Is a Golden Retriever a Good First Dog?

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Bringing a dog to your home can be one of the most exciting decisions that you’ll ever make.

Now that you’ve made sure that you have enough time, energy, and love to give this new friend, it’s time to get ready for the next step.

You need to figure out the right dog breed for you. This choice depends mainly on your lifestyle, needs, energy level, and budget. Considering all this, is a Golden Retriever a good first dog?

A Golden Retriever is an excellent first-time dog, easy to care for and with a friendly, playful and patient personality, especially with children. Golden Retrievers are smart and eager to please dogs, making them easy to train and a good choice for a first-time owner.

In this article, we’ll answer the question of why you should have a Golden Retriever as your first dog? Read on to find out!

How to Choose Your First Dog?

How to choose your first dog

You may have decided to get a dog when you came across a certain dog that you really liked to have. However, not every dog breed can be suitable for everyone.

Before choosing a dog, you need to consider three things to avoid first-time dog owners’ mistakes. To make the best of this experience, check out the following points.

You Need to Choose a Dog That’s Easy to Train

As a first-time dog owner, you still haven’t developed the experience to deal with a stubborn dog, like bloodhounds, so you need a breed that’s easily trained.

Besides, having a dog that responds well to obedience training can make your life much easier.

Experienced dog owners also recommend rehoming or rescuing an adult dog, instead of getting a puppy, to skip the training phase.

You Need to Choose a Dog That’s Easy to Care for

You still have to experiment with how much time and energy you can dedicate to the dog. So at first, it’s way better to choose a dog that’s easy to care for.

In this case, researching the breed’s needs and matching them with your own is not to be taken lightly.

Dogs need grooming, either at home or by a professional. In both cases, you’ll have to devote time to that.

Dogs need to play and exercise, some more than others. Some breeds can’t be left home alone for extended periods of time.

Socialization is crucial for some dogs, too. Poorly socialized dogs can become shy and suspicious of others.

And You Need to Know Exactly Why You Want to Get a Dog

Each breed has qualities that make it perfect for specific activities or tasks. Maybe you want to

  • Sit back and relax with your laid-back dog in the living room.
  • Have an active playmate at home.
  • Walk, run, or hike with an athletic dog.
  • Have a vigilant watchdog.
  • Or have a loving dog to play with your kids.

As a first-timer, you have to conduct extensive research on what best suits your needs and home life.

Failing to make the right choice may lead to a frustrating, even harmful, experience for both of you. For example, if you’d like a guard dog, you can’t choose a breed that’s known for trusting and playing with strangers, like Bloodhounds.

Is a Golden Retriever a Good First Dog?

Golden Retriever First Dog

Goldens make a great first dog for many reasons. In this section, we’ll show you how, and we’ll also tell you some things that you need to consider before getting one.

About Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are among the most popular breeds in the U.S. and many other countries. They love to work and play.

Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs. In addition, they have strong, muscular bodies and short ears. I think they have the kindest look on their face and the dog’s fur coat is longish, thick, and pretty.

A Golden’s weight ranges from 55 to 75 pounds. Plus, the male can grow up to 24 inches in height and the female to 22.5. The lifespan of the dog ranges from 10 to 12 years.

They were bred as gun dogs in the Scottish Highland by a politician called Edward Marjoribanks in the 1890s. They first arrived in America around 1908 and they were registered by the American Kennel Club in 1925.

They work as guides for the blind. They also assist humans in search-and-rescue missions, hunting, and fieldwork. In addition, they can be therapy dogs, thanks to their loving and calming nature.

They are intelligent, friendly, playful, and eager-to-please. Although they are considered working dogs, they love to play and enjoy outdoor exercises.

4 Reasons Why a Golden Retriever Is a Good First Dog

Golden Retrievers good first dog

Goldens make a great first dog for many reasons. In this section, we’ll show you how, and we’ll also tell you some things that you need to consider before getting one.

1.   They Have an Amazing Personality

Golden Retrievers are typical family dogs. They fit in in any household thanks to their cheerful, eager-to-please personality.

They have a loving, playful nature and they are very patient with children who treat them respectfully. They rarely get angry or aggressive with them. Goldens don’t bark a lot, so they are relatively quiet.

One fun fact about Goldens is that they mature slowly. They remain playful and goofy as adults, too. That means you’ll keep having fun with that happy friend even when it’s past its puppy days.

They need constant attention and affection and they enjoy petting and although the breed enjoys playing outdoors, Golden retrievers prefer to stay close to you and your family and it’ll constantly follow you around. 

They also like to chew, especially when bored, and they carry things around in their mouths, so be careful with what you leave around the house. As a rule of thumb, if you want to keep something, you have to hide it.

Remember, it’s a very friendly dog that doesn’t like to bark, so don’t expect it to be a watch or guard dog.

Socialization is really important for this breed and it contributes to the well-being of the dog.

2.   They Are Easy to Train

Golden Retrievers are smart, they love to please, and they enjoy learning. That’s why they respond well to different kinds of training.

You also need to stimulate their brains with new tricks and games. Some of the great ideas to keep them happy and mentally stimulated is to provide them with physical activities, obedience classes, games, and toys.

Of course, you have to be patient with your Golden Retriever. It’s a very sensitive breed and you may hurt the dog if you treat it roughly during the training period.

3.   They are Easy to Care for

Golden Retrievers are relatively easy to care for. With them, you’ll get a great opportunity to learn how to care for dogs

They have a  thick fur coat and they shed a lot during season change. However, you can control the amount of hair on your furniture by feeding them a healthy diet and brushing their fur daily for ten minutes.

Check the dog’s ears weekly to avoid infections, and brush its teeth often. You only need to bathe them occasionally and make sure to trim their nails regularly.

One downside here is that Goldens love to eat. They can become overweight if you allow them to overeat.

Also, the breed is susceptible to some health issues, like hypothyroidism, hip and elbow dysplasia, and an eye condition called pigmentary uveitis.

However, these are manageable issues and they don’t get them at an early age.

They don’t enjoy t being left alone outside for long periods, so make sure you have enough room at home for the medium-sized, playful dog.

You shouldn’t leave the dog home alone for more than 8 hours to keep boredom and separation anxiety at bay.

4.   They Love to Play and Have Fun

It’s an active breed. You have to take it for one or two long walks every day. If you can’t fit that into your schedule, try to get a less energetic dog.

To stay happy and healthy, Golden retrievers need plenty of playtime and exercise. They would be great for an athletic person who likes walking, hiking, or running. They enjoy swimming and fetching.

They love to work, so try to give them tasks, like fetching things for you or putting away their toys. They will be happy and when they see your reaction, they will be even happier.

Goldens are intelligent dogs, so If you’re a competitive person, you’d love to have a Golden. Due to their intelligence and love for exercise, they enjoy and excel in dog sports competitions, like dock jumping.

Just be careful. Not getting enough exercise may lead them to be destructive, unhappy, and unhealthy.

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are loving, good looking dogs that you’d probably love to have as a first dog for you and your family, especially if you have kids.

The dog is fun to be around and it’s easy to train and to care for. You can have it as a companion in many outdoor activities.

However, they may not be the best option for you if you don’t have enough time or you don’t like to play a lot.

Dog hair on the furniture, being followed by the dog from room to room, the need for large spaces are to be taken into consideration, too.

Just don’t let these minor drawbacks keep you from enjoying the company of this great dog.