If you’re considering adopting a retriever, you’ve already got the first step down: Research! It is important to know what you’re getting yourself into before you adopt. While golden retrievers are a wonderful breed, they are not the perfect fit for everybody. So today, we’ll help answer your question, “Should I adopt a golden retriever?”
Things To Consider Before Adopting
Make no mistake, adopting a retriever is a big commitment. While any retriever owners will tell you the pros outweigh the cons, owning a retriever is not the best option for everybody. So, here are some things to keep in mind before you adopt a golden retriever.
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Retrievers Require Daily Exercise
One of the biggest commitments you’ll need to make is to exercise. Golden retrievers require 1 – 2 hours of exercise a day once they reach adulthood. While walks are exercise, walks alone are not enough exercise for your retriever.
Instead, they will need hard exercise that actually tires them out. This includes activities such as running, playing fetch, swimming, or even hiking. If you have a busy schedule, or if you would prefer a less-active breed, golden retrievers are not for you.
Retrievers Have Moderate Grooming Needs
If you’ve ever pet a golden retriever, you know they shed. A lot. Because of this, your retriever will need to brushed a couple times a week, and more often than that in the summer. In addition, you can be sure that dog hair will end up on your clothes, carpet, and furniture.
While brushing your retriever is the most basic of their grooming needs, it is not their only need. Retrievers are considered a medium-maintenance dog that will need more care than other breeds. Without this care, your retriever is likely to develop health issues, and can also develop depression. For a complete look at your retriever’s grooming needs, check out our article on golden retriever grooming.
Health/Lifespan of Golden Retrievers
It is important to remember that adopting a retriever won’t just affect you for the next 2 – 3 years. Golden retrievers have a lifespan of 10 – 12 years, so it’s important that you’re committed for the long haul. Fortunately, golden retrievers are a relatively healthy breed that will not get sick often.
Retrievers are, however, more susceptible to bone and joint issues than other breeds. Because of this, you’ll want to make sure your retriever gets plenty of calcium and phosphorous in their diet. In addition, varied and regular exercise is important to keep their bones and joints strong. For a complete look at your retriever’s exercise needs, check out our article on golden retriever exercise.
Your Retriever’s Gender
It may not seem like a big deal, you may want to put some consideration into the gender of your golden retriever. While there’s no hard evidence for this, owners and breeders believe the two genders have different personality. Females are said to be more affectionate while males are said to have a more caring personality. If you have a specific idea for the type of dog you would like to adopt, then taking gender into account will help you get there.
Why Should I Adopt A Golden Retriever?
As mentioned before, owners will tell you that the pros of adopting a retriever outweigh the cons. While retrievers are a medium-maintenance breed, they are still a fantastic breed to own. Below, we’ll go over some of the things this breed has to offer!
Golden Retrievers are Incredibly Friendly
While some may disagree, I do not think any breed is friendly than a golden retriever. Most retrievers will have a happy, friendly nature about them, and is one of the defining characteristics of the breed. There’s a reason why golden retrievers are used so often in hallmark movies – They are great family dogs!
There are, of course, always exceptions to the rule. If you adopted your retriever at an older age, they may be aggressive towards certain things, such as a type of person or a certain noise. In addition, male-to-Male aggression is common if your retriever is not neutered.
Golden Retrievers are Very Easy To Train
In addition to being a friendly breed, retrievers are a loyal breed that aims to make their owners happy. They are also a smart breed that picks up new information quickly. Because of this, retrievers can learn what behavior is good or bad faster than other breeds. In addition, they can learn many different and complex tricks, and will love to do them for you!
In fact, golden retrievers are so easily to train that they are one of the top breeds used in dog competition. This ease of training and their incredible athleticism makes them a top choice for agility competitions, as seen below:
Retrievers are Full of Energy
Golden retrievers are full of energy as the breed is very active and fit. They love to walk, exercise, and play. In addition to exercise, you can see how much energy retrievers truly have in their attitude. They are always excited to see people and to receive and give affection. A major piece of the golden retriever’s charm is because of this level of enthusiasm.
Retrievers are Absolutely Beautiful
One of the biggest reasons why people choose to adopt a golden retriever are because of their beautiful look. Golden retrievers have an iconic look, and are one of America’s most beloved breeds, according to the American Kennel Club. It is really hard to beat that beautiful, golden coat.
Of course, it is important that this breed is a good match for you, and you should not adopt a golden retriever based on looks alone. However, if you’re between a couple breeds, you cannot go wrong with a golden retriever!
So… Should I Adopt a Golden Retriever?
At the end of the day, the decision to adopt depends on the type of life you have. Golden retrievers are an amazing breed, but they do require maintenance. If you are not a particularly active person, or if you do not have the time needed, then a golden retriever is not right for you.
If, however, you feel like you are ready to commit to a golden retriever – Congratulations! A relationship with your golden retriever will be amazing, as this breed truly is our best friend.