One of the most important questions parents everywhere find themselves asking is whether or not a dog will be a good fit for their children. When adding a new friend to the family, parents have to consider every possible angle as they navigate the waters of parenthood.
The good news is that Golden Retrievers are great with kids and make fantastic family dogs — many consider the Golden Retriever the best family dog you can get. So, if you were thinking of adding a Golden Retriever to your family, they’ll make a great fit.
Golden Retriever Temperament
Golden Retrievers are known for their gentle, friendly, and courteous temperaments. The Golden Retriever is eager to please and latch onto people, making great companions for children.
Goldens are also a very tolerant breed when it comes to roughhousing, so you’re unlikely to experience any aggression towards your child, mainly if you socialize your Golden Retriever correctly.
They’re devoted members of the family who will take care of their humans and have good emotional intelligence. They’ll use this to care for their families physically and emotionally.
Golden Retrievers make great family dogs. They’re loyal and easygoing, which makes them a good choice for families with young children. They’re tolerant of rough play and won’t bite or snap if your child is still learning to interact with dogs respectfully.
With Other Animals
Golden Retrievers are friendly dogs that will try and be friends with other dogs they meet. Golden Retrievers will maintain their gentle and kind disposition with strangers, human or not. So, they make good pets for people who already have other pets.
Golden Retriever Exercise Level
Another factor that makes Golden Retrievers great family dogs is that they’re very active dogs. They pack a friendly and playful temperament in with boundless energy to play with your kids. Golden Retrievers can play gently but endlessly with their families.
Are Golden Retrievers Good First Dogs?
Golden Retrievers are popular as first dogs because of their natures. They’re eager to please and respond very well to obedience training. Golden Retrievers are popular choices for service dog training because of how well they respond to training.
The combination of their easygoing temperament and how easy they are to train makes them great dogs for first-time owners. These traits also make them a good fit for parents who may have less time to dedicate to training and rearing their dogs.
Golden Retrievers also have low grooming requirements despite their long and luscious coats. Depending on how often they go outdoors or visit the dog park, Golden Retrievers usually only need to be bathed about once a month or any time they start to smell a bit strange. They need to be brushed a few times a week, but this chore doesn’t require much time. It can also help get your kids acquainted with the less fun parts of pet ownership.
Golden Retrievers are also healthy dogs that will generally stay with your family for a long time. Of course, there’s always the chance of freak accidents or illness, but an excellent veterinary practice will be able to help you keep your Golden Retriever healthy.
If buying from a breeder, prospective pet parents should seek out their new pal’s genetic records to ensure they’ve been screened for hip dysplasia, heart disease, and congenital eye conditions.
Helping Your Kids Learn to Interact with Dogs
While Golden Retrievers are generally tolerant of children’s behavior, it’s not an excuse to allow your children to mistreat your dog. Parents should use their Golden Retriever as a teaching tool to help their children learn to interact with animals. Young children must always be supervised when playing with animals.
Having your child help with caring for and keeping a new furred companion by assisting with feeding, obedience training, and taking the dog for walks can help your child learn that pet ownership is more than just fun and games.
Parents should also teach their children about dog body language. It helps protect not just your children but your dog and strange dogs your child might meet in public. Though your Golden Retriever might tolerate roughness, many dogs will not, regardless of breed. Your child must know how to respect the boundaries of animals they may meet.
There are many ways that parents can make the transition easier for both the dog and the children.
Introducing Your New Dog to Your Children
When introducing your children to your new dog, it’s critical that they know to stay calm and be quiet. Your new dog will be in a scary new place, and the people and animals that they’re used to being surrounded by will be gone.
If your children holler and get too excited when interacting with your new dog, the dog may become frightened and react negatively.
Encouraging your children to crouch down and quietly welcome their new friend into the family will go a long way with educating your child about the proper way to interact with animals. It will also help your dog feel safe and build trust between the dog and their new family.
Body Language Your Children Should Know
Children should also be taught the body language of dogs. Dogs can’t use words to tell us that they don’t like how they’re being treated. So, children must be taught how to read the signals that our dogs are giving them.
While learning to understand your dog’s language is an ongoing experience, children should understand what it means when a dog’s tail is tucked between their legs and how to recognize whale eye before a dog is brought into the family.
Understanding these signals will help keep your children safe around all dogs, not just your own.
Golden Retrievers are one of, if not the best, family dogs. Their friendly and gentle dispositions make them an excellent choice for parents with young children. Parents can use the Golden Retriever’s playful and kind nature to help their children learn to interact with dogs and other animals.
If you’re considering adding a Golden Retriever to your family, check local shelters for Golden Retrievers and Golden Retriever mixes before shopping around. Many shelters have puppies or young adult dogs who need homes and would love for your family to give them a forever home!
Featured Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock