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Hey,

I am a single guy living by myself with no wife, kids, roommates or even other animals. I am thinking about getting a golden retriever, because I have so much free time on my hands to raise and train a puppy at this time in my life. I'm just worried that if the dog lives alone with me, then it won't get the amount of socialization that I would like to be a service/therapy dog. (I intend to visit rehab facilities/hospitals and get certified)

Please give me ideas and let me know if I can actually do this. I think I could enroll him in classes and take him to daycare a few times a week, as well as take him to the stores and around my college campus. So, I'm pretty sure I can socialize him like any other family would, but please let me know your thoughts!

Thank you
 

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i think all golden puppies come standard with the "love absolutely everyone" gene. :p other dogs and puppies may take a bit of warming up to get used to. puppy classes or dog parks would definitely do the trick. your ideas are great as well!

i think a golden is a great therapy dog by birth. just find a reputable breeder. rescuing a golden would also be a great idea. :)
 

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I don't think you need a big family to socialize a puppy. You already have great ideas for socialization and all I can think to add is if you have friends or family with kids, bring the pup over there to play with them. If you don't, you can always go to a park.

We don't have kids, so when Merlin was a puppy he stayed at my sister in laws one day a week and played with her kids. Worked out great!

It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into raising your puppy! Good luck to you!
 

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Socialization is not about what you have in your house but about the kinds of places you can safely take a dog. I had a Golden by myself when I lived alone, and he visited the local high school, the downtown area, the pet store, the park, and every place else I could think to take him.

Whatever you don't have in your home you have to go out and get. All you need to do is find a way for your dog to frequently meet kids in a low-key way. He should also meet other animals, cars, people in wheelchairs, people with walkers and canes, people of different ethnicities and sizes, people with glasses, people with hats, etc. You get the idea.
 

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As long as you take them places, they will socialize. So will you, LOL Especially as a puppy you will find a whole lot more people come up to you just to see the puppy. If you are interested in doing training for them to be a service dog the classes are a great place to start with socialization while they are young.
A golden will make a great friend for you.
If you should have to be gone for extended periods of time do you have someone who can let them out? That tends to be the biggest problem for single people or people where both people are gone to work for the whole day.
Good luck, if you go for it we would love to see some pics!
 

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Hey,

I am a single guy living by myself with no wife, kids, roommates or even other animals. I am thinking about getting a golden retriever, because I have so much free time on my hands to raise and train a puppy at this time in my life. I'm just worried that if the dog lives alone with me, then it won't get the amount of socialization that I would like to be a service/therapy dog. (I intend to visit rehab facilities/hospitals and get certified)

Please give me ideas and let me know if I can actually do this. I think I could enroll him in classes and take him to daycare a few times a week, as well as take him to the stores and around my college campus. So, I'm pretty sure I can socialize him like any other family would, but please let me know your thoughts!

Thank you
Sure you can! And my sons will tell you that a Golden puppy is the perfect "babe magnet". You might just BOTH get "socialized"...;)
 

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Yeah, what PG said....you probably won't be single for long after you bring a puppy home.

An excellent source of socialization (for both you and the dog) are simple walks around your neighborhood. I have lived in my neighborhood for 15 years and I can't tell you how many new neighbors I met after walking our puppy this past spring and summer...and of course evreyone you meet will want to touch that sweet bundle of fur.

Anytime you take your dog anywhere outside your home, you will have plenty of opportunities to work on socialization.
 

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I think that's a great idea, to plan and have your Golden as a therapy dog. Such a noble cause. Some part of my faith in humanity has been restored. Lol.

But seriously, like a lot of the others suggested, you're going the right way about it in planning ahead, and also what your goals are. Yes, it's a great idea to have he/she around family members and public places. First, so he /shedoesn't get startled easy (therapy dogs need a lot of patience when working with sick/injured people.) and the more interaction he/she has with all types of people, the more calm they'll be. They need to be able to adjust to all surroundings, loud, quiet, fast, slow, they need to know when it's okay to play, and at what strengths, and when to be gentle.

I myself have thought of looking into my Ori being a therapy dog for children, which requires even MORE patience due to the fact of how gentle and patient he needs to be. Especially with my young nephew who is incrediably sick and only a few months old.

Perhaps discuss things with your local council, or perhaps another person who does animal therapy to ask where to start and what the best ideas could be expanded to. Either way, congratulations on making such a wonderful and helpful decision! Might I suggest, if you do finally decide, perhaps looking into a Golden Rescue? Not only are you helping the people, but you're also saving the life of a wonderful dog!
 

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Just take him everywhere you go. My vet has a therapy golden and he started her from a new pup taking her EVERYWHERE including work. He even tried going places dogs normally can't go unless he was asked to leave with her. She's a great calm dog that now goes to hospitals and nursing homes, everyone loves her as she does them. Nothing gets her over excited because it's all old hat to her.
 

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Well, I'm single and live alone with no one but my goldie--and she iw well socialized. Loves everyone and is confident and pretty bombproof. Go for it!
 

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Take the pup everywhere! Not hard to socialize. When the weather warms up look for festivals etc. that will give a good selection of sights/smells, take puppy for a walk downtown etc....

Lana
 

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We're two seniors so not much going on in our house. When Penny was a pup there were no grandchildren either, semi-rural neighborhood. We wanted her to be a therapy dog too.

I took her everywhere. I'd sit outside the grocery store and let her get used to the people coming and going, grocery carts, automatic doors. Of course all the kids stopped to pet her and plenty of the parents too. I took her for walks on campus where she met students and other dogs being walked. She loved her hotdog from the vendor on the corner by the student union.

We window shopped on Main Street. She learned to sit when I stopped walking. We take her to the beach, in every store that allows dogs. We've even been thrown out of a few stores thatdid not make it clear on the door that no dogs were allowed. She lays at our feet while we eat out at patio type restaurants.

Sure, you can do this. And best wishes. The puppy hunt if as much fun as getting the puppy. No, it's not...but close!:wavey::wavey::wavey:
 

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I don't think you need a big family to socialize a puppy. You already have great ideas for socialization and all I can think to add is if you have friends or family with kids, bring the pup over there to play with them. If you don't, you can always go to a park.

We don't have kids, so when Merlin was a puppy he stayed at my sister in laws one day a week and played with her kids. Worked out great!

It sounds like you've put a lot of thought into raising your puppy! Good luck to you!
Thank you for saying this! My brother's girlfriend sometimes really gets on my nerves because she keeps saying she feels like a puppy NEEDS to be raised with children, and that she would never get one when she was single and childless (like I did,) and sometimes I just wanna deck her. I feel like so long as you socialize your dog appropriately, it doesn't matter if you're single or have a family of 15.
 

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Thank you for saying this! My brother's girlfriend sometimes really gets on my nerves because she keeps saying she feels like a puppy NEEDS to be raised with children, and that she would never get one when she was single and childless (like I did,) and sometimes I just wanna deck her. I feel like so long as you socialize your dog appropriately, it doesn't matter if you're single or have a family of 15.
I definitely think they should be exposed to kids a lot when they're young puppies. The two dogs we had before Merlin were never around kids much and I always regretted not getting them more socialized. My very nice sister inlaw was happy to help (even though she had 4 border collies of her own!). I would go over to pick him up in the afternoon and her daughter and Merl would be sleeping together on the floor. :)

All in all I think it worked great!! Merlin loves kids!! And he's not rough on them! So yeah, you can deck your brothers GF the next time she says that to you. LOLOLOL!!! j/k
 

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Thank you for saying this! My brother's girlfriend sometimes really gets on my nerves because she keeps saying she feels like a puppy NEEDS to be raised with children, and that she would never get one when she was single and childless (like I did,) and sometimes I just wanna deck her. I feel like so long as you socialize your dog appropriately, it doesn't matter if you're single or have a family of 15.
Tell her that the only reason not to get a dog if you are single/childless (if that's the only reason she can think of) is if you're the shallow, clueless type that will rehome a dog based on whom you are sharing your bed with, or if you would use pregnancy/children as an excuse to toss that responsibility out the window and get rid of the dog. :uhoh:

Lana
 

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I definitely think they should be exposed to kids a lot when they're young puppies. The two dogs we had before Merlin were never around kids much and I always regretted not getting them more socialized. My very nice sister inlaw was happy to help (even though she had 4 border collies of her own!). I would go over to pick him up in the afternoon and her daughter and Merl would be sleeping together on the floor. :)

All in all I think it worked great!! Merlin loves kids!! And he's not rough on them! So yeah, you can deck your brothers GF the next time she says that to you. LOLOLOL!!! j/k
Oh, I completely agree that pups should be exposed to children, but I take offense to the suggestion that they should be RAISED with children. I exposed Flora frequently to playgrounds where children were abundant as well as to my cousins' children... no problem there! Flora is wild about kids. ;)
 

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Currently single and raising the neighborhood dog. Although I do sometimes wish Mad had her own kids (when she looks into the park on cold days and wonders where her kids are), she is a well socialized girl, who with her typical golden nature is even the favorite of kids who have their own dogs.

I think that the fact that you are thinking about his or her socialization in advance will make you a wonderful owner.
 

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Actually, raising a dog with children can really backfire if the kids are the wrong age or if the parents don't have enough time to devote to both the kids and the dog. Plus, the dog only gets socialized to whatever age kids you have in the house, so you still have to go out and expose her to other age and size people.
 
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