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I have only had cats and am 37. My daughter, husband and I really want a dog. I have a friend who has a golden retriever and this is about the only breed of dog I would want. I think they are so beautiful when full grown. However, her golden is a boy. He is 18 mths. For the first 12 mths he ate his poop, broke her fingers pulling on his leash, dug large holes in the yard and was aggressive with my daughter (age 9) when she was around his food. He bit her. He also attacked a beagle who was drinking from his own water bowl, not the golden's water.

Is this typical? Is it just a boy thing? She had him in training and yet this still happened. My husband keeps saying I should stick to small dogs because I won't be able to handle a big dog like a golden. Any advice? I am 5'5", 110lbs. Do goldens go around breaking fingers and pulling someone like me around like a rag doll?
 

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Goldens are excellent family dogs and are typically great with kids. However, they do require a lot of training, just like any other breed. They are also a sporting breed and require a lot of exercise. If they aren't given a chance to exercise, they can direct their energy towards being destructive, i.e. digging and chewing and become very difficult to control. Some people think that they don't have to put too much effort into training just because Goldens are very intelligent dogs, but that is completley untrue. The minute that puppy comes home is when the hard work starts. It would be ideal to enroll in a training class as soon as the puppy has been immunized. It takes a lot of hard work and committment, but as long as you put forth the effort, you will later be rewarded with a great dog.

The behavior that you described in your friend's dog has nothing to do with gender. It sounds like it is nothing more than a dog with pent up energy and a lack of training and exercise. Most people actually prefer males over females because they tend to be more affectionate than females. I am one of those people.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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This dog you are referring to is not typical of the golden temperament. It also sounds like it has not had any obedience training what so ever.

This is a good place to find out out about golden retrievers.We have a breeder section, a puppy section and others you may want to check out.

Sometimes breeders do not have health clearances on their dogs and don't breed with temperament , health in mind and end up with some of the problems you are describing. Biting, dominance are not common in the golden temperament but seem to be appearing more and more with indiscriminante breeding.

And it is NOT a boy thing. male goldens are considered to be more loving, cuddly and eager to please than females. I prefer male goldens to female.

I have had goldens for almost forty years and will always have a golden , even if someday I do have another breed.

Please research breeders and find one who does health clearances.
 

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Your friend's golden does not sound like he has a proper Golden temperament. However, when they are young, and even when they are older, they have TONS of energy and need lots of exercise and training. They are however, very easily trained so if you are committed to fulfilling the pup's need, you should have a great dog.

A rescue Golden, may also be just what you need. Their puppy YaYas will have calmed down and you can get a good sense of the dog's temperament. If you let us know where you live, someone can direct you to a local rescue.

Please know that while there seems to be unfortunately more and more Goldens who resource guard from humans, this is the complete opposite from what a Golden temperament should be. If you are interested in a puppy, please look at the stickies at the top of the "choosing a puppy" forum to see how to go about finding a puppy that will fulfill your needs.
 

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chew chew chew
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Doesn't sound like a typical golden, usually they aren't dog aggressive or people aggressive. They can eat their own poop (all dogs may do that) and pull on leash if not trained. If you like the looks of them, and don't mind the hair (the biggest concern usually) then I would suggest you look at getting an older dog through rescue, you'd be able to skip past a lot of the puppy work and get some dog ownership experience. Puppies of any breed are a LOT of work and by getting an adult dog you'd likely also get something that has some training, is housebroken and settled down a bit.

By the way, I know a lot more nasty little dogs than big ones, just because the dog itself is small doesn't mean it won't need training and work!

Lana
 

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Welcome to the forum. A golden can certainly do all the things your friends golden does. Whether it is a male or a female really doesn't matter. On the other hand with proper training none of those things may happen. If you were to get a golden I would strongly suggest obedience classes. They are a great way for both you and the dog to learn lots and have some fun socializing. It is also important that the whole family is on the same page regarding training and what the dog is allowed and not allowed to do. Good luck with your decision.
 

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Puppies are a lot of work. And goldens do chew a lot. And they go through a really annoying nippy, jumpy stage. But a properly exercised and trained golden is a very different animal from one that doesn't get any exercise and doesn't have correct boundaries set.

Rookie has NEVER been aggressive, but he did test his boundaries as a pup. And I did have to train him not to pull on his leash (a Gentle Leader is a great tool for that). I also had to teach him not to dig in the yard. Here's what I recommend for sanity:

1. Make sure your dog gets enough exercise. I don't think there's anything more important for a dog's health and behavior. Rookie needed frequent play time as a puppy, and a ton of exercise as an adolescent. As a two and a half year old, he gets some off leash running time at the park each morning in addition to his walk and he gets a 20-30 minute walk at night. If he doesn't get enough exercise, he's not a lot of fun to be around.
2. Use a crate!
3. Never leave a puppy alone in the yard. If you don't want him to dig, be there to stop him and redirect him when he does start to dig. If you stop him each time, he'll learn not to dig. If you leave a bored, underexercised golden puppy alone in the yard, there's a pretty good chance you'll end up with big holes.
4. Puppies are nippy. Make sure your puppy spends a full eight weeks with his litter mates so that he learns bite inhibition. You will also have to teach your dog that it is never okay for his teeth to touch human skin. Every time his teeth touch your skin, you stop playing and ignore him. Every single time.
5. Teach your dog control around food. Make him sit and wait for your command before you allow him to approach his bowl. He only gets to eat when you say he can eat. If there's any sign of food aggression, hand feed him for a while.
6. Attend a puppy obedience class at a minimum. An intermediate course is great if you can do it.

If you put in the work when he's a puppy, you'll have an amazing companion when he gets older. Rookie was a LOT of work as a puppy, but he's turned into such a good dog it was worth every minute of it!!
 
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Susan
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I wonder where your friend got her golden. It is important to get a puppy from a responsible breeder who breeds for golden temperament as well as appearance and can also choose the right pup for you.
 

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Missing Selka So Much
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About the poop, I think they are more likely to eat their own poop when they are bored.
This dog sounds bored if he was digging.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks so much for all the quick replies. I actually thought I would always prefer a male dog because in my experience girls have attitude, but... the dog I spoke of made me a bit gunshy. Maybe it is our area. We don't have a lot of options (that I know of) for good training. I am in Corpus Christi, TX.

My friend purchased her golden from gorgeousgoldens.com in Round Rock, TX for $700 around New Years. She took him home at 6 weeks which I thought was a red flag from reading this forum. The breeder also did not have all health clearances. In fact if I remember, he had a bacterial infection when she brought him home. Her training was at Petsmart beginner class. She does crate him but also chains him up out back during the day. I am not sure about exercise.

I guess I need to research good breeders in Texas. I don't think there are any near me. Maybe Houston, Austin or Dallas.
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Welcome to the GRF. :wavey:
Check out the Puppy Buyer Fact Checker here
http://www.goldenretrieverforum.com/showthread.php?t=22440


Here are a couple links to some local Golden clubs breeder/puppy referral pages.

Austin Golden Retriever Club
http://www.austingoldenretrieverclub.com/Puppy Referral.htm

Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club
http://www.ghgrc.org/puppy.htm

The Dallas Fort Worth GRC does not offer a breeder/puppy referral

Good luck in your search and please come back often with any questions you may have in your search.
 

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Momma to angel Cody
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Robynnashley, not only does it sound like your friend's dog came from a less-than-ideal breeder, having the dog chained up outside during the day is a big, fat non-no for this breed. A golden retriever is a member of the family, and most folks don't chain up family members. I would hazard that this dog has tons of pent up energy and a cloying, destructive need for attention, neither of which he would have if he were being raised properly. Please do your research both on good breeders and local rescue organizations, but also, please do not get a golden if you plan to put him or her outside and not include the dog as a family member. A well-bred, well-trained, properly treated golden is one of life's greatest pleasures!
 

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Loving goldens since '95
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Other posters have already explained what you can typically expect from a properly bred Golden. The one your friend owns is definitely not one that comes from a reputable breeder. I'm sure that there are reputable breeders within a couple of hours from where you live, and unless you rescue an adult dog from a shelter or local rescue, please make the effort to invest the money into a pup that was bred in the proper manner with the applicable health clearances. Myself and other members on the forum would be more than happy to help you in your search and don't be afraid to ask any questions about breeders that you find.

My husband keeps saying I should stick to small dogs because I won't be able to handle a big dog like a golden.
I just wanted to add that small dogs aren't always easier to handle than bigger ones like a golden. They have lots of energy, are usually very vocal and are often some of the worst trained dogs. I can't think of a small dog that hasn't jumped up on me or nipped at me (just because they are only 20 lbs or have tiny little teeth doesn't make it 'ok' to bite or jump), but I can think of many large breed dogs who are very well mannered and have impressed me with their obedience and ability to do some amazing tricks!

Training a golden can take as little as 10 minutes a day to have a well mannered pet, and I can't tell you how much your life changes when you bring home a golden! They have the greatest personalities and I can't imagine myself with any other breed :)
 

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The Obedience Club of Corpus Christi offers classes three times per year.

There are many many great breeders in Texas that would be able to help fit you with a puppy that has a temperment suitable for your family.
 

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Hi. I'm not as helpful as most of the other posts. Just wanted to let you know that I have a boy Golden and he is wonderful. I got him at 8 weeks. At 12 weeks we started puppy school and the training continues. He doesn't have an agressive bone in his body. He still pulls a little on walks but nothing I can't handle. He has never broken any of my fingers despite the bundle of energy that he is :) He is my first dog and I am planning on another Golden boy in a couple of years. Your friends dog doesn't sound typical at all. Don't let that particular dog sway you in your decision. Do some research and refer to the forum. This place is great! I agree with esSJay I couldn't imagine having any other breed. Good luck.
 

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Robynnashley, not only does it sound like your friend's dog came from a less-than-ideal breeder, having the dog chained up outside during the day is a big, fat non-no for this breed. A golden retriever is a member of the family, and most folks don't chain up family members. I would hazard that this dog has tons of pent up energy and a cloying, destructive need for attention, neither of which he would have if he were being raised properly. Please do your research both on good breeders and local rescue organizations, but also, please do not get a golden if you plan to put him or her outside and not include the dog as a family member. A well-bred, well-trained, properly treated golden is one of life's greatest pleasures!
Well said. I'd like to add that many Texas municipalites now prohibit chaining of dogs in yards. In my opinion chaining a dog outside is animal abuse, and creates many of the problems your friend is experiencing. In addition, keeping a dog in Texas outdoors will greatly increase the odds of the dog getting heartworms, which is fatal if not treated. Outside dogs are also susceptible to other illnesses and diseases.
 

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Welcome to the forum and (hopefully) the world of being owned by a golden :)
There is a wealth of knowledge and wisdom to be found here and I don't imagine there's a question that can't be answered!

To put my two cents worth in :)
I am 5 feet tall, my golden boy weighs in around 72 lbs and we do great together.
In fact, once Timber is a bit older, we plan on adding another one to the family.
I'm sure you will do great with one.

Good luck with your search and keep us posted!
We love puppy pics :)
 

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I grew upowning English Setters, male and female and had no preference for gender. Then by accident I got my first Irish Setter--he just showed up in our yard in Austin, Texas, thin, covered with fleas, a gash on his hip. But he was so well mannered, so well trained I knew he had b een very much loved and have no idea how he ame to be on the street collarless and in such shape. When I lost hgim 8 years later, I was given another Irish Setter, again a male.
But since then I have owned 4 full goldens--one female, 3 males, and one have a goldn mix adopted 7 years ago.

Allthe goldens shared food with each other (as Honey did before I lost the others to heart attack cancer, and ProHeart6). etc. Many take Honey for full golden, but she has sight hound of some kind.

She DID
 
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