5 Reasons you SHOULD NOT GET A Golden Retriever Puppy
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number 5 – You want an “outside only” dog
Even though their beautiful long coat protects the Golden Retriever from the elements, they are not suited as “outside only” dogs: Goldies are dedicated canine companions who love nothing more than being around people. Contrary to many other large dog breeds, they absolutely need interaction with their loved ones to become – and stay – happy and well-balanced dogs. If you bar them from sharing your home with you, you cause them a lot of emotional suffering.
And not only that: When confined to the backyard or a kennel, Golden Retrievers can become destructive and noisy. They have a good, loud bark, as your neighbours will be able to attest, should you choose to keep them locked out. As well, given the opportunity, their high – and normally joyful - energy will be channelled into destructive activity: Chewing your garden furniture, digging up your flower beds or ripping apart any kind of dog bed you may put in their kennel.
So, if you are looking for a dog who will not mind living exclusively outside, you should not get a Golden Retriever.
4 – Golden Retrievers are heavy shedders
There is no doubt about it: The characteristic beautiful long coat of the Golden Retriever is a joy to look at. However, should you decide to share your home with a Goldie, you might see these lovely Golden hairs not only on your dog, but everywhere in the house. They get on carpets, on dog beds, on sofas and – last, but not least – on people’s clothing. And these golden hairs are remarkably visible on dark surfaces. So, if you like wearing black clothes, beware of the Golden Retriever!
You might think that confining the dog to, say, the main sitting room of your house, will keep those hairs in that room. But rest assured, these fine, long golden hairs travel well on people’s socks and house shoes. As a result, they will easily spread into the other rooms of your home as well. Even if the dog itself never enters those rooms.
The reason for this phenomenon is that Goldies shed all year round – not only during the “normal” shedding season in spring and autumn. For this reason, Golden Retrievers require regular grooming. That means you should brush them once a day throughout the year and multiple times a day during shedding season.
3 – Golden Retrievers love the water
Back in the day in Scotland, the Golden Retriever was developed as a breed by crossing the existing Retrievers with Water Spaniels. These breeding efforts resulted in an excellent hunting companion whose job it was to retrieve waterfowl shut down by hunters in the marshlands of Scotland. This task required the dog to be more than willing to jump into lakes, rivers, streams, and lochs.
Therefore, the love for water is deeply ingrained in today’s Golden Retrievers’ genes. Of course, this makes them fun companions for games of fetch that involve the dog to jump into clean bodies of water. However, the dark side of the Goldie’s love for water is that they will be magnetised to ANY body of water they can possibly find. And, yes, deep muddy puddles as well as ponds of smelly, stagnant water are equally attractive to them as nice clean lakes.
This means that your beautiful Golden dog can change colour in seconds, and they will not hesitate to happily shake their fur after returning to you from their little bath – thereby effectively staining your clothes with mud.
So, unless you are willing to invest quite some time in washing your Goldie’s fur and paws after outings, you might want to look for another dog breed.
2- Golden Retrievers need lots of exercise
Like their Scottish ancestors, today’s Golden Retrievers are superb working dogs –athletic, agile, and always up for a nice game of fetch, a good run, or a long walk. As talented sporting dogs, they excel in all kinds of canine sports and activities – for example agility, dock jumping, tracking, obedience training, swimming and even diving. These energetic dogs are equally happy to accompany you on any activity in the great outdoors – like jogging, trail running, hiking or cycling.
Whist this is a wonderful feature, it might not be what you are looking for in a dog: Perhaps you would like a calm canine companion who is happy to relax on the couch with you for hours at a time. Or you want to enjoy a few shorter walks during the day together with a low-energy dog who does not require lots of exercise. In this case, you might want to consider a calmer, more sedentary breed, like, for example, the Newfoundland or the Bullmastiff.
1 – Golden Retrievers love EVERYONE
Now, the Goldie loving everybody – humans and animals alike – is a wonderful feature in itself. Provided you are looking for a family pet or for a mellow companion dog. However, if you indeed require a reliable guardian, you should definitely not get a Golden Retriever.
Their sweet, kind-hearted nature makes them unlikely to do much more than sound an alarm – at best. Should you live in a neighbourhood that is prone to burglaries and robberies, you will need more than this – and you cannot rely on your Goldie to protect you, your family, or your home.
In such a situation, you might want to look into other large dog breeds that are protective by nature and have a high intimidation factor. For example, you might consider the German Shepherd, the Dobermann or, in case you are a very experienced dog owner, the Rottweiler.
Perhaps you have small children in the house, and you did consider the Golden Retriever because they are such fantastic family dogs. Whilst this is true, there are other breeds that are equally good with children, but also have a high intimidation factor and excellent guarding abilities – for example, the Bullmastiff or the English Mastiff.
Even though the Golden Retriever is an amazing breed, these loving companions are not suited for every person, situation, or household. They do require quite a bit of time and dedication. But, who knows, even if the Goldie right now is not the perfect choice for you, that does not mean it never will be: A few years down the line, you might find yourself in a perfect position to happily bring a Golden Retriever into your home.