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Discussion Starter #1
I have been researching Goldens for a few months and I’m confused. I found one website discussing breeders that featured only short haired white English Goldens. To me, they look like Labs. I went to a dog show a year ago and saw mostly what I think of as Goldens. There was some uniformity of structure and color. I always thought Goldens need moderate exercise, are friendly and are less intense then say, American hunting Labs. Then I read Goldens are bred to hunt, have extremely high exercise needs and high drive. I have a high drive German Shepherd and I don’t understand how Goldens can have that kind of drive. My younger dog, who is from working line stock, can be very intense, but also mellow when he is in “off” mode and doesn’t need a lot of exercise. I hope someone can explain the differences in Golden lines. Are field bred dogs very different from show bred dogs? Do they come from similar foundation stock or are they different lines like German Shepherds that are either working or show lines? Are there also pet lines within the breed? A handler and dog walker I know said she has run into a lot of aggressive Goldens, and stopped handling them due to that. Again that surprised me, as the Goldens I’ve known have all been happy, friendly and carefree type dogs, much less intense than my current and previous herding breed dogs.
 

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There are some line differences- probably the easiest differential would be the titles you see in the close up pedigree. I doubt a handler stopped handling due to temperament, there are always outliers but Goldens generally are good dogs...and prob they quit handling due to the excessive grooming more than anything.
 

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Puddles
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I have always look at the "types" as skill sets or purpose. They are all goldens and if the breeder is doing their job, they will all make good family dogs with training. So choose your breeder wisely, health should always be your 1st priority on any golden puppy so verify OFA clearances on hips/elbows/hearts/eyes. Lots of people here to help with that.

Breeder selections.... do they just produce puppies for a living with no purpose in mind, no focus on health... keep going, not worth the money. And usually cost more than from a quality breeder.

A breeder that is highly active in field work, agility, obedience? Then their goal after health is going to be drive and focus, performance lines and usually want to sell to people that will compete with their dogs.

A breeder that does conformation will usually have a more mellow personality but will always be up for the task at hand. After all, no matter what job you want a golden to do it is still a hunting dog at heart.

My favorite for a family dog is to find a breeder that gets conformation titles (at the front of the name) as well as titles after the name. This tells me the dog is balanced, it's build and temperament will be what you expect from a golden and the titles at the end of the name tell me it's biddable and will make a good family pet. A good balanced dog can do it all. If you already have a GSD and a herding dog I'm pretty sure they will provide plenty of exercise :)
 

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There is a possibility a family member may need a service dog, so I’m looking into training a dog myself. If that need doesn’t happen, the dog will be trained anyway and will have a CGC, and I will use the dog as a therapy dog. I also want to do agility and rally, which are available at my local dog club. I have a very good private trainer I used with my dogs for several years. I decided on a Golden for our next dog because it’s the only breed I know outside of herding breeds. I love their looks and temperaments, but have never owned one.

I always fit my training to the dog, so I plan to work with our trainer to see what the dog needs. I’m a little concerned about getting the right fit, as my younger dog, who I got from a well known breeder, was far more challenging than I wanted at the time. I’m not getting a puppy yet. I want to research, go to some shows, and watch the dogs with an eye toward finding what we want, I have a senior dog and I don’t think it’s fair to her to bring in a very active young dog. She had cancer treated with surgery and then some other medical problems, and is doing very well now, so I don’t want to stress her.

I‘m also not sure whether to get a male or female, and if I want an 8 week old puppy or an older dog. I want the new dog to be trained off leash with a foolproof recall, and I can probably do that better myself with a young puppy, but the 8-10 week stage is so challenging. I’m also not sure what to do about spaying if I get a female. I read the Davis studies and I worry about cancers, but I also don’t want an intact female. At the same time, my male would do better with a female dog. So I have a lot to consider.

I didn’t know about heart and eye testing. My male came from OFA certified parents, and is DM clear, but that breed isn’t tested for heart or eyes. He has a good structure, which is one reason I wanted a working line, no extreme angulation.
 

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Puddles
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That's awesome, you have a clear vision on what you are looking for. I've spent half a century working with many breeds and rescues and must admit golden puppies can be a challenge but landshark only last a few weeks if you can get past this. But have also learned a good balanced pup from a great breeder doesn't do near as much mouthing as others. And most are already started on house training...
A well bred golden should be the perfect temperament to give you what you are looking for. Training a service dog is a challenge but sounds like you have support to help you. Goldens need positive reinforcement and tend to take corrections personally.... they have a very different logic than a GSD. But this personality also gives you a very devoted, almost velcro dog that is perfect for any therapy/service work. They will want to emotional support the person that needs it the most. I have grand kids with many challenges and all my girls are bomb proof and instinctively know how to adjust to the needs of the special needs kids and the herd of great grand kids hugs :)
I agree the senior dog deserves a peaceful retirement but my senior (no health issues) was thrilled with the new pup... much to my surprise. I love your plan to visit shows and get more informed. GRCA has a great website to get info from. I also agree with the statement dealing with an 8 wk old pup, this does take a great deal of commitment but finding an older pup or adult might take you some time. Meet some breeders, get the word out you are looking as they all know each other and can network for you. Enjoy the journey of learning the world of goldens!
Something to consider... my 1st golden was an adult rescue, it was love at first sight and never left my side. She passed the CGC a week after adoption and did therapy for 2 different groups .. she was good with rehab, kids & seniors.

As far as gender... with goldens it's more about personality than gender. Both will be wonderful. Getting a female spayed should not happen until after a couple of seasons so they are finished growing (18 to 24 months). Honestly it's more about your current dog. I've had groups of males that had no issues at all as well as groups of females and everyone got along without problems. This is a going to be a personal decision and must respect the limits of the current dog.
 

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There is a breed standard and a Golden should pretty much be within the standard. That being said, when looking for a dog I like to pick dogs within the standard but containing traits that I feel are better for the work that the dog will do for me. I hunt my dogs and I hunt them hard. I look for:
1. Less fluffy
2. Smaller end of the spectrum
3. Any color coat except "cream".
4. Very energetic, the dog will be worked 3-5 times a week.
5. Athletic build.
6. Really big prey drive.
As a result of what I like, my dogs may look different from what most Goldens look like. Almost no field bred Goldens are in my area.However if you are familiar with the standard you would know that they are within the standard.
 

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Work with a reputable breeder and let them pick the right puppy for you.

I have a "field bred" golden that will be 2 next month. He is sweet, high energy, great off switch with proper exercise daily. He earned his CGC at 1 year old. He was just in another obedience course and the instructor wanted me to do his Rally Novice title. I wasn't really interested in it. He is in hunt training and we are pursuing those titles currently. He was trained better off leash at 1 year old then on. He's smart and has a ton of prey drive. He literally sits in my house and watches birds. He dock dives for fun and earned his Senior Dock title his and our first time out. Obedience classes are harder for him. He wants to be on the go. Focusing on me just isn't as fun as focusing on a long retrieve. He would be amazing at agility, but our focus is hunt. He is the fastest Golden I've ever owned and can jump like no other. He's thinner built, less undercoat, darker colored and requires a softer training method. He also may be playing us a little with that. He does need room to run. He runs like a jet plane several times a day.

I have a performance/conformation cross Golden that is older. He is a bull!! He's determined in everything he does. He will almost never be found without a tennis ball. He was professionally hunt trained to master level. He is older and not in the best health but given a good reason will clear a 4 foot fence from a sit. I don't think he had as good of an off switch as my "field bred" one does at the same age. He is larger boned and thicker coated, although to standard, not overly coated. He would not have made a good pet for an older couple or one with young kids as a young dog. He tested you far more when training. He needed tons of exercise as a puppy, even more then my "field bred" does now. I love this guy to pieces but some of it is because of his shear determination in everything he's ever done. To some it would have been to much but it was our perfect combination. He is more focused on making me happy then my younger guy. My younger guy wants to be happy himself.

In both litters I asked for the most confident outgoing puppy and that's what I got. My point is that with a good breeder, and versatility shown in the breeding, you can get what you want either way. I love both my guys. I personally look for versatility. I want to see some performance titles but I want to see correct conformation too. The absolute most important thing to me is health.

I don't care about color but I think because I've owned them for so long I still tend to like the medium to darker shades.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am concerned about training, enough to change my methods. My older dog was trained with treats and praise only, and an occasional consqeuence. My male is a bounce back dog. He was bred to take whatever you give him and not miss a step. He doesn’t like loud voices but I need to be very firm with him. He is extremely well trained. I get full eye contact from him, he is very tuned in to me. But I had to use all four pillars in training and I still use training collars when I review skills with him. We did scent training. I taught him to air scent. It took about 30 minutes. He picked up quickly, and remembers everything. He also teaches himself things so I’ve had unintended consequences. By 6 months he was in a prong collar. once you go that route, it is very hard to remove it. That is why I want to train the next one without tools and off leash as much as reasonably possible. Mine are different dogs even within the same breeds.

I love to walk and I’m looking for a dog that can go anywhere with me that dogs are allowed. My dogs are house dogs. I have a yard but my dogs want to be where I am. If I walk into the bathroom they want to go in with me, so my next dog will also be an indoor dog most of the time. If they want to be outside, they can but they usually choose to be with me. I’ve always worked from home so my dogs are always with me. Mine are also watch dogs. They bark when they need to alert me. Otherwise they are very quiet.

Another reason I want my dog off leash trained is so they can run when we visit parks or other places where the dog can run and exercise. I presume Goldens also need two good exercise periods a day. My dogs run in the mornings and late afternoons. At the same time, I don’t hunt. It’s not legal here and there isn’t a thing to catch anyway. So I don’t want a super high energy dog or one that is going to jump a fence. If mine get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they have no interest in running away. Of course, each breed is different.

My male is 4 and intact for a lot of reasons. If I get a female, I would have to neuter him. I would not want to take any chances. Otherwise, I’d have to get a male. Mine is not a dominant dog but he’s pushy. I would be a little concerned about a second male reaching maturity and challenging him. It could be a problem.
 

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Another reason I want my dog off leash trained is so they can run when we visit parks or other places where the dog can run and exercise. I presume Goldens also need two good exercise periods a day. My dogs run in the mornings and late afternoons. At the same time, I don’t hunt. It’s not legal here and there isn’t a thing to catch anyway. So I don’t want a super high energy dog or one that is going to jump a fence. If mine get enough exercise and mental stimulation, they have no interest in running away. Of course, each breed is different.
I guess I should have been a little more clear. My guys are house dogs and most definitely pets. Duke will jump a fence to get to me. Last time he jumped the fence was to get into our pool. He wanted to swim with everyone else. He will also jump a fence if your playing ball and he decides it's his turn. He's 9 and should not be jumping fences.... He is just THAT dog. He would never leave my yard, or my side. Once he jumps the fence he runs right to us, but it's his way of saying I can do what I want. He's always had a little attitude. My husband and son say it's also what made him great when hunting, shear determination and an I can do anything attitude. I live on a farm and both of my dogs are trained off leash and have amazing recall. I have never left them in a fence when I wasn't outside doing something. My point was more that if you looked at the breeding and the two dogs many would assume that my darker, field bred golden would be harder to handle, or would jump a fence. In truth it is the other way around. Moe is high energy, but softer. He would never jump a fence. He will jump up on or over anything he's asked to, but I could put a line of tape down and he wouldn't cross it if I said not to. He doesn't have that "edge" that Duke has.
 

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I am concerned about training... Another reason I want my dog off leash trained is so they can run when we visit parks or other places where the dog can run and exercise. I presume Goldens also need two good exercise periods a day.
I'm not a trainer or a breeder; have only owned 1 golden (am getting my 2nd one soonish) but have owned/do own several other dogs and been a foster mom to 250+ over a span of 20 years.

My golden was not a "needs a lot of exercise" kind of girl. She liked to play, and even in her last years, she would hoard the new puppy toys to play with said puppies.

That said, I don't trust other people to do what's right with their own dogs (vetting, training, loving, did I mention the vetting!?). Hence, my dogs have never been to a dog park, and never will. That said, I also have a pack of great danes and dachshunds so our newest member will get lots of doggie play.

To me, a non-show person, a great example of the breed was Daniel at this year's WKC show. Both the front end of his name had titles as did the back end. There are many breeders on here who have similar dogs with substantial titles on both sides of the name. Those dogs are incredibly well trained and have exactly the right temperament for what they do... and in all likelihood, the litter that produced those dogs also had one with a laid back temperament.

I believe my new/soonish puppy has a comme si/comme sa sort of attitude. Willing but not the one to lead the rest. If I watch the videos from the breeder, some of the puppies are more engaged in exploration, climbing, playing than the others. Therefore, it's really hard to say "type" between excellent breeders because, to me, excellent breeders breed for "golden retriever" type and various personalities come from the same litter; just like humans, frankly. Two sets of parents and all the kids have different personalities.

My suggestion is to find the best golden retriever breeders you can, watch their pages (FB, Twitter, IG, or whatever), get to know them and their style of puppy raising, get to know THEM, and then decide on male/female and reach out to a breeder and put in an application when they have a litter. They will pick the best puppy for you - they're the ones with the experience and knowledge.
 

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Based on what you've written and what you say your goals are, I would recommend looking for breeders who are focused on conformation (so called "show breeders") and on making good pets, but with enough obedience/rally/agility titles on either some of their own dogs or some of the dogs they've bred to indicate that the dogs are still intelligent and willing to work (as all well-bred Goldens should be). I think if you go for lines that focus on performance or hunting you'll end up with more dog than you really want.

After that, a lot of what you've listed as desirable characteristics will come from one or more of three places (as you probably already know). 1. The breeder being clear on what you are looking for in a dog and making a good recommendation to you based on her knowledge of the puppies in a litter as to the pup or pups who are most likely to grow up to be the kind of dog you're looking for, 2) Your ability to socialize and train your dog to do the things you want him to do, and 3) the dog himself (who may or may not grow up to have the characteristics he showed as a puppy).

Most well-bred, well-balanced Goldens from a reputable show breeder should be just fine with the training plan you outlined. In fact, in the hands of a knowledgeable owner/trainer (as you seem to be), most can be trained to do everything you want using purely positive training methods (or at least without the use of "positive punishment"). Most are fairly soft and eager to please... or at least eager to earn rewards, whatever that "reward" is to them. That said, there are no guarantees. I've owned Goldens who were sweet and intelligent but kind of indifferent to people and would have never made a good therapy dog. I had another who was very loving and people oriented, but for unknown reasons grew up to be somewhat dog reactive, which really limited what I could do with him. You can certainly do all you can to get the puppy with the most potential, but in the end his genetics, personality, and life experiences will determine how successful he is in the role you choose for him.

As for male vs female... I think that's going to be a tough call for you to make. I have personally found my males to be much more loving and people oriented, and my girls more aloof. There are some risks in both sexes for being neutered... more so in Goldens than in other breeds. If you are leaning towards a girl, you may find that just toughing it out through one or two heats before you spay her may be sufficient to convey some of the advantages lost through early spaying. That said... I've known plenty of altered Goldens who lived good long lives, and plenty of intact ones that died early of cancer. Again... it's a crap shoot. I'd make your best guess on which sex your current dog would do best with and deal with the "do I alter this dog" question when you have to.

You are asking GREAT questions! I hope our answers are helpful and I look forward to "meeting" the lucky pup you eventually choose!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
These are excellent suggestions. Thank you all so much. I have a lot to think about. I’m glad I have plenty of time to research and learn before getting another dog.

Dog reactivity is tricky. I had one who was terribly reactive to dogs and very social to people, which is the opposite of most German Shepherds. They are supposed to have some natural aggression toward strangers, but none at all to dogs. I had another that was reactive in some situations. Usually it’s leash reactivity, but that female was also reactive off leash. At the same time she loved dogs she knew. I think it can be avoided with a lot of other dog interactions, not even up close, but in proximity. I would think dogs that go to shows regularly are not dog reactive so there must be something about regular socialization. My second reactive dog went to a daycare for a while and had no reactivity there.

Can‘t an experienced breeder tell what a puppy will be like naturally, as an adult? My breeder said my dog would be playful and have medium high drive. He ended up being higher drive than she said but not compared to her other dogs. He has high drive but is not over the top. But he is very playful and likes to tease my other dog. He loves a game. She asked if I was going to do IPO and I said, no bitework, but possibly tracking and scentwork. That is exactly what I did. He would not be at all suitable for bitework, as he is too social toward people, for the breed. Compared to a Golden, he would not seem as social. That is exactly what I wanted at the time. We were burglarized and I wanted watch dogs, which is what I’ve had the last 20 years.

I am looking for breeders now. I have a link to a show catalog and have both a list of entrants and winners, so I can get kennels names from that. Then I will cross reference with the Golden Club website.
 

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Can‘t an experienced breeder tell what a puppy will be like naturally, as an adult?
An experienced show breeder can give you the best estimate of personality for the adult golden but that golden is not growing up under that breeder's handling.

Of the goldens I've known/seen, all in shows or from show homes, all of them (!) have the same even keel personality. Some are more eager/willing to work, others are not (my Hope was, ahem, not willing to work at all... )

German shepherds are working dogs. There's a reason they were grouped together by the AKC. Bred to assist humans with tasks, guarding flocks, guarding their people; those traits are inherent in the group. They also tend to be bigger, a little more reactive of the bigger dogs (of the ones I know and have/do own)

Goldens are sporting dogs. The group as a whole was bred to be companion, hunter, agility, friend, bestie, good with everything.
 

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Kate
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prob they quit handling due to the excessive grooming more than anything.
Or competition.

I know somebody who probably had other things going on, but he was pretty irked with judging the last 2-3 years that he was out there. And he increasingly made comments about quitting or getting out of showing. He had been a very successful handler for goldens, so it says something there.
 

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An experienced show breeder can give you the best estimate of personality for the adult golden but that golden is not growing up under that breeder's handling.

Of the goldens I've known/seen, all in shows or from show homes, all of them (!) have the same even keel personality. Some are more eager/willing to work, others are not (my Hope was, ahem, not willing to work at all... )

German shepherds are working dogs. There's a reason they were grouped together by the AKC. Bred to assist humans with tasks, guarding flocks, guarding their people; those traits are inherent in the group. They also tend to be bigger, a little more reactive of the bigger dogs (of the ones I know and have/do own)

Goldens are sporting dogs. The group as a whole was bred to be companion, hunter, agility, friend, bestie, good with everything.
That is exactly why I want to get one. I want a friendly dog I can take hiking or visiting. Even if the dog doesn’t become a therapy dog, they are usually friendly enough to take places and not have to be vigilant about strangers getting too close.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Or competition.

I know somebody who probably had other things going on, but he was pretty irked with judging the last 2-3 years that he was out there. And he increasingly made comments about quitting or getting out of showing. He had been a very successful handler for goldens, so it says something there.
I missed her first post to me about it. I don’t think she was a professional show handler, more of a dog sitter and walker, and a semi-trainer. I used the wrong word. She often had many dogs at once and said there were a number of agressive Goldens, which she never expected. She finally stopped taking them in.
 

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She often had many dogs at once and said there were a number of agressive Goldens
I've never seen an aggressive golden even when intact females and males are around each other, in very close proximity. Not saying what she said wasn't true however, it makes me suspect they were mixed breed with golden in them or backyard bred without purposeful research and intent with the litter.
 

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Maybe pit bull mixes. It’s hard to know. I never saw the dogs. We are in the same general area and every Golden I see is calm and friendly.
 

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I have been researching Goldens for a few months and I’m confused. I found one website discussing breeders that featured only short haired white English Goldens. To me, they look like Labs. I went to a dog show a year ago and saw mostly what I think of as Goldens. There was some uniformity of structure and color. I always thought Goldens need moderate exercise, are friendly and are less intense then say, American hunting Labs. Then I read Goldens are bred to hunt, have extremely high exercise needs and high drive. I have a high drive German Shepherd and I don’t understand how Goldens can have that kind of drive. My younger dog, who is from working line stock, can be very intense, but also mellow when he is in “off” mode and doesn’t need a lot of exercise. I hope someone can explain the differences in Golden lines. Are field bred dogs very different from show bred dogs? Do they come from similar foundation stock or are they different lines like German Shepherds that are either working or show lines? Are there also pet lines within the breed? A handler and dog walker I know said she has run into a lot of aggressive Goldens, and stopped handling them due to that. Again that surprised me, as the Goldens I’ve known have all been happy, friendly and carefree type dogs, much less intense than my current and previous herding breed dogs.
I guess my thing is consider the difference between working bred GSD's and show or pet bred GSD's?

It's the same breed, but you will find breeders of German or Czech import lines seriously warning people against getting these dogs for a pet. <= I'd inquired ages back because I liked the fact they had straight backs. My friend who actually was or may still be one of the admins on the GSD forum (we trained at the same location for a while) - warned me that they are not goldens. That they have very high prey drive, high guard drive, high working drive - and in the wrong hands could become really bad situations. I suspect she was exaggerating since her dogs were not dog aggressive that I noticed, but she was a very experienced trainer. VERY experienced.

Other GSD's... I've seen show lines who are very VERY high prey drive vs high working drive. I don't see them focused very much in training. Quite honestly I'm not thrilled about what I see. These are not the sharpest tacks in the box. Worst cases are dogs who are SO VERY high prey drive that they cannot be in the same room as other dogs. Some of that is socialization. But sometimes it's dogs who need a LOT A LOT ALOT ALLLLOOOOTTT more socialization than the average dog. These dogs may spend whole sessions (6 weeks) secluded behind a blue curtain or sectioned off from other dogs. Again, these are not working bred dogs. They are show or pet bred.

Labs - there are 3 different types that I've seen.

Field bred which are completely insane. OK in the hands of an experienced trainer. But needing extra tools and a stronger hand. I know of one who was so over the top that his owner essentially called it quits on training him for obedience. I don't off hand know the whole story other than the fact that she was overwhelmed with trying to gain some sense of calm and control with her dog. This was a dog who could not relax around other dogs in different places. He just was WIRED and increasingly got more and more anxious - and could not be off leash.

Show bred - it varies what I've seen. I've actually encountered more dog aggression with show lines. But I've also seen some temperaments that I really like with dogs I believe to be show bred. Just sweet and mellow dogs, very eager to please and devoted. Not as smart, pliable, and showy as golden retrievers - but these are dogs who are very eager to please and workhorses in their way. That I've seen. Just really nice dogs. I saw one in the last few years who with the coaching from a positive/motivation heads up heeling type trainer who very quickly titled her dog through the levels of regular obedience with high scores and placements. This dog was very much like a golden in temperament and working style.

Pet bred - it could be anything and everything. shrugs

^^^ Both of the above breeds? There's no comparison (I don't think) between them and golden retrievers. Not typically. Even with performance bred goldens. You should have active, trainable, devoted, eager to please, flashy dogs with goldens.

People get the performance bred dogs because they want a dog that is over the top in training. The types of dogs who have no concept of walking when retrieving or being sent out. Dogs who will never lag or "tune out" when working. Etc...

Typical reason why people don't get show bred goldens is because while the energy may be high and the dogs have some degree of working drive and eagerness please, the dogs can be blockheads when it comes to teaching them to do something new. Or they will quit before the trainer does.

These dogs in pet homes - completely different story. You have people stressing out about mouthy dogs, reactive dogs, high energy, destructiveness, etc... all because they got these dogs thinking they were the most ideal for first dog homes who just want a pet to walk around the block with them.

I caution anyone against getting a show bred golden just with the assumption that they are going to get a BLOB that doesn't require too much exercise or training for him to lounge around the house and go for a walk one time a week. :) Dogs like mine are very eager to please, easy to train, easy keepers around the house, offleash outside, typically can hike offleash even the 8 month old baby... But, they also are not sitting in a crate all day. Nor are they really ever home alone. They are outside many time a day. They have a lot of space to run. They also are trained for competition obedience 1-3 times a day. Does all that training mean my dogs are perfect? Nopes. As I'm typing I have scratches on both my wrists.

I had been out of town most of today and came home pretty late. My two youngest pups are trained and usually well behaved - but holy crow. They both were grabbing a hold of my wrists and pulling. While their dad was spinning and bouncing up and down between them. >.< Because they were in a frenzy of happy greetings for me (because in their minds I'd been away for YEARS). I got them to let go long enough for me to grab toys to STUFF IN THEIR MOUTHS - which helped.

I was laughing at the spectacle they put on and even the wrist grabbing did not break the skin in all their exuberance - which you expect with goldens (they are not supposed to CHOMP DOWN when they get things in their mouth). But imagine these dogs in the home of somebody who has a very hypersensitive child or few. Imagine them in the home of somebody who doesn't like big 70+ pound dogs spinning, jumping, and bouncing all over the place? :)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Megora, you understand where I’m coming from. My dog is from Czech lines. His grandfather is one of the all time contemporary working dogs in the U.S. Some of his siblings went to law enforcement, but mine is more of a pet. He has high drive but medium energy and is mellow most of the time. Still, I trained him a lot for three years and I still work with him on something daily. We either do scenting, or tracking, or sometimes we just go out and smell the smells. He is happiest when he is using his nose. Today I worked with him on off leash focused heeling, which is part of what is called BH. I have to admit, though, I had no idea what I was getting when I brought him home. His mother was like a Golden when I met her, very calm, sweet, social and gentle.

I looked at Labs first. I was drawn to black field Labs because of their energy then realize I would be getting more than what I wanted. I don’t mind energy. I like moving and being outdoors. My dogs are sprinters, though, not distance runners. They don’t need that much exercise and as a result, distance hiking is usually too much for them. They try to keep up but eventually want to flop down and take a rest. My first dog was from strong herding lines and had much more endurance. I am replacing my lawn this spring, and then I plan to set up a modified agility course for my dogs.
 
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