Are Golden Retrievers Good with Kids?

Choosing a dog to fit in with your family’s needs can be an interesting thing to navigate. There are so many things to consider. The dog needs to become a part of your home. This transition needs to be as smooth and seamless as possible. For that reason, it is imperative to do proper research on breeds and suitability.

To answer the question: Are Golden Retrievers good with kids? There are a few things to consider. We will look at the profile of the Golden, and discuss how that complements different-aged children. How they bond with your family members is a key point to consider. Golden Retrievers, while exceptionally affectionate, have their limits like any breed of dog.

Its inescapable knowledge that Goldens are one of the most popular breeds in America. There are good reasons for this. We will explore below.

Golden Retrievers: A Profile

Size

Large. Golden retrievers are classed as a large breed of dog. The average male can grow up to 60CM high. So you have to have the space for them in your home with your children. Otherwise, it will become overcrowded rapidly.

Fur type

Soft and sheds. This can be a problem with allergy sufferers. The golden’s fur is not hypoallergenic, nor does it stay on its host for too long. The tell-tale sign of a house with a golden are the balls of sandy fur dotted around. While they love to be groomed, it is a daily job.

Temperament

Cool, calm, and collected. Goldens are full of love. Playful and active. Intelligent and obedient. All of these traits add up to a breed that can be easily trained, retain commands, learn routines, and seek affection from their humans. They love to be around people and will follow them around happily.

Lifespan

10 years on average. This is not the longest life span for a breed. Golden’s old age can be littered with health problems even if they have had good health all their life.

Training

Required, but fairly easy. They are very easy to train and an affable breed.

Why is a retriever is a golden choice for families?

Goldens are a very intelligent, super affectionate breed. They thrive in a family and it doesn’t take much effort to make them a part of your home. One the most perfect breed choices to have around children. This is because they are so trainable, so loveable and so full of love.

How trainable is a golden retriever?

Golden retrievers are great fun to train. They love treats and they love attention even more. A well-trained dog is great around kids. Though it will take patience, time, and effort, the rewards for proper training will have a long-term positive effect on your dog’s ability to be around children.

What are the health needs of a golden?

Golden retrievers in their old age are renowned for their health problems. They can suffer from arthritis, obesity, eye problems, and more. This means that the fun pup your children once played with, won’t be able to play and interact in the same way. It can also be upsetting for children to see a beloved family pet decline in health.

Are golden retrievers a smart breed?

Yes! In fact, golden retrievers are ranked in the top ten smartest dog breeds in the whole world. They are very emotionally intelligent, easily trained, and are a popular choice for different types of service dogs.

Are there any negatives?

Of course, there are some areas where goldens may fall short as a family dog. We’ve already looked at their potential for health problems. But, what about their energy levels? Especially at a young age, these dogs need a lot of exercise.

So how much exercise do they need?

The recommended amount is at least two hours a day. Two hours a day means at least two long walks. They need to run and they need to play. If your family has young children, this may not be suitable for your daily routine.

Goldens and Barking

Goldens are vocal, but not unbearably so. They don’t bark for no good reason and they tend to speak more when playing and exciting. They are a quiet breed overall. This can be great for smaller children, ie babies, and toddlers.

There is a unique frustration in getting your kids down for a nap and the dog waking them up barking a few seconds later. Thankfully, this would be unlikely to occur with a golden.

Grooming a Golden

As we’ve already discovered, golden retrievers are a furry breed. They shed, and they shed a lot. You will constantly find yourself cleaning up and removing dog hair from furniture, clothes, floors, crockery, you name it. This can be a real problem, especially with younger children.

Young babies require a certain level of hygiene to stave away infections. Exessive amounts of dog hair, mud, and everything that comes along with a dog’s fur can be a spanner in the works.

Goldens require a lot of brushing and regular grooming in the form of a hair trim. They also have long fur which can bring with them all the debris from their outside adventures. This can lead to a messy house and messy furniture.

Are Golden Retrievers good with toddlers and babies?

When a baby starts to become mobile, your whole world changes. So does your dog’s world. All of a sudden, your child can be in your golden’s personal space very quickly. So how do you navigate that? It’s a tricky question. However, there are some top tips for finding peace and harmony between your dog and child.

Supervising and being present

The most important tip for navigating life with a golden around your kids. It may sound obvious however, leaving your children alone with your dog is not recommended.

Though goldens are kind and caring, as with any breed, they have tolerance limits. Keeping a strong watch will not only assure safety but also mean you are around to teach boundaries to both dog and child.

Separation

Sometimes your dog will crave their own space away from their family’s kids. This is fine, it’s not a failure. In fact, it is healthy to encourage separation at different points of the day. Goldens love being around their family.

They also need their own space. This could be as simple as a nice and comfortable dog bed in a separate room. As long as they know they have a designated area, they will use it and look for it when they need a time out.

Quality Time

Quality time and nurturing are important for goldens. They need one-on-one interaction and attention. A golden will be much happier if they get their own special time with their owner.

Time just for them! This can be a walk together, or even just a play session in the garden. A tasty treat perhaps, or a new day out. Whatever the circumstance, making sure your Golden gets your attention is an important part of retriever ownership.

Family Time

As well as making sure they get one on one attention, including your golden in family time, is also key to their overall well-being. They love to feel included in their home unit. This promotes a healthy attachment and makes sure that they know where and what their place is within the family.

Teach Empathy to your Children

This point is for both dogs and children. Teaching empathy and showing understanding play a big role in nurturing the relationship between a dog and their family’s children. Teach your children the signs of when your dog wants to be left alone. Teach your dog the same. Thankfully, goldens are intelligent and very trainable.

Training Guidance for Golden Retrievers

All of these tips below will help to make sure your golden forms a positive relationship with your children.

Start as a puppy:
The ultimate time for the ultimate positive effect to commence training is when a Golden Retriever is a young puppy. If you start training your dog too late, there is a good chance they will already be set in their negative behaviors.

They will be resistant to learning new commands. They may resist training altogether. Though it’s never too late to teach a Golden something, it is better and easier to teach them while they’re young.

Use treats: Treat training is a winning strategy with most breeds, and Goldens are no exception. To reinforce positive behavior, a treat is offered. The treat is withheld until the Golden complies with the training command.

After they do what you want them to do, they are given the treat. Goldens love food and treats so it’s important to not overdo it. As a breed, they are vulnerable to obesity and other weight-related problems as they get older.

Stay strong: Training a dog can be tiring and stressful. Giving up won’t benefit you or your dog in the long run. Keep going. Even when it seems like hope is lost and your golden will never behave the way you need them to.

There will always be a moment when it clicks. If you stay strong, consistent, and firm, your golden will always respond positively to that. 

Top Training Tips for Kids and Goldens

When a baby starts to become mobile, your whole world changes. So does your dog’s world. All of a sudden, your child can be in your golden’s personal space very quickly. So how do you navigate that? It’s a tricky question. However, there are some top tips for finding peace and harmony between your dog and child. 

Supervision: The most important tip for navigating life with a golden around your kids. It may sound obvious however, leaving your children alone with your dog is not recommended.

Though goldens are kind and caring, as with any breed, they have tolerance limits. Keeping a strong watch will not only assure safety but also mean you are around to teach boundaries to both dog and child.

Separation: Sometimes your dog will crave their own space away from their family’s kids. This is fine, it’s not a failure. In fact, it is healthy to encourage separation at different points of the day.

Goldens love being around their family. They also need their own space. This could be as simple as a  nice and comfortable dog bed in a separate room.

Quality Time: Quality time and nurturing are important for goldens. They need one-on-one interaction and attention. A golden will be much happier if they get their own special time with their owner. Time just for them! This can be a walk together, or even just a play session in the garden.

Family Time: Family time is also key to a golden’s well-being. They love to feel included in their home unit. This promotes a healthy attachment and makes sure that they know where and what their place is within the family.

Teach Empathy: This point is for both dogs and children. Teaching empathy and showing understanding plays a big role in nurturing the relationship between a dog and their family’s children.

Teach your children the signs of when your dog wants to be left alone. Teach your dog the same. Thankfully, goldens are intelligent and very trainable. 

Final Thoughts

To answer the question ‘are Golden Retrievers good with kids?’, yes. Overall, golden retrievers are one of the most amenable breeds for having around children. They have a sweet, caring, and full-of-love personality that craves to be a part of a family unit. They will play nicely with children of all ages and are respectful of babies.

However, it is important to teach your children golden rules for being around dogs and animals. This is because every dog has its limit, and it’s your responsibility as their human to recognize that.

With this in mind, goldens are one of the more patient breeds. They love to be a part of whatever you are doing and will love the tiny humans as much as the big ones.

Goldens have the brainpower and the emotional capacity to connect with humans in a wholesome way. They are generally well-suited to being a family pet. They love to be a part of a unit.

As long as they get their exercise and a close eye on their potential health issues, they will be a well-loved member of your family. They are even well suited to being around young children and babies.

Goldens will be a valued member of your family.