If ever a breed was affectionate to a fault, it is the Golden. They're people dogs, pure and simple, and if you own one there's never any doubt that you're the center of it's universe. Golden owners and their dogs didn't invent the mutual admiration society. They perfected it!
Size/Training - Golden Retrievers are large, outgoing dogs standing between 21 - 24 inches at the shoulder, weighing between 60 and 75 pounds. They can be intimidating to small children and visitors, because they greet everyone enthusiastically. Their wagging tail can clear off a coffee table in a matter of seconds. To small children, they look like a horse and your Golden may want to lick their faces. A Golden is highly intelligent and easily trainable, but a bored golden can be destructive. While Goldens make excellent family dogs, no small child should ever be left alone unsupervised with a large dog.
Personality/Temperament - Goldens are "family" dogs that shadow you everywhere you go. They thrive on companionship and cannot be maintained outdoors. Goldens are dedicated, active dogs. Remember they are "retrievers" which means they will want to carry things in their mouths. This could be the children's toys or one of your best shoes.
Exercise - Goldens were bred to spend long hours in the field and in the lakes retrieving game. They are high energy dogs and need daily exercise. While dogs nap a great deal, they still require mental and physical stimulation.
Cost - A large dog such as a Golden Retriever will cost a minimum of $600 to $800 a year to feed and provide general medical care.
Life Span/Illness - A Golden generally will live between 10 and 12 years, sometimes a great deal longer. Like many large breeds, they are prone to hip dysplasia and other conditions such as heart and eye problems. Goldens are also prone to skin disorders and other allergy problems.
Shedding/A Goldens Coat - Goldens have a dense undercoat that protects them from heat and cold. For this reason, NEVER shave your Golden. Brushing several times a week will help control shedding. Goldens have heavy sheds twice a year, but they do shed all year long. You will become an expert on the best lint removers and vacuum cleaners on the market!
"Surely if God could look like something of this world that we could all see and relate to, it would more than likely be a Golden Retriever."
Debra Marlin, Yellowdog, 1997