THE MOST IMPORTANT QUESTION
When searching for a new dog, researching the breed is one of the most important questions, only second to the question you must ask yourself, “Am I in a position to take care of and raise a new puppy into adulthood.”
THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER BREED IS IN THE TOP FOUR
Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the entire country and not for just any reason. To decide if a Golden Retriever is the dog for you, let’s break it down into the top four breeds. According to AKC, the top four most popular dogs in the country are Labs, German Shepherds, Beagles, and Golden Retrievers.
It’s my strong opinion that the average family, the Golden Retriever is the #1 dog in the country. Having experienced both Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers, I can explain both some similarities and differences between these two breeds.
BEAGLES AND GERMAN SHEPHERDS
Let’s get these two out of the way first so I can describe the differences between what I consider the two top dogs for the average family which are Lab’s and Golden’s.
There has been some media attention on both German Shepherds and Beagles.
First of all, Beagles are happy go lucky hunting dogs with a good nose on them. You might remember Snoopy in the television show Charlie Brown. They are cute, cuddly and friendly. They have loud baying howls and are classified as a breed of “hound dog”. The do make good, safe pets and if you are looking for a good coon dog and a family dog, this might be the dog for you.
German Shepherd’s are around the same size as Golden’s. However, they are not nearly as friendly to children who they have never met. Once a bond is made with your children however, they make very good guard dogs and protectors. This however increases the risk to neighbors and guests which is something you must consider before getting one for the family. On the flip side they are very smart and easily trainable. They are considered one of the best police, military and guard dogs there are. In this case you would be swapping some potential liability for a very good guard dog for the family. Occasionally you see some that would not hurt a fly, but it’s not the norm.
Bess (left), Samson (middle) & LuLu (right)
Bess (left), Sammie (middle) & LuLu (right)
GOLDEN RETRIEVERS AND LABRADOR RETRIEVERS
In my opinion, Golden’s and Lab’s are the top two family dogs in the nation; not only family dogs, but hunting/retrievers as well. Even if you completely take out the hunting aspect of it, I’d still consider them the top two family dogs in the nation. Let me explain the difference between the two breeds based on my personal experience.
The first thing I tell clients on the phone about the difference between Labs and Golden’s is that Labs are in general more active, just as smart, but not as polite. That said, there is no closer breed to Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers in the nation in my opinion. I’ll be quick to tell you the main difference is politeness and activity levels. I tell people the main difference between a Lab and a Golden is that the Lab is the dog that knocks over the garbage can in the neighborhood first and the Golden Retriever helps the labs spread the garbage around afterward. The Golden doesn’t knock it over, but is glad to get into it after it’s on the ground.
Golden’s also are less likely to jump up and put paw prints on you. Unless you or the kids literally train a golden to jump up on you, it’s very unlikely they will once they reach maturity.
As far as Frisbees, tennis ball chasers and swimmers, Golden’s and Labs are neck and neck in the competition. As far as bird retrievers, the Golden and Lab are both very popular with hunters as well. Do you like to go to the lake or the river on a regular basis? Well, then a golden or lab is for you, but visiting anything more than the water bowl is not a requirement for these breeds to be happy.
One thing I’ve noticed about Golden’s are the activity levels are more suited on the owner whereas a Lab is suited for the dog, but not always the owner. What I mean by that is that a family golden retriever is laying on the floor in most cases while you watch TV with the kids. They are lying between them on the floor if that is desired. However, they have a sixth sense that you are about to take them for a walk and anxiously go to the door and bounce in anticipation to go outside and chase a ball or whatever it is that you normally do with them. When you get done with the walk, they are ready to take it easy laying at your feet when you sit back down.
Lab¡¦s and Golden¡¦s both get about the same size. The male golden¡¦s normally get around an average of 65 to 75 pounds whereas a female gets around 55 to 65 pounds. The girls around here usually average around 65 pounds and the boys get up around 80 pounds. This isn¡¦t to say that some will be a little lighter or there won¡¦t be an occasional one that reaches upwards of 90 pounds, depending on what you feed them. It¡¦s just not very common.
Out of every almost every litter of Golden¡¦s I have had over the years, there¡¦s one, sometimes two active Golden¡¦s. I¡¦d say this activity level is about the same as the average Labrador Retriever. On the flipside, there is usually one puppy that is a little timid or shy. Some people would call this one the runt, and as it turns out the runt of the litter many times goes quickly. So, if you want the activity of the Lab and the looks of a golden, there is usually one like that in the litter. The majority of them however will be as I described¡K middle of the road temperament and not as active as and many times more polite than the Labs.
Both Lab¡¦s and Golden¡¦s are very easy to house train. I have more experience with the Golden¡¦s in that regard, and I can tell you that it¡¦s attributed to their intelligence but also their sensitive personality to your wishes, which of course is to not have accidents. I have some tip sheets for house (crate) training that I always give out and go over with my clients before leaving with their new puppy.
I may seem very partial and biased in saying that I believe the Golden Retriever is the #1 Rate family dog in the nation for couples with children, but in my experience they are for the majority. Sure, there will be a few families that are way more active than others and are better suited with a lab who is always on the go, but in my opinion, it¡¦s the Golden Retriever, that is more suited to sit and hang out when you want to sit and hang out, yet can chase a ball or swim for hours if that is what the owner wants to do.
I¡¦ll leave it at that and just let you decide ƒº
Both need chew toys, raw hides and love. Both will shed moderately seasonally. Both will love your kids unconditionally. Neither of them will make great guard dogs and more so with a Golden than a Lab, you won¡¦t have to worry about them biting your guests or your neighbor¡¦s children.
My website¡¦s email is firstname.lastname@example.org. All new potential clients should use this email at first and foremost. Attached to this email is also an auto-responding email that will give you some more information while I am away from my computer until I can get back with you to answer your questions.
Any previous clients can use that email, but I¡¦d prefer previous clients to email me at email@example.com with any pictures or updates about your golden retriever you got from us. This makes it easier to keep the pictures and stories in one place.
Sampson - alert and ready to fetch a ball