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Do Golden Retrievers make good family pets?

(73 Posts)
animallover22 Sat 26-Oct-19 22:02:00

Hi, does anyone have any experience with Golden Retrievers? What are they like with cats,dogs,small furries?

OP’s posts: |
namechanged984630 Sat 26-Oct-19 23:04:29

We have a 16 week old Golden. Rey good with the cat, chases him but won't do anything more and they've reached an uneasy friendship. Other digs just wants to greet but is wary of barky ones. My Golden has a lovely temperament.

confusednorthner Sat 26-Oct-19 23:23:27

We've a golden retriever cross poodle, he's amazing family dog. He's 8 and honestly been easiest dog we've had. Loves everyone, even my non doggy friends are fond of him.

Lougle Sat 26-Oct-19 23:25:36

I've got a GSD X Retriever. He's absolutely rock solid with our 2 cats and 3 chickens. They can wander about (our chickens have been known to come indoors!) and he doesn't bat an eyelid.

yodl Sun 27-Oct-19 05:10:11

Golden Retrievers are well known as good family dogs. Have you ever googled something about the breed? It’s one of the first things that comes up.
We have 11 year old golden and she has been nothing but joy.

Hydrogenbeatsoxygen Sun 27-Oct-19 05:13:27

Golden Retrievers are wonderful dogs. We had one for 14 years and she was totally one of the family. They are friendly, kind, loyal, loving, easy to train, beautiful, but very hairy!

weaselwords Sun 27-Oct-19 05:21:21

Biggest draw back is all the hair and mud. Otherwise, lovely dogs. Pleasant nature and trainable.

frostedviolets Sun 27-Oct-19 11:01:46

I think it unwise to label a whole breed as 'good family pets' to be honest.

I had a golden retriever briefly, he was both child aggressive and aggressive around food.

Golden retrievers are a very popular breed which means there will be an awful lot out there with inherited, genetic, not terribly good temperaments thanks to people breeding any two together for the money.

At the end of the day, whether a dog is a good family pet comes down to two things in my opinion:

- the temperament of its family; bad temperament parent dogs tend to produce bad temperament puppies

- it's upbringing

My experience of golden retrievers out and about is that healthy ones of a sensible weight tend to be very bouncy and boisterous and lively, especially with other dogs.
The placid plodders are always either ancient or grotesquely obese.

Hydrogenbeatsoxygen Sun 27-Oct-19 13:15:05

Go to a reputable breeder, rather than someone breeding any two together for the money.

Sensible advice, actually for anyone getting a dog!

LolaSmiles Sun 27-Oct-19 13:20:13

They make lovely family pets.

They do, however, need a lot fo stimulation and exercise so it's worth thinking about how that will fit into family life.

tabulahrasa Sun 27-Oct-19 15:38:58

They have issues with resource guarding which is not an easy issue to deal with if you have children or other pets...

They shouldn’t have mind, but it’s quite common so really important to find a good breeder who knows the lines well.

MrsMozartMkII Sun 27-Oct-19 15:41:46

They can get quite big and very strong.

Definitely needs training, though I say that about any breed.

adaline Sun 27-Oct-19 15:50:23

Don't forget that Goldens are big dogs and will easily pull over a child (or adult) if not trained to walk properly on a lead. Big dogs need careful exercise in the early months/years to prevent joint problems and plenty of exercise when fully grown. It's worth thinking about whether you can genuinely fit that into your life or not.

I've never met a calm golden that wasn't either old or overweight. Young retrievers should be fit, strong and capable of walking all day.

averylongtimeago Sun 27-Oct-19 16:06:32

I had goldens for the last 40 years.
They have all been fine with my children and grandchildren, but they all have different personalities.

One loved being climbed on and would seek out children to play with, another would take her self out of the way if the dc were too loud.
And of course any dog of any breed may snap if poked and prodded beyond endurance.

Goldens like being with their people- they don't like being shut out.
They are very good oriented (like labs) and if not trained will hover any food and you will be horrified by the list of things they consider "food" they can reach.
They are big dogs, especially the males, and absolutely need to be trained not to jump up or pull on the lead. Good recall is vital too.
They are mud magnets and love water- they shed like demons and you house will never be clean again. You will never be able to wear black, and your huge industrial vacuum will be your best friend.
They are expensive- a well bred puppy costs ££££, and you need to check elbow, hip and eye scores of the parents to avoid ill health. Sadly many suffer with arthritis and cancer is common for the breed.

Have I put you off?
I think they are the best breed, they are relatively easy to train, most will sell their sole for liver cake! They are loyal and loving and fun.

basquiatfan Sun 27-Oct-19 16:06:59

I would say in general they do make good family pets if bred well but obviously they each have their own personality. I am on my second goldie and I find the biggest problem is that she is such a scavenger when out and about. In the house we have had no problems at all and absolutely no resource guarding. She lives happily alongside my other dog. She can get a bit bouncy when visitors arrive but she soon calms down.

averylongtimeago Sun 27-Oct-19 16:15:41

Sorry; forgot to say about cats.
Retrievers have quite a high prey drive - to you have to train them not to chase things.
They will learn to live along side cats, most soon learn that the resident cat is not to be messed with. Small furries? As in rabbits and guinea pigs? Well I wouldn't trust any of mine with unrestricted access- they would probably regard them as lunch, but there again it's not something I have ever trained them for.

TheRobinIsBobbingAlong Sun 27-Oct-19 16:19:28

Im on my third Golden. My second one was young when my DC were born and she was wonderful with them. Excellent temperament. They are very easy to train if you get them young. Take your puppy to a good training school as soon as they are inoculated. I have a cat too. She was introduced to my second GR as an 8 week kitten and accepted immediately. My current GR came as a puppy when the cat was 2 so the cat is the boss and they get on fine, though my GR will bark and chase other cats given the chance. The Golden used to sit and stare at my hamster when I had one. They are retrievers at the end of the day and if a rabbit or guinea pig was loose then the dog would probably chase after it.

If you get your Golden from a breeder then check their pedigree history to make sure they haven't bred from the same pairs too often, and ensure the parent dogs have good hip and eye scores.

TheRobinIsBobbingAlong Sun 27-Oct-19 16:24:47

With regards to health, we've been a bit unlucky. My first GR had epilepsy and died just before she was two. Turned out she had a faulty heart valve (hence my comment about be careful about too much interbreeding). Second GR was mostly healthy but had a mast cell tumour on her head which was successfully (and very expensively) treated. Current GR suffers frequent bouts of pancreatitis and has to stick to a strict low fat diet which is not helped by their scavenging nature. Always, always get decent insurance no matter what breed you settle on.

spot102 Mon 28-Oct-19 03:45:24

Friend of mine got one as a puppy, lovely dog, but at as an adolescent (dog) she struggles to control it. It's large, lively and strong. I daresay with age and training it will improve, but worth bearing in mind.

sashh Mon 28-Oct-19 03:56:04

The one we had as a teenager used to wander around oblivious to the cat hanging off her tail and being dragged around.

She loved the car, she would sit in it when it was being washed.

Downsides, my school uniform was navy, it doesn't go well with GR hair.

I didn't get to eat my 16th birthday cake, the dog got there first and she also liked to chew used underwear.

animallover22 Mon 28-Oct-19 08:49:24

Thankyou all for your comments. I understand that I can look online but I think it's best to see people's personal experience. I thought about maybe a GR x poodle, as I am allergic to dogs who shed a lot, also getting a mixed breed may counter out some of the major health problems.

OP’s posts: |
adaline Mon 28-Oct-19 08:58:48

If you have allergies, why go with a Golden at all? They're very hairy dogs and crossing one with a poodle is no guarantee that you'll get a dog that doesn't shed.

Why not go with a poodle or another low-shedding breed like a Schnauzer or Bichon?

frostedviolets Mon 28-Oct-19 08:59:47

GR x poodle, as I am allergic to dogs who shed a lot


Low shedding/hypoallergenic dogs:

- wire coated dogs if hand stripped like schnauzers, border terriers etc
- dogs with single, hair like coats like Yorkshire terriers
- poodles

There is zero guarantee a low shed dog x high shed dog will inherit the low shed coat.

Poodle mixes are almost always puppy farmed, they often have horrid, neurotic temperaments as a result in my experience

Dog allergy is often to dander and saliva, a poodle coat won't help you there and the poodle coat needs regular maintenance every 6 weeks by a professional groomer and daily combing else it mats.

animallover22 Mon 28-Oct-19 09:10:25

There is a risk of that happening, which is why I'm considering every breed. I just lost my dog on Friday who was a cavapoo and I can honestly say she was the best dog I've had, right up until the end. I think saying that they have a 'horrid temperament' is a bit far, as in my experience I think that their possibly one of the best breeds going. However I'm talking 11 years ago when we got her and from a breeder, so now I'm not too sure what the breeding is like from them now.

OP’s posts: |
frostedviolets Mon 28-Oct-19 09:23:25

think saying that they have a 'horrid temperament' is a bit far, as in my experience I think that their possibly one of the best breeds going

Apart from your one cavapoo how many poodle crosses have you met recently?

Because my area is heaving with them and they are mostly quite vile.

I am not saying they are all vile, there are absolutely are beautiful ones out there with gorgeous temperaments but overall, I personally have not found them pleasant generally.

There is a white one that has gone for my DH twice, my own dog has been lunged and growled and snapped at by a few for walking past and being near a ball, one has growled at my DD who was only stood near our own dog, she hadn't tried to pet it or anything, there is a brown one that I've seen growling at passing children.

They are extensively puppy farmed, very very few poodle mixes are from good, decent breeders.

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