Your Purebred Puppy, Honest Advice About Dogs and Dog Breeds

Golden Retrievers: the most honest dog breed review you'll ever find about Golden Retriever temperament, personality, behavior, traits, and characteristics.

golden retriever topics

Golden Retriever dog breed

Golden Retriever Temperament
What's Good About 'Em,
What's Bad About 'Em

Golden Retriever Temperament, Personality, Behavior, Traits, and Characteristics, by Michele Welton. Copyright © 2000-2016

The Golden Retriever's kindly expression says it all. This is one of the finest family dogs in the world: cheerful, demonstrative, trustworthy with everyone, and forgiving of any mistakes made by inexperienced owners.

Give this breed two brisk walks each day, play fetch games, and take him out for a good run once a week, and he is adaptable to almost any lifestyle.

Friendly with everyone (strangers, children, dogs, cats, smaller pets), his bark is welcoming rather than protective.

You must control his tendency to chew on objects and to mouth your hands -- provide a box filled with toys so he can carry things around in his mouth.

A Golden Retriever remains enthusiastically puppy-like for many years, so early obedience training is required to instill calmness and good manners.

Eager to please and wonderfully responsive, he is nonetheless distracted by exciting sights and sounds, so you must be both patient and persistent.

The mind and heart of a Golden is sweet and gentle, but his body is robust -- until he's taught not to pull on the leash, you'll need good biceps to walk him.

If you want a dog who...

  • Is large, athletic, and natural-looking
  • Has a pretty feathered coat
  • Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature
  • Is steady-tempered and dependable with everyone
  • Is peaceful with other animals
  • Is eager to please and very responsive to training

A Golden Retriever may be right for you.

If you don't want to deal with...

  • Providing a goodly amount of exercise
  • Exuberant jumping, especially when young
  • Mouthiness -- chewing on things, carrying things around
  • Regular brushing and combing to avoid mats and tangles
  • Heavy shedding
  • A distinctive doggy odor
  • Concerns about a multitude of serious health problems

A Golden Retriever may not be right for you.

But you can avoid or minimize some negative traits by
  1. choosing the RIGHT breeder and the RIGHT puppy
  2. or choosing an ADULT dog from your animal shelter or rescue group – a dog who has already proven that he doesn't have negative traits
  3. training your dog to respect you
  4. avoiding health problems by following my daily care program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy

More traits and characteristics of Golden Retrievers

If I was considering a Golden Retriever, I would be most concerned about...

  1. High energy when young. Young Golden Retrievers (up to two or three years old) romp and jump with vigor, and things can go flying, including people who are not steady on their feet. If you have toddlers, or if you or anyone who lives with you is infirm, consider adopting an adult Golden Retriever from a rescue group. Adults have a wonderfully settled temperament and you can specifically look for a calm one.
  2. Providing enough exercise and mental stimulation. Golden Retrievers were developed to be hunting dogs, which mean they are athletic and smart dogs who need regular opportunities to vent their energy and do interesting things. You can't just let them in and out of the back yard and think that qualifies! They will become bored – which they may express by becoming rambunctious and destructive.

    You can control your Golden Retriever's bounciness AND keep him mentally stimulated by following my training program.

    My book Teach Your Dog 100 English Words, gives you a unique vocabulary to use with your dog AND teaches my Respect Training Program. Your dog will look at you when you speak and do what you say. Not just when he's hungry for a treat or feels like it. But all the time. Because he respects you.
  3. Shedding and doggy odor. Golden Retrievers are heavy shedders, so you'll find a lot of hair on your clothing and furniture. Just be ready for this. If you really think your dog is shedding excessively, changing his diet will probably help. Golden Retrievers also have a strong doggy odor and produce a lot of dander.
  4. Finding a healthy one and keeping him healthy. Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers have become a risky breed for long-term health.Many Goldens do live to 12 or 13, but many others are lost at age 7 or 8 to joint and bone diseases, heart disease, epilepsy, or cancer. To avoid these problems, you need to buy your Golden Retriever from a person who can pass the "14 Family Companion Guidelines" in my book, Dog Quest: Find The Dog Of Your Dreams. If they're not following these guidelines, it's a big risk to buy a puppy from them.

    book coverOnce you have your puppy home, you need to keep him healthy by following the 11-Step Health Care Program in 11 Things You Must Do Right To Keep Your Dog Healthy and Happy.

    If you want your dog to live a long, healthy life and seldom need to visit the vet, this is the book for you. How to prepare healthy meals, getting only the right vaccinations (not the ones that are either useless or risky), preventing fleas, ticks, and heartworm safely, getting dangerous (to dogs) products out of your home, healing or improving current health issues, and much more. This is my best book, and bargain priced, too!