To be honest, I never considered getting a golden retriever until I met Bo. In my early dog obsession years, I’d always considered them too popular and “too American” (whatever that meant) for my serious consideration. I was a herding breed girl, after all; no time for sloppy retrievers. Then I met Bo. Bo is an almost two-year-old golden who belongs to my friend Liz. She’s a busy single lady and so I come over a few times a week to walk Bo when she’s out. Believe me, walking him is the highlight of my week!
During my time with Bo, I’ve learned a lot of things about goldens. From what I can tell, he’s an excellent representative of his breed. Goldens are incredibly smart and unbelievably easy to train. Liz has done a great job with Bo and works with him on obedience and tricks; because of this foundation, Bo learns new commands or cues from me in minutes (he’s also very motivated by cheese). Goldens are extremely people-oriented. Bo wants to love on every man, woman, or child we pass on a walk. As soon as another human or dog approaches, his gorgeous plumed tail starts swishing and a smile breaks out over his face. Aussies and a lot of herding breeds are just not like that; they’re far more wary of strangers. I love this golden trait and yet it surprised me at the same time. His exuberant friendliness often makes me think of the retriever in the animated film “Up!” who says to new people, “I have just met you and I love you.” This is Bo.
Goldens, as I’ve learned from Bo, could retrieve all day long. Sometimes, when I come to pick him up for a walk, he refuses to come out with me. What dog doesn’t want to go for a walk? Well, this dog who has dropped a ball at my feet and would rather retrieve… for five hours. His cute body just quivers with excitement whenever I pick up a ball or a stick. It’s adorable. I wish I had the time to play with him all day long.
I often tell Liz that I think Bo is the perfect dog. He might be. He’s beautiful, affectionate, intelligent, loyal, friendly, and athletic. What’s not love? I get nervous sometimes when I think about getting my own puppy because deep down, I’m convinced that he or she could never be as awesome as Bo is. Liz often reminds me, though, that I’m seeing the slightly more matured Bo, the Bo that she’s been working with for many tireless months now; I didn’t know him when he was a crazy, goofy, destructive puppy. Liz deserves all the credit with this guy, that’s for sure. Because he’s a beautiful and exceptional dog.
Here’s my reasons why I’d go for a golden. And the very few reasons why I wouldn’t.
Golden retriever pros:
- Highly trainable and very intelligent.
- Affectionate. So cuddly! So loving!
- Super with all people and children, especially, if well socialized.
Golden retriever cons:
- Not a protective bone in their bodies. All people are their best friends. If someone robbed your house, a golden would probably show the burglar where you kept your jewelry, just to be helpful.
- Lots of chewing.
- High energy.
- ?? I can’t think of any other cons. I think Bo is perfect.
Purely on the basis of these lists I’ve been making, it would seem evident that I should just get a golden retriever. However, I’m basing this almost entirely on Bo. Whom I love. So, maybe it’s just that I want my dog to be exactly like him…
Golden retriever links:
- Golden Retriever Rescue, Education, and Training
- Golden Retriever Club of America
- Quiz: Is the Golden Retriever Right for Me?