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Golden Retrievers (and general dog tips)

If you are wondering what is the right dog for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about tail wagging and learning.

  
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Member Since
05/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 4:32am PST 
Well, once I'm on my own, I'd LOVE to have a dog. It'll probably be quite a few years before I get my own place, but for now I'm just researching breeds and dogs in general. The Golden Retriever is one of the breeds that caught my eye, as they're apparently very friendly, playful, and intelligent, and also pretty big, which is what I want to have. I'm no stranger to pet hair, so the Golden's coat doesn't really put me off. One thing I was a bit worried about was the fact that I'm kind of on the small side...and by that I mean I don't even hit the 5ft mark. Seems weird that I'd want a bigger dog because of that, but pretty much all the big dogs I've met have been a dream to be around. Do you think that might be an issue? Ideally, I'd have a yard at my place (if not I think I might choose another breed...), and if I stay in the same area, then I'm literally 5 minutes away from the park. I found several breeders in my area (even one in my city!), and they all seem good judging by the websites anyway, so when I'm ready I'll probably check them out.

What I'm wanting to know is, do you think a Golden would be a good choice for a first-time dog owner that, aside from work, has a ton of free time and lives alone? Golden tips and general dog ownership advice would be appreciated! dog
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Arya

Serious Face
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 9:01am PST 
I don't think that will be an issue! There's one smaller woman on the forum that has a bully breed and a rottweiler that she walks by herself, and another with two akitas.

It's all a matter of training the dog not to do things like jump up or pull on the leash. smile

I think goldens are a fine first dog as long as you have the time. Golden puppies are high energy and very mouthy so they take patience, but pretty much all puppies take patience...

This was discussed a bit in another thread in Puppy Place, but I think the energy level is a bit lower overall when you get your golden from show lines instead of working lines?

Another option to consider is contacting shelters/rescues/breeders to try and find an adult golden. The upside is that you don't have to go through the very trying puppy stage (can be especially hard if someone can't help take the puppy out if you're working full-time), the downside is it may be harder to find one that's as well-trained as if you had gotten a puppy and trained it yourself.

If you go for getting a puppy, here's a some good guidelines to help you pick a breeder from the ones you've found:
http://www.alaskankleekaiscam.com/buying-an-alaskan-klee-kai -2/good-breeder-vs-bad-breeder/

Edited by author Mon Jul 15, '13 9:20am PST

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Benny

Where did I bury- that bone- again...
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 12:48pm PST 
While I have lots of friends that love and treasure their goldens, I would totally put in a plug for the mutt. I started researching for my first dog and a labrador retriever really fit the bill. That said, labs (like many pure bred dogs) can suffer from hereditary problems. Of course many reputable breeders take steps to breed healthy dogs, but I am so so thrilled with my lab collie mutt. Hes not super big, smart, entertaining, playful and handy and he's only 5 months way to go
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Toto, CD, RN, CGC

We don't do- doodles!!!
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 2:49pm PST 
FYI, mixed breeds can and DO also suffer from hereditary problems and the parents are much less likely to have had any prior health screening done before being bred.
At five months, Benny is way to young to have almost ANY hereditary disease/condition pop up. Examples: Epilepsy usually shows up at between 2 to 4 years of age, hip dysplasia is not evident until around the same age,unless it is extremely severe, then can show up about 10 months to a year, hereditary blindness from PRA or Juvenile cataracts or retinal dysplasia, among many other eye issues normally does not show up until adulthood as well.
ALL of the above conditions are passed on from one parent only, and all of them have about the same incidence in mixed breeds as they do in purebreds, IF NOT higher if the parents have not been tested.
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Member Since
05/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 5:00pm PST 
Thanks for the responses, everyone big grin

When I was younger, my dream dogs were Dobermans and GSDs and Huskies (I guess I like tough-looking dogs or something), but all of those sound pretty hard for a beginner. I'm kinda looking for a "buddy" dog that I can take lots of places and just hang out with a lot, so I thought a Golden might be a better choice. My partner right now also has a lab.

I did think about going down to the shelter, too. I actually did meet a couple of goldens/mixes there about a year ago that were very sweet and tried to greet me through the pen :3 It's just that with a dog standing half my size and almost my weight, I think I'd be more comfortable raising it myself so I know all about it. I won't discount adults or mixes right away though, who knows smile

Do you think you guys could clue me in on about how much a healthy dog of that size costs annually? I guess it depends on what kind of food and things I buy, and vet bills and stuff, but just an estimate would be good.

Thanks again for the info!
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Benny

Where did I bury- that bone- again...
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 5:41pm PST 
Keep in mind also that you will have to commit a bunch of time socializing your dog to lots of different things in order for him to be cool with going lots of places. Doing this at a young age is best and make sure they have lots of good experiences. Our guy comes with us as much as possible and he's well behaved in crowded markets, dog parks, beaches etc and we're always exposing him to more (now that he is up to date on vaccines of course way to go )

It can be challenging in the beginning because they are learning but its really rewarding to have a well behaved dog that you can take everywhere. Our favourite spot is the lake, we're learning to swim!
puppy

Edited to add:
The cost of owning a dog is really hard to estimate. Puppies are generally a bit more costly because they have to have their vaccines and be neutered/spayed if you decide to. Depending on your area vaccines and costs will be different but mine were about $200 and neuter will be around $150. Other costs include food which for me is around $70 a month, toys and treats (my dog is spoiled), and I put away around $50 a month for a rainy day which you could also buy insurance with if you so choose. That doesn't include any emergency or special vet visits which hopefully you wont have dog walk

Edited by author Mon Jul 15, '13 5:46pm PST

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Shiver Me- Timbers- "Charlie"

My Little Dog, a- heartbeat at my- feet.<3
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 6:16pm PST 
Depends largely on where you live..

However, good quality food can cost anywhere from $30+ per bag, and that can be anything from a bi-weekly cost, to a monthly cost depending on how much you get. For example, I buy Acana at $65 a bag, every three weeks for two small dogs(25 lbs and 30 lbs), for a 28 lb bag.

Then you have Veterinary care(having some savings aside in case of emergency Vet costs is always recommended), plus your yearly check ups if you decide to do that, vaccinations(again, if you decide to go that route, I personally don't vaccinate beyond puppy shots), as well as microchip or tattoo and spay/neuter(again, if you decide to go that route - I usually wait until the dog is two years minimum first).

Then, to top it off, grooming fees if you don't want to groom the dog yourself, nail trims if you prefer someone else doing it.

Then you have to factor in a crate, treats, toys, pet beds, etc. I believe my local Humane Society ESTIMATES the cost of a dog at about MINIMUM $2000 per year(granted, they also consider toys a one time cost, which, for as destructible as they are, are NOT a one time only cost, lol). I estimate it as far higher because I spoil my dogs and I feed them an expensive diet. But keep in mind that I also have two.

And don't forget local city dog licensing fees too!
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Arya

Serious Face
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 6:18pm PST 
Ah yeah... with puppies there's A LOT of initial expenses. Crate, leash, collar, harness, vaccines, toys, chews, spay/neuter, enzymatic cleaner, maybe an exercise pen... My boyfriend was complaining that I was spending like $60 a week on chews and treats and things to keep Arya occupied and for training. I've scaled it back a bit... >_>

For an adult dog, it's mostly the cost of food, yearly check-ups, and flea/heartworm prevention. Depending on your location you may also need a dog license, you'll want to look up the laws and see how much that is. I'd guess... maybe budget $150-$200 a month?? I've not had a dog quite that big, so I'm not totally sure...and it's really dependent on what food you buy. I also agree with Benny that it's a good idea to put away some money every month in case of a vet emergency.
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Roman

The Snuggler
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 7:36pm PST 
laugh out loud Initial puppy (well adoption costs for me) costs are killing me! So far, I've spent close to $700... finding what toy he likes the best, leashes of varying lengths, initial vet visits, some sweaters and those rubber ballon things for the paws, better food, dishes, shampoo, anti-chew stuff, dental stuff, treats.... not to mention the adoption cost ($400)... but with a dog like Roman, worth EVERY penny. cloud 9
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Member Since
05/25/2013
 
 
Barked: Mon Jul 15, '13 7:58pm PST 
So in other words...expensive laugh out loud

Well, I guess I'll just have to start saving a big chunk of money for my "dog fund." I live at home so when I get my job I can pretty much put back as much money as I want for whatever I want, so I can start building up without really having to worry way to go

It'll be ages before I can even do any of this stuff, but it's still fun to learn about and be prepared ahead of time! Any other newbie tips welcome, and thank you very much for all the posts hail

ETA: As far as socialization, I have a lot of options there, with family, neighbors, and friends who pretty much all enjoy and/or have dogs, and the walking trail by the library has a lot of people and dogs on it every day as well. Not to mention the park is nearby where we can meet lots of people. That and I'd love to take my doggy everywhere big grin

Edited by author Mon Jul 15, '13 8:10pm PST

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