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Are Golden Retrievers Good Family Dogs? Tips & What to Expect

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Happy family stroking Golden Retriever

So, you’ve decided to add a dog to your family. Awesome! A pup is a fantastic addition to a family, but finding the right fit for your family can be a daunting task, so choose a Golden Retriever.

The secret for dog-searching is that there isn’t one specific breed of “family dog.” Whether or not a dog is a “family dog” depends on a breed’s temperament, age, size, and family activity level.

Thankfully, Golden Retrievers, also fondly known as Goldies, are versatile dogs that generally make good forever friends. Golden Retrievers are great family dogs. These dogs have a long reputation as being among the top 5 most popular family dog breeds consistently for years for a good reason.

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Are Golden Retrievers Good With Kids?

A dog’s upbringing and a child’s behavior have a lot to do with whether or not a dog is fit for a family. For this reason, parents should evaluate their dog’s relationship with their children for safety because you want to ensure that you pick one that thrives with kids.

One outstanding quality about Golden Retrievers is that they get along with children thanks to their golden personalities. Goldies are friendly, funny, irresistibly cute, and can tolerate a rough household.

Kids love to play and bounce around with dogs, which makes them handle dogs roughly sometimes. However, not all dogs feel the same way.

A Golden Retriever will not only be cheerful around kids but also tolerates them. These dogs also have a lot of energy, enthusiasm and are always ready for adventure. They blend these traits with gentleness and calmness around kids to tolerate the young and more rowdy children.

Besides that, Goldies are intelligent, incredible protectors and guardians and would look after the kids in the family when necessary. You can send the children and the dog for outside playtime without worrying about possible danger.

The bottom line is, you can trust a Golden Retriever with your kids, and be sure that they will become inseparable in no time!

young girl with white golden retriever
Photo Credit: JackieLou DL, Pixabay

Are Golden Retrievers Friendly Towards Other Pets?

Golden Retrievers are so gentle and charming that they get along with everyone, including other pets. If you have a multi-pet household, you must wonder if a Goldie can still thrive in such a household.

Well, if anything, your Golden Retriever is a social pup and requires companionship. Pairing it with another pet or a small dog will fill your home with fun and adventure.

Pets that get along with Goldies include another Golden Retriever, poodle, pug, Beagle, Boston Terriers, and even cats! However, not all pets are ecstatic about having a new member in a home.

Although Goldies have a welcoming personality, you can still expect some hesitation and confusion in the initial stages. It would be best to give your dog some time to get used to a new pet in the home.

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Top 6 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Are Good Family Dogs

Golden Retrievers Goldies are a relatively new breed (being around for only 150 years), but you wouldn’t know because of how much they are in demand. Check out some of the charming traits of these dogs.

1. Golden Retrievers Have Lots of Energy

golden retriever with a kid
Photo Credit: Rebecca Scholz, Pixabay

There’s never a dull day with a Golden Retriever, as this dog will keep up with every household activity and keep the home active.

Golden Retrievers were bred to have lots of energy, which allows them to spend most of their time running and playing outside. Therefore, this breed may not be suitable for you if your idea of a good time is to stay home and cuddle throughout.

Goldies require plenty of activities to exhaust their energy unless you want your dog to turn your home into its playground.

If you have an active family and playful kids to play with and exercise the dog outside, this shouldn’t be a problem. A Golden Retriever’s energy matches with your energetic kids.

2. Golden Retrievers Are Easy to Train

Golden Retrievers are intelligent and love to impress their owners. These traits, plus some positive reinforcement from your end, make these dogs obedient during training.

Goldies will follow the rules, listen, and do anything you ask of them in no time. This means that you’ll be able to teach your dog any task you want, and they’ll get it right faster than any other breed.

You can also include your children in the training session to keep your pup occupied and offer it new stimulation. Training prevents Goldies from boredom.

3. Golden Retriever Are Not Picky Eaters

Golden Retriever eating
Photo Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

Golden Retrievers eat any food you’ll provide for them. They are not picky eaters and are fine eating dog food like kibbles without being particular about a brand. However, it would be best to discuss your dog’s dietary needs with a vet before trying a new type of dog food.

4. Golden Retrievers Are Quiet

Too much barking is never a good thing regardless of where you live. If you don’t want a dog that’ll bark at anything that moves, find a Golden Retriever.

These dogs are a lot calmer than most breeds, although they still get excited when they see a stranger approaching. Plus, Goldies also have a moderate prey drive, so be sure of a quiet home and neighborhood.

Golden retrievers still require lots of exercise and opportunities to roam. A good morning or evening walk will help prevent restlessness that can result in excessive barking.

5. Golden Retrievers Love Water

golden retriever swimming in a lake
Photo Credit: Thomas B., Pixabay

It’s impossible not to smile when you see a Goldie in water. These dogs are natural swimmers and love water activities, meaning that if you love camping, swimming, fishing, or doing other activities involving water, a Goldie is the best fit.

You can take this dog to a lake, and if you have a swimming pool at home, the better! A Golden Retriever will chase waves, swim, and run in water, something your family will enjoy too.

6. Golden Retrievers Are Not Wanderers

Golden Retrievers are not escape-artists and prefer to stay home with their family. They are smart and loyal and will stay put in a home unless compelled to run away due to stress, mistreatment, or fear.

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What to Expect in a New Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Size

It’s vital to consider the size of dog you want for your home ahead of time before adopting it. Goldies are pretty large and may not thrive in smaller spaces, requiring more food than other pups.

A male Goldie can grow up to a height of 23–24 inches and 65–75 pounds in weight. Conversely, a female Goldie can range between 21.5–22.5 inches in height and 55–65 pounds in weight.

Golden retriever lying on light floor
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

Golden Retriever Life Expectancy

A dog’s lifespan is vital to consider if you want it to grow alongside your kids. A Golden Retriever can live up to 10–12 years, so this knowledge should influence whether to adopt a younger or older dog.

Golden Retriever Health Concerns

Although they can be prone to several health issues due to over breeding by irresponsible breeders, Golden Retrievers are generally healthy dogs.

It would be best to take your pet for screening for various ailments like hip dysplasia, skin allergies, heart conditions, cancer (like mast cell tumors), obesity, and congenital eye defects.

Golden Retriever Grooming Requirements

The good thing is that these dogs are not high maintenance and do not have too many grooming needs. An occasional bath and brushing a couple of times a week usually do the trick. However, a Goldie tends to shed once or twice a year, which means you may need daily brushing during this time.

Also, it is vital to brush your pup’s teeth regularly and check its ears and eyes regularly, just like other breeds.

Young beautiful woman combing fur golden retriever dog
Image Credit: Photo_mts, Shutterstock

Golden Retriever Training

A Goldie is eager to please, playful, and loyal, which means that training sessions can be fun.

However, this dog does not put its health into account and may keep on training until it collapses from fatigue. It would be best to check its endurance levels when training.

Also, start training it early in its puppy years to produce a well-rounded and happy pup.

Golden Retriever Exercise Needs

Golden Retrievers have brimming energy, and the best way to deal with it is by keeping them occupied with physical activities.

Goldies can become destructive when bored, so signing them to agility training, tagging them along on your runs and bike rides, or playing chase with them can provide the energy burnout they need.

This dog will appreciate plenty of running space in the yard and regular exercise, so it may not be very suitable for a small space.

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Varieties of Golden Retrievers

Most dog fancier distinguish Golden Retrievers by their coats, as they can be golden, light golden, or dark golden.

However, you can also determine these hounds basing on their origins: English, American, and Canadian. Despite having different roots, all Golden Retrievers the same personalities, health, and quality of life.

1. English Golden Retrievers

English Golden Retriever
Image Credit: Rob Wee, Pixabay

English Golden Retrievers are also known as British Golden Retrievers. They have long furry coats and are most common in Australia and Europe.

These dogs have the same height as American Golden Retrievers. However, they have broader skulls, shorter legs and tails, more robust front legs, and a deeper chest than the American breed.

Their eyes are also darker and rounder as opposed to their American counterpart’s triangular eyes.

2. American Golden Retriever

golden retriever
Image Credit: Olena Brodetska, Shutterstock

American Goldies are leaner, have a darker coat, and aren’t as blockier in build as their English mates. They also have less muscular strength with a slimmer skull and lighter color eyes than English Golden Retrievers.

3. Canadian Golden Retriever

Canadian Golden Retriever
Image Credit: Anrita1705, Pixabay

These purebreds are slightly taller and appear less furry than the English and American Goldies. Canadian Golden Retrievers have a shorter coat with more thinned out hairs than their counterparts. They are also thinner in stature.

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Adopting a dog into your family is nothing less than a life-changing decision and a big commitment. So, if you want a Golden Retriever in your home, be ready to attend to its needs, and love it unconditionally.

Understanding A Golden Retriever’s traits and expectations beforehand can contribute to a successful homecoming for your newest family member.

Featured Image Credit: wavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

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