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It's a fun journey and you'll learn a lot. Rarely is your 1st working dog your best (objectively) but I highly recommend you take it seriously for the benefit of you, the dog, and the outcome. Read, read, read and support that with a few dog training DVD's at least 6 months before you get the dog. They are sponges the minute they get home and I see way too many people start figuring out how to train the dog after they get it. IMO, a huge mistake.

While a working retriever makes a fantastic pet, a fantastic pet doesn't make a working dog. The level of obedience alone is far beyond any pet you know or have had. Nor can you fake knowledge and have "love" make up for it.

As far as Golden's, like many breeds they have been bred for anything but hunting. Genetics matter a lot. There are far fewer Golden's with working pedigrees than many other retrievers. That's why they are pricey. Just because a dog is a Lab or Golden doesn't make it suited to be a working retriever. Genetics matter as do health backgrounds. Generations of good hips, eyes, etc. I'd want the same even in a 'pet". Hips are expensive not to mention usually take dogs out of the field.

Golden's are referred to by many as "Marsh Mops" meaning their coats are beautiful but they absorb a LOT of water, mud and stickies. They are very time consuming to groom after a simple hunt. Hopefully you have a crate in a truck or large SUV.

Most Golden's I've seen also lack the perseverance and drive to get a tough job done. Not talking Field Trial Champion stuff, just basic hunting stuff. Often times people who think Golden's are a good choice refer to being a "family dog" first. Again, I'd say, so do Labs and other breeds that make better working dogs. And, I'd always suggest thinking gun dog first and pet 2nd because a well bred and trained gun dog makes a fantastic pet but it doesn't work the other way in reverse.

So just my 2 cents. Guarantee if I thought a Golden was the best choice for a waterfowl and upland dog I'd own one. I'm guessing these days you're looking at a wait list of a year or so and can expect 2kish and a probably shipped pup.

Be very weary of breeder claims if the pedigree doesn't back up the litter.
 

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What HNTFSH said!!! I love Goldens,they are one of the sweetest dogs on earth. Fabulous family dogs. But waterfowl and upland, no way. Very difficult to find a well bred Golden from hunting stock. And training one from non hunting lines especially for a novice trainer near impossible. And as mentioned their coat is a big problem. Every piece of debris, mud, stickers, burrs, etc. is going to lodge in their coat, big job getting it all out of their coat. Sometimes you have to cut out chunks of their coat.
Im a lab guy. I’ve hunted pheasants with a friend who has a Golden. He’s actually a darn good hunting dog and retriever. After the hunt I just bath my dog and he looks like new. My friend is picking crap out of his dogs coat for days. I say get a different dog for hunting like a lab (they are fairly easy to train) and get a golden as a loving family dog and companion.
 

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I've known some goldens that were great gun dogs, even one from straight-up show breeding. But every one of them carried buckets of muddy water and bushels of burrs.
 

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It's a fun journey and you'll learn a lot. Rarely is your 1st working dog your best (objectively) but I highly recommend you take it seriously for the benefit of you, the dog, and the outcome. Read, read, read and support that with a few dog training DVD's at least 6 months before you get the dog. They are sponges the minute they get home and I see way too many people start figuring out how to train the dog after they get it. IMO, a huge mistake.

While a working retriever makes a fantastic pet, a fantastic pet doesn't make a working dog. The level of obedience alone is far beyond any pet you know or have had. Nor can you fake knowledge and have "love" make up for it.

As far as Golden's, like many breeds they have been bred for anything but hunting. Genetics matter a lot. There are far fewer Golden's with working pedigrees than many other retrievers. That's why they are pricey. Just because a dog is a Lab or Golden doesn't make it suited to be a working retriever. Genetics matter as do health backgrounds. Generations of good hips, eyes, etc. I'd want the same even in a 'pet". Hips are expensive not to mention usually take dogs out of the field.

Golden's are referred to by many as "Marsh Mops" meaning their coats are beautiful but they absorb a LOT of water, mud and stickies. They are very time consuming to groom after a simple hunt. Hopefully you have a crate in a truck or large SUV.

Most Golden's I've seen also lack the perseverance and drive to get a tough job done. Not talking Field Trial Champion stuff, just basic hunting stuff. Often times people who think Golden's are a good choice refer to being a "family dog" first. Again, I'd say, so do Labs and other breeds that make better working dogs. And, I'd always suggest thinking gun dog first and pet 2nd because a well bred and trained gun dog makes a fantastic pet but it doesn't work the other way in reverse.

So just my 2 cents. Guarantee if I thought a Golden was the best choice for a waterfowl and upland dog I'd own one. I'm guessing these days you're looking at a wait list of a year or so and can expect 2kish and a probably shipped pup.

Be very weary of breeder claims if the pedigree doesn't back up the litter.
So I’ve decided not to go with the golden after some research I have a deposit down on a Chesapeake bay retriever with good hunting genes I’m picking up tomorrow
 

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A chessie and a lab or Golden are very different customers. With a lab you can throw him in a kennel, take him out for training then plunk him back in the kennel and he'll do just fine. In my experience, that is not so with Chessies. A Chessie DEMANDS more human interaction and the more you give them, the easier and more willingly they train. They are truly people dogs. They also, in my opinion, get a very bad rap for aggressiveness. I have seen some REALLY mean ones, but I believe they were made that way. Treat a chessie fairly and he'll treat you fair. At least that was my experience with them. Rick has had them a LOOOONG time though and has more experience with them than I do. I also prefered the more lightly built ones to the big blocky ones. Have fun and don't lose too many fingers. :D
 

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So I’ve decided not to go with the golden after some research I have a deposit down on a Chesapeake bay retriever with good hunting genes I’m picking up tomorrow
Out of curiosity, what made you change and so quickly be picking up a pup? What breeder? I have/breed both Goldens and Chesapeakes and to say they are very different animals is an understatement. Also, I really like the second guy. The drooler is a close second.
 
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