Realistic Assessment

The Golden Retriever has a lot to live up to in the eyes of many would be Golden Retriever owners.  It is a truly wonderful breed.  At its very best, the Golden Retriever is not only a beautiful dog aesthetically, but also a beautiful dog in nature and spirit.  Goldens are famous for being tolerant and forgiving creatures.  Most have an inbred, insatiable love of children, and unending patience and tolerance for just about anything that comes their way.

By reading this information, you have taken a positive step toward deciding whether or not a Golden Retriever will be a suitable companion for you.

It is to be expected that you and your family members will be excited about the prospect of a new dog joining the family.  For the moment, try to contain your enthusiasm and give some thought to the seriousness of the committment you will be making.

It is a sad fact that the average person spends more time researching the purchase of a car then researching the purchase of a dog.  Think about that for a moment!  A car is an inanimate object without feelings, without emotional needs and wants.  A car can be traded in or discarded at will.  Any dog, especially a Golden Retriever, is not an unfeeling commodity to be cast aside when it does not “fit” your perception of what you thought it should be!

Are you willing to take the time to get to know this breed? Do you want to make absolutely sure a Golden Retriever is the right dog for your family?  Take the time to research your answers carefully.  Read as much as you can about Golden Retrievers and dogs in general.  Attend dog shows and trials, and visit some kennels.  Find out what is involved in the maintenance of a Golden Retriever.  How much does it cost to feed a Golden Retriever a quality diet that will promote good health?  What about average veterinary costs per year?  How about the grooming equipment required?  Do you require a dog crate and/or exercise pen for the safety and comfort of the dog?  How much of an investment will this all involve?

How Perfect is Perfect?
What does everyone expect of all Golden Retrievers?  That’s easy . . . perfection!  Is it really possible breeders have managed to produce the ultimate dog?  Automatically house broken, automatically trained in basic obedience. never barks unnecessarily, never sheds, smells or suffers from illness, never digs holes or eats laundry!  A dog socially perfect when out in public!  Of course all of this sounds too good to be true and it is.  How close to perfection will you expect your Golden Retriever to be?  The answer to this depends upon you.  Perhaps the question you really need to answer is, how close to perfection will you be as an owner?

Golden Retrievers . . . Emotionally needy dogs!
What does your Golden Retriever need from you to become its very best? Your new Golden Retriever puppy will require approximately the same amount of care and time as a new baby.  What kind of time commitment can you make on a daily basis for your Golden baby?  This is a very crucial question that must be answered honestly.

Those who make light of this concern and who rush into buying the first puppy available are often the ones who will choose to “get rid of it” when they discover that they can’t cope. A lack of understanding of the commitment required by the owner is the single biggest cause of stress and suffering for many lovely Goldens.  Goldens are emotionally needy dogs and they need to be with their people.  If you are looking for a dog that will really blend and be a part of your family, a Golden is a great choice.

The Wrong Time
Give some serious thought to what you have just read.  In a few days, if you have any misgivings at all, then now is not the right time!  Don’t make the mistake of deciding its the wrong time but somehow talking yourself into getting a puppy anyway.  This is a recipe for disaster.  Golden puppies are absolutely adorable, but they need you to commit the time and attention to making them into good canine citizens.

Often times parents will be under tremendous pressure by children to “buy a puppy”  and of course with the understanding “that the children will take over total control and care of the puppy”.  This never happens. Again, this never happens.

When the newness of a puppy wears off, the care and maintenance will revert totally to you, the parent. If have already determined that this was not the best time for a puppy, you are left with a real problem.  More importantly, your Golden is left with a real problem.  Do the responsible thing and wait.  You will not have any regrets!  More importantly, you will save the puppy the stress of and suffering of arriving at your house at the wrong time.   Remember, Goldens are emotionally needy dogs and need attention from their owners to thrive.

Ready for a Lifelong Commitment
If you have no misgivings about what you have read and all family members are in agreement that they are ready to make the commitment, the next step is to choose a breeder.  It will empower you as a consumer and help you to avoid the pitfalls that go hand in hand with find your new Golden family member.

Choosing a Breeder

There are many Golden Retriever breeders. Find out more about choosing a breeder. Here is a video from the Golden Retriever Club of America, detailing what a responsible breeder does.