Golden Retrievers. If there was a perfect dog that represented America it would be the Golden. This friendly breed has been the star of films such as Disney's Homeward Bound and the highly recommended and globally loved Air Bud film series. They are an aesthetically pleasing dog with their bright golden fur and an infectious smile on their face constantly.
If you have small children, Golden Retrievers are quite possibly the best breed of dog for kids to grow up with. Now, the Golden is an overly energetic and rambunctious breed; There may be cases where a Golden may run into a child in an energetic fit or jump on a child sorely out of pure love and affection. There is no better breed of dog that could teach a kid responsibility and patience.
Golden Retrievers Are All Over The Place
Now here's a picture of Kopi, my beloved Golden Retriever. This is a picture of her when she was 7 months old. As you can see here, the picture is very blurry. The reason why is because she couldn't stay still in her younger years.
She's named after the hockey player, Los Angeles Kings All-Star center, Anze Kopitar. Kopitar, the hockey player, is known for his offensive and especially his defensive prowess. He is literally all over the ice the moment whistle goes off. And like her namesake, Kopi is all over the yard the moment I take her outside.
From her younger days up until now (she's about 8 years old), Kopi loves to run. She loves to run fast, and she loves to run all over the backyard. And then she continues to run circles, then stops and starts barking at the birds, the neighbor's dogs or the jets flying above our house. And then she gulps down a big bowl of water only to go through her routine of running, barking, and bothering me.
This is a dog that wants to play, run, and most of all, serve you. You want to teach a child patience? Give them a Golden Retriever to chase after and make follow directions. It can be interesting, but it can be done.
Golden Retrievers Are Mouthy
Goldens are Goldens because of their appearance. But why are they retrievers? Simply, they are sporting dogs. They became popular as sporting dogs in Great Britain, where they mostly used in wildfowl and small game hunting. They literally "retrieved" wildfowl and small game in places where a hunter could not go. These places were shallow lakes, cliffs, and ravines.
The other aspect of being a retriever is its mouth. This breed was designed to able to carry many objects, game, and other delicate items in its mouth. A Golden Retriever can carry an egg in its mouth without it even breaking. As impressive as that is, the Golden Retriever has an extended and more advanced teething stage where it (in my experience) had to put its mouth on everything. It wasn't biting; I felt no pain when my Golden wrapped its mouth around my hands, wrists, ankles, and feet. It is just a stage that Goldens go through.
This is where discipline and training are needed. And this is a great lesson for children when dealing with a Goldens at this stage. When they get mouthy or start nipping at your fingers and toes, it is best to be demonstrative and yell "No!", or "No Biting". It could also help to hold their mouths closed as you say "No Biting". This is not being abusive but rather acting as an alpha or dominant figure. Sometimes, young Goldens tend to bite and nip when fearful. This is where one must be protective, caring, yet dominant with their Golden.
As Goldens Get Older
Hopefully, you have enjoyed a long time of running, playing, belly rubs, and games of tug-of-war with your Golden (I know I have.) But they do get older and they do slow down. Of course, it has to do with age but also there are common health problems that Golden suffer from such as hip-dysplasia and cataracts. According to PetMd, hip replacements could cost from $3,500 up to $7,000 per one hip, with the similar price tag on a cataract surgery. Check with your veterinary provider or your pet insurance plan to see what can be covered. Or register at Eusoh to see how crowd-sharing works in the pet care sphere. Eusoh is a new service allowing consumers to share together expenses such as treatments for your Golden Retriever. Everyone wants a few more years with their trusty, energetic, and loyal companion. Make sure you have the means to make that happen.