goldens have a high amount of energy, it’s usually not the crazy, destroy-everything-in-the-house energy you see in some large dogs.
  • Goldens generally get along well with other animals — including cats and rabbits.

Here are a few more considerations, as you think about bringing a Golden into your family:

  • The coat of a Golden Retriever is beautiful but requires regular brushing and grooming to avoid mats and tangles. Mats may be unpleasant to look at, but more importantly, they can be painful and cause skin infections.
  • Controlling the diet of your Golden is crucial; they are prone to gaining weight which exacerbates their already high risk of joint and bone problems. Their puppy-dog eyes make it hard to say “no” — but it’s important with this breed.
  • Consistent house cleaning will be a requirement; that beautiful coat sheds – significantly!

If you want to bring a Golden Retriever into your home, we encourage you to seek out purebred rescue organizations or visit a local shelter to find a Golden Retriever mix. If you have your heart set on a Golden puppy, always do your research to find a reputable breeder.