Cons: If you do not give them a job to do (training) many will find their own jobs and chances are you will be less than thrilled at what they settle on (land scaping, digging, stealing etc). They need to be brushed regularly, their nails and feet should be neatened up often, ticks can be hard to find under their coats - oh and if not properly exercised they can often become truly obese. If you cannot exercise a golden, please consider another breed. They can be prone to allergies and hypothyroidism.
This is so well put. Most of the cons are the flipside of the pros of a working retriever. They have exercise needs that range from moderate (two 1/2 hour walks a day) to high (you never really have a tired dog unless you're a hardcore hiker, competitor, or hunter). And they tend to be highly intelligent dogs who need to work. Other undesired jobs include chewing the wrong stuff, playing chase with children, jumping up on strangers, and bowling company over.
A well-bred Golden is an extraordinary dog, but he's not the right dog if you don't have time for training and daily
exercise. He's also not the right dog if you want your dog to be aloof from strangers or self-sufficient (i.e., not begging for attention) at home. He's also the wrong dog if you don't want to have a few chew toys around the house or if you hate brushing out a dog's coat regularly.
I have two sleeping GRs next to me right now for a lazy Sunday morning, but that's only because we went to the dog show yesterday and hiked before and after it. Afterwards, there was a quick brushing to avoid mats and a not-so-quick tick check. And one of those two sleeping GRs has found a way to doze off with his head resting against my ribcage.
All of the pros are more consistently found in a well bred dog whose breeder competes in conformation or dogsport. Health problems are drastically higher in carelessly bred dogs, and carelessly bred dogs may lack proper temperament. All dogs are at risk for the common health problems (joint issues, hypothyroid, etc.), but the risks are vastly lower if the breeding is carefully done. A good breeder can also give you a good idea of the puppy's future exercise needs.
Do not take a GR on if you're not prepared to train and exercise him. You should do a puppy class together in a training environment that relies mostly on positive reinforcement and plan to move on to basic family obedience as a bare minimum. An untrained, hyper Golden will be miserable and will cause your family lots of grief.