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If you had to describe what it's like living day to day with a Golden Retriever or a Rough Collie, what would you write? Both pros and cons?

First time dog owners (as adults, we both grew up with dogs) and have narrowed our favourite breeds down to these two, but trying to understand what it's like to live day to day with either. We have two young children (4 and 7) and two older very long haired cats (i.e., we're used to constant cat hair everywhere!!).

Our key criteria include good with children and other animals, loyalty, and bonding with our family. We're a reasonably active family with a large yard living in a semi-rural area.

Thanks in advance for any comments! The more details the better!! :)
 

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The Collies are wonderful. The roughs are a little more laid back, very kind and clever, intelligent and fun loving. The LOVE kids. Love, love, love kids. I haven't ever met a collie who didn't like kids so far. They love to follow their family around and be involved, and they love to keep an eye on their kids.

If I had to pick just ONE dog to be a family dog, it would be a rough collie hands down.
 

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No experience with rough collies, but I would have to say that in general, goldens fit your criteria to a T. Mine is great with kids, adores all of our cats, and has totally bonded with us despite the fact that we are her second home. She can be slightly testy with other dogs, but I don't necessarily think that's typical of goldens, it's just how she is. She can be active, but when she knows its time to calm down, she lays down. I haven't met a golden yet I haven't fallen in love with.
 

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I have got a 5 month old Golden so here are my pros & cons of the breed so far.
Pros
hair shedding not nearly as bad as I expected (I am using the furminator, which probably helps)
Not nearly as energetic as I expected, even as a pup
Does not seem to be interested in tearing things apart (couch, pillows, etc)
Seems intelligent, as the training is moving along great.
Loves the outdoors, but spends plenty of her time sleeping/relaxing when indoors

Cons
She has a tendency to jump up on people, so your little ones might have a hard time until you get that under control.
Dogs are not cheap, if I had to estimate how much money I have put into her in the last 3 months it is easily over $1,500 which does not include the purchase price (she's worth it)
She is great with dogs her size but being a puppy she plays a little rough with the smaller dogs/cats

I am also a first time dog owner and maybe I was expecting the worst because I have been pleasantly surprised with how things have gone so far. Don't get me wrong they require lots of attention and it seems that I am always planning my days around what the dog is doing but you are probably used to that with kids.

Good luck with either breed, I think both are great choices.
 

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I haven't lived with a golden, but I've worked with quite a few. I'm going to highlight what I think the most noticable differences are.

1. Collies are a LOT less mouthy than goldens. Retrievers rae pretty much genetically programed to pick stuff up in their mouths, and they do it. Collies can enjoy retrieving and playing ball, but most are not as mouth-oriented as retrievers and they're not as bad about chewing things as puppies.

2. Goldens take a lot less socialization. Collies are a little more reserved about the world and it's very, very important to get them out and about as puppies. All puppies- including goldens- need socialization, but collies are a bit higher than the average.

3. Goldens, overall, are less sound sensitive than collies. (Not that all collies are, but I suspect more collies are than goldens by quite a large margin.)

4. The personalities are pretty different- meet lots of each.
 

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[Insert standard disclaimer about generalities, here:__________ ]

Goldens come in different flavors and subcategories of different flavors. Your working/performance type Goldens are pure, raw energy. They can be relentless in pursuit of their perceived self interest, and that can work to your advantage...or not. Highly trainable, but definitely not "set it and forget it". They have extraordinary exercise and attention requirements. Coats tend to be coarser, darker, and less full than other types.

The show-bred, and the related Service Dog bred Goldens are more laid back and more interested in pleasing their humans. It's hard to not love these guys.

Backyard bred Goldens are a crapshoot and numerous health concerns with the breed make that a very poor option. I wouldn't even consider it.

There can be considerable overlap among the different types. The breed is typically well suited for kids. They tend to be almost completely useless as guard dogs. Mine will bark if someone approaches the house (he sounds like a real dog), but he is indiscriminate in his love for people. Even male Goldens generally don't wander away from home, but a Golden is a pretty easy dog to steal. My dog won't just jump into any car with an open door--they'd have to slow down to 20 mph or less. They shed prodigiously. Really, you could insulate your attic with the hair that comes off these guys.

Goldens, like all retrievers, have to carry stuff around in their mouths. They just do. They require consistent training if you ever again want to find both shoes of any pair in the same room. Many retrievers are ferocious chewers, but mine has such a soft mouth that he's destroyed almost nothing in 2.5 years. I wouldn't count on having a similar experience, though. Goldens need a lot of attention or they will get neurotic. Goldens are usually very slow to mature, and they stay pretty goofy their whole lives.

I've honestly never seen a critter as relentlessly happy as my Golden Retriever. It's almost disturbing.
 

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I've honestly never seen a critter as relentlessly happy as my Golden Retriever. It's almost disturbing

WOW!! This sounds like my Berner!!!:D
 

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Would you consider a smooth collie?? They are still all Collie, but not as much grooming!!

I have a smooth, I am currently dog sitting a rough and have a good friend who I walk with every day that has a Golden.

As others have mentioned the Goldens are much more mouthy. my friends golden gets into everything, while my Collie does not.

I have also seen a huge difference in the strength of the dogs. We both have 9 year old girls. I can let my daughter take our collie out for a walk around the block by herself, whereas my friend cannot let her 9 year old take their dog out. Even if my friend is with the dog and her daughter, their dog is way too strong to let the 9 year old walk it.

Collies bark, Collie do love to chase cats, but would not hurt them.

I grew up with an Aunt who had Labs as show dogs. I went to lots of shows, always wanting a Lab when I *grew up*.

My 13 year old daughter is the one who picked a Collie, she loves dog shows and wanted to show. I made her do her research and this is the breed she picked. I can tell you I am now head over heels in love with the breed. They make GREAT family pets!!
 

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I've had 3 rough collies and they are wonderful dogs. They tend to be sensitive in all senses of that word. For example, mine at least were very sensitive to my moods and how I felt. They would have brought me chicken soup when I was sick if they could. And when I broke my ankle my collie would walk up and down the steps with me keeping between me and my roommate at the time's Chesapeake bay Retriever. On the negative side of sensitivity they do tend to be noise sensitive which at times could be a potentioal problem. But one of my collies actually loved thunderstorms, so it depends. They are also, in my experience, very observant and will notice changes in their environment. My collies used to notice when my mother would hang new paintings she'd bought long before my dad did.

The only potential negatives with collies, at least imo, would be the shedding and possibly the grooming involved with a rough collie. But even those things can be kept under control for the shedding with proper grooming. And grooming can be a time of bonding with your dog if you keep it up on a regular basis (preferably daily). Heck, one of my rough collies would refuse to get off the grooming table until I'd groomed long enough to satisfy him.

As already stated, mine also loved kids. The only thing is you do have to teach the dog not to nip the kids as they play chase games and you have to teach the kids that herding dogs do nip and if they want to play chase games they just might be nipped.

I could go on, but you get the idea.
 

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I'll confirm that Goldens are very strong. I had Rotties and Great Danes, so I figured a "fluffy dog" would be a piece of cake. Pound-for-pound my Golden is not as strong as the Rotties, but he is still pretty impressive. Much stronger than he looks.
 

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I am admittedly biased... but I think collies, rough or smooth are the perfect family dog. They are very sensitive and loyal, but they happily meet any and all new people, cats, dogs, bunnies.... We got the collies because we have cats and we wanted a dog that would be safe with the cats. If the cats run, the collies will chase, but never hurt the cats.

I've met sound sensitive, barky collies, but mine are neither.

The roughs are definitely more laid back than the smooths. Cameron, the smooth, will run up and check out anything new or different. Toby will hang back and evaluate from a distance first.

I think it's easier to find a good collie breeder than a good golden breeder. There are so many poor golden breeders and BYBs out there.

Toby, my rough, is very protective without being aggressive. Twice he's gotten between me and a bear. He's also protected me from a strange dog that kept jumping on me at a dog park. He managed to do it without pissing off the other dog, too. It was pretty amazing.

Both breeds need a lot of grooming. Dog fur is a food group around here. It's a given.

Petty, but still a consideration... Collies have a "cool factor". Everyone loves Lassie. Goldens are a dime a dozen, but you don't see many collies.
 

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We had a Golden when I was growing up, and I have a smooth collie now.

Augie, our Golden, was a great kid's dog. She loved us to bits and pieces all the time and was always willing to play and go for a walk, even up until the end. Dogstar is right that they are mouthy dogs, she would pick up anything and everything and bring it to us. On the flip side of that, even as a puppy she never put her mouth on us. She was just an all around great dog. She was good with our cats and great with other dogs.

Dogstar is also right that collies are a more sensitive breed, both to noise and in general. Teddy was brought home from his breeder at 9 weeks, and his owner before us took him home and didn't take him anywhere until we came and picked him up at 8 months. As a result he is very fearful of strangers. He is not mean in the least, but he will run and hide in the other room until he's comfortable. It's been a long road to getting him more socialized, but he's getting better and better. He loves our cats and learned quickly to leave them alone. Collies as a whole can be barky, but he is actually very quiet.

I agree that you should meet a bunch of each breed before you decide. But your two choices are great!
 

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Petty, but still a consideration... Collies have a "cool factor". Everyone loves Lassie. Goldens are a dime a dozen, but you don't see many collies.
HAHA!!! So true!!
The best is when people see my smooth, not many people know that collies come in smooth coat. I have had many people come up to me thinking they are so smart, that they KNOW my dog is *part collie* by looking at his nose!!
They are shocked when I explain how he is 100% collie.
 

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I too will be very biased.

I vote Collies.

Pros:
-Very loyal.
-Love kids.
-Not overly happy to meet strangers -as in more reserved then a "happy-go-licky golden"
-Active outdoors, not so bad in doors. Mine indoors is just like a rug. Sleeps and relaxs. Outside is a different story.
-Beutiful.

Cons:
-Likes to talk. AKA Bark.
-Can be "nippy" to things running - children, cats, dogs ect. Mine will chase and herd all the dogs at the dog park, nipping at them. Easily can be trained not to do it to cats and kids.
-Long hair. To me its a pro. But others it may not be (I LOVE long haired breeds). Good food and good brushs can reduce it to very low. I can take a slicker brush to my dog once a week and hardly come out with a handful of hair.
-Reserved with strangers. - Again, I like this. So could be a pro for you.
-Sensitive to loud noises.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, what great information in everyone's posts!! There are some things that we did know that you've helped to confirm, but other info that we hadn't considered so we're learning lots reading these helpful replies.

If you have more to add, please keep the comments coming. It's definitely helping! And to a large extent confirming that both dogs overall are really great!!

Thanks!! :D
 

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Absolutely.

One of the things that I love about collies is that they are very easy to live with with a moderate energy level- they're happy to go along with ANY sort of activity, wehther it's hiking or biking or whatever, and they can keep up just fine- but at the same time, they don't go insane on the nasty days when there's not much to do outside. :p
 

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Absolutely.

One of the things that I love about collies is that they are very easy to live with with a moderate energy level- they're happy to go along with ANY sort of activity, wehther it's hiking or biking or whatever, and they can keep up just fine- but at the same time, they don't go insane on the nasty days when there's not much to do outside. :p
How hard is it to find a breeder or pups not affected by CEA, progressive retinal atrophy, or drug sensitivity? I like everything I've heard about the breed and I understand that any dog will have health problems but I'd like to avoid it.
(Of course I will do what it takes to find a good breeder or go through a rescue)
 
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