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Didge's Mommy!
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Hello and Welcome to the forum,
There are so many wonderful people here to get advice from!

I lost my beautiful almost two months ago to cancer and miss him terribly.

I have had many types of dogs in my life. I have always loved dogs and Rusty was my first golden. He won't be my last. He was my "heart" dog.

Just from my experience, Golden's touch you at a different level than other breeds. They are more "human".

As others here has stated, it depends on what kind of person YOU are... will the hair bother you? There will be hair on everything! They are not "prissy" type dogs...they are active and love to play and goof around. They LIKE mud!

They also touch your heart like no other breed.

Good luck to you.
 

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Thank you all so much for replying and giving me so much information to read - it has been amazing! My husband and I have pretty much decided that we were going to get a golden retriever up until we read all this but now we are not so sure. We have been trying for a while to decide between two breeds - the other was a german shepherd - long haired. Don't get me wrong - we still haven't decided - we were so keen on goldens but a few things have come up that might cause us some problems.

Hair and mess, mud etc we can cope with - it pretty much comes with owning a dog, and we already have a dyson - LOL. It is possible the mouthiness that might be a big problem for us. My daughter has autism and we also think that as part of this, she is hyper sensitive to pain - she feels it more than she should. If a golden is as mouthy as people have been saying, we might have real problems in the time it takes to train it not to nip etc.

I know that there was another thing that I picked up that might be an issue too but I have read a lot of pages and now I have forgotten what it was! When I find it again, I will bring it up.

Now I am just trying to find out which dog out of the two breeds is likely to be the easiest all round dog for new owners who don't have much experience, so any help would be great.
 

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Thank you all so much for replying and giving me so much information to read - it has been amazing! My husband and I have pretty much decided that we were going to get a golden retriever up until we read all this but now we are not so sure. We have been trying for a while to decide between two breeds - the other was a german shepherd - long haired. Don't get me wrong - we still haven't decided - we were so keen on goldens but a few things have come up that might cause us some problems.

Hair and mess, mud etc we can cope with - it pretty much comes with owning a dog, and we already have a dyson - LOL. It is possible the mouthiness that might be a big problem for us. My daughter has autism and we also think that as part of this, she is hyper sensitive to pain - she feels it more than she should. If a golden is as mouthy as people have been saying, we might have real problems in the time it takes to train it not to nip etc.

I know that there was another thing that I picked up that might be an issue too but I have read a lot of pages and now I have forgotten what it was! When I find it again, I will bring it up.

Now I am just trying to find out which dog out of the two breeds is likely to be the easiest all round dog for new owners who don't have much experience, so any help would be great.
What about adopting an adult Golden? They truly are wonderful dogs, and that way you might avoid the nipping/mouthy stage. If that is your only concern, and it definitely sounds like a legitimate one for you, maybe this is the answer?
 

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My daughter has autism and we also think that as part of this, she is hyper sensitive to pain - she feels it more than she should. If a golden is as mouthy as people have been saying, we might have real problems in the time it takes to train it not to nip etc.
I know every dog is different and THE absolute most important thing is consistency of training ++ - we have 3 girls ages 10, 5, and 5 and with Abby, I would say that it took 4-5 weeks for the nipping/biting to be gone. We taught her "no bite" very quickly and always replaced with an acceptable object for her (the kids learned to do it too). We also taught the girls to stop moving/running and stand "like a tree" and not shriek/yell since this increased the excitement and the puppy just thought they were playing with her. Once we figured out that Abby LOVED holding a "stuffie" (or a stuffed animal) in her mouth the most, we got her a few of her own (her favourite is her mallard of course ;)), we (husband and I) made sure she always had one nearby and gave it to her when she was seeing us or playing with us and the kids, especially during her most excitable moments which were (and still are) first thing in the morning and when we come home from any outing. Giving her lots of exercise and opportunities to chew were also REALLY helpful.

We also taught her "kisses" and "good kisses" right away by putting cream cheese on the back of our hands (a trick I learned here!!) and that really reinforced the kisses vs biting behaviour we wanted.

I don't know much about German Shepherds but I DO know that we have had Labs, a Flatcoat Retriever, and fostered Springers in the past and are just so ecstatic about having chosen a GR puppy for our family - she is without a doubt, the best dog we've ever had!

P.S. one of my twin girls is Spirited and likely has ADHD - she is VERY dramatic and is also hyper sensitive to pain...although there were some moments, all in all, it went really well, and the added responsibility of having a puppy (feeding her, taking her out, giving her an appropriate toy) has really helped her sense of responsibility and they have bonded REALLY well!

Good luck with your decision!! :)

Cheers,
 

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GET AN ADULT DOG! If you have kids, a Golden is the ONLY way to go. We recently received a 2 year golden and all I can say is WOW. This dog is magical. It stays with the kids if they are sick, it watches over them while they are in the pool. If you are still not convinved, google the dog that performed the heimlich on his owner, yes it was a golden. I have met many and had 2 dogs, but never have I met an animal like this. Truly amazing...so gentle and caring. I am stil in disbelief! You won't regret it. You can evaluate an adult in your home and simply explain toyour children that you are fostering the dog for two weeks. Good luck.
 

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shadow friend
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What about adopting an adult Golden? They truly are wonderful dogs, and that way you might avoid the nipping/mouthy stage. If that is your only concern, and it definitely sounds like a legitimate one for you, maybe this is the answer?

My son is AS and Max is the perfect dog for him. German Sheppards are much tougher to have - experience is a must when getting that kind of dog. I wonder what makes those the 2 you are trying to decide between? They are so very different and I don't see, from what about GSDs how that breed would be good for an autistic child?

Max lets my son hug him, kiss him, roll on him, and keeps coming back for more. I think perhaps you would do better with an adult dog than a puppy.
 

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Kate
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Something to consider is just monitor the time between your daughter and the puppy. I'm not sure if this is a learned behavior (puppies learn it from the older dogs), but my goldens have always behaved differently around people with special needs, even when they were going through that mouthy stage. Because epilepsy runs in my family (three sibs), my goldens do react to the warning signs and seizures like 'nurse' dogs.

If you bring home the right puppy (interview breeders and ask for help in picking a calmer type puppy) and make sure you do all of the training and monitoring, your daughter might actually be more in danger of being licked to death.

The only bad thing I've noticed in that quarter is my guys when they were puppies is they liked to latch onto clothing and tug. They also can scratch with their toenails (my current golden learned to throw his feet out by spending too much time play-fighting with the cat).

One thing.... if you have adult dogs who have not had experience around people or kids that may 'smell' different to them, they might be afraid and balk about going near somebody whose behavior is a little different.
 

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We have had a number of GSD, from my experience they make great one person companions but not always good family communal pets, don't get me wrong I love and loved all of ours but they do require a reasonably experienced and firm hand, perhaps not as easy going in the forgiveness front as a GR or indeed Lab

Good luck which ever way you jump :)
 

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It needs to be said that the Golden "mouthyness" is not a hard bite, it is not dangerous, and it is not painful. These are dogs that are bred to bring birds back to a hunter. They have a "soft mouth". That means that their bite inhibition is *perfect*. They will mouth you, they love things in their mouth. It's true. But they do not clamp down, and they are very careful about the amount of pressure they put on your hand. It's more like a handshake than a bite. Except they are using their mouth to 'handshake'.

My dog knows *exactly* the correct amount of pressure to apply to my husband when mouthing him (somewhat hard), and the right pressure to use with me (about medium), and the right pressure to use with my daughter, or another child (very gentle).

Goldens have been known to be able to carry an egg in their mouth, without breaking or cracking the egg. That is how gentle their "soft mouth" is. You can google this.

I'd hate to see you pass up on a Golden, simply because of their mouthyness. I know that your daughter is very sensitive to pain. I think a well-bred Golden would be ideal, because they intuitively KNOW how much pressure to apply with their mouthyness. GSD are lovely dogs, but they are herding dogs, and herding dogs can be nippy. GSDs are wonderful if they are properly trained (as is any dog). With the Golden's history of being a service dog, I think, if it were me (and I am terribly biased) I'd go with a Golden rather than a GSD anyday.

Best of luck! The most important thing is to find the perfect dog for you, your daughter, and all of your family. Whatever breed it might be, I hope that it is that special, once in a lifetime, dog, whom you don't only love to bits and pieces, but who also enhances your family dynamic!
 

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A Golden puppy "mouthing" is indeed painful! Those little teeth are sharp, and until they lose them, and when they're teething! Oh, holy cow, my hands were covered with marks! And Max was really good about learning "nice kisses" and "OUCH!" meant, well, ouch! At very close to 3, he STILL gets "bitey" with me sometimes when we play - my fault as much as his, but that doesn't mean he didn't catch me with a tooth.

Like many others have said, they don't come out of the box knowing how to behave around children, so please, don't expect that any puppy will automatically know how to act around a child.
 

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Tea. Earl Grey. Hot.
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All I can tell you is.... I think they are the best breed of dog anyone could ever want... at least for a pet and companion.

I know I have been extremely blessed with my belated Jean-luc, and now Jean-luc, Jr.

As for being smart... both of mine were/are completely house trained... neither was house trained.... just picked it up on their own.... neither was crate trained... I never even had a crate.(Don't count on that happening... I just got lucky.) Jean-luc actually learned to open door knobs on his own and Jr has pickup playing fetch like no tomorrow ever since he was a little pup.

The one thing the do require is a LOT of love and attention..... but they may well become your best friend. :) :) :) :) :) :)
 

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Our Hector came home exactly 2 weeks ago today at just under 8 weeks old. We've got 3 kids age 10, 8 & 6 and although he can be a bit mouthy our main problem to start with was nipping and yes, those little teeth can be sharp! Hector isn't crated and just has a nice big sheepskin bed in the corner and we found with a quick squirt from behind from a water pistol and a firm command of NO! together with HECTOR DOWN! if he's jumping too that already, after only 2 weeks the nipping and jumping up have almost stopped. Yay!

We knew there would be hard work ahead but as other posters have said, with some training and lots of love they are the most wonderful family dogs. I grew up with 2 goldens and couldn't imagine bringing home any other dog for my own kids. Good Luck:)
 

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where the tails wag
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I think I need to say, if you have a child with autism and do not feel a golden would be right for your life, go with your instincts. I have a friend who has a young autistic child and she has been looking for over 2 years now for a dog to be his companion; goldens and labs keep being looked at but then decided against. She just doesn;t feel they would have the time to properly groom, exercise or train a retriever pup.

Good luck with your search and I too would highly recommend an older dog if you decide on a dog, whatever breed or mix.
 

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I would say to the original poster, that not all Golden pups are mouthy and bitey. If you make sure that you have a confident but calm puppy, then this need not necessarily be a problem at all!

With Izzie's last litter, a couple went to homes with children, and their pups were exceptionally calm. They have done really well without any major problems. So my advice to you would be see if there is a breeder nearby who would be happy for you to visit. Then go armed with loads of questions about the breed in general, and be prepared to search for a calm bitch who is having puppies and let the breeder guide you into which would be the best "fit" for your family.

Like others have said, some puppies are like little land sharks, they are very energetic and like to nip as they go...lol! Not all are this way though, and with some research and help from breeders, it shouldn't be difficult to find the pup for you.

Re the shedding, yup, they do shed, but so do Labs & most other breeds! I am a bit strange perhaps, because I love to empty my Dyson, hoover the house, then marvel at how much hair I've picked up...lol!

OMG I am sad aren't I!!!!!

I have loved reading through this thread, because it's made me realise all over again why I love this breed SO much! I love just about everything about them, the good far outweighs the bad by a long shot!
 

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Penny was very well behaved when it came to chewing - never on anything except her toys. She did love to chew on us though. She hates being groomed.

Her idea of affection is to sit in front of me to get petted. After a while she will go lay someplace else. She loves to play keep away and will give us 'the hip' to keep her lead in the game.

She's very loyal and is off leash most of the time. She doesn't want to go anywhere without us so she will never just take off.

BUT, she was/is very excitable and we have to be careful to keep her excitement from reaching the 'red zone'. When she starts to get too wound up, we stop the playing and let her calm down. She was exactly the same as what some new puppy owners worry as 'agressive'. She wasn't agressive just a busy, happy, excited puppy who turned into a wonderful companion. But she'll still get excited enough to bite at our feet while we try to walk! LOL BTW, she's had 2 years for obedience classes. We trained her to be 'wonderful'.
 

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IKE- Canine Blood Donor
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I've had two Golden boys and they couldn't be any different. My Bridge boy Sam was never a chewer or mouthy. He was potty trained by 9 weeks old and had few if any accidents. I bought a crate and stopped using it after the first week. As he matured he bonded with me unlike any other animal I've had in my life. He was literally my shadow and best friend. He was such a good dog that family members who were never dog people, became dog people, and another purchased a Golden in hopes of duplicating my Sam. When he passed, it was a sad sad time in the entire extended family.

My new boy Ike, is very different than Sam, but in a very good way. He's like the class clown whose sole purpose in life is making people smile. He loves everyone and enjoys life to the point of never having a dull day. He was a very mouthy pup and did like to chew. A stern 'No bite!' worked for a while but I finally found that threatening a 'time out' worked best, he didn't want to be away from us. I did use the crate for Ike, but one day I trusted him alone for an hour only to come home from the store to find that he'd eaten a section of my wall and pulled the wallpaper off. He was 6 months old and I thought I could trust him...back out came the crate. He's 3 now and has calmed down a bit but is still very much a puppy in his antics. I think he always will be, it's his nature.

I think you'll find that once you've had a Golden, you'll always have a Golden in your life. I know I will. They are more than just dogs, they're special beyond words...which is why it hurts so darn badly when we lose them....and why we will get another Golden pup and do it all over again.

The quote in my signature says it all...Thanks Mr. Koontz
 

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Where The Bitches Rule
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Golden Retrievers are by far the best dog you could ever hope to own. And the key word in my first sentence is "dog". If they are not properly socialized, trained and exercised they will never be that affectionate, sweet well behaved pet you are expecting. Contrary to popular beliefs they are NOT born that way it does take some work. But oh my the rewaed for that work is truly incredible, some may even say iit is GOLDEN!! ;)
 

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I was lunging Rocket one day, a man was at the barn with his wife and he was watching. Rocket went totally on voice command; I had raised him from birth. The man asked: "How long did it take to train him?" My immediate response was "Including today?" Good animals rarely happen by accident. Some people would say "Oh he's a Morgan" as if that meant something. Just like "Oh, it's a golden". But as Ambika said "They are not born that way". They are animals, dogs. They have to be taught house manners, obedience. But teaching them is a labor of love and so rewarding. They truely want nothing but to please and make us happy.

Golden Retrievers are by far the best dog you could ever hope to own. And the key word in my first sentence is "dog". If they are not properly socialized, trained and exercised they will never be that affectionate, sweet well behaved pet you are expecting. Contrary to popular beliefs they are NOT born that way it does take some work. But oh my the rewaed for that work is truly incredible, some may even say iit is GOLDEN!! ;)
 

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Why not pick an older dog whose personality you can see and probably won't change much on your first time around? We wanted a gentle love-bug of a dog who loved nothing more but to cuddle and please (the typical golden temperament, right?). Instead we got a slightly aloof, no-cuddling-for-me kind of dog with an desire to boss around other dogs (the breeder when she chose our puppy mistaked his calm I'm-the-boss confidence for submissiveness). Don't get me wrong, we love him, but sometimes I wished we would have stuck to our guns and gone for an older rescue who had the traits we wanted. Then, sometimes, I'm glad we got a puppy and we can raise him how we want. Mostly, I just love him and work his quirks into an advantage but I could see how our pup in inexperienced home could be a handful.

But in the end I would still get a golden. I work in rescue and see many many dogs and goldens, aloof and bossy or not, are great!
 

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What a very good question! I think a lot of people have major misconceptions about Goldens.

I need to add a disclaimer that I absolutely love, love, love Goldens, and I'm terribly biased. So, grain of salt, and your mileage may vary. ;)

I'm only an expert on my own Golden, Winnie, so I can only speak about him. Each dog, regardless of breed, is an individual. While dogs of the same breed might be more likely to not just look, but act, like each other, each dog is very unique. My Golden may be nothing like your Golden. But, odds are, they are likely to act more similar than dogs of another breed. But that is just a likelihood -- not a certainty!

My Golden is incredibly social. Torture to him would be living the life of an 'outdoor-only' dog, who lives in the backyard and never gets to interact with anyone. He *needs* people. He *loves* other dogs, but as an only dog, he's happy being the only canine in the house. He goes bonkers when he can socialize with other dogs, and we do try to give him this chance as often as possible. It's not possible for us to have another dog now, but we all (including him) would love this.

Because Winnie is so social, he freaks out if he is separated from us. For example, having a pool party in our house is a challenge, because he wants to be right there, in the action. He can't tolerate a crate, and will get so upset that he poops in the house if we have him in a room, while the rest of us play. This has made us make major life changes. For example, my daughter wanted a pool party for her birthday. We had to figure out a way so that the kids could swim, Winnie wasn't in the way (or a potential danger), and Winnie was happy enough and not freaking out in the house. Same goes if we want to have adult parties. Either you tolerate my dog, or you're not very welcome.

Winnie is very mouthy. He's always got something in his mouth. He also knows the difference between his toys, and my daughter's toys. He's never destroyed her toys, but will tear into, and rip apart, his toys with much gusto. His favorite game is a game played only with my husband, that we call "hands". It's Winnie's mouth, hubby's hands, and they tug and pull, with lots of grrs and growls, and happy fun noises. Winnie has perfect bite inhibition, and has never, ever hurt my husband. He won't play 'hands' with me, my daughter, or anyone else. He's too careful. He knows Hubby is a dude, like him, and likes this roughhouse play. He never even tries with anyone else. I've tried to engage him, because I'd like to play too. But Winnie just looks at me like I've lost my mind. There no way his Momma could possibly play these 'macho' games. He's mouthy, but his bite inhibition is perfect.

Speaking of mouthy, Winnie's favorite thing is to eat. Food is his favorite thing to eat, but he's not picky. He will counter surf, dumpster dive the trash can, clean the floors, and the cat box, if we aren't careful. Winnie was in heaven when my daughter was in diapers. Every trashcan must have a lid, every counter must be clean, and the cat box has to have a lid. If Winnie has a chance, he WILL eat it.

Winnie has a huge love for kids. I feel really sorry that we only have my daughter, sometimes. He'd love to have been in a house with a ton of kids. And people say don't leave a kid and a dog alone, don't let the kid pull it's tail, or pull up on it, or hug it too hard. This is true. It's good sense. But Winnie loves all of these things. I'm not just imagining this, the only thing that makes him more happy than kids is swimming, or food.

Most Goldens aren't very protective. Winnie is. He suspects he might be my daughter's daddy, and acts like he is her protector. He can not stand it if she's outside, and he's inside. Because someone might hurt his baby. This freaks him out more than separating him from humans. He must be with her. Always.

When he isn't guarding my daughter, he's guarding me. He's a Momma's boy. While Dad is the most fun guy, ever. I'm his world. I love this, but some people might want to be able to go to the bathroom, or take a shower in privacy. Unless he's playing with someone else, he's never more than 4 feet away from me.

Alot of Goldens are very trainable. Winnie was the best in his puppy class. Winnie also is smart, and likes to negotiate. He'd be a great lawyer. He knows how to obey and to 'tricks'. He decides if he wants to listen. If there is food, he'll do anything, and I mean anything, you ask. If there is no food, he'll do most things I ask him to do, and some things my daughter asks him to do. He'll just laugh at my husband, unless there is food.

Winnie never met a stranger. I learned this when at the vet, he gave the vet-tech his "I love you" face, that I thought was just for me. The little flirt will give this face to anyone he meets.

Winnie likes rules and manners. At the dog park, or just hanging out with dogs, Winnie is the one who makes other dogs be polite. He would never fight. He uses his body and his bark and his energy to make other dogs play nice. And they listen to him, he's very good at this.

He also has unconditional love, pure faith, and absolute trust in all beings. Even our old 18 year old cat, who loves to smack him around. He always is so sure that if he is nice enough, and charming enough, even the cat will love him. And most people do, excluding the cat. He's stubborn, too. She's 18, he's 8, and he still has faith that, one day, they will be friends. I think he hopes she'll teach him the trick to getting inside the litter box.

Winnie is everything, and more, I'd ever hoped a dog could be. I couldn't imagine a more perfect dog. He could not be more loved. I thank all of the gods, and fate, and my lucky stars that I have the honor of being Winnie's mom. I hope I get to have him for many more years.

And, that's my dog, and my view on Goldens. I'm sorry it's so very long-winded. Once I start talking about Winnie, it's so hard to hush up!
That was so beautiful. I'm getting my baby girl in a month and you've made me fall in love with Goldens even more! Winnie sounds like the perfect dog :)
 
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