Carolyn Ryan, championship-level dog judge of 14 years and a licensed breeder of Golden Retrievers for more than 24 years, answers our creature feature Q&A
What is the temperament of the Golden Retriever?
Friendly, affectionate, intelligent, trainable.
About 12 to 14 years.
Are they good with children and older people?
Yes, both - though they must have company at home through the day. This is not a home-alone type of dog. A lonely or bored dog will bark, dig up the garden and eat plants.
Health and grooming
Have hip, elbow, eye and heart checks done on parents prior to purchase. Some breeders will allow a 24-hour return policy written into their puppy purchase contracts to allow the buyer to have the puppy independently assessed by their own vet.
Brush three times a week, remembering to comb the dog's coat and feathering.
Moderate exercise and mental stimulation is recommended.
Good quality commercial dog food, specifically for puppies to ensure the dog grows at optimum rate. They are good eaters - so watch their weight.
Puppies cost upwards of $750. When collecting puppy, you also receive transfer of ownership papers, a vaccination card signed by a registered vet, and a diet chart. A puppy should not be removed from the litter before eight weeks old and by this time it would have had one vaccination and three or four wormings. This is the minimum requirements as set by Canine Control Council Code of Ethics. Further vaccinations and desexing are at the buyer's expense.Cost per week, including food and veterinary needs, work out at about $5 a day.