Pros and Cons of Owning a Golden Retriever You Need To Know


Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds, and for good reason. They are known for being friendly, easygoing, and well-behaved. Plus, they are very cute!

Whether or not to adopt a dog isn’t always an easy choice. Loving dogs and being able to take care of a dog are two very different things.

If you are looking to get a dog, there are very few cons of getting a Golden Retriever. You will have to make sure that you are ready for a dog to come into your household. Golden Retrievers are a well-behaved breed, but this is not a guarantee.

Pros and Cons of Golden Retriever Traits

Golden Retrievers, like any other breed of dog, have common or typical traits that are seen in most dogs of that breed. These could either be good or bad things, and will help you to be able to get an idea of what you should expect when you bring a Golden Retriever home for the first time.

Even though not all Golden Retrievers will display all of these traits, knowing the pros and cons of Golden Retrievers is a great step in deciding whether or not they are going to be the right breed for you.

Here are some of the pros and most common traits that Golden Retrievers have:

  • Calm, sweet, and happy demeanor
  • Friendly with people of any age
  • Tends not to bark or bite unprovoked
  • Smart and easy to train

Here are some of the cons of Golden Retrievers that you might not like:

  • They are very hairy and can shed a lot
  • They are large
  • Have a lot of energy
  • Need companionship

If you’re interested in learning about more of the Golden Retrievers pros and cons, keep reading. There are so many more things that go into considering whether or not to adopt a dog, and you should be aware of everything before you make your final choice.

Not All Golden Retrievers Are the Same

The first Golden Retriever I ever met was well-behaved, sweet, calm, affectionate, and essentially everything that you would want in a Golden Retriever. When you think about the perfect Golden Retriever for you and your household, you’re probably only thinking of it having good traits.

However, not all Golden Retrievers have all of those nice traits that are typical for their breed. I have also met Golden Retrievers that were prone to biting and loudly barking at people who entered their home.

When you adopt a Golden Retriever, be prepared for it to not behave exactly like what you would expect after doing some research on what Golden Retrievers are supposed to be like.

You shouldn’t let this discourage you from getting a Golden Retriever, though. A lot of bad behaviors can be trained out of dogs, with some patience and kindness on your part.

You can also take a Golden Retriever to an obedience school, where both you and your dog will probably learn some great ways to handle bad behavior.

The Perfect Household for a Golden Retriever

While Golden Retrievers are generally very easy-going, there are a few things that they would be the happiest living with.

Golden Retrievers actually prefer to live in households that have multiple family members. This is because they love interaction, and do not like to be left alone for too long. Large families are great for Golden Retrievers.

They would also prefer a house that has a large yard. This way, you could let them out into the yard whenever they want to go outside, and they wouldn’t have to rely on you being available every time they need to get some exercise.

However, you shouldn’t get too worried about what the “perfect” household is. There are ways to work around some of these points, and all you have to do is make sure that all your dog’s needs are met, and that they are happy and healthy.

How to Prepare to Adopt a Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever puppy

The most important, and the easiest, part of adopting a Golden Retriever is making a checklist of all the supplies that you will need. This way, when you bring your dog home, you will not be missing anything.

Here are a few things that you should be sure to have at home when you adopt a Golden Retriever:

  • Food, along with food and water bowls
  • Toys
  • Bed
  • Hairbrush
  • Toothbrush
  • Shampoo

You’ll want to make sure that any food you get is specific for your dog’s age, or any health conditions it might have. There are different ingredients in dog food for puppies, adults, and elders. This is to make sure that your dog is getting the proper nutrients that it needs, and is a very important detail to remember.

Make sure that you have a big water bowl, too. Golden Retrievers are fairly large dogs and will need to drink a lot of water throughout the day. Make sure that you will be able to keep water in the bowl at all times, as dehydration is a serious problem in dogs and could make them very sick.

Golden Retrievers are very playful. You should try to get them a wide variety of toys. This will ensure that they always have something to do, and you will be able to figure out what they like best if you have a wide variety.

Getting a bed is fairly simple. Just make sure that it is the right size for your dog!

It’s easy to forget that you need to buy your dog things such as hair brushes, toothbrushes, and shampoo. Their health and hygiene are very important, so don’t forget this when you go to the pet store.

Remember to get pet-specific hygiene products, as human items won’t be good for your pets. Dogs have delicate skin that can dry out easily, so don’t use human shampoo on them.

Since Golden Retrievers have long hair, you’ll want to make sure that you are brushing them regularly. This will help to get rid of hairs that have fallen out, and you’ll see less of them on your couch.

It’s also not a bad idea to invest in a few lint rollers, in the likely event that you get dog hair on your furniture or your clothes.

What Toys do Golden Retrievers Prefer?

One of the biggest traits of Golden Retrievers is their playful energy. You’ll want to make sure that you have plenty of toys around for them to play with, especially if you are adopting a puppy or a young dog.

A great basic toy to have around for your dog is a ball. There are many different options in the stores when you are looking for a ball, but anything will do. Throwing a ball is a great way to play with your dog, and it is something that Golden Retrievers enjoy!

You can see it plainly in the “retriever” part of the name Golden Retriever. They were originally bred to be hunting dogs. The job of a Golden Retriever was to retrieve waterfowl after they had been shot.

This hunting skill is still embedded in this dog’s genetic code. Even if you have never brought your Golden Retriever hunting, and never plan to, it will always be a part of this dog’s instincts. This is why Golden Retrievers love it when you throw a ball to them so that they can retrieve it for you!

Beyond playing fetch, there are a lot of other toys that would be great for playing with Golden Retrievers.

Bones and other chew toys are good for any kind of dog. These will give them something to occupy their time for hours, and is a great thing to give them when you will not be able to spend time with them. It will keep them busy and happy while you are away.

A tug rope is another great option. You can use this to play with your Golden Retriever. Getting a nice, thick rope for a game of tug is a great way to interact with your dog. It is a good time for them to be social, and have some enrichment, rather than having them just sit by themselves and chew something alone.

Tips for First Time Dog Owners

The most important thing to keep in mind when you are adopting a new dog is that your dog will need some time to adjust to its new home.

This means that the personality your dog shows on your first day together might not be what this dog is like at the end of your first month together. They might build up their confidence and become more outgoing, energetic, or loud. Or, they could settle down more, and become comfortable and calm in your house and with you.

You should also make sure that you figure out what your dog likes and does not like early on. This can include everything from where you pet them, to the food that you feed them, to different items and sounds around your home.

Observe your dog and the way that it interacts with the things around it. Make sure that you are trying to make your dog comfortable, and let it know that it is safe with you and in its new home.

When to Not Adopt a Golden Retriever

After reading through some of the pros and cons of Golden Retrievers, as well as some of the different care requirements they need, you’re probably coming to your own decision.

If you are still not sure whether or not you should adopt a Golden Retriever, there are a few questions that you should be asking yourself:

  • Do I have time to care for a dog?
  • Can I afford this dog’s supplies and vet bills?
  • Is my home big enough for a Golden Retriever?
  • Am I prepared for it to misbehave?

You have to be sure that you plan in advance for things to go wrong. Even though Golden Retrievers are generally a nice, easygoing breed, they still have some outliers.

When you adopt a dog, you are making it a member of your family. While sometimes things happen, and people are no longer able to care for pets that they adopted, you should try your best to make sure that you are ready for a dog before you adopt one.

If you don’t think you could handle a Golden Retriever that has a few mild behavioral problems, you should not get a dog. Mild behavioral problems are things that would be easy to work out, and shouldn’t be a big issue as long as you are patient with your dog, and put in some time and effort.

Make sure to calculate an estimate of what it would cost to have a dog per month. If you don’t think you’ll be able to buy your dog’s essentials every month, you should not get a dog.

Should You Adopt a Golden Retriever?

If you are still considering adopting a Golden Retriever after reading through this article, then the likely answer is yes!

Make sure that you are prepared for both the best and the worst when you are adopting a Golden Retriever. If you invite a new pet into your home, make sure that you try your best to give the dog a happy life.

If you have read over these pros and cons of owning a Golden Retriever, and think that there are a few things that would be deal-breakers for you or your household, you probably shouldn’t get a Golden Retriever.

Final Thoughts

As long as you are willing to work with your Golden Retriever through any problems in its behavior, or in your living habits, you are probably going to build a great friendship.

However, if you don’t think that you are going to put enough effort into caring for your Golden Retriever, you should probably not adopt a dog until you are more prepared.