Should We Really Be Considering A Puppy?
I am looking for some very general advice to help me through an emotional decision - we very recently lost our much loved Golden Retriever and this has left a huge hole in our lives. We are considering a puppy but are concerned that our needs are over riding what is right for a puppy.
Firstly, we definitely would want a Golden Retriever. We have a business (shop) and our previous dog came to work every day and loved sitting on the terrace meeting the customers...or hiding from them behind the counter or in the office or workshop when she wanted peace.
My love is a 45 minute walk and 15 minute play before work followed mid morning by a 30 minute walk to the bank etc, following by 15 minute play. Lunch is 15 minute play. PM is another 45 to 1 hour walk and play. Weekends are more active and Sunday involves a general walk in the country - run on the beach etc. Our previous Golden, who was very peaceful by nature loved her life and was rarely not in our company.
What I am concerned about is that this is not enough for most Goldens and that we are being unfair bringing a dog into our lives at this time. I would welcome any advice because our loneliness at this time should not be the only basis of our decision.
Answer From the Editors at Dog-Spoiling
You are certainly to be commended for considering the exercise requirements that come with a new dog - especially a Golden Retriever - before you embark on getting a new puppy. This breed usually does need a fair amount of exercise to burn off their high energy.
That being said, not all Goldens are the same. If you seek out a reputable
breeder to get a puppy, they will be able to tell you a lot more about the parents and what type of exercise requirements to anticipate once the dog is over 18 months of age.
Prior to completing their full bone growth, intense exercise is not recommended. The amount of exercise you have described would certainly seem to meet the needs of a puppy, but there is another aspect to consider and that is socialization. Goldens need to be well-socialized.
If you plan on taking a new dog to work and out and about in various settings, as you seem to have done with your previous dog, then it seems you could handle this part easily.
Potty training is another matter if you will still be working.
You might want to consider an older dog through the national rescue for this breed. This approach has the advantage of being able to learn about the temperament of the dog as well as the results of the overall evaluation done by the rescue. The rescue will also be able to give you advice about exercise.
Giving a home to a dog in need is also a wonderful way to support the breed you love.
I know that losing a beloved dog is hard having been through it myself more than once. Sometimes it takes quite a while to adjust to the loss before you can think in practical terms about getting another pet - not just because of the lonely part as you said.
Good luck in whatever you decide.