Golden Retrievers are perfect dogs for families or singles because they are so adaptable and so even tempered. They're content to lie at your feet inside your home and are eager to be your constant companion. However, just because your Golden Retriever is calm and docile indoors doesn't mean you should assume that he doesn't need exercise. This is a breed that does require regular activity to stay healthy and happy.
Golden Retrievers were originally bred to be hunting dogs, so they are physically suited to exercise. Even if you're not using your Golden as a hunting dog, he'll need to get some regular exercise. In addition to being an active dog by nature, Goldens tend to put on weight if they aren't active enough.
Luckily, exercising your Golden Retriever is easy. If you have a yard, he'll be content to play fetch or chase with you for hours. In fact, one of the reasons that Golden Retrievers make such great companions for children is that they quickly become playmates, and will likely spend lots of time in the yard with a ball or Frisbee. They can also easily be taught to do tricks that can keep them agile and active.
Golden Retrievers can also be great running or walking companions. They are large enough and built perfectly for keeping up with even the most seasoned human runner, so long as they are properly conditioned. Even if your form of exercise is just a daily walk, be sure to take your Golden along as it will help keep both of you healthy and happy.
Hunting with your Golden Retriever is also great exercise for him. Golden Retrievers were originally bred to be hunting dogs, and those that are used for field retrieving are typically well muscled and in very good physical condition.
Golden Retrievers also excel at dog competitions, particularly agility training. This activity is great for your dog's mind and his body, and is also a great way to form a strong bond with your dog. Look for dog agility groups in your local area and give it a try. Your Golden is likely to love the activity and is also likely to be quite good at it.
You can choose nearly any form of exercise you like for your Golden Retriever, but it is important that you do choose some form for him. Golden Retrievers are exuberant and active by nature, and they need regular physical activity for their health and their mental well being. In fact, there are typically only two situations that will cause a Golden Retriever to become mischievous: one is isolation from his humans and the other is boredom or lack of activity.