I have owned dogs all of my life and have come to the conclusion that golden retrievers are one of the best choices. Golden Retrievers are excellent family dogs. They are great with kids and are easy to train. I have had my golden since she was 8 weeks old and she is now four years old. I can clearly remember the day that we brought her home. She was a little nervous and very sleepy as all babies are. She would play for just a few minutes only to crash and make herself cozy right next to us. She immediately warmed up to us and wasn't shy or scared at all. Sometimes dogs will become skittish around new animals. Our new dog was welcomed in a friendly attitude by our black Labrador. Even though there is a slight age difference, the two dogs are now the best of friends.
She was potty trained within 3 weeks after we brought her and has not had any accidents since. We took her to puppy training classes where she was taught how to come, stay, sit, shake, lay down and other commands. She graduated the class and has never ran away. We always open the door for her to go out and do her duties and she comes right back to the door when she is finished. Taking your dog to dog training classes is definitely recommended.
We live in a small and quiet neighborhood so we are able to walk her without a leash. She does great without a leash, and if she gets too far in front of us we will say "heel" and she will immediately come directly to our left side. This was also taught at the puppy training classes. Golden retrievers are extremely smart animals. They are very quick learners and aren't as stubborn as most dogs. Unfortunately, many cities require your dog to be leashed if they are out of your property. It is important to find out the rules of your city before walking your dog without a leash.
I have seen other dogs walking around who try to pester my dog as she is walking and she doesn't mind them. She just continues her walk. Some dogs want to play and some simply want to sniff around. Most of these dogs are smaller dogs and their mannerisms are not all together. I feel as if bigger dogs are easier to train and work with.I have talked to other owners and they have had nothing but good luck with their golden retrievers as well. None that I know have ever had any of their dogs bite or harm any child or person. I think that they are great dogs all around with their great attitudes, and friendliness. However, owning a great dog who listens takes patience and a lot of training. It is important as a puppy that you work with your dog so she is able to become a great listener. If you have children, owning a golden retriever is a great choice.