This checklist is designed to help you think through your impending decision from an intellectual point of view – the emotional part has probably already been considered!

  1. Why do you want a dog? What will its primary function be?

  2. What size dog do you want? Goldens can range from 55-80 pounds.

  3. Why do you want a Golden Retriever?

  4. Do you have a fenced area for the dog?  (See "Why Do I Need A Fence?" )

  5. What are the schedules of the family members?

  6. Do you mind grooming? Goldens have moderate length coat and shedding can be kept in check with frequent brushing.

  7. Do you want a male or female?

  8. Have you owned dogs before? Did you train them or someone else?

  9. If you have other pets, do they get along with dogs?

  10. Do you have children? Children should never have total responsibility for a dog. Young children and puppies are often a DISASTER!

  11. Are you willing to go to obedience classes and train a dog yourself?

  12. Are you familiar with the use of crates in housebreaking and training?

  13. Have you investigated the cost of owning a dog? These would include food, vaccinations, medical care, boarding, grooming, collars, leads, dishes, licenses, monthly heartworm preventative (Canine Heartworm Disease), etc.? The Humane society estimates these costs to be $800 annually for a dog the size of a Golden Retriever.

  14. Do you travel much and have you considered what arrangements you must make when you travel?

  15. How will the dog be exercised and by whom?

  16. Have you discussed getting a dog with everyone in your family – especially the kids—and decided what will and will not be allowed and who will be directly responsible for the dogs care?

  17. Have you given serious thought to the fact that the average lifetime of a Golden is 12+ years, and this means a long term commitment to this animal?

Do you want to adopt a Golden Retriever?

Though initially Goldens may seem to be the ideal pet, there are DISADVANTAGES!
Listed below are the many areas that need thought and consideration before you bring one into your home.

  • SIZE… Goldens are medium-sized dogs. The Golden standard is for a male to range from 23-24 inches high at the shoulder and weigh 65-75 pounds; females are 21½ to 22½ inches at the shoulder and weigh 55-65 pounds. They normally possess very active tails just at the height of a coffee table. Though that happy tail is one of their advantages, putting breakables up while the dog adjusts to its new home makes for happier owners.
  • EXERCISE… While most Goldens will adjust to a variety of lifestyles, ALL dogs need exercise, and some need more than others. While less active Goldens are happier and healthier with a good walk every day, more active dogs MUST have regular daily exercise to help them become the calm housepets most owners want, and cut down on behavior problems. Fenced yards are a must; (See "Why Do I Need A Fence?" ) however, most dogs will not exercise themselves just because they are outside - they need you to play with them and take them for walks.
  • SHEDDING… Goldens are a medium coated breed and they do shed, often profusely. Because of the coat, frequent brushing is to your advantage. If you don’t care for vacuuming, either don’t get a Golden or join the many Golden owners who have decided they are worth living with some dog hair in the house!
  • FINANCIAL… Minimum veterinary expenses for yearly exam, vaccinations, and heartworm preventative (Canine Heartworm Disease) should run about $200-$315 per year, not including any expenses for illness or injury. Depending on the size, age, and activity level of the dogs, and on the food you choose, feeding a golden for a year will cost from $175-$400. In addition, dogs need toys and essentials such as collars, brushes, bowls, etc.
  • TRAINING… We highly recommend a beginning obedience course for ALL dogs. The investment of a few weeks in learning about obedience together can be the difference between a happy dog that becomes a satisfying companion and a dog given up because the owner "doesn’t know what to do with it."
  • GUARD DOG… As a protective guard dog, Golden are LOUSY! Though they may bark and growl defensively, in a confrontation Goldens would rather kiss the intruder and show him the silver!
  • ADDICTIVE… Very few people own only one Golden. We simply find them habit forming. Contrary to popular belief, two (or more) CANNOT live as cheaply as one.

If you have made it this far and are still considering a Golden, WELCOME TO THE FAMILY OF GOLDEN ADMIRERS! 
We look forward to helping you find a Golden to add to your family.

So now what to do?

If you still feel a Golden is right for you, your next step is to read our guidelines and fill out an application.

If you have decided this is not the breed for you, we hope that you will consider your local shelter or other dog rescues. Getting a new dogs is exciting and filled with many great expectations. We’d be happy to help you make them come true!

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