Are you thinking of adding a fur baby to your household? With its calm demeanor, playfulness, and high trainability, the golden retriever is a perfect choice. But are golden retrievers good family dogs?
Let’s take a look at this adorable creature’s temperament and find out how we can help him ease into life with a family.
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Golden Retriever Temperament
In general, golden retrievers are calm, confident, obedient, and smart. They possess an eagerness to please and a willingness to learn. These traits make them ideal companions for those who don’t have the patience for stubborn pets.
Goldens have a warm and caring temperament that makes them good family pets. They are friendly even with people and animals they don’t know. They get along well with other family pets, including cats, rodents, and birds.
Unfortunately, their amiable and trusting disposition makes them unsuitable guard dogs. These adorable mutts are more likely to indulge in pats and rubs from strangers than to bark or growl at them.
Golden retrievers are highly active and will gladly go on hikes, jogs, and runs with their owner. This breed’s physical skills and high energy level make it the perfect pet for highly active individuals and those who love spending their time in nature. But while they do enjoy staying active, goldens are just as happy to lounge around the house or snuggle next to their owner on the couch.
Goldens are also famous for their intelligence. In fact, these clever dogs are fourth in Stanley Coren’s Intelligence of Dogs list. This trait—along with their physical strength, endurance, and obedience—is what makes golden retrievers so valuable as search-and-rescue dogs, bomb-sniffing dogs, drug-detection dogs, and disability-assistance dogs.
Coupled with their competitive streak, this breed’s willingness to be trained enables it to excel in obedience trials and other performance events. Trainers don’t need to use harsh training methods on goldens. These dogs are driven by their need to please their owners and respond best to reward-based training techniques.
Bred to be hunting dogs, golden retrievers are patient and hardworking. When given a task, they will stay focused and work until they are too exhausted to continue. Golden retriever handlers must pay close attention to these pups to detect signs of fatigue, overheating, and dehydration.
Are Golden Retrievers Good for Families?
Golden retrievers have a reputation for being fabulous companions for both singles and big families. They are patient, well-mannered, and will suffer the attention of a small child even if they don’t like it. Unlike other dogs that may snap or growl when a child pulls their ears or tugs on their tails, these fur babies are generally unconcerned with these small transgressions.
Though they are neither territorial nor aggressive, goldens do have a protective side when it comes to children. They are gentle creatures that are well-behaved with babies and toddlers. In fact, the American Kennel Club says these dogs are so gentle they can hold a raw egg in their mouth without breaking it.
Families love golden retrievers because they are playful and lively. Children love their silly puppy personalities, which somehow don’t disappear when they reach adulthood. Even elderly golden retrievers love goofing around.
Golden retrievers also make great family pets because they love being wherever their people are. If you like being outdoors, they’ll happily hike or camp with you. If you’re more of a couch potato, they’ll be content to curl up at your feet all night too.
But the best reason golden retrievers make amazing family pets is that they have a soothing and calming effect on people. Goldens have an aura of calmness, empathy, and love that give them a comforting presence. This is why goldens are often trained to be therapy or service dogs for people with disabilities, Alzheimer’s patients, and those struggling with emotional stress.
Tips for Keeping Your Golden Retriever Happy
- Golden retrievers are best suited to life in a country or suburban environment. They can also live happily in a small apartment as long as you provide plenty of exercise and outdoor time.
- Goldens do not like being left alone or being confined to a small space like a fenced yard or a garage. Before getting a golden retriever, make sure you have the time and space to keep your pup comfortable and happy.
- Goldens aren’t called “retriever” for nothing. These dogs love playing retrieval games like fetch. Take some time every day to take your golden outside and play fetch with a stick, Frisbee, or ball.
- Start training your golden retriever pup as soon as you bring him home. Early training will set a solid foundation for more advanced training later on. Obedience training also gives the two of you the opportunity to bond.
Are golden retrievers good family dogs? Definitely! If you’re looking for a family pet that will grow with your own little ones, you can’t go wrong with a well-bred and well-trained golden retriever.