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Old 09-25-2008, 09:22 AM   #1
cookworm
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Anybody with Golden Retrievers?
We're thinking about getting another dog. We've had Labs and love them, so that would be a definite consideration, but someone we know has Golden Retriever pups, so that's been a possibility for us too. While I've known people that have had Goldens, I personally have no experience there, so I'm asking what Golden Retriever owners have to say about the breed, pros and cons. My husband had one that he said was mean, so he's got me kind of worried, although all of the ones I have had exposure to were as sweet as they could be.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:39 AM   #2
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Alright, so full disclosure: I don't own one, but my roommate/BF has one, so this is just my $0.02:

First off, BF says they are prone to hip displaysia (sp?) and that is not something that I, personally, would want to deal with in a large dog later in their life. Secondly, in my opinion, his Golden is pretty stupid. I grew up with dogs and have been around dogs and, quite frankly, this one feels like he's missing a few connections. Also, he is now 3 and I didn't know BF or the dog when he was a puppy, but I've seen what's left of BF's furniture. Granted, it isn't expensive furniture (we are young and haven't bought much of that yet), but I wouldn't want a puppy like that around if I did have nice furniture. Also, they're expensive. I think BF paid $500+ for the dog.

My parents have some kind of a lab mix (she's a rescue, but looks a LOT like a lab, only fluffier) and she is waaay more intelligent than BF's Golden. My cheap advice: stick with what you know.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:56 AM   #3
iza
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I had a Lab before, and my brother has a Golden. I'm not a specialist of any breed, but from my experience their personality are very similar. I've never encountered a mean Golden Retriever, but that's something that can happen with any breed. Generally they are the perfect family dog, very good with children. They can be a little hard to manage when they are young, because they have a lot of energy (but that's probably true for all breeds).

The only problem my brother had with his Golden is that he had separation anxiety, and because of that he chewed a lot of stuff in the house. But again, this is not something that is breed specific. My brother addressed the problem and he is a lot better now. He is also very smart and listens to my brother very well.

Training is what makes the biggest difference, in my opinion. With Goldens, with good training, they really become good companions.

Definitely be careful with genetic diseases with Goldens. But then again, Labs are very prone to genetic diseases too. It's better to get your pup from a good breeder, and avoid pet stores.
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Old 09-25-2008, 09:59 AM   #4
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Mine was extremely nice and extremely smart.
But that was a long time ago when they had flat heads. Seems they have more rounded heads now.
A guy I know has bred super expensive show stock and his were all nice and smart and even have some hunting instinct.

Being mean certainly isn't a breed trait. Hunting breeds often have to hunt with new people, it wouldn't be good if they weren't trusting.

I wouldn't worry about displaysia, most breeds can have it, including Labs. The breeder can do all the tests and still have it.
All breeds have something to worry about.
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Old 09-25-2008, 10:46 AM   #5
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My parents have a golden, and she is the sweetest dog, although very high energy and requires her daily walks to calm down. She is 3, and finally starting to mellow out. Mom's only complaint is that she sheds like crazy in the warm weather.
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:06 AM   #6
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My BFF had a neighbour growing up, and she had a golden retriever, bought from a breeder. The first one she had, ended up having a seizure in the first year or so, and was paralized from the neck down, she had to put her down.

She went right back to the same breeder and got another puppy, different litter, same parents. Second one to my knowledge is fine.

I personally don't like full breed dogs. I love mutts. They don't tend to get the problems that any one breed tends to inherate from the inbreeding...

Last one we had was...anyones guess...but they tell us Staffordshire/german sheppard - you be the judge....(Sarah)

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and then this one is part collie, part border collie......but no matter where I go...ppl call her lassie....(Sandee)

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Old 09-25-2008, 11:21 AM   #7
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I have never owned a Golden( I have a lab) but my next door neighbors have always had Goldens. They even foster for GR rescue. So I have been around quite a few. From talking to them you'll find many of he same health predispositions you would find in Labs. Some of their dogs have been so so smart and others well... I really think you would find that in any breed. They are great with kids. They have the same extended puppy hood like labs. My lab finally really calmed down at 4.5.My neighbor right now is fostering the sweetest girl who is about 5 and still has crazy puppy moments. But good exercise and training really helps that out. I'm pretty sure when my Bentley is no longer with us I will probably get a Golden.
I think if you are used to labs and can get used to golden hair every where it could be a good match.
Good luck with your new addition and be sure to show us pictures!
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:53 AM   #8
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Cryket--your dogs are soooo cute!!!!
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:56 AM   #9
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Goldens are wonderful dogs but have been bred so much and so indiscriminately that they (like a lot of other "popular" breeds) can have all sorts of medical or temperament problems.

A canine oncologist at my dog's clinic told me that cancer has become a huge problem with Goldens. Not to mentiion the joint issues any large poorly bred dog is prone to.

That is not to say you shouldn't get a pup. But unless it comes from a Code of Ethics breeder or a reputable rescue organization do NOT pay a penny for the pup.

A code of ethics breeder will: Have OFA/heart/health clearances for dam and sire. The dam and sire will have been proven in a show, obedience or agility ring. A code of ethics breeder will guarantee your pup for life. In other words, if you decide 2-3 years down the line you can't keep the dog, a COE breeder will take it back. Most COE breeders are found at dog shows and events. A code of ethics breeder will interview you, your family and ensure you own your house or have landlord approval.

When we pay money to a BYB or to a pet store we are financing them and encouraging them to continue, consequently keeping the shelters full.

OK, off the soapbox!
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Old 09-25-2008, 12:07 PM   #10
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IMHO Goldens are beautiful water loving dogs that in general are intelligent and friendly. Any breed can be dumb or mean - that is a dog/owner thing, not so much a breed. Pit bulls are actually very sweet dogs unless owners train them to fight. Rotties can be great family pets. My shephard/dobbie is a chicken.
As others have said b/c of breeding they are prone to the same things that labs and other heavily bred large dogs are. In addition though it seems goldens are prone to epilepsy and cancer. We lost our golden lab when she was 6 to an aneuryism, a pure golden I house sat all the time was put down b/c of severe epilepsy at about 8-9yrs old, my best friend has had 2 goldens with epilepsy and lost both to cancer.
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