About Goldens

How much do Goldens shed? 

Goldens shed a lot. They have an abundance of coat as well as feathering and they will produce a more or less constant amount of hair in your house. Some of this can be alleviated with regular and thorough brushing, but if you have an aversion to dog hair in your house, a Golden will not be a good choice. On the other hand, many of us believe that the dog-hair problem is more than compensated for by the loyalty and love that a Golden also sheds along with the hair! 

How do Goldens like hot weather? 

As long as they have access to shade, free moving air, and water, they will do just fine in the heat. Don't exercise them in the heat of the day, and be sure you have water with you when you do exercise them later. Most Goldens love to be IN the water, so access to a pool, creek or lake is a PLUS! 

I've heard that Goldens are good with kids. Is this true?

Most Goldens are wonderful with kids, especially when they have been regularly exposed to well-behaved children. However, they are large and excitable and may easily knock children over if they jump up to lick their faces or propel a toddler along with a solid whack of their tails. Never leave very young children and dogs together unattended. Just as the dog could easily accidentally hurt the children, so could the children hurt the dog by poking him in the eyes or ears or pulling his tail. 

How much exercise does a Golden need? 

Goldens are a sporting breed and as such need plenty of exercise. Although full-grown Goldens benefit best from regular periods of high intensity activity, you need to be aware of any limitations due to your dog's health. We recommend that you talk to your vet about the right level of exercise for your specific dog. All Goldens love long walks on leash, which provide exercise and special time with their humans. Most Goldens are water dogs, and will love to have a place to swim, which is a good form of exercise, especially for those dogs with arthritis or other joint problems. 


How do I know that my Golden can swim? 

Most Goldens love to swim, and it's excellent exercise for them, even when young. Introduce them to water and let them explore on their own. If they are unsure about the water, you might get in and swim out a bit to encourage them, but let them take their own time. Younger puppies might be more standoffish to water than they would be in another month or two; that's normal. Never toss a dog into water that doesn't want to go in! Sometimes a water-crazy older dog is perfect to have along to help teach your dog to appreciate swimming. You might also try tossing in a toy for him to get, but be prepared to go out and retrieve it yourself if he doesn't! 

If you have a swimming pool, just remember that the dog hair in the pool will mean you need to clean the pool more frequently. Be sure that your dog knows how to get out of the swimming pool, and do not leave them unattended with access to the pool. 

Do Goldens bark a lot?

Not typically. Usually a barker is a bored dog. 

Are Goldens good obedience dogs?

Goldens are typically very eager to please their owners. This translates into their being both relatively easy to train for obedience and to having a good attitude in the ring. While not all Goldens make good competitive obedience dogs, you will see many of them in the obedience ring. 

Are Goldens good hunting dogs? 

Goldens do not do as well as Labradors in the field trials which are, in all fairness, biased toward the sort of work the Labrador was bred to do. But many Goldens make excellent hunters in real hunting situations. 

Do males or females make better pets (what are the differences)? 

Besides the physical differences, personal preference is probably the only big one here. Neutered males and females will mostly differ in size (the females will be smaller) and their individual personalities. If you are adopting from GRRNT, you will have the benefit of information from the foster provider, who has had "your" dog in his/her home, and can give you information on the dog's personality traits. 

Why do two Goldens look so different? 

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The Golden is supposed to be a mid-to-large size dog, suitable for sitting in a duck blind all day, while small enough to haul over the side of a boat all wet (after a retrieve). The standard has a range of acceptable sizes, for females it is 21 1/2-22 1/2 inches at the shoulder, for males it is 23-24 inches at the shoulder, with an inch allowance either way. So, just in size, if you have a small female (which could be 20 1/2 inches, about 45 pounds) and a large male (which could be 25 inches, about 95 pounds) there is a BIG difference. Now, if you add variations in coat, which may come from the "type" of breeding, you can get quite a physical difference. Through the years, breeders have bred for different qualities. Some breeders are interested purely in physical appearance for show purposes. Since "big and hairy" looks stunning in the show ring and wins, these breeders have bred for those characteristics. Other breeders have bred only for field ability. Since the smaller (and often darker colored) dogs have been the ones that are faster and flashier in the field, these breeders have tended to breed for those characteristics. There are other types, as well, but these are the most common. Just because a dog is of the "conformation" type does NOT mean that it cannot work in the field, just as being of the "field" type does NOT mean that that dog cannot win in the show ring. 

When do Goldens grow up? 

Physically, Goldens are completely mature by 2 years of age. Mentally, well, that depends on the individual, but usually not before 3 years of age. Even though Goldens are physically mature by 2, you may notice changes in them well past that time. Remember, by nature Goldens are fun-loving and happy-go-lucky, so their perceived maturity may be less because of it.