Is The Golden Retriever The Right Companion Dog?

Most people looking for a new Golden Retriever don’t want a hunting dog or show dog, just a new best friend. The most common places they look are newspaper ads, friends, pet stores, hobby breeders, and rescue organizations. Out of these, the best choices for finding good dogs are hobby breeders and rescue groups.

Hobby breeders are people who have made producing superb Golden Retrievers a main priority in their lives. Their dogs have usually proven themselves in some form of competition and hobby breeders will also have screened their breeding stock for hereditary health problems. In doing so, these breeders have probably spent far more money than they could ever hope to earn, even by charging somewhat more for their pups. Despite their efforts, not every pup will turn out to be competition quality. These “pet-quality” pups still need good homes, and are usually made available for a very reasonable fee. A good breeder will screen prospective owners no less carefully than they would for their other dogs. It’s important to note however, that a dog bred from obedience or field lines may be more energetic than the average family can handle.

Hobby breeders can sometimes be hard to find as most do not advertise in the paper. A good place to start looking is the Golden Retriever Club of America. You can also look in dog magazines or at kennel pages on the Web. Joining a Golden Retriever discussion group on the Internet is a good way to let breeders know you are looking. Try to visit prospective breeders personally to see for yourself how puppies and adults act and look, as well as how puppies are being raised.
When many people set out to look for a dog, they only consider a puppy. Sure puppies are fun and cute, but a puppy is a lot like a baby; you always have to be there to walk, feed, supervise and clean them. If you are usually away from home for several hours at a time, or you desire a competition or breeding quality dog, an older puppy or adult Golden may be a better choice.

Breeders may have adult dogs available that would love the chance to live life as a pampered pet. Breeders may have adults that simply didn’t win as much in the ring as desired. Breeders may also be helping to place a dog for a family that can no longer keep it through no fault of the dog’s. Such dogs are often already housebroken and obedience trained. Goldens are very adaptable and easily fit in with a new family.

Rescued Goldens come in all kinds and have a variety of histories. However, the typical Golden rescue is a young adult whose human family found out they weren’t up to

Before adopting a rescue dog, find out as much as you can about its background, the reason it was given up, how it relates to men, women, children, and other pets, and any temperament or health problems it may have. You may feel badly for looking at a dog in need so critically, but you wouldn’t be doing the dog any favor if you cannot cope with it any better than its previous owners could. Good rescue groups will carefully match potential adoptees with their new homes. 

Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book.  This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.