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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi everyone,

I'm trying to decide between a field or a regular golden. I've done my research and know that fields typically = more active, driven, prey drive, needs more exercise... while show goldens are typically calmer, many used in therapy service dogs although still have a lot of energy.

Some info about me: It'll just be me raising the pup and I like being active, on weekends I love to go hiking/camping/be in nature. I've lived with my sister in the past (who owns 2 Shiba Inu's and 1 mini aussie)...and I know for a fact I am the type of person who wants to take dogs with me EVERYWHERE - stores, cafes, restaurants etc (that is dog friendly of course). My sister's dogs are def not friendly with other dogs and I can handle them quite well (I warn other dog owners that approach me without asking), but I've always wanted my own with that friendly golden personality.

I've met wonderful show goldens that have made great family pets throughout my life and absolutely LOVE their personalities, but I've also met a lot of goldens who play/walk for 15-30 min and are just done for the day.

SO, if you're still reading this, I'm just looking for a dog with that golden personality who is active and join me wherever I go. If I were to have my pick of litter from a field golden I know I would want to pick the more calm/mellow pup, but if I were to have my pick from a regular golden litter I might pick the more active pup.

Would love to hear your advice/recommendation or just experience :) For those with field goldens, would you say they have more energy than, lets say, a german shepherd or like a border collie?



Thanks everyone/anyone taking the time to read and reply! Long post but I just want to be thorough before I make any decisions :)


ps. I am not interested in doing any field hunting with my future dogs. Just an adventure buddy and obedience training, and maybe agility for fun
 

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I think if you don’t plan on hunting or doing high level sports, a show line dog is perfect. They’re sporting dogs, most reputable show line breeders are breeding athletic dogs and many of these dogs are capable of performing and hunting. Field trials are a different story. Not to mention that show breeders are also breeding for the temperament you’re looking for.
 

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Maegan
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I would say that most actual show dogs are higher energy than people think. These 15-30 min and done slugs are not correct Golden temperament and would make terrible show dogs. They definitely have less energy than field trial dogs, but they are not low or even medium energy dogs most of the time.

I’m a show person, so I’m obviously going to be biased in that direction, but I also do Rally and Obedience. Both of my dogs will go all day if you ask them to and they will be happy the whole time. They both have good off switches, love to train, love to play, love people and other dogs (to a fault sometimes), and can go anywhere with us.
 

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Kate
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Well, heheh.

These are pictures of my dogs when I am training/working with them for show reasons. Note, these are basically ungroomed dogs. This is them holding a group stand stay. 2 out of the 3 have obedience titles and I've trained them for higher level obedience (want to get there with all 3 dogs). 2 out of the 3 are AKC pointed. Oldest boy is retired from showing, 1 major shy of a CH. The 2 babies will hopefully go back into the show ring next year.

So these are show bred dogs who are also show dogs.

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And this video shows just a glimpse of how much energy these dogs have + what to expect as far as how rough they are when playing.

My guys go out every few hours a day and run and play. The two youngest in particular will spend a lot of time running and playing with each other.

This is not a breed that will be content with just on leash walks. And it can be pretty mouthy and high energy compared to expectations that people may have about the breed based on this breed's glorious reputation. This is a wonderful breed - but as outgoing and flamboyant as these dogs are by nature, they will take you for a ride if you don't work with them and put time into training them.


 

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My girl April was a show line dog. I am an equestrian and would often take her along on trail rides, usually anywhere from 8-15 miles and at a walk, trot and canter. She kept up no problem-and she probably went twice the distance the horses went with all her circling and running up ahead and such. I also showed her in obedience and she was titled. But in the house she was a gentle couch potato/overgrown lap dog. She was the perfect dog- ready to go when you are, but content to snuggle on the couch if that’s what you wanted. I think a lot of these goldens who can’t last are either overweight or poorly bred-bad structure will do that.
 
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My show line boy is really crazy energetic compared to my girl of unknown breeding. My boy Monty lives to swim and retrieve, and needs plenty of off leash time daily on top of the walks, and playtime he has with my older girl wrestling. I don't think its because he's younger as well, as in general my Lily had lesser energy as a puppy.

That being said he does have an off switch, and will happily snooze and relax, but always be eager for excitement and play at a second's notice, which is something I love! My breeder has produced golden retrievers that have 'endurance trials' titles (ET) in Australia, which is basically a 20km run ( thats around 12.5miles), and is a popular activity with German Shepherd owners as well so energy wise, I'd say a show line bred to standard will compare.
 

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I couldn’t agree more with Megora and Ffcmm.
Adopted my show golden beginning of the year when he was almost 18 months. From the GR club affiliated to UK kennel club.
His initially mouthiness and level of boisterous energy surprised me a little.
I have worked hard on obedience training to stop any inappropriate mouthing and to teach him when, what, where and with whom it is appropriate to be boisterous with and to stop when I say. Has taken best part of 6 months to achieve.

Most days he has a 1 1/2 hr walk (1 hour of it off lead, often involving swimming) in the morning with 1 hour more lead based walk in the late afternoon. But because he is an only dog he also needs half an hour play with me in the garden at least once preferably twice a day. So you should consider that without another doggy companion it so important that you provide stimulating play time.
And some evenings he ‘plays’ gently (bringing stuffed toys to throw or gentle tug of war) for short bouts in the evening when we are watching telly.

At weekends Ted loves getting out for a walk somewhere less regular for us like the forest and can happily walk for 3 even 4 hours.
He can’t keep up with dogs like border collies or racing dogs in speed of running in play (he does try) but he can run around a lot and play a lot with other dogs he meets who wish to do the same. But has learnt to leave those that don’t want to alone.

He is mainly chilled indoors. What is great is when bad weather like this weekend he can contain his energy and chill out or play a little indoors until later in the day when the rain stops.

Also at weekends he’s happy to go back to bed after breakfast till 9am even 10am occasionally which tells me he can wait for his walk. Loves weekend morning snuggles in bed 🥰So nice to get a weekend lie in.

My hairdressers has a field golden who is also wonderfully chilled in the house. But she does have more energy so he goes cycling with her running alongside for an hour. He also does use her for field retrieving, think pheasant hunting. My Teddy couldn’t keep up the running constantly for an hour. And has more of a chilled attitude to birds, which I like.

My one other previous dog was German shepherd and I would actually say he was more chilled, liked sitting and guarding you! That fulfilled him a lot. On walks he was ball crazy for running and fetching but other than that he wanted to walk beside you to lookout/look after us. Not that bothered about playing with other dogs as was focused on you. But was never aggressive to other people or dogs, occassional back off growl to badly mannered dogs.
Whilst Teddy is much more curious about other people and dogs on walks.
Teddy also needs more interaction and affection from us.

I think a ‘show’ golden from a good proper breeder is still an active dog, much more so than most people realise.

Both breeds we’ve been able to take anywhere (where allowed) eg cafe, pub etc. But Teddy gets sooo much attention for his cute looks. My hubby finds people intruding on us a bit tiresome. I don’t mind and Teddy just loves all the attention he can get.
So getting a golden be prepared for a lot of interest from other people.
 

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Except for my first Golden over 25 years ago, I have had all Field line Goldens. I raised two young boys and we all like to hunt birds, so the dogs get out to hunt a lot. My wife and I love running our Goldens in hunt tests also. We now have two field Goldens, one being now only 10 months old. They are high energy with many of the traits mentioned earlier. Most have very high trainability and many also run in obedience and agility competition or tests. Field dogs are bred to not be 'mouthy' as that would damage game being retrieved. If a dog is mouthy, they cannot pass hunt tests....! So they are bred to be very soft mouthed!

As mentioned most field breeders will not sell to a home that does not run the dog in hunt tests/ trials, hunt with them or obedience or agility events. Our new boy has both parents titled as shown below....showing their versatility beyond hunting...
Brassfire's Cowboy Casanova CDX MH WCX CCA and Kelakye's Tin Lizzie CDX MH WCX CDX and CCA are common titles in field bred Golden's.

If you talk to a field breeder be sure to mention your intent on running them in obedience and/or agility tests. Many of the breeders would find this acceptable, as long as the pup is running in some event to keep them in shape, healthy, and using the talents bred into their pedigree. I would say if the breeder, breeds Goldens primarily for Hunt Trials (Competitive) They may balk at any one that is not running in those events.

But, I believe most Field Breeders that target hunt test dogs, would be fine with obedience and/or agility tests families.

Good Luck
 

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I'm a big fan of "tweeners", a field x show breeding. Best of both worlds.
 

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Kate
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Maybe so in show dog world....not so in Field Dogs...
Hard mouthed is when the dog clamps down. That's a bad thing for obedience working dogs (you lose points when the dog is chomping all over the dumbbell). It's a bad thing when you have a dog really clamping down on the birds and chewing it up like you see some dogs chewing up their stuffies.

Mouthy is a dog that communicates with his world and plays with his owners and dog buddies... using his mouth. Heck, you may also have many of these dogs that give affection through mouthing (the love nibbles with their front teeth - to their dog buddies and you). Hopefully it also translates to that being a dog that wants to carry things in his mouth.

This is a mouthy breed. I like many golden owners feel frustrated when you see pet owners posting about their aggressive 10 week old pups who are super mouthy. Soft mouthed breeds doesn't translate to the dogs never nipping or mouthing their owners. There is a huge difference!

ETA - my Jovi was a field training drop out because he would try to eat the birds. I honestly think that's even a separate issue (LOL) than a dog being hard mouthed. It's a discipline/training issue. At 2.5, he's a lot better and I vaguely hope to get back into field training with him and his dad and perhaps the baby (Bertie is better at tracking/hunting than his babies and his babies are not as fussy about picking up smelly birds as Bertie is - so there's stuff to work on either way).

The below vid is my Jovi working retrieves as a baby with a headless dead bird LOL. ;) Just for fun.

 

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Hard mouthed is when the dog clamps down. That's a bad thing for obedience working dogs (you lose points when the dog is chomping all over the dumbbell). It's a bad thing when you have a dog really clamping down on the birds and chewing it up like you see some dogs chewing up their stuffies.

Mouthy is a dog that communicates with his world and plays with his owners and dog buddies... using his mouth. Heck, you may also have many of these dogs that give affection through mouthing (the love nibbles with their front teeth - to their dog buddies and you). Hopefully it also translates to that being a dog that wants to carry things in his mouth.

This is a mouthy breed. I like many golden owners feel frustrated when you see pet owners posting about their aggressive 10 week old pups who are super mouthy. Soft mouthed breeds doesn't translate to the dogs never nipping or mouthing their owners. There is a huge difference!

ETA - my Jovi was a field training drop out because he would try to eat the birds. I honestly think that's even a separate issue (LOL) than a dog being hard mouthed. It's a discipline/training issue. At 2.5, he's a lot better and I vaguely hope to get back into field training with him and his dad and perhaps the baby (Bertie is better at tracking/hunting than his babies and his babies are not as fussy about picking up smelly birds as Bertie is - so there's stuff to work on either way).
I understand what you are saying. Our definitions are somewhat different. With our retrievers when running hunt tests, or training if they mouth (playfully moving it around in their mouth) the bird while returning on a retrieve or when the come to heal with the bird, the judges will deduct points. This is unacceptable behavior for a field trained dog, because in a real hunting environment, a bird being retrieved is not always dead. If the dog is mouthing that bird, it will start struggling, and in some cases actually get away from the dog. Because of this possibility field dogs are taught not to be mouthy with toys, canvas dummies, and birds...they are taught to hold study. Most all Goldens are soft mouthed and they will not crunch down on a bird, even if it has blood on it. Their are exceptions, of course, but it is unusual in Goldens to be hard mouthed!

I know very well because I had a really talented female that developed that habit of mouthing on retrieves...and I had to work with her to hold her retrieve quietly in her mouth at all times....she finally got it!
 

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I would say that most actual show dogs are higher energy than people think. These 15-30 min and done slugs are not correct Golden temperament and would make terrible show dogs. They definitely have less energy than field trial dogs, but they are not low or even medium energy dogs most of the time.

I’m a show person, so I’m obviously going to be biased in that direction, but I also do Rally and Obedience. Both of my dogs will go all day if you ask them to and they will be happy the whole time. They both have good off switches, love to train, love to play, love people and other dogs (to a fault sometimes), and can go anywhere with us.
I agree with this 100%. I have had a few Goldens from Connie at Malagold and they aren't known for being high energy and all my dogs from here have been super chill in the house but outside, there is no off switch. They will run and swim for HOURS, can throw a ball with a chuck-it for an hour 3 times a day and never seen my dogs tank on empty, especially my current Golden Maggie. Maggie never stops moving when outside.

But Field lines are a whole other level and NEED to be run down and giving job, activities or they get too bored and can be a bit destructive chewers to release that pent up energy.

Unless you're going to work them and be really active with them, I think show lines will be much better for a family/companion dog.
 

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Hi everyone,

I'm trying to decide between a field or a regular golden. I've done my research and know that fields typically = more active, driven, prey drive, needs more exercise... while show goldens are typically calmer, many used in therapy service dogs although still have a lot of energy.

Some info about me: It'll just be me raising the pup and I like being active (3mi jogs a couple times a week, otherwise I love long 5+mi walks everyday. On weekends I love to go hiking/camping/be in nature...and if I'm not in nature I am just out all day getting in steps). I've lived with my sister in the past (who owns 2 Shiba Inu's and 1 mini aussie)...and I know for a fact I am the type of person who wants to take dogs with me EVERYWHERE - stores, cafes, restaurants etc (that is dog friendly of course). My sister's dogs are def not friendly with other dogs and I can handle them quite well (I warn other dog owners that approach me without asking), but I've always wanted my own with that friendly golden personality. And having that experience with my sister's dogs that are not-dog friendly, boy can I tell you that I am so invested into training/obedience/socialization.

I've met wonderful show goldens that have made great family pets throughout my life and absolutely LOVE their personalities, but I've also met a lot of goldens who play/walk for 15-30 min and are just done for the day.

SO, if you're still reading this, I'm just looking for a dog with that golden personality who is active and join me wherever I go. If I were to have my pick of litter from a field golden I know I would want to pick the more calm/mellow pup, but if I were to have my pick from a regular golden litter I might pick the more active pup.

Would love to hear your advice/recommendation or just experience :) For those with field goldens, would you say they have more energy than, lets say, a german shepherd or like a border collie?



Thanks everyone/anyone taking the time to read and reply! Long post but I just want to be thorough before I make any decisions :)


ps. I am not interested in doing any field hunting with my future dogs. Just an adventure buddy and obedience training, and maybe agility for fun
I would say go with a show golden! Well bred show goldens often have very well balanced temperaments. My boy is very mellow and has done great in therapy work from the time he turned one, but he also LOVES hiking, swimming, etc. I also love the looks of a show golden from a responsible breeder.
 

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Yes, some of the very best ones!

Are there breeders that breed field x show? I've met a fieldxshow golden before but he was a rescue!
 
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