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Hello!! So glad I found this, because we are planning to add a dog to our family in the next few months, and are trying to decide if a Golden is right for us. We are not totally new to dogs, we have had 2 in the past, but both were small mutts that we adopted when they were 10 and 11, respectively, so they needed zero training, and little more than a warm place to sleep and people to hang out with LOL. We are a young active family, it is me, my husband, and our 2 kids, ages 5 and almost 2. Planning to add at least one more (human!) child down the line. I work mostly from home, with the exception of some appointments (realtor). We are usually home, sometimes in and out for errands/soccer/gymnastics/etc. We also have 2 cats. Currently renting, in the process of buying a home, the home we buy will probably be about 2000 square feet and have a yard, but in this area, they are not huge. This is my first concern. The yards range from .15 acres to maybe .30 acres. Pretty tiny! But we would like a large, somewhat sturdy, dog. Does a Golden need a larger yard than this??

Here are my main questions:

Yard/House size needed?

Amount of exercise needed? (Planning on as much fetch/romping with kids in the yard as possible, probably one walk/jog each day...how long?? ALso very excited to do the dog park thing =)

How tolerant do they tend to be with young kids? (We do teach our kids to be respectful of animals, but the occasional ear or tail pull sometimes is hard to avoid =)

Those that have them, how terrible is the shedding? Is it year round? No allergies or anything, but EVERY time I tell someone we are thinking about a golden they always say "OH GOD the SHEDDING!"

Will they bark or alert you at all if someone comes to the house? We are NOT looking for some kind of aggressive guard dog, LOL, but I would sort of like the (relative) peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a dog that would bark at least sound (a little) scary if someone came up. My husband works nights, so this would be a bit comforting....again, NOT expecting or wanting a dog that is actually mean, just one that could alert and maybe SOUND a little mean. LOL

Finally, what age would you recommend? Puppy? Teenager? Adult? We have done the geriatric dog thing twice now and definitely want to go younger this time, just not sure how young?

I know this was long, thank you if you made it this far!!!
 

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Welcome!!! I'll answer your questions in the quote box (easiest way on my phone lol)

Does a Golden need a larger yard than this??

*** No, that's a good size, as long as they are able to run around and play they will be good. ***

Here are my main questions:

Yard/House size needed?

*** They say they can handle even apartment life as long as they get enough exercise. ***

Amount of exercise needed? (Planning on as much fetch/romping with kids in the yard as possible, probably one walk/jog each day...how long?? ALso very excited to do the dog park thing =)

*** You sound like the perfect family, active, for a golden. They vary but most require a lot of exercise. If they don't get enough they will get bored and destructive. ***

How tolerant do they tend to be with young kids? (We do teach our kids to be respectful of animals, but the occasional ear or tail pull sometimes is hard to avoid =)

*** Obviously they should be supervised, but a trained adult golden would be great for kids. I say adult because puppies are VERY mouthy and are notorious for nipping and chasing and playing rough, especially with their littermates (i.e. Your kids) ***

Those that have them, how terrible is the shedding? Is it year round? No allergies or anything, but EVERY time I tell someone we are thinking about a golden they always say "OH GOD the SHEDDING!"

*** Yes. The shedding is as bad as everyone says. They shed yearly and have an extra bad shed (called "blowing their coat") usually twice a year. With daily brushing and grooming it can be managed. ***

Will they bark or alert you at all if someone comes to the house? We are NOT looking for some kind of aggressive guard dog, LOL, but I would sort of like the (relative) peace of mind that comes with knowing you have a dog that would bark at least sound (a little) scary if someone came up. My husband works nights, so this would be a bit comforting....again, NOT expecting or wanting a dog that is actually mean, just one that could alert and maybe SOUND a little mean. LOL

*** Mine didn't bark to alert me until they were older, but yes, most will. Like you said, it won't be a very good guard dog but it should make a decent alert dog. ***

Finally, what age would you recommend? Puppy? Teenager? Adult? We have done the geriatric dog thing twice now and definitely want to go younger this time, just not sure how young?

*** With the ages you said, I would go for either an adult or a teenager... A teen can still be naughty but they're usually out of their land shark phase. ***

I know this was long, thank you if you made it this far!!!
Hope I could help!! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thank you so much!!! Especially for doing it from your phone, that is twice the hassle, LOL!!! Your input definitely helped a lot, I feel more confident now, especially about the yard thing!

"Alert Dog" is exactly the phrase I was searching for! :)

I wasn't that excited about doing the puppy thing, anyway, LOL!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Forgot to add that we love to go to the lake in the summer and the snow in the winter and are looking for a dog that would enjoy this as well!
 

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Ohhh yeah! 99% of goldens love swimming! I say that as I've never met one didn't like it, but I'm sure they're out there. Lol...

As for the snow, that's hit or miss. We have one that LOVES it (she will roll in it, dig in it, eat it) and one that HATES it (he's in and out as fast as he can lol) :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ohhh yeah! 99% of goldens love swimming! I say that as I've never met one didn't like it, but I'm sure they're out there. Lol...

As for the snow, that's hit or miss. We have one that LOVES it (she will roll in it, dig in it, eat it) and one that HATES it (he's in and out as fast as he can lol) :)
That's OK, we have one child that loves snow and one that hates it LOL!!!

Really, we only go to the snow a handful of times during the winter, but we do the lake thing almost every week during the summer!
 

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You already got some great answers but I wanted to add that my last golden Spiffy was a fantastic alert dog. He would bark if he saw someone outside/heard something unusual, etc. My parents have a toy poodle that barks at ANYTHING, so you can never tell if there's actually something outside or not with her. Spiffy wasn't this way at all, if he barked you knew there was someone outside or he heard something highly unusual, he didn't just bark for barking's sake.

Now he was sweet as can be and would have made a terrible guard dog, but he was a great alert dog! My current baby Huck hasn't started that yet but I feel like he'll grow into the role of letting me know when someone or something's outside. - We'll see anyway! :D
 

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That's OK, we have one child that loves snow and one that hates it LOL!!!

Really, we only go to the snow a handful of times during the winter, but we do the lake thing almost every week during the summer!
You're going to have a very happy doggy then! Ours sadly don't get to swim very often. If we ever move, an in ground pool or pond will definitely be a deal breaker!
 

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You already got some great answers but I wanted to add that my last golden Spiffy was a fantastic alert dog. He would bark if he saw someone outside/heard something unusual, etc. My parents have a toy poodle that barks at ANYTHING, so you can never tell if there's actually something outside or not with her. Spiffy wasn't this way at all, if he barked you knew there was someone outside or he heard something highly unusual, he didn't just bark for barking's sake.

Now he was sweet as can be and would have made a terrible guard dog, but he was a great alert dog! My current baby Huck hasn't started that yet but I feel like he'll grow into the role of letting me know when someone or something's outside. - We'll see anyway! :D
Thanks! HE is adorable, BTW! My Aunt has a GR and he is a GREAT alert dog, but I wasn't sure if he was a complete exception or not. Of course, once someone is actually INSIDE, he is covering them with kisses, LOL. (Which is just what we want).

As far as the shedding goes, any tips, anyone? Any ways to contain it at all? It isn't a huge issue, but just wondering. Just brushing help? What about haircuts?
 

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Discussion Starter #11
You're going to have a very happy doggy then! Ours sadly don't get to swim very often. If we ever move, an in ground pool or pond will definitely be a deal breaker!
So happy to hear they (usually) are fans of water! We have been waiting so long (well, a few years, but it seems like so long!) to buy a big enough house that we could have the dog we have been waiting for. Every summer we go to the lake and wish we had a dog LOL! So far, this is sounding like a great match!
 

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Thanks! HE is adorable, BTW! My Aunt has a GR and he is a GREAT alert dog, but I wasn't sure if he was a complete exception or not. Of course, once someone is actually INSIDE, he is covering them with kisses, LOL. (Which is just what we want).

As far as the shedding goes, any tips, anyone? Any ways to contain it at all? It isn't a huge issue, but just wondering. Just brushing help? What about haircuts?
Daily brushing really helps to keep it down, as well as keeping their coat strong and healthy. Things like fish oil, coat supplements, etc. can be useful with that. My boyfriend's grandma has a black lab that sheds worse than a golden even, and she's able to drastically reduce shedding by giving him a bath every several weeks or so.

I know the furminator line of products seems to have really good reviews, once Huck is older and into full-blown golden shedding I'm going to give them a try. :)
 

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You should invest in a good undercoat rake. They're actually not too expensive. They are AMAZING. You will brush out enough fur to make another dog LOL. Using that once or twice a week and then a regular pin brush every day will cut down on the tumbleweeds.

Also, NEVER brush dry. Always spritz some water on their coat before brushing.

Investing in a good dryer would also help, blowing their coat dry will blow out loose fur. Bathing often helps as well. We do once a month.
 

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My own personal experience with the furminator... I wouldn't suggest it. It's sharp, I can't imagine it feels very good and it takes a LOT of fur out, including top fur. I accidentally brushed my girl almost bald on her thigh without realizing.

Just my 2 cents tho!! :D
 

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Your golden will be your next best friend. They are very loyal and will make you smile every day. They deserve to be a part of your wonderful family. But the question is are you ready for another child (albeit furry) in the house?

If you try to lock any dog away in the back yard they are likely bark and destroy your garden and become your worst night mare. If they are allowed to share their lives with you they become settled and will love to chill out with you. My two are just quite content to lounge around with me at the moment because they are used to having access to all areas.

No matter which breed you get IMHO the size of the house or the back yard is irrelevant. The size of your bed is more critical:p

*** The question should be how often are you really willing to walk this social dog?*** (One walk a day sounds great! )

I personally avoid dog parks at one of my dogs was bitten there. Many years later I tried it again to find another dog humping my dog which he did not appreciate even though the owner was watching. Dog parks are a good place to avoid unless they are empty.

The shedding is something that I am quite happy to overlook since I find that is a small price to pay for their sunny personality. All pets (apart from fish) shed hair.

Goldens can bark at the door and sound quite fierce. Their sheer size is also enough to put some people off. Of course they have never hurt anyone and greet people with a sunny smile that tries to win our guests over.

You must be ready at all times to protect and defend your dog even during times when you are busy or distracted. Just as you would be ready to protect your next child. Having said this goldens are very tolerant and forgiving.

I personally would opt for an older dog that would not be so interested in chewing your child's toys. Large dogs tend to be chewers. However it is most important that you get a dog with the right health checks - eyes, hips, etc. The last thing you need to deal with is premature medical issues. Getting your golden from a reputable breeder will give you the best chance of the sweet and tolerant temperament that goldens are known for.

I think that you have asked some great questions. Adding a fur child to your family is a big responsibility but they are even more so rewarding. Ideally you should wait until you find your house but from what you have said I do think that a golden is right for you if you allow them to be a part of your family and you keep them engaged. I hate hearing that dogs are locked outside as soon as children enter the house. Goldens love to be with their family and where they belong.

It was one of the best decisions we ever made, so much so that we got another one. :D Beware they are like cookies it is difficult to stop at one. :p
 

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My own personal experience with the furminator... I wouldn't suggest it. It's sharp, I can't imagine it feels very good and it takes a LOT of fur out, including top fur. I accidentally brushed my girl almost bald on her thigh without realizing.

Just my 2 cents tho!! :D
Oo thanks for pointing that out! :D I'll have to look into a rake instead then for when Huck's older!
 

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Your golden will be your next best friend. They are very loyal and will make you smile every day. They deserve to be a part of your wonderful family. But the question is are you ready for another child (albeit furry) in the house?

If you try to lock any dog away in the back yard they are likely bark and destroy your garden and become your worst night mare. If they are allowed to share their lives with you they become settled and will love to chill out with you. My two are just quite content to lounge around with me at the moment because they are used to having access to all areas.

No matter which breed you get IMHO the size of the house or the back yard is irrelevant. The size of your bed is more critical:p

*** The question should be how often are you really willing to walk this social dog?*** (One walk a day sounds great! )

I personally avoid dog parks at one of my dogs was bitten there. Many years later I tried it again to find another dog humping my dog which he did not appreciate even though the owner was watching. Dog parks are a good place to avoid unless they are empty.

The shedding is something that I am quite happy to overlook since I find that is a small price to pay for their sunny personality. All pets (apart from fish) shed hair.

Goldens can bark at the door and sound quite fierce. Their sheer size is also enough to put some people off. Of course they have never hurt anyone and greet people with a sunny smile that tries to win our guests over.

You must be ready at all times to protect and defend your dog even during times when you are busy or distracted. Just as you would be ready to protect your next child. Having said this goldens are very tolerant and forgiving.

I personally would opt for an older dog that would not be so interested in chewing your child's toys. Large dogs tend to be chewers. However it is most important that you get a dog with the right health checks - eyes, hips, etc. The last thing you need to deal with is premature medical issues. Getting your golden from a reputable breeder will give you the best chance of the sweet and tolerant temperament that goldens are known for.

I think that you have asked some great questions. Adding a fur child to your family is a big responsibility but they are even more so rewarding. Ideally you should wait until you find your house but from what you have said I do think that a golden is right for you if you allow them to be a part of your family and you keep them engaged. I hate hearing that dogs are locked outside as soon as children enter the house. Goldens love to be with their family and where they belong.

It was one of the best decisions we ever made, so much so that we got another one. :D Beware they are like cookies it is difficult to stop at one. :p
Thank you! Especially for the dog park tip, we will keep that in mind!!! Love the bed comment, our other two dogs we had in the past always slept on our bed :) For the first week it was "No, the dog is sleeping in it's own bed." and then.... :p: LOL.

This actually leads to another question...I plan/assume that our dog will pretty much be where we are....so probably, inside witht he kids and I during the day, some time spent in the yard playing, and a walk or jog. And then sleep inside at night. As long as they are getting a walk/jog and some playtime outside at some point, is a Golden going to go stir crazy inside with people during the day? Also will have plenty of toys/chews!
 

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Oo thanks for pointing that out! :D I'll have to look into a rake instead then for when Huck's older!
No problem!

I'm sure there are people out there who LOVE their furminators but it just wasn't for us, for the reasons I gave. :)

Our rake is our best friend.

This was all from one brushing session with our rake:



 
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