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In general, which breed is calmer and easier to train -- labs or goldens? Our labs have always been pretty laid back. We could leave them loose in the house for short periods of time without worrying about them. Then we got Amber, our golden. She is eleven months now and still as much a puppy as when we got her [except the biting is past]. She is smart enough and learned commands like sit and come in no time. But she is constantly on the move and has to check everything with her mouth. No paper is safe -- she will shred it instantly. Sofa pillows are her personal property, to be carried to her favorite den behind my recliner. I'm sure she knows better but does these things so I'll chase her to retrieve them. She loves to fetch so she must think I like to retrieve, too. If all goldens are like this, they are not for old codgers like me.
 

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I have had Labs all my life, and two Goldens...by far I have found the Labs easier but...I think it depends on if they are from primarily show or field lines. Of the Labs, I find Yellows the most laid back, and they come pre trained, mine have been from show lines. Our Golden, Aiyana was a very laid back Golden from a combo of field and show lines, she was probably the most obedient dog ever. Layla our almost 3 year old Golden is from field lines and is constant on - I am afraid she will never calm down, she is very stubborn and my Golden Challenge. Our new Lab puppy Cally is an extremely laid back puppy, she is 4 months old...she is not perfect she still does puppy things, but has been very easy to train. My brother has always had field Labs, black...and they are quite hyper, but smart and easily trained.

Now if you are looking for a real training challenge, my Siberian Huskies have been a real hoot!
 

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IKE- Canine Blood Donor
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I haven't owned Labs but know family and friends who have Labs. They are much more active and driven (by tennis balls especially) than either of my Goldens. Ike will try to play with them and every attempt is met with 'leave me alone kid, I'm chasing my tennis ball!.' If you do get a Lab, make sure you have an ample supply of tennis balls and a good thowing arm. :)
 

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Dr. Rainheart
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I have found the opposite; our labs were very crazy as pups (and have since mellowed at almost 6). Beamer has been such a mellow puppy thus far.

I have found that at the vet, I find goldens much more calm and mellow than most labs. Though, both can be very hyper there.
 

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I haven't owned Labs but know family and friends who have Labs. They are much more active and driven (by tennis balls especially) than either of my Goldens. Ike will try to play with them and every attempt is met with 'leave me alone kid, I'm chasing my tennis ball!.' If you do get a Lab, make sure you have an ample supply of tennis balls and a good thowing arm. :)
See, it has been so different here, yes my Labs love to fetch...but it has been Layla that is the tennis ball obsessed one, I have developed tennis elbow throwing the ball for her all the time :)!
 

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In general, which breed is calmer and easier to train -- labs or goldens? Our labs have always been pretty laid back. We could leave them loose in the house for short periods of time without worrying about them. Then we got Amber, our golden. She is eleven months now and still as much a puppy as when we got her [except the biting is past]. She is smart enough and learned commands like sit and come in no time. But she is constantly on the move and has to check everything with her mouth. No paper is safe -- she will shred it instantly. Sofa pillows are her personal property, to be carried to her favorite den behind my recliner. I'm sure she knows better but does these things so I'll chase her to retrieve them. She loves to fetch so she must think I like to retrieve, too. If all goldens are like this, they are not for old codgers like me.
In a sense, many goldens are puppies nearly their entire lives. They mature and settle down to some degree, but not like other breeds. The one I had as a child would, upon people walking through the door, start running laps around the house, pausing only to jump on people and lick them before doing another lap- and continued this until he was around 7 years old and health problems started kicking in.

One year, he stole the Christmas ham from the table and ate the entire thing. I can remember my mother looking around like "Where did the ham go?" and checking the oven and the fridge and all the counters and then slowly everyone's eyes turned toward the dog and he let out the loudest belch I've ever heard. Then he rain away as fast as he could. ;)

My father nearly got rid of him several times because he spent the first 2-3 years chewing on the furniture and essentially everything in sight. The dog stopped that my the time he hit middle age, but would still pull a pillow off the couch and lay his head on it from time to time.

My current golden is a year and a half. At about the year mark, I was able to give him free roam of the apartment while I was gone and he does alright. He was housetrained within three weeks of getting him. He learns some stuff. He loves car rides and behaves pretty well on them (Apart from clawing me if I have to stop petting him to execute a difficult turn or something- until I resume petting him).

But the first thing he did when I picked him out was march up to me and bite me, and he still likes to nip- and he'll still jump on people who aren't me (I consistently held his paws when he does it and it makes him uncomfortable and he stopped) when he gets too excited. He'll still throw tantrums on walks if we walk past people he wants to play with and/or he gets bored and/or he feels we've turned around too early. And he can be pushy when he feels it's time for bed and growl or bite me a little to try to prod me along. He loves other dogs, but he sometimes taunts them or tries to dominate them a bit too much-- he's definitely an alpha dog.

Goldens aren't ordinary dogs. Part of why some of us love them is that they are so puppy like and affectionate and playful for so long. They sometimes mellow a little with age, but usually not the way (or to the extent) other dogs do.

I'm not an old codger (except at heart), but I do have a lot of health problems, and it really pushes me physically to keep up with my golden. That's not entirely a bad thing- I need to move around a little bit and push through the pain some so my health doesn't continue to deteriorate (Part of why I got him was to give me incentive to take a daily walk that is as long as I can manage any given day). So, you could look at it as a way to keep yourself in gear.

If my health was much worse, though, I couldn't do it. In the earliest weeks and months, I had some times when my back would just lock up on me trying to keep up with him and I'd be laying on the floor immobile as he continued to try to bite and jump on me. I can also remember shutting me eyes for a few moments out of sheer exhaustion and having him come up to me and nudging me with his cold snout in my face like "Wake up, human!".

When I hit old age, assuming I'm still around and my health deteriorates a little more as I age, I probably won't be able to keep getting golden retrievers and will have to look for a less active less mischievous breed. So, I can understand where you're coming from, a golden may not be for you at this stage of your life.

If there's any way you can manage, though, goldens are a very rewarding breed. It helps keep young at heart, and it's refreshing to see their zeal and enthusiasm for life. And they almost always want to be petted or play tug of war with a rope or be companionable in some way. Unlike cats, or even some other dogs, you never feel like they are just using you as a source of food and never want to hang out with you. They definitely need you-- and for more than just food and water and exercise and stuff, they genuinely really love being around people and other dogs.
 

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they are not for old codgers like me.
funny! when of our 6 mo old golden, old codger lab owner/friend told us he could "tell you're getting old, ya got a golden".



It must be the individual dog...our last lab (RIP at 5-cancer) was so easy, Sadie (lab, 10-1/2) is such a hard head, puppyhood was so bad I'm scared of puppies now! We got our goldie at 6 months & he has been so good (not perfect) it's scarey.
 

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What does she do with the pillow if you ignore her? Does she chew and damage it?

Penny steals socks and towels. If we ignore her she drops it and comes back. She usually takes her prizes into the living room so we can chase her in circles through the dining room and around the table.

I have to say with she comes back, she flops down on the floor with a huge sigh. I think if she could roll her eyes too, she would. lol
 

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I would say that its hard to generalize each breed as there are ton of examples of this or that in each. But for the individual, I think a dog who is not getting the mental and physical stimuli they desire (on an individual level as it vary so much in the same breed) then they are going to come across as hyper and even destructive, no matter what breed.

But speaking of field bred dogs I have always heard labs are harder driving, which if not expended in a positive way will manifest almost always in a negative way. That is why field bred dogs don't always suit the average pet owner, because they aren't always able to spends hours a day expending their inexhaustible retriever. but that same dog would be wonderful for a person who really want a high achieving trial dog. But of course there are conformation or performance dogs who would also fit into this category, so again its really difficult to generalize.
 

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Kristy
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I would say that its hard to generalize each breed as there are ton of examples of this or that in each. But for the individual, I think a dog who is not getting the mental and physical stimuli they desire (on an individual level as it vary so much in the same breed) then they are going to come across as hyper and even destructive, no matter what breed.
Well, I'd say you hit the nail on the head with this answer, kdowning.....

If it were me I'd start looking for puppy play dates and find a dog training club that you could learn tracking together or something to focus that energy on. Good luck!
 

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Lucy & Dory's Mom
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Well I only have a golden and a golden/lab mix. The golden is my neurotic baby, afraid of everything and often high strung even at four years old. The lab/golden mix is much more laid back and calm. It could also be that she's the younger one, and relies on Lucy.
 
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