All dogs require human companionship. However, Golden Retrievers seem to need more social interaction with people than some other breeds (it's part of what makes them outstanding family companions). They do not do well when isolated for long periods of time. Left alone for hours on end, a bored Golden can cause a great deal of damage to a home or yard or even engage in self destructive behaviours.

If everyone in the family is away from home for 8 or 9 hours during the day, it is essential that the dog's needs be considered. A dog walking service, a retired neighbour or local student may be the answer to providing an hour of playtime during the day to avert the boredom that many Goldens (especially younger ones) experience when isolated from people.

A good book for 9-5'ers to read before acquiring a dog is The Weekend Dog by Myrna Milani, Signet (Penguin Books), 1985. If you are away from home all day, take evening courses, and love to travel to "no dogs allowed" destinations on weekends, please consider whether it is fair to add a Golden (or any dog) to your life.


Goldens (especially puppies) love to dig! They are by nature water dogs and most will go out of their way to soak themselves in any puddle they can find. Count on some of the outside coming inside and be prepared to wash floors and walls more often when you have a Golden. Being retrievers, they will carry almost anything that will fit in their mouths -- and you may find an assortment of laundry, shoes and even towels from the bathroom deposited all over the house.

Goldens shed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (it's worse in Spring and Fall) and you will forever be sweeping up dust bunnies even an hour after you vacuum! Forget about walking across the carpet wearing black socks (you will have Golden hair slippers on the bottom of your feet!)

If the additional dirt, hair and cleaning that come with bringing a Golden home are troubling to you, please carefully consider if this is the right breed for you.


"I will never forget the sound of a turkey carcass hitting the floor" 
Amy McKenzie's Mom

This is an intelligent, active breed that requires a moderate to high level of exercise on a daily basis. Being a fairly large animal, they can cause injury to seniors or toddlers (quite unintentionally) when jumping up in greeting or racing around the house playing. Access to a safe area for running, regular daily walks and a commitment to attending training classes to ensure your dog develops good house manners are some of the obligations you'll have when you add any large, active dog to your life.

Happily, Goldens thrive when learning new activities and make outstanding partners in obedience, agility and flyball -- these are wonderful ways to spend quality time with your dog while addressing both exercise and training needs.

A Breed Standard is a written description of the ideal Golden Retriever -- it's the blueprint that all good breeders use when they produce a litter. Here's where to find information about the correct temperament, size and colour of Golden Retrievers (did you know that Goldens can have either straight or wavy coats? Or that the correct weight for males is 65-75 pounds and for females 60-70 pounds?)

Visit the Golden Retriever Club of Canada Website at
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