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I’m in the midst of my puppy search and talking to some reputable breeders with the help of this site.
I really want a mellow, low energy dog who is content to cuddle and be a couch potato. I realize that Goldens are athletic dogs who need plenty of physical and mental exercise, including fetch, swimming, hiking, training, etc., and I absolutely can provide my dog with all of that! I also know that puppies tend to have plenty of energy and take years to mature.

But my ideal dog would eventually be happy to hang in the house and not get stir crazy if they don’t get intense exercise each day. I’d plan to give my dog daily walks, fetch, and training, and then a more exciting adventure like hiking or swimming on the weekends. But if this dog didn’t even love hiking or swimming and would rather chill, I would be fine with that!

Do you think this is realistic? Do I sound naive or ignorant if I tell breeders I want a low energy, mellow dog? I am almost afraid to be 100% honest when I talk to breeders because I’m afraid I’ll sound like a bad dog owner. I truly want the cuddliest, laziest dog of the litter!
 

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It is possible but not too likely ..
I was expecting a lot of activity the first couple years but besides a game of catch and keep away my girl is a bit of a couch potato. She likes a walk, but not too long of one. She likes laying on my lap the most.
She is very healthy and loveable, but is just happy as a clam hanging out on the couch with us.

Don't expect to find one like this, it isnt common. I think as the weather is cooling down, Molly will want to be a lot more active outside as she isnt a fan of the heat
 

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Kate
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All 3 of my guys are lying around my living room right now - all 3 are sleeping.

How'd we get here today?

We got up this morning -

  • they ran around playing outside for 30-40 minutes before breakfast
  • they went to the vet because one of them needed shots and I ran errands afterward with the dogs hanging out in the car
  • came back home and spent the next 1-2 hours in and out of the house. The younger dogs especially did a lot of running around playing.
  • they came back inside and while I had supper, they all got bully sticks to chew.
They are now all tuckered out and sleeping.

Do they need a walk this evening?

Need? No.

Will they get one? Yes.

The nice thing about goldens is if you are sick, tired, etc.... they don't need to go for a 1-5 mile walk that day or the next. But if you want to go for a long walk multiple times a day, they are ready to go each time.

Personally speaking - I think the dogs need the off leash running and playing time MORE than they need on leash walks. That's why if you are an apartment dweller or somebody with a postage stamp yard, you need to consider the needs of this breed. It is not necessarily the same type of dog as a GSP or dog truly bred for a lot of performance/work. But you should have some pause if you live in an apartment and only "outlet" for that dog to stretch his limbs is how much you walk that dog. And like I said, walks are not enough.

* should add, I do not give my dogs "intense" exercise everyday. I'm not a fan of deliberately trying to exhaust my dogs just to make them behave. I believe you train and condition your dogs to have household manners. That's something you need to keep in mind.

There are breeders who supposedly specialize in low energy or lazy dogs, however - I do not think that's quite appropriate for this breed. Nor is it appropriate specializing in dogs who have border collie or GSP temperaments.
 

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The nice thing about goldens is if you are sick, tired, etc.... they don't need to go for a 1-5 mile walk that day or the next. But if you want to go for a long walk multiple times a day, they are ready to go each time
Thanks for your response, it’s really helpful! This is what I’m looking for. Of course I plan and hope to spend active time with my dog, I think I’m just nervous about no “off switch.” Our last dog was a neurotic, reactive rescue husky mix, with zero off switch who was pretty much crazy (but we loved her). It was impossible to tire her out and we couldn’t take her anywhere where there were other dogs or people. I hardly know what a “normal” well adjusted dog behaves like so I think I’m just nervous.
 

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I guess what I really want to know is, will breeders take me seriously if I ask for the most mellow and chill puppy of the litter? Is that a common request? I know that Goldens have energy and need exercise, but does it look bad to a breeder if I’m seeking out the lowest energy one of the bunch?
 

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That is my dream! Did you seek out a dog like this? If you got your dog from a breeder, did you ask for a more mellow pup?
I actually did tell the breeder I have mobility issues and was hoping for a dog happy with daily walks and playing ball. This was before covid and the pups were 9.5 weeks old already.
He actually had a different pup in mind for me. A male but someone else took that one before and we were scheduled to visit them and hadn't put a deposit down on them.
When we got there two pups ignored us the whole time but Molly followed me around the whole time and actually sniffed my ankle a few times (my injured leg) the breeder mentioned that maybe he was wrong and she was the nest choice instead. I agree. She knows when I'm pain and is usually very good about it.
However do not plan on this breed being calm and "lazy"
 

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I guess what I really want to know is, will breeders take me seriously if I ask for the most mellow and chill puppy of the litter? Is that a common request? I know that Goldens have energy and need exercise, but does it look bad to a breeder if I’m seeking out the lowest energy one of the bunch?
I rescued a coonhound years ago and was told how she was a porch dog . Well I ended up walking her 4 miles a day lol
 

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Kate
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Personally speaking - one of the first things you SHOULD be discussing with a breeder is the energy level of the dogs they produce. And practical common sense would be avoiding breeders who are breeding/producing higher strung dogs.
 

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I’m on my 5th Golden. All my dogs have been healthy and happy with two 15-20 minute games of fetch a day, and if they were lucky, a mile’s walk. Maybe a short agility or obedience training Session. As you can see from my avatar, my dogs are competitive in agility and obedience.

it sounds like you plan to give your dog plenty of exercise for the average golden (e.g., one not bred specifically to hunt or be a “sporting” dog). Do NOT tell your breeder that you want a “low energy couch potato“ since she will almost certainly assume you won’t give your dog the exercise s/he needs. BUT, do make clear that you are looking for a mellower pup that loves to snuggle (believe me, not all Goldens love to snuggle), and be specific (and realistic) about how much daily exercise you plan to give your dog. I would think that most reputable breeders who are breeding primarily for pets/conformation will have no problem providing you with the kind of dog you want.
 

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You certainly can! You are describing Maggie almost to a tee. I asked my breeder for a dog that would be up for walks and hikes but chill when in the house. Most days, we walk once at lunch and once in the evening about 3 miles total. The weekends we try to get a hike or longer walks in. I am embarrassed to say that some days, the rain is so hard that we stay inside. On those days, I work on some training in the house with down stays and such and she is content to lay on the couch with me and watch Netflix. She moves from room to room with me, laying down at my feet wherever I stop. Good luck on your search.
Here are 2 of her favorite places.
Jules
877663
877664
 

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I asked Rukie's breeder for a calmer couch potato personality and he is very calm. We did have our puppy zoomie time at night but now we play frisbee, hide and seek, or play with the neighbors dog for 30 minutes or a little less most nights and he's very content. He pretty much sleeps all day, has his play time, eats and is ready for bed by 9. On an energetic day he plays a few minutes of tug in the house. The breeder picked the dogs to go with what people wanted and she nailed it for us.
 
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Hi,
To put my bit in I think most conformation goldens I have come across would be what you want. But you might have to get through the puppy and adolescent stage first. Quite a few Goldens around our way. Golden’s Owners are usually quite chatty with each other. Other people said their golden’s are quite chilled. The ones that the owners say need more exercise seem to be from working lines. But those owners also train them so well to chill in the house. Goldens can get quite boisterous playing with each other though!
Today Teddy has laid down in our day room while I read, napped, read and napped some more all afternoon. I walked him for an hour and half late morning and my hubby walked him for 2 hours early evening. As it’s the weekend.
On days when I am busy he is fine with an hour in the morning and hour in the afternoon but then needs a couple 20 minute sessions of play or fun training in the garden. He might also try and play gently in the evening with his indoor toys.
But around all of that he chills, sleeping or cuddling up next to us or on our feet.
I have been going through some periods of medical treatment this year. Just coming to the end of one now and I am really tired. Being slow to get out of bed and sleeping in the afternoon.
Teddy comes back to bed after his breakfast to be with me even if my hubby is free to play with him he’d rather be by my side. Same in the afternoon. He’s also more of a cuddle monster when I am not well. He seems to moderate his energy and not try to get me to play with him as much. Rather he wants to watch over me.
So I think most golden’s bred for a pet and not from sporting lines will probably be what you want. I’d be confident to ask the breeder for the chilled dude or dudess of the litter who enjoys lap cuddles.
There are a couple Burnese mountain dogs in our neighbourhood, seperate owners, now I hear they are more couch potatoes and that need less daily exercise than Goldens. I looked into the breed for us but decided not ever energetic for us. Lovely gentle family dogs.
 

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