A few weeks ago, I shared the story of our experience with our dogs and why our golden retrievers are so important to us.  Since then, I have gotten several e-mails from readers about the breed and specifically whether I thought a golden would be a good fit for their family.  Which got me thinking that maybe other people had the same question. I can share what I have learned from living with this wonderful breed for 17 years.  However, I know this breed isn't for everyone so I think it is important to point out some of the downsides to the breed.  Also, I know that many people feel that saving a shelter pet is the best way to go about adding a pet to your family.  I agree that it is a wonderful thing to do.  For us, we have fallen in love with this breed of dogs.  For us, they are the perfect pet.
Information about Golden Retriever
So, you think you want a Golden?  As puppies, they are irresistible to look it.  They are adorable and cuddly and look just like those cute stuffed animals.
Golden Retriever puppy with Ikea dog stuffed
But the truth is this puppy will need to be housebroken and may keep you up for a few nights.  They will have VERY sharp teeth and because Goldens are retrievers who are bred to put things in their mouths (to retrieve it), it will be their natural instinct to chew on anything and everything.  Including you and your kids :)  They are very smart dogs though, so with good training, these bad habits can be broken.  We found that our Goldens were house trained very easily and acclimated to their routine early.  We crate trained all of our pups at the advice of our breeder.
Golden Retriever puppy in snow with
They begin to grow fast.  Always keep that in mind.  I think so many people are drawn in by the cute puppy and don't realize that the cute and quirky behavior in a 8 lb puppy won't be quite as charming  in a 65+lb dog.
Adult golden retriever and golden retriever
Adult Golden Retriever and 8 week old Golden Retriever puppy
Goldens get along very well with other dogs and kids.  In fact, they need to become an integral part of your family because dogs are pack animals... and you are their pack.  They love to be included.  I have been a stay at home mom for as long as we have had Goldens and they are always right beside me.  They require demand lots of attention.
Family picture with 2 Golden
We have found that exercise is the single most important component to a well behaved Golden.  Our dogs love to go for walks, chase balls in the yard, hike in the trails and swim.  They are eager to join in any activity we let them join us in.  Forrest is 9 years old so he is more content to chill out.  For him, it is more about getting him the exercise he needs to keep him from gaining weight.  Keeper is 4 and she still needs lots of daily exercise.  They definitely mellow as they get older, but the first 3 years can be trying.  Finding your puppy in situations like this will be normal!  Try to keep your sense of humor, grab your camera and then get the puppy's head out of the fence.
Golden Retriever puppy stuck in
If you hang in there and continue to work with your dog, you will be rewarded with an amazing older dog.  Goldens are gentle and kind and always happy to see you when you walk in the door.  If you have the space in your heart (and the space in your home), I think the love they bring to us is worth every bit of dog hair you will be vacuuming up.  Every.  Day.  Did I forget to mention the dog hair?
Golden Retriever puppy info via
This is only a small amount of information.  One of my go-to books with my pups was "The Golden Retriever Handbook".  That book is such a great source of information and our breeder just so happened to illustrate it.  I recommend that if you are still interested in a golden puppy, you reach out to a local breeder.  Breeders have so much info and they are the best source to know if you are a good fit for one of their pups.  You can find them online by searching for your state's golden retriever club.  Take the time to find a breeder that you are comfortable with.  You and your new puppy will be so glad you did.  Good luck!

More Golden Posts:
Our Golden Story
Pet Food Storage


  1. I just found your blog and loved your piece on Goldens. For the people who want to rescue a shelter dog, there are many Golden Retriever rescue groups around the country. It also gives people an option to skip the puppy part and rescue an older dog. After our first Golden passed away, we rescued a two year old female who now goes by the name Molly. She is an awesome dog and on her way to becoming a Therapy Dog. I highly recommend the breed and the ONLY down side is that you must love to vacuum! Have a wonderful day!
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  3. There is nothing like the love of a Golden. It's such a deep, unconditional love that is nearly indescribable. Our family has been owned by 5 beautiful Goldens through the years and I wouldn't have traded one second of their love for anything in the world. my life would have been so different without them. Yes, yes, MUST love to get behind the vacuum, but it's worth every ounce of effort. Forrest and Keeper are so sweet!

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