The Golden Retriever is the classic family companion. They are obedient, playful, intelligent, well-mannered, great with kids and kind to strangers.
They have a personality and temperament that is loyal, high in energy and playful. While the Golden Retriever is a good watch dog, they tend to be lousy guard dogs due to their friendly nature. They interact well with other dogs.
Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercise, but not as much as other Retrievers and their activity requirements can be met with a couple of daily walks and tossing a stick in the yard.
They enjoy pretty much any outdoor activity their people participate in, whether walking, running, hiking, biking, swimming or playing chase with kids.
Though they are naturally even tempered and don’t need hours of exercise, their large size makes them unsuitable for apartments. They need a lot of room to move around and confinement is unfair to them.
They are a breeze to train, people-pleasers and will do anything for a bit of praise – an excellent choice for first-time dog owners. Golden Retrievers should always be treated with a gentle hand as they are sensitive creatures who don’t respond well to harsh tones and discipline.
Golden Retrievers are always at the top of their obedience classes and are often the champions of sporting competitions.
Hunters find them to be reliable bird dogs and their keen sense of smell and desire to work alongside people makes them sought-after narcotics sniffers. They need people and are best suited for large, active families.
While Golden Retrievers are generally even-tempered and well behaved, potential owners should do their research before settling on a breeder.
They are popular and this has led to indiscriminate breeding practices which mean puppies with unstable temperaments. All the exercise and socialization in the world can’t undo a bad bloodline – so always adopt from a reputable breeder.
This is a social breed of dog that adores people and thrives on companionship. If left alone too long, especially without proper exercise, Golden Retrievers can develop Separation Anxiety which usually means destructive chewing.
In fact, well-adjusted are big chewers, so they must be provided with plenty of chew toys and bones, otherwise they will run off with shoes, books, pillows and other household items.
The biggest problem people have in training this breed is walking on a leash. They should be taught proper leash etiquette early on; otherwise they can and will pull on a leash.
Their trainability has made them a number one choice for service and therapy dogs. In recent years they have been a favorite choice for police forces. They utilize them as drug and bomb sniffers in search and rescue teams.