Golden Retrievers are sporting dogs and most are quite energetic. Males weigh 75-90 pounds and females 55-70 pounds, depending on height. Goldens also have long fur and shed throughout the year. Once or twice a year, they shed substantially. Daily brushing is recommended. If someone in your family has allergies, or if your lifestyle requires uncompromising housekeeping, one of the non-shedding breeds may be more suitable. Golden Retrievers are extremely intelligent, which is why they are used as guide dogs and assistance dogs. While this is a positive factor in your companion, it also means that you should plan to take your Golden through a basic obedience class and train the dog to be a well-mannered member of your family. Some of the dogs that come into our program have already had basic obedience training. However, it is good to repeat this program so that you can learn to communicate and bond with your dog. Golden Retrievers are known for their loving, affectionate temperament and MUST live in your home. They do not make good kennel dogs, and if this is in your plans, you would do well to seek a breed that is less devoted to family life.

Within sixty days after adoption, we recommend that you take your Golden to a veterinarian of your choice for introduction and to deliver any veterinary records that we will send you after the adoption is finalized. We suggest that you take a fecal sample in for analysis, since we do not have this done routinely at our initial vet checks. As far as other expenses, you can expect to spend about $350 per year for food. We recommend a well-balanced premium food. Regular veterinary care will cost about $200 per year. We suggest that heartworm preventative be given to our rescued dogs; this will cost approximately $90 per year. Bowls, bed and toys will probably cost at least $75. Grooming by a professional groomer at a minimum of every eight weeks will cost about $300 per year, bringing the total annual cost to around $1000. This figure does not include veterinary care when the dog gets sick, boarding or pet-sitter fees when you go on vacation, or other expenses. Be sure you can afford this dog before you decide to adopt!

 

 The most common reasons for the surrender are because of home foreclosures and the family cannot take the dog to the new home or “I don’t have time for the dog.” Families also give up their dogs because of allergies, death, and, sometimes, because they did not understand the activity level and time commitment that a Golden Retriever requires. Some are given up because of divorce or relocation to a home where a dog cannot be kept. Occasionally, when a new human member is added to a family, the parents find they do not have time to properly care for the dog. A dog may be given up because it has a medical condition that will be expensive to treat. We have also heard families say they think the dog is “too big”, “too rambunctious”, “too expensive to feed and maintain”, “too hard to train”, “it sheds too much”, “it digs up my backyard when I leave it tied outside”, “it gets nervous during thunderstorms”, or just that “it’s too old.”