Seeing a 10-month old Golden Retriever - advice pls!(46 Posts)
Hi, advice/tips appreciated. The owner of a GR is bringing him down to meet me on Saturday. I have no doubts this is a genuine need for rehoming - he has split up, now has a FT job and can't give him the home and time he needs . He clearly adores the dog. We've had lots of email contact and he's bringing him down to meet me and the family. He's been upfront with all my questions - nothing concerning in the least. He's asked me if i'm thinking about taking him in Saturday if we're happy. I would love to and can't see any problem in doing so and it would be better and less unsettling for Winston, the dog, in any case (presumably). What do people think?
I think if you like the dog, the man seems genuine and you are both happy on meeting, then yes, it's probably better for the dog. Presumably if the owner is working FT then he doesn't want to have to worry about the dog being looked after for any longer than he has to. A friend of mine rehomed her dog in similar circumstances at about the same age, and he went straight from the 'meet and greet' too. Oh, and I hope it all works out - goldens are the best
It's a GR, just get it!!!!!!
Anyone guess what kind of dog we've got?
Seriously though OP, they are lovely but rather large and hairy so make sure you are prepared for that.
Hope it all works out ok x
Thanks all, but I'm miserable tonight. My parents are dissuading me and i just don't know whether I'm doing the right thing now. Their arguments include:
We don't have time to give him the exercise he'll need - (we do lead mad lives but I work from home) we do have a big field round the back of our house.
He'll chew - we have a 5 yr old and they say he'll chew toys, etc.
We don't have space for him to go somewhere and lay quietly (it's a sometimes v noisy household!).
DD (14) has severe anxiety (part of my reasons for wanting a dog/GR in particular) and they say that her times of crisis when she goes mad, won't be fair on the dog.
I have so many emotions. I grew up with GRs but want to do the right thing.
Ok, I work from home and take our GR for a walk before school, a longer one at lunchtime and one after school. We have woods at the bottom of the garden and we mostly walk around there. A run round a big field would be great. Our lives are insane - in between walks and play time he chills out in his BEd or crate ( his choice it's open)
He hasn't chewed anything ( yet) and has enough of his own toys not to bother with the children's
Unless you have quite a small house you should be able to find a quiet corner for a bed I'm sure
Can't comment on your DD I'm afraid but
We had GR from when I was 8, our house was always very busy and unfortunately things were a bit difficult sometimes ( father with MH issues), our GR was absolutely my solace. If I was crying in my room he would come and keep me company, they can be very empathetic.
If you really believe you are the right family for this dog and he is the right dog for you then don't let anyone else put you off. Mil tried to persuade us to get a smaller dog and said they were " stupid big slobbering things" . She now loves him to bits.
If you genuinely don't have time (10 minutes in a field really won't cut it) or even a quiet space for what is a big dog then I think you need to rethink. It's not fair on the dog to take him in and then have to rehome him AGAIN.
So what are your responses to your parents' concerns?
Honestly - if you don't have time to walk a dog, you have a DD with anxiety and nowhere for the dog to have some space...adding an adolescent, under exercised already and probably untrained large dog to the mix is probably not the best decision...
Thanks all, really appreciated. We do have time to walk the dog (there are 4 of us who can individually take him out so it's not an issue) - it's a matter of getting into the habit! He will also have space for quiet - we have two reception rooms and there's always somewhere quiet if needs be.
Re DD - i really do think it will do her good. Not just having a dog around, but the increase in exercise for her ,etc.
Ginger: I've not responded to them as such - they emailed me! Have thought them all through and i'm weighing up everything. The answer will be with me on saturday when i finally meet him: will take him for a walk, to the field behind us, and crucially, into our house. That will be the rest test.
Still open for more advice..... insights
You can throw a ball for the dog - it doesn't need to be a five mile walk. GR's are great at retrieving! Also they are very biddable so you will be able to train him. I think dogs are great for teenagers as they are great listeners - I say that from experience as a teenager and mother of teenagers.
The only negatives I would say are big dog = big mess. Big poo's, big hair, big amount of wet, muddy dog. For all that though I think he will be such a part of your family that you will forgive him! I think it sounds like you really want him and are prepared for him. I would go for it - they only live 12/14 years which is a heartbreakingly short time.
Ah see you posted as if that were true rather than what your parents said, which is why I answered as I did.
Ok, a teenage GR, nearly full size but with the bounciness and hyperactivity of a puppy is what you're looking at, any training it has had it will currently be testing out by pretending it's never learned a thing in it's life...it is a particularly trying age and that is something you want to give serious thought to, it will not yet be a calm well behaved dog even if the current owner is amazing...if they're not amazing you're also going to have a whole load of bad habits to undo.
I'd be asking about the parent's health tests, hip and elbow scores, DNA test for PRA and eye checks as it's still young enough that any of those pretty huge health problems could suddenly appear.
I'd also be checking out resource guarding, it's a known issue in GR's and it may have shown itself already, but equally it could still just appear.
Second what tabulahrasa says.
I have a golden retriever. He is the love of my life but he was HARD WORK. You have to remember that golden retrievers do not come ready trained. The ones you see out and about have had a lot of hard work put in. They are strong and stubborn and can easily get the better of you!
Chewing - I don't have a GR, but I do have a breed that is renowned for chewing - esp wood. We got him at 7 months and the only time we have had trouble with him chewing - a handful of times , and it hasn't been boredom, it has very definitely been attention seeking behaviour.
How hard or easy it would be , will depend on 3 things - 1/your commitment as a family, but also realise if everyone else doesn't pull there weight- it falls to you (which is what has happened in outer family).
2/how well he has been socialised, and trained up until now..... If the owner has been committed as you say, then hopefully he has done a great job that you can continue with.
3/ the individual temperament of the dog ......
I think it's do-able , but also be prepared for some mayhem! And know it will be hard at times.
My son has dyspraxia and with it has suffered from anxiety - having a dog has helped him - it isn't totally responsible for his improvement in this area, but it has helped. What I find fascinating is that our dog, is particularly attached to him , and .....protective is not the word, well actually maybe it is. If we are on a walk , my son is the one our dog keeps an eye on, stays close too- he is watchful in a nannying kind of way. And my son is not the youngest, and also he (my son)was weary when we first got our dog , loved the concept, but definitely took some convincing of the reality! Now he adores him.
Oh and if you do take him/her on - you won't be able to do huge walks to start with, but the key will be providing mental stimulation .
This is not really something I had to worry about too much with mine , because I am out and about all day - and he was able to come with me.
But you can feed in puzzle feeders - and clicker training exhausts them...... Lots on here recommend kiko pup on you tube - could be a helpful resource
My gr has never chewed anything. Eaten, yes, which has involved a few trips to the vet. Grs do not have sharp teeth, so perhaps that makes a difference. Another downside is the slobber. I am used to a glistening paisley design around hip length on most of my clothes, but it grosses some people out.
"Grs do not have sharp teeth"
Um, they have perfectly normal dog teeth...
Thanks all for your insights, really useful. I meet the teenage GR tomorrow afternoon - if no major concerns we shall keep him. I've had lots of email contact with the owner, and a phone cat this evening. The DR sounds like a good tempered chappie, quite sensitive but loves to play. Has his own toy box and doesn't chew other stuff lying around - except shoes. So will have to look specifically into training him not to chew them. Will looking into behavioural classes. He has had a couple of sessions with a dog behaviouralist as he was jumping up at people and he's trained out of this now. Of course, that's not the whole pic by any means - meeting and watching him tomorrow will be the key..... so excited, but daunted too. Is it akin to bringing baby number 1 home?!
skrewt can you please tell my GR that he's supposed to be great at retrieving? He's almost 4 and about a year ago did a perfect retrieve with a frisbee across a looong distance. Never before and never since!
My gr doesn't retrieve either. Hasn't a clue. So he's a fussy eater and a non-retriever. Actually there may be a human trapped inside him...
PermaShattered, I guarantee you will be smitten. Grs are absolutely ace. And definitely akin to bringing first baby home. I had totally forgotten about night waking (although as your potential boy is a teenager he may sleep for hours!) and I was in tears of exhaustion at having to get up several times a night with a puppy who wanted to play or have goats milk at 3am.
The teenage years for dog were characterised by a great deal of inappropriate behaviour with anything woolly (a favourite being my cardigan) and howling outside neighbour's who had a female sausage dog. He put the final paw wrong when he started eyeing dd's friends and he was frogmarched into the vet's pronto to get the chop. Very sad as he is the most handsome fellow in the world and would have enjoyed puppy making, but at the end of the day he is a family pet and not a stud dog. After that he has never transgressed and doesn't even lift his leg up to wee.
Flora, not yet - the owner postponed last minute as he had tickets to a cup final match! What is it that footballer once said: "Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. ... is much, much more important than that.' So he's going to contact me hopefully tomorrow to rearrange. Will let you know!
skrewt can you please tell my GR that he's supposed to be great at retrieving
I can't talk: our GR was demoted to just a Golden - she never got the retrieving thing either but she was so beautiful and sweet natured it was impossible to hold it against her!
This GR clearly wasn't meant to be! The owner had to ( he says) hastily rehome him as he's chewed up the sofa and the landlord sounded off.... So on the look out again.
If anyone has, or knows of anyone, who has a young GR to rehome PLEASE let me know!
Try getting in touch with the rescue people at the breed club, they may be able to help.
I know Happy Paws on FB are expecting 11 rescued goldens from Turkey imminently. Very much worth a look. Also Yappy Ever After dog rescue usually have goldens as well. Fantastic charity and they provide lifetime rescue back up.
Grs rarely come up for rehoming. If they do, then they usually have a problem. Most of the time it's lack of training. People have to realise that grs do not come ready trained. A bored dog left alone for hours will bark, chew, be generally destructive and possibly do a few dirty protests. A few grs come up for adoption who are old or ill or whose owners have fallen by the wayside. Generally these coincide
The thing is with rescued grs (or any dog) from Turkey or wherever is that you don't know the origin of the dog. Grs are liable to hip problems, eye problems and who knows what kind of dogs the parents were. All these things are important if it is to be a family pet. OP has a five-year-old: you just can't take a chance on a dog when there are children involved. An experienced dog owner will cope with a troublesome pet. It's not fair on the dog nor the family to get a rescue dog and then have to see it move on again.
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