How to choose the right dog breed: The Golden Retriever

The profile of the Golden Retriever may justify for you its reputation as a very good family pet. The Golden Retriever ranks the lowest of all breeds on snapping at children and the second lowest on excessive barking. Its reportedly high level of demand for affection of course adds to its appeal as a children's pet. And it was the bottom-ranked breed both on aggression toward other dogs and on dominance over owner, so it is not likely to stir up trouble with people or other dogs. Its lack of aggressive challenge is enhanced all the more by its high ranking on obedience training. Finally, the Golden Retriever displays another family-favorite combination: low destructiveness paired with high playfulness, despite low activity and excitability.

One drawback of the Golden Retriever for many people is its low ranking on territorial defense and watchdog barking. Its combination of ease of training and low aggression, though not appropriate for a guard dog, could work well in some institutional settings with children. But its playfulness would most likely be a drawback for the elderly or for severily ill or handicapped people.

It's a challenge to suggest other breeds that might be close to the Golden Retriever's particular combination of rankings. Perhaps the Vizsla most closely matches the Golden's overall profile. You should get acquainted with this breed, if you would like a more unusual dog. The Australian Shepherd also shares many of the Golden's traits. It offers more promise on territorial defense and watchdog barking traits though.

The Golden Retriever:

Weight: 70 lbs
Height: 23 in.
Build: Solid
Coat: Long, dense; regular grooming desirable.
Color: Gold.

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