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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok, the sassy golden critter is about 4 months old.

Having never previously experienced the pleasure of owning a retriever, I thought I'd offer some observations - just in case there is someone like me out there who is on the fence about what breed of critter to choose for one of their kiddos.

Disclaimer: I am an amateur. My observations are based on personal experience and with a single dog and may not necessarily apply to any other critter within the bandana wearing community. I know far less about dogs than everyone else here. I hope my words bring a smile or provide someone with knowledge for which they are searching.


01. "OMG! Your puppy is soooo cute! Can I pet her?"

Yes, all puppies are cute. But God had a great day when he created the Golden. Living in a college town, when we take the pup for walks out and about, I can't tell you how many "Look at the puppieeeeee!" squeals have echoed through the street. Everyone from young kids through and including really mean looking bikers seems to melt when they see the pup. If the Whos in Whoville still had trouble with the Grinch, a Golden pup would make his heart grow 6 sizes. Pup seems to know how to approach people and sit at their feet in order to be petted. My daughter has been told countless times how lucky she is for owning such a pup. I haven't seen my daughter smile so much in years. I wouldn't trade that for anything!

02. Prey drive...it is in there.
I've been blessed with some hunting machines. I had some reservations about how new pup would do in comparison. Well, more so than any critter that I've known, its motion sensors are always on. Anything that runs, jogs, rolls, flys or blows by is locked-on by those eyes. At 10 wks, the dog was doing 40 yard retrieves of a bouncing, rolling tennis ball and running back at full speed. Leaves blowing across the yard are goners. Moths fluttering at ground level? Look out! First time on quail? Pup picked the bird up and brought it right back in. So far, so good.

03. Dig dug diggity.
Take pup to a river's edge with a sandy bank, set pup down near mulch or sit near the dugout of a little league game and the dirt will be a flying. What is up with that? This critter can dig faster than a gopher in a Bill Murray movie. It is awesome! Oh yeah...this dog HATES bushes. The critter is not the best dog for a landscape-proud person. If you want to see a 12 w old pup carry a tree branch...buy a Golden.

04. Cannonball!!!!!!!!!
Pup was 10 weeks old. We were walking near a small pond. A stick was thrown about 10 feet from the bank. Kerplunk, splash, splash, splash and pup was swimming. It grabbed the stick swum around in a circle and then brought it back to shore. It was the first time in the water and it was swimming like a pro. I've seen Springers, GSPs, GWPs, Setters and even a Poodle as they made their first swims. They were filled with uncertainty, water slapping, backward leans and awkwardness. None of that with the pup. Smooth as glass. First time. Then it jumped back in for more. You can't keep this critter out of the water. Wow. Those retrieving genes are incredible. But this pup loves to get muddy. Think lots of baths. Consider buying more towels.

05. She was shakin' (oh oh ooo oh) / That girl was shakin'
For as cute, soft and cuddly looking as she is, I wasn't expecting it. Give her a soft squeaky toy and the dark side comes out. That lil' death shake that is genetically programmed into canines? Well, it is there...BIG TIME. She ripped the head right off of Mr. Squeaky cow!!! GASP!

06. Here ya go!
As much as she tears up a dog toy, I'd have thought that she'd it would be a struggle at times for her to give up a retrieving bumper. Nope. We started with fuzzy paint rollers. She's progressed to tennis balls and then bumpers. Never once has she failed to let the thing go when asked. I don't get it. But maybe it is part of the wiring? Whatever it is...I like it. My daughter didn't experience possessiveness, attitude or that annoying puppy biting that can happen with puppies. Dunno why. But....I like it!

07. Nylabones? Seriously?
I heard Goldens chew. I heard the stories of death and destruction of furniture, drywall and base boards from coworkers that own the cream colored kind. We were prepared with a nylabone. It is shaped like a dinosaur and has lil' knobby things all over it. My daughter can give the pup a nylabone, have a seat in the couch and turn on her favorite TV show. It'll sound like a beaver gnawing an oak but pup will be happier than Michael Moore at a Wall Street protest. Not a single one of my previous critters would bother with the things. I never understood why the pet store shelves were full of them. Now I do. Goldens are keeping the Nylabone people in business.


08. Off Switch.
As active and bold as the pup is when she is playing, retrieving and doing puppy things, she has an off switch. In the evenings when my daughter does her homework, pup becomes quiet, gentle and peaceful. Pup waits for my daughter to finish as she plays with her toys. I love the off switch.

09. Play time!
When pup sees another dog, it assumes it is play time. Having been around heat seeking DDs that would drop the gloves at the slightest breach of canine etiquette, this is a blessing. No...it is more than that. This is the reason that I wanted a Golden for my daughter. Life is too short to have a grumpy dog. Life is good.

10. Cooperation in buckets!
Maybe I should have put this first. Intelligence is one thing. But a dog can be smart but may not necessarily be cooperative. I've seen the training sessions conducted by my daughter. I've seen the pups ears drop back and the pup's expression seem to soften as if to ask for more explanation of the task at hand. I'm telling you, one time the pup glanced at me as if to say, "Ok...I'm not quite sure what she wants but I'll figure it out. Don't worry." House training was EXTREMELY easy.

Yesterday, pup witnessed skeet shooting. I'm not quite sure if she is gun shy. You see, she never heard the pops of the shotgun. She was too busy making friends with everyone who walked past my daughter. Eh, maybe well find out next time. Sassy has time. :razz:

Ok, for anyone thinking about buying a Golden pup for a son or daughter, so far I highly recommend it. But, I must caution, if your son or daughter isn't a morning person, you may be shocked to hear them singing to the dog before they leave for school in the morning. I was.

Consider buying two. Your wife may accuse your son or daughter of being a pup hog. You wouldn't want that.

For those of you who may be asking why I didn't consider a lab. I did. But, everyone kept telling me stories about how the various colors differed in personality. I figured if I only had one color to choose, I couldn't screw it up! :rolleyes:
 

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You just described my golden when she was a pup. She just turned 4 last week and she is even better now. You have lots to look forward to! :)
 

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Great post, Brian!

Welcome to the world of Fluffies! These mean workin machines are sure cute and agreeable, aren't they?!

Thanks for sharing.

Jennifer
 

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Sounds like you got a good one. I have 2 suggestions.

No nyalabones, they are not good for your dog, especially if he can destroy one.

I would also not do the skeet range thing. Gun Shyness is almost always man made(not something they are born with) and even though it worked out it's not the best way to intro gunfire.

Also I hope you are planning to use a retriever oriented training program for your swamp collie.

Bert
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Sounds like you got a good one. I have 2 suggestions.

No nyalabones, they are not good for your dog, especially if he can destroy one.

I would also not do the skeet range thing. Gun Shyness is almost always man made(not something they are born with) and even though it worked out it's not the best way to intro gunfire.

Also I hope you are planning to use a retriever oriented training program for your swamp collie.

Bert
No worries on the skeet range. The pup's breeder did an incredible job with the pups and the noise conditioning started there. It continued at home with strategically placed bangs and slams of pots and pans and cup board doors. (BTW, I did learn that my wife is gunshy.) The pup got so used to the noise that she had to associate the noise with dinner time. Then, on two trips to a shooting preserve, pup heard distant gun fire. She experienced car back fires and MAJOR Harley noise on her walks with zero issue. The skeet range was perfect. We got there early and before he shooting started. When one group started, pup stayed in the car way-away from the range as the popping began. She showed zero reaction and really was distracted with all the friends she made when my daughter brought her out of the car.

Right now, it is all about Sound Beginnings. (With a lil' skeet shooting deviation.)
 

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One question: How soon will you be changing your avatar???
Don't change it! It is a good looking dog and nice to see something different!;)
 

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Thanks for the great 'humor' in writing! I got a lot of good chuckles - sounds just like my golden pup who is now 4 mo! (and he's our 7th one)

You have a gift for writing, so keep these 'golden' chronicles coming!

Debbie Tandoc
 

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Great observations, Brian. You begin to understand why Golden people get "addicted" :)
 

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Sounds like you got a good one. I have 2 suggestions.

No nyalabones, they are not good for your dog, especially if he can destroy one.

I would also not do the skeet range thing. Gun Shyness is almost always man made(not something they are born with) and even though it worked out it's not the best way to intro gunfire.

Also I hope you are planning to use a retriever oriented training program for your swamp collie.

Bert
Bert, I'm curious what you suggest giving to a dog that's a big chewer instead of nylabones. Why are they not good for the dog?

I've had a number of heavy chewers over the years and have found that rawhides, rope chews, natural bones - have all caused some issues. But the nylabones made specifically for extreme chewers have been among the best at keeping young jaws occupied.

Thanks, Chris
 

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I wonder the same thing.

I've used them forever. They chew them from the ends and we throw them away when they get too short.

While I'm sure some dog can, I've never seen a dog that can "destroy" one. If a dog could chew one up, I agree they would be dangerous.

Nylabone made or makes a softer bone that I think is for pups. An adult can chew them into pieces, and they would be a hazard.
 

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my psycho rescue Scooby Do was kept severely underweight his first 6 years.
He treats every meal as if it were his last. It was quite a chore, to get him
to tale a biscuit off of my hand. "Easy" was not in his vocabulary.
If left alone he can crumble a nylabone in less than 2 minutes. He can destroy
the black indestructible kongs in 30 minutes. I think it is a dog by dog thing.
My Dads fat blond Laybythedoor will nibble on a Nyla for a week, and Scooby will
come visit and make it disappear in a minute.
 
 

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great post! once you go gold, it's hard to even consider anything else.
 

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Let me add my welcome to the world of Goldens. My avatar dog is my 5th and I have a 6th at home as well. I love the breed for all of the reasons you listed. As I type this, all 3 of my dogs (my other dog is a rescue pittie mix) are sound asleep all around me after a very long hike this morning and several hours of yard work.

I can throughly attest to the digging skills of goldens. My parents tell me to rent them out for excavation projects. They dig holes into the hill behind my house that can easily fit all 3 dogs. They have also used those skills to dig raccoons and muskrats out of holes and I have witnessed that "death shake" on real varmits. Yet they have extremely soft mouths on birds.

Continue enjoying your furry golden ambassador of good will.

dawn
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the responses everyone! I'm glad that my observations brought some smiles and nods of understanding.

I'm going to stay with my current avatar for now.

The Golden was absolutely the right choice for us. We couldn't be happier!
 

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Brian,
Thanks for this very entertaining post. Welcome to the world of Goldens, I know you will enjoy every minute of your days together. I have 3 Goldens and each is so special in their own way. Out of curiosity, do you happen to have a Jake pup? The traits you describe sound familiar.
Diane
 

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Great post! I got some puppy kisses from a friend's 8 wk. Golden puppy this weekend. They really are irresistible, almost as cute as Chesapeake puppies ;-)
 

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Bert, I'm curious what you suggest giving to a dog that's a big chewer instead of nylabones. Why are they not good for the dog?

I've had a number of heavy chewers over the years and have found that rawhides, rope chews, natural bones - have all caused some issues. But the nylabones made specifically for extreme chewers have been among the best at keeping young jaws occupied.

Thanks, Chris
.

A few years ago we almost lost a dog to an intestinal blockage (not nylabone) but in our consultation with the vet it was suggested that we not use them if the dog was capable of destroying one.This was a Pet ER hospital and they said that chew toys were a fairly common problem and that even if most dogs do well with them, it's not worth the risk.

I use beef marrow soup bones.

Bert
 
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