12 Reasons Why A Golden Retriever Makes The Best Family Dog


If you have a family with kids and are looking for the perfect dog, a Golden Retriever makes an excellent choice. Anyone who has ever owned or met a Golden, as they’re typically referred to, recognizes them by their smiling faces and wagging tails that seem to sway to and fro on a continual basis.

They’re so friendly and sweet and have a great disposition. There are several reasons why a Golden Retriever makes the best family dog.

1. They Are Intelligent

Goldens are intelligent dogs who can easily be trained and socialized to interact well with children and other animals. They are considered to be the fourth smartest dog breed in the world, behind Border Collies (1st), Poodles (2nd), and German Shepherds (3rd).

Since Golden Retrievers also have a highly developed sense of smell, they are ideal dogs for many important jobs.  For instance, they have been very successful on search and rescue missions, as well as water rescue and similar lifesaving actions.  In addition, this breed is an excellent guide dog for the blind.

Having all of this in mind, it makes perfect sense that you can teach a Golden Retriever all sorts of tricks and easily train them to listen to your commands and orders. Also, it shouldn’t be too hard to teach your kids how to handle Goldens.


2. Goldens Are Very Active

These dogs are very active and playful, especially in the first few years of their lives. They love a friendly game of fetch, chase or other rough-housing activities with the kids and the entire family.

They are happy dogs who tend to be goofy and childlike for longer than most other breeds.  Since they enjoy spending time with their humans and engaging in various interesting activities, they are perfect dogs for families with kids.

Tiny humans will love the fact that Goldens can run around all day and love spending time outdoors.  They need plenty of exercise and seem tireless. You can take them for long walks or hikes, to the beach or mountain – they will be more than glad to participate in every fun activity, as long as their beloved humans are there to spend some quality time with them.


3. Desire To Please

These gentle dogs have a high desire to please their owners and families, obeying commands when given. They will probably prove more responsive than your kids.

You should know that no pup is easy to train, but dogs who are eager to please will make your life much easier.  Since they want you to be happy and proud of them, Goldens will learn everything quickly and stay focused and alert to your commands. However, bear in mind that even though they are amazingly responsive, Goldens are easily excited so you need to be patient and determined with them.

Because they want to please their humans, Goldens are also one of the best dog breeds for first time owners.  Also, their temperament and intelligence has made them one of the most popular breeds in the world (they are the third most popular breed in the United States).


4. They Are Loyal

Since they love people, Goldens are very loyal to their families but also very accepting of strangers or anyone that gives them a compliment and some positive attention. As a result, they don’t make the best watch dogs.  In addition, they are horrible security dogs.  Although they will bark when they see a stranger approaching, their bark is welcoming rather than protective or warning.

Although they shouldn’t guard your property, this trait is not that bad for families with kids because Goldens will be friendly towards unknown children and people with good intentions.

When it comes to loyalty, there is not much a Golden Retriever wouldn’t do for their humans.  They will stick by your side no matter what and stay faithful until the very end.  Goldens really love their humans and become attached to their family in no time.


5. They Don’t Bark Too Much

Golden Retrievers are not known as big barkers. They may alert you that someone is at the door but it’s really more to greet the newcomers than tell you the news.  As we’ve said previously, they are not good guard dogs because every stranger is a potential new friend to them.  To put it simply, they like people and don’t perceive them as a threat.

They are not prone to attacking intruders and although they will initially bark at the sign of someone unknown, they will become friendly to the intruder once they are physically in contact with each other.

Although every dog barks from time to time, Goldens are truly golden when it comes to barking.  Naturally, this is great for families with kids because they won’t disturb the little ones or wake up the entire house in the middle of the night.


6. They Are Patient With Kids

Goldens are very patient and tolerant with children, so it’s no wonder that parents can feel at ease when the kids play with them. Children are not always careful of how they treat their pet, but a Golden will never show aggression if an ear or a tail is “accidentally” tugged.

Even though Goldens are naturally fond of children, they shouldn’t be left unsupervised with very small kids – any dog can unintentionally hurt a child.  Additionally, adults need to guide the child-dog relationship and teach their kids how to handle the family dog.  You need to set the rules for both the child and the dog.

Since Golden Retrievers are amazing with little ones, kids will love them and have fun with them on a daily basis.  As the child grows older and more mature, make sure to help them become more involved in caring for the Golden Retriever.


7. Golden Retrievers Are Easygoing

Although they are quite active in their puppy years, as an adult a Golden Retriever is very laid back and easy to please.  They are relaxed and cheerful dogs who tend to make the most out of life and enjoy every moment spent with their family.

They also get along great with other dogs and like to play with them.  If they are properly socialized and trained from an early age, they will get along well with cats and other domestic animals.  However, if they didn’t grow up with a cat, their natural prey drive might cause them to chase small animals that run.

On the other hand, there are Goldens who are amazing with other animals and who like to spend time around them. Since they are even-tempered, not much can make them angry.  Further, they are very forgiving and will never hold a grudge.


8. They Have Strong Maternal Instincts

Goldens, as stated by professional sites, have some natural maternal instincts and can take on the role as caregivers. They have been known to accept and nurture abandoned puppies, kittens and other animals of varied species. Aww.

By the way, there have also been cases of Goldens becoming surrogates to tiger cubs and taking care of them as if they were their own Golden babies.

Basically, their maternal instincts go beyond their species and female Goldens are very kind, patient and caring towards little ones.

Needless to say she will also be a loving and devoted mother to her human kids and will never let anything bad happen to them.  A Golden mom is exceptionally caring and patient and won’t mind kids’ rough play.   Naturally, you need to make sure the kids understand that they are not allowed to do things that would hurt the dog.  However, since kids tend to forget the rules, you are lucky that Goldens really tolerate a lot.


10. They Are Good-Time Dogs

Goldens love to have fun with their people.  They never get bored of playing and discovering their surroundings.  Additionally, they are always up for road trips and visiting new places.  When you decide to go somewhere, your Golden will be the first one to get in the car.

Apart from flyball, tracking, agility and obedience, Goldens are excellent swimmers.  You don’t have to tell them twice to go in the water.  They enjoy being wet and if you happen to live close to a beach, your Golden will be the happiest dog in the world.

Since they are quick to learn, you’ll have no problems teaching them new games and they will have the time of their lives playing with their beloved human family. Also, don’t mistake their enthusiasm and energy for hyperactivity.  Unlike Goldens, hyperactive dogs are not fun to be around and always need to be corrected.


11. They Live Long

Although larger dogs live shorter than small breeds, the Golden Retriever is one of the larger-sized breeds that lives long.  Their life expectancy is about 12-14 years, but some have been known to last up to 16 years.

There are a few things you can do to help increase your Golden Retriever’s life span.  Firstly, feed him quality dog food and maintain their weight because they easily become overweight.  Also, make sure that they remain active.  If you exercise them regularly, Goldens will stay both mentally and physically fit.  Further, keep their teeth and gums healthy and take them to the vet for regular check-ups.

You should also know that spaying or neutering can prevent many serious illnesses, including some cancers. Even if these simple steps don’t prolong your dog’s life, they will definitely help him to lead a happier life and stay healthy.


12. They Are Adorable And Famous

Anyone who has ever seen a Golden Retriever knows they are exceptionally good-looking.  Apart from having a pretty face, they have wonderful light or dark, golden coat which doesn’t soak up water quickly. This breed simply has it all: a beautiful body, mind and soul.  Goldens are a camera-ready, photogenic breed which loves being photographed and posing for family pics.

Additionally, your kids will be thrilled to see their adorable pet starring in a number of famous family-friendly movies and TV shows, including  Air Bud and Air Bud: Golden Receiver, Full House, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey and Homeward Bound II: Lost in San Francisco, Fluke, Napoleon, Up, Pushing Daisies, The Drew Carey Show, and Cats & Dogs.

Other notable Goldens were Liberty and Victory, the presidential pets of Presidents Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan respectively.

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