According to the American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers are the second most commonly registered breed of dog, coming in after the Labrador Retriever. There are many reasons why this breed of dog is so popular today, and has been so for many years:
They're great show dogs - Golden Retrievers excel in dog competitions. They are superb at agility and obedience competitions in particular. Many people who like to compete in dog shows prefer Goldens because their temperament and behavior are so predictable.
They're great hunting dogs - Many hunters prefer this breed as well. The Golden Retriever has a superb nose and is a natural tracker. In addition, he is eager to obey his owner and quick to learn commands used by hunters. This breed is a natural for hunting in the field and will enjoy the sport as much as his owner.
They're often used as service dogs - Because Golden Retrievers are intelligent, easily trained, and gentle, they make great service dogs. They are often used to assist the blind and hearing impaired, and no breed is better suited for this task. Their calm nature and reliability make them the perfect companion and service dog for anyone in need of canine assistance.
But without a doubt, the most significant reason why Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dog is the fact that they make perfect family dogs. And more Golden Retrievers are purchased to be family dogs than for any other reason.
Golden Retrievers are docile, patient, and playful dogs. They make wonderful companions for children because they can play tirelessly and because they are very patient with the fumbling of little hands and feet. They are intelligent and can easily be trained to live with a family without causing a nuisance. They love to be around people and can be found at their owners' feet when indoors. But taken outdoors they are eager to play chase, fetch, or any other game. Families can't find a more loving or predictable dog than a Golden Retriever.
The Golden Retriever's popularity has caused one problem, however. Because there is such a demand for them, there are many puppy mills breeding inferior specimens of the dogs just to meet the demand. For this reason, it's especially important to check your breeder out carefully and ask for appropriate documentation on the breeding line of your puppy before you purchase. Specifically, since Golden Retrievers are prone to hip dysplasia, ask for OFA results on the sire and dam. In addition, you should ask your breeder for a Canine Eye Registry report on the sire and dam to ensure that the dog will not be prone to Progressive Retinal Atrophy and Juvenile Cataracts, both serious eye diseases. Finally, you should only purchase your Golden from a registered breeder.