FAQs

Why should I adopt a dog from Golden Retriever rescue?
Where does GoldHeart get their dogs?
Why do people surrender their dogs to rescue?
Will I be inheriting someone else’s problems?
Is an older dog trainable?
What are the main differences between male and female Goldens?
How are Golden Retrievers with children?
Why should a dog be crated?
How are Goldens with other pets?
How long do Golden Retrievers live?
Which diseases are Golden Retrievers susceptible to?
Do Goldens shed?
How much exercise does a Golden Retriever need?
How big do Golden Retrievers get?
Where Should I buy a puppy?
Where can I find a responsible breeder?
Do pet stores get their dogs from responsible breeders?
Should I purchase a puppy from the newspaper?
Why are dogs from responsible breeders so expensive?
If I work, can I properly raise a puppy?

 
Why should I adopt a dog from Golden Retriever rescue?

There are number of reasons to adopt a rescued Golden.

  • You can adopt a dog that is crate trained, has been spayed or neutered, has had a micro-chip locator implanted and registered, is through many of the puppy issues – chewing, house trained (knows to do their business outside).
  • The adult dog’s personality has developed and our experienced foster families can tell you about each dog.
  • You can gauge if the dog’s activity level is compatible with your life style.
  • You will be giving a wonderful, loving Golden Retriever a home.


Where does GoldHeart get their dogs?

The dogs that come into GoldHeart come from many different sources.

  • The majority of dogs that come to rescue are surrendered by their current owners.
  • A few of the dogs come from the local shelters. The local shelters call rescue when a dog has run out of time to be adopted or the dog has some special need that makes it difficult to get it adopted.
  • Occasionally we will get a dog that has been rescued from less than desirable conditions by a good Samaritan who can’t keep it.


Why do people surrender their dogs to rescue?

There are many reasons people give for surrendering their dog. The top reasons we hear are:

  • Not enough time for the dog.
  • Moving to someplace we can’t have the dog.
  • Change in lifestyle – Divorce, Kids are gone & the dog is still here, Retiring.
  • New baby – the dog is too much work.
  • Unable or unwilling to pay for medical treatment.
  • Too much for the owner to handle – usually a young dog that they have not taken the time to train.


Will I be inheriting someone else’s problems?

Rarely are behavioral problems an issue with a dog that comes into rescue. If a behavioral problem is encountered, we try to deal with them before the dog is adopted. Our dogs usually spend a minimum of two weeks in an experienced foster home, where their personality and behavior is observed and evaluated. We have an excellent dog trainer/dog behaviorist that works with us whenever needed.


Is an older dog trainable?

Dogs never lose their ability to learn. In many cases the older dogs learn more quickly than the ones still in the puppy stages, because they are better able to focus.


What are the main differences between male and female Goldens?

There is little difference in the temperament of male and female Goldens. Both sexes are equally easy to house train, equally intelligent and affectionate. Both are excellent with children, and both make excellent companions. Some males are inclined to mark their territory, but this can also be exhibited by dominant females. On the average the younger males tend to be more active than their female counterparts, but there are some very active females.


How are Golden Retrievers with children?

Golden Retrievers are wonderful family dogs, however any dog owner needs to be aware of a few simple precautions.

  • Most important, children need to be taught how to interact with the dog.
  • Smaller children should always be supervised when with the dog. There is always a potential for a bite if a child does something the dog finds painful.
  • Rules need to be set for the children and the dog for and everyone’s sake, they need to be strictly enforced.
  • A dog should never be adopted or purchased for a child. It needs to be an obligation that is taken on by the whole family. The children can assist, but they are not the primary caregivers. This is a parent’s responsibility.


Why should a dog be crated?

If properly introduced and used judiciously, a crate will become the dog’s den.

  • A crate can be a place for the dog to escape for a quiet moment or a nap.
  • The crate is a wonderful house training tool. Dogs will not normally do their business where they sleep unless they are desperate. This provides you the opportunity to properly manage house training if needed.
  • The crate is a great dog management tool when you are introducing a new dog to other dogs in the household. When you aren’t home the new dog can be safely tucked away in the crate.


How are Goldens with other pets?

Golden Retrievers are typically very easygoing dogs that get along with other dogs very well. Cats can be a different story. Some Goldens have very high prey drives that will cause them to chase things that run. If a Golden hasn’t lived with cats, they should be cautiously introduced to cats to see their reaction. The same would be suggested for other small furry animals and birds in the home.


How long do Golden Retrievers live?

The oldest known Golden Retriever was almost 20 years old when he died. This is an anomaly, but with the better food and better veterinary care – Goldens are routinely living to 12 to 14 years of age and many well beyond that.


Which diseases are Golden Retrievers susceptible to?

Dogs are susceptible to many of the disease that humans contract. The health issues which most commonly afflict Goldens are:

  • Cancer occurs more often in Goldens than it does in the normal canine population. As with people, the majority of the cancers in canines are treatable. The majority of Goldens that do succumb to cancer do so in their later years, after 10 years of age.
  • Canine hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia can occur, but not any more often then it occurs in other large breed dogs.
  • They are known to have several eye problems such as Progressive Retinal Atrophy, Uveitis and Cataracts, but these conditions are less commonly encountered.
  • Allergies, skin and ear problems are routine, but easily treatable.
  • Hypothyroidism can occur (usually later in life), but it is something that is easily and inexpensively treated.


Do Goldens shed?

Golden Retrievers shed all year round and twice a year they shed their coat heavily. They don’t tend to shed any more or less than more large breed dogs. Periodic brushing and professional grooming can help control the dog hair. For more information about grooming a golden please visit: http://www.grrow.org/pages/newsinfo/groom.html.


How much exercise does a Golden Retriever need?

This is entirely dependent on the dog. Some dogs have very high energy levels and they require several hours of exercise a day. Other are very laid back and get by with just walks. If your lifestyle does not allow time for exercise, opt for a calmer, easy-going dog.


How big do Golden Retrievers get?

A standard well-bred Golden Retriever male will stand 22″-25″ high at the shoulder and weigh between 65-75 lbs. Females stand 20″-23″ at the shoulder and weigh between 55-65 lbs. Because of indiscriminate breeding, we see Golden Retrievers that are much larger and weigh in excess of 100 lbs.


Where should I buy a puppy?

The places you can purchase a puppy from are many, but you would be wise to get a puppy from a responsible breeder.


Where can I find a responsible breeder?

Contact a local Golden Retriever Club in your area and ask for recommendations. Two clubs in this area are the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club and Chesapeake Golden Retriever Club. Another source is the Golden Retriever Club of America.


Do pet stores get their dogs from responsible breeders?

No! No! No! There is not a responsible breeder that would ever consider selling puppies to a pet store. They get their puppies from “puppy mills.”


Should I purchase a puppy from the newspaper?

The advertisements in the papers are placed there by puppy mills and back yard breeders. The puppy mill breeder should be avoided at all cost. The back yard breeders are probably your best bet if you are not going to go to a responsible breeder. If you purchase from a backyard breeder, meet the puppy’s mom and dad, make sure they have no physical problems (get permission to check with their vet), make sure it is a clean/healthy environment, determine the age of the mom and how many litters she has had (a dog should not be bred until she is at least 2 years old), make sure the puppies have been to see a vet and are up-to-date on shots. If the seller refuses you any of this information, walk away. The 1st 8 weeks of a puppy’s life is more important than most people realize. A puppy should never be separated from the litter until it is at least 8 weeks of age. To see just home terrible puppy mills can be, visit http://www.stoppuppymills.org.


Why are dogs from responsible breeders so expensive?

Responsible breeders never have more than one litter a year from a female. They do not breed a female until it is at least 2 years of age. They know the lineage of their dogs for many generations. They never breed dogs that have any medical issue that could be passed on to the puppies. They have the puppies extensively checked over by their veterinarian and provide general health certifications. They provide a healthy, rich, environment for the puppies until they go to their new homes. They will always take one of their dogs back if it needs to be surrendered by the owner. They screen the new owners and the puppies for a temperament match. This is often a situation of “pay me now or pay me later.” The probability of a well-bred, well-socialized puppy having medical of behavioral problems is significantly reduced. In spite of the price they charge, they are not in it for the money. They do it for the love of the breed and the desire to perpetuate the breed as it should be.

Golden Retrievers are the second most popular AKC breed. The only breed more popular is the Labrador Retriever. Well-bred Golden Retriever litters are in high demand. The responsible breeders will have a waiting list for their puppies, but most will be happy to talk with you about any upcoming litters.


If I work, can I properly raise a puppy?

Working should not prohibit you from raising a puppy, however a puppy does demand extra time and attention and you will need to make provisions to care for your puppy. Caring for a puppy brings responsibilities and obligations that need to be considered. A puppy turns into a dog and a Golden will eventually grow to be between 65-80 lbs. and stand 21-26″ high. This dog will need to be cared for on a daily basis for the next 10-16 years and will become a family member, (living/breathing) not an item or thing that is disposable. A puppy needs the following:

  • A puppy needs to relieve himself/herself every 2-4 hours, until at least 6 months of age. Puppies generally defecate 5 to 6 times a day and urinate even more.
  • You will need to get up during the night to take your puppy out. An easy way to figure out how many hours a puppy can be expected to control their bladder is to take the puppy’s age in months and add 1. For example a 4-month-old puppy will need to go out every 5 hours. House-training a puppy can take at least 6 months. With a daily time commitment of every 2-4 hours.
  • A puppy will benefit from a socialization class at around 12-14 weeks old and an obedience class after 6 months. Even people who adopt older rescue dogs can benefit from a class to help them teach the dog what is expected of him.
  • Puppies require a minimum of three 20-minute low-impact aerobic play sessions per day and older dogs need regular exercise on a daily basis. A tired puppy is a calm puppy.
  • If the time constraints of raising a puppy seem too much, an older rescue dog may better fit your needs.