Things to consider BEFORE purchasing a Golden...
Before purchasing a Golden Retriever or any breed of puppy, we strongly suggest that you do your homework and research the breed and potential breeders.
First of all, you should be fully informed about the responsibilities of owning a Golden Retriever; and secondly, you should be prepared to ask breeders numerous questions. We cannot stress this strongly enough -- DO NOT purchase a puppy on impulse or a whim. Owning a dog is a lifetime commitment and you must be willing to put the necessary time and effort into raising a new puppy.
In choosing a puppy, you should visualize the adult dog, both physically and in its behavior. Also you need to consider how it will fit into your home, as well as into your lifestyle. A Golden Retriever is a large dog. They have a thick dense coat that requires regular grooming. Please keep in mind that even with the most diligent grooming and care, Goldens shed throughout the year. Some Goldens love to dig, so be prepared to remove your yard from the list of homes being considered for the annual Garden Tour! If shedding hair and dirty paws are going to be a problem, a Golden is definitely not the breed for you.
A Golden Retriever requires a great deal of exercise and attention. They "demand" tremendous amounts of human companionship, needing more social interaction with people than most other breeds. Goldens that are left alone for extended periods of time, day after day, become bored. Sometimes this can incite excessive barking that can annoy your neighbors. If work or school keeps your family away from home 6 to 10 hours a day, please do not choose a Golden. We want your Golden to be a member of your family and welcome in your home!
Goldens are a very active breed requiring lots of exercise on a daily basis. A secure fenced yard is a must. This will allow your Golden to exercise in a safe environment. This is by no means the only exercise he or she should receive as an adult. Regular walks and runs in safe areas are a must as well, regardless of the weather.
Goldens are intelligent and can learn very quickly from an early age, given the right guidance. Puppy socialization classes can be started as young as 12 weeks (following the third combo puppy shot) and obedience classes can follow starting at 5 to 6 months. Such classes are a must for a breed of this size and activity level, and will ensure your dog develops into a good canine citizen.
As the puppy grows older, participating in such activities as obedience, agility, tracking, hunt tests and therapy work will help form a strong bond between the two of you. We would be more than happy to supply names of trainers in your area that would be able to assist you get started with your new puppy.
If you still think that a Golden is the breed for you and your family, then your adventure is just beginning. Finding a reputable, supportive breeder is your next step. Look for a breeder who asks you many questions, but is willing to answer all your questions.