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Thinking about a golden retriever.

(41 Posts)
JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 09-Feb-15 08:52:44

Dh and I have never owned a dog before so are complete novices. We've looked after other peoples dogs and loved it but appreciate that's like saying you've babysat so are prepared for being a parent!

We did a bit of research and golden retrievers seem to fit in with the kind of family dog we'd like. I'm a Sahm and we have 2 dds (3 and nearly 2)
We have a cat and a chicken coop (barren of chickens as of yet!!) we live next to a nature reserve so perfect for dog walking and my friend also has a golden retriever so can have our dog if we went on holiday.
I don't want to get a backyard breeder puppy but I'm also not sure about rescue dogs?

Can anyone advise me the best next steps for us?

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 09-Feb-15 08:54:59

We also live in a house with just hard floors and a largish garden (we grow our own so not afraid of mud!)

Buttholelane Mon 09-Feb-15 09:26:28

Watch out for severe resource guarding.
It's a big problem in the breed.
the American breeders and breed clubs are very on the ball with it.
British seem to be in denial.
The problem is seen almost exclusively in the show lines, not the working and seems to be colour linked to cream.

basildonbond Mon 09-Feb-15 09:59:27

Are you after a show type or one from working lines? The two types have diverged so much they're like two different breeds

The show types are absolutely enormous, tend to be quite clumsy and goofy, not very agile (and not very bright) but generally very good-natured

Ddog's best friend is a working golden retriever and she's much much smaller, dark golden colour rather than cream, has lots of stamina and drive. My friend does gun dog training with her to give her a mental as well as physical workout

We have a Toller - the smallest of the retriever family - and there's no way I'd want something the size of some of the show goldens around here lolloping around my house!

averylongtimeago Mon 09-Feb-15 10:29:08

I have owned Goldies for 35 years - currently have 2, both girls age 11 and 18 months, and think they are great dogs!
Things to think about :
Goldies are hairy and regularly win Olympic gold for "most fur shed in one day". You will never be able to wear fur-free clothes again.
Goldies are mud magnets and love dirty water to swim in.
Goldies love gardening - Oldie Goldie when younger pruned, excavated and "weeded" whenever she could.
Goldies love to chew - most pups chew, but for a lot of Goldies the novelty never wears off. Particular favourites for some of mine have included: socks, daughters knickers, furry slippers, expensive sandles [not the cheap ones, oh no], newspapers, toilet rolls, homework, plastic childrens toys.....Vigilance and training are essential!
Goldies are big dogs and vets bill's are expensive - I stopped counting at £3000 a couple of years ago when Oldiegoldie's friend [now gone to the Bridge] had cancer. They can also get hip/joint problems.
You need to make sure the parents have good hip scores and that the breeder has had their eyes checked for inherited eye problems.

Still reading?

Goldies are fun and playful - bred as gundogs they love to use their talents for chasing and retrieving to play whatever games you want to teach them.
Goldies love people - if you are a SAHM then that's great as Goldies love to be with their families - mine all seem to think they are people!
Goldies like to learn - take your Goldie to training class, mine go to dog club every week fun for me and them.
Goldies: great characters! Like people they are all different, some quiet, some bouncy, some cheeky - choose your pup with care and they will reward you well.
Goldies are great, gentle and loving, loyal and kind. A well trained Goldie is a wonderful family pet.

BTW, I have never had a problem with resource guarding as mentioned above.

There are Golden retriever rescue's - as well as reputable breeders. If you know someone with a nice Goldie, have a look at their pedigree and cheek out their breeder. Mine came from here : Goldies you may find their "breed facts" page and the puppy pages useful.

Buttholelane Mon 09-Feb-15 11:28:36

The behaviour (severe resource guarding) is present from 8 weeks if the dog is affected.
Obviously not all lines will have the problem but it is a known issue in the breed.

If you check out the website petforums and look for threads by 'dispup' you will see the extreme resource guarding i am referring to. It's nasty.

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 09-Feb-15 12:17:34

I'd go to some local rescues and see what you can find. When we were looking for our pup, we saw a lovely golden retriever being rehomed. I must confess I don't like labradors of any kind, whatsoever, usually but this one was adorable - very friendly and sweet. Also very obese, which may be why it came into rescue. I said to my husband I'd have one of those if they were all like that one!

My friend was on the lookout for a black lab and went to another rescue the week after I got my puppy. Apparently they had just had a huge litter of black lab pups come in, but they all went within a day or so (£80 for a puppy that's fully vaccinated, flea'd, wormed and will also be neutered at a later date for free is quite a bargain! Although not from health checked parents, presumably but also rescues' vets will have done a full check up on pups - so rescue is a good source of puppies without putting money in a breeder's pocket).

Ah yes, the resource guarding thing - Cesar Millan got his worst ever dog bite from a golden retriever, didn't he? Forget pit bulls!

tabulahrasa Mon 09-Feb-15 12:56:27

I think it was a lab that bit cesar Milan...I'd have bitten him too if he did that to me, lol.

If you want a puppy, start with the breed club, they should have information on exactly what health tests are needed.

If you want a rescue then that's probably also the best place to start looking as most breed clubs have links to breed specific rescues.

Hoppinggreen Mon 09-Feb-15 13:51:42

Golden Retrievers are the best dogs in the world ever - fact!!
They are also very hairy and messy and smelly. One thing I would be aware of, they are a bit big and clumsy and while ours would never have deliberately hurt anyone ( had 3 as a kid to 20's) I did get knocked over, dragged over and scratched a few times. I also got shredded by puppy's who are like mini sharks with needle teeth. Our good friends got one from the same litter as us and their 3 year old was badly injured after being knocked downstairs but their GR accidently.
They also tend to get very attached to one person and can suffer if left for long. Our very placid large male went nuts once when my Mum was ill and had to be taken away by ambulance. If I hadn't been virtually lying on him I think he would have attacked them.
I am very jealous as my DH won't let me have one as he says they are too big but I'm working on it.

Hoppinggreen Mon 09-Feb-15 13:53:49

avery that's a lovely picture. Our last GR died 10 years ago and I still tear up when I see a photo like that!!!
We never had a resource guarding issue either with our 3 ( 2 dogs 1 bitch)

Naicecuppatea Mon 09-Feb-15 16:00:37

Just post crashing as we are also hoping to get a GR.

Does anyone know if registering on the Champ Dogs would be any good?

Naicecuppatea Mon 09-Feb-15 16:00:59

Champ Dogs website, sorry

JoffreyBaratheon Mon 09-Feb-15 16:15:40

tabula I don't remember what it was exactly, but it was food guarding to the extreme - I remember thinking why on earth hadn't they had it PTS, it was terrifying and they had a very young child, if I remember rightly. Didn't realise that was a thing with them.

wintersdawn Mon 09-Feb-15 16:27:40

They are great dogs but as mentioned above do shed hair to an amazing amount. With young children you may find some rescue centres won't let you re home them, depends on policy.

We had ours 2 years before the kids so have never had the problem of kids getting scratched but sent flying by by simply being in the wrong place when dog turns round yes. Ours is big but so gentle with them and we've worked really hard for them to understand the respect they need to give him.

Never had a problem with food guarding.

They are great in that a really good walk will wear them out, you don't get home with a dog that's still bouncing. But if you've never had one before just remember they need a walk every day of the year come rain or shine weather the kids or you are ill or not.

Research the line you buy from as ours has a skin condition that means he's on steroids for the rest of his life which effects his appetite and whilst not horrific cost wise is a constant cost. As a guide ours costs about £60-70 a month in food excluding medicine.

averylongtimeago Mon 09-Feb-15 17:10:33

Here they are in the car after todays walk - not too muddy despite playing in the brook!

Goldies are great - they make fantastic family pets. Oldie goldie actively seeks out the grandkids so they can play with her.
But they do need training - they are big dogs and if not trained can easily knock over a child by jumping up, or pull you over pulling on the lead. This isn't just true of Goldies, what ever breed you get needs training, all pups of whatever breed jump up, pull on the lead and are landsharks while teething!

Make sure you choose a good breeder, many have websites/facebook pages as a start. If you know someone with a nice one, start from there. Go and see the breeder - look at their dogs, males and females:meet the "family" of dogs. When you find one you like, be prepared to wait for the right puppy, a lot of breeders have waiting lists and they will also want to meet you. We were "interviewed" before we were allowed to take ours. A reputable breeder will also be prepared to take the dog back should your circumstances change.

JazzAnnNonMouse Mon 09-Feb-15 18:11:17

Thank you for all of the info - so much to think about !

muttynutty Mon 09-Feb-15 19:02:16

Bollocks to resource guarding in goldies

Mud, lying in puddles, being smiley and a little bit dim in the best possible way, happy, hairy, muddy, loves to be be trained and will act perfectly if there are no distractions. Will always run up to immaculate Aunts who don't like dogs and greet them affectionately. Loves people and loves to hear people laugh. Happy hairy muddy dogs grin did I mention their love of mud!

Do research your breeder carefully and do make sure you check up on all necessary health tests.

Cesar Milans bite was from a lab but Cesar was being an idiot and basically asked the dog to bite him

Buttholelane Mon 09-Feb-15 19:10:18

Mutty - spaniels and retrievers ARE known for resource guarding.
Retrievers especially are known for extreme resource guarding I.e of dust, grass etc.
Not all will have it just as not all gsds will have von wilebrands or all collies will have PRA or all Yorkies will have luxating patella but it is a known issue.

Some golden breeders even think they can pinpoint the exact stud responsible for it (as in this case the behaviour is thought to have a genetic basis).

I suggest you do a bit more research.
Outright denying a breeds faults does no one any favours.

BestIsWest Mon 09-Feb-15 19:23:41

We had one for 15 years. Lovely dog, came from a working background, bred on a small farm.

As with any dog, do your research.

And be prepared for the moult. We're still finding fluff 11 years on.

muttynutty Mon 09-Feb-15 19:33:36

Butt all dogs can and will resource guard -

Do my research uhmmm I have done over seven years of academic study on dogs - it is my profession. grin

Buttholelane Mon 09-Feb-15 19:38:07

Yes they can, it's a natural behaviour for dogs BUT spaniels and retrievers are known for showing a much higher incidence of it and of much greater severity.
To the point that most behaviourists will tell you that these two breeds make up the bulk of their resource guarding cases.

If you have done years of academic study as its your profession and you genuinely never knew that spaniels and retrievers are known for exhibiting this behaviour more than other breeds and of greater severity and that experts believe that in many cases there is a genetic predisposition to it then I honestly think you should do more studying.

muttynutty Mon 09-Feb-15 20:00:10

ha ha will do Butt, I am constantly learning...

but it is a bit like cocker rage...............

Certain lines of breeding will show some characteristics hence the research your breeder comment when getting a puppy. BUT I can assure you that Goldies and Spaniels are not more predisposed to resource guarding than other breeds.

I have read the articles with the scare mongering and unsubstantiated unscientific claims on this. There was a scientific study carried out by Holls and Mills that researched this in depth and showed no clear breed that resource guarded - I'll try and find it for you but off out now - actually to do a bit more learning smile

SunnyL Mon 09-Feb-15 20:10:18

Just to chuck it out there but I've got a goldie cross collie cross lab. She's pretty fab. Perhaps a little too collie like in the house but once we go out she's fab. Downside is definitely the volume of hoovering she causes. I grew up with whippets and greyhounds so have been bowled over by the volume of grooming and hoovering she causes.

Crosses are often overlooked both a puppies and adults in rescue centres and yet are cheaper to insure, have fewer hereditary issues and can be the cutest things.

SunnyL Mon 09-Feb-15 20:11:14

Oh and no resource guarding problems here thanks to hours of training and socialisation we did when she was a pup wink

Panicmode1 Tue 10-Feb-15 12:25:01

Our goldie is coming up to 15 weeks - she's from a mixed working/show line - but predominantly show, is cream, and yes, I have had issues with her resource guarding my sofa - and I didn't know that it was an issue with the breed until I read this thread. I am working really hard with her on that and she is getting better.

She chews EVERYTHING, has teeth like needles, is going to be huge (she's already 14.5kg) but she's a quick learner and is fab with the children. I even took her to Beavers last week and she was so calm whilst 15 children stroked, poked and pulled her tail (even though they'd been asked repeatedly not to!).

I haven't had a dog before, and have had moments when I wish I'd got an older dog from a rescue as it's SO full on (and I've got four children so am used to mess, chaos and hard work!), but she's brilliant fun and I know that if we persist with the training and the hard work, she will be a brilliant dog.

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