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Deciding on breed (lab v golden)

1358 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  LeoRose
I’ll start with a little background. My first dog was a rescue pit mix with complex behavior issues, I sadly lost him to lymphoma at 4 in 2014. Just before I lost my pit, I found the best chihuahua in the world on CL, we lost him at 11 years old this past month. At the end of 2014, I bought the most lovely GSD he was a dream. When my ex and I split he took the GSD and I kept the chihuahua. I still morn my GSD to this day (even though he really is living his best life with my ex).

I’m highly involved with my dogs. We’ve non-competitively done agility, obedience, I was KPA certified with my first dog, we’ve done some nose work, even tried Dock diving, rally, barn hunt. So Im looking for a dog that’s ready to work but can also settle in a household.

This will be my husbands first large dog, that’s why it’s between a golden and lab. To me the biggest difference between the golden and lab is their fur type. Other than that they feel very similar. I’ve even considered an Aussie as well, but I hesitate there because as I said, I’m looking for easy to ease my husband into large dogs.

Does anyone have any thoughts?
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Sports-bred goldens are much more common than sports-bred labs in the agility scene, I do know that. But the sports-bred lines (in both breeds, I've known some hunting labs personally) are also very intense and might not be the 'easy' introduction you're looking for for your husband, haha. Though even outside sporting lines, labs and goldens are slow maturing dogs, and are often said to be puppies or adolescents until they're three or more, and can be little firecrackers during that time. They're often super solid and lovely dogs as adults, veritable social butterflies with both other dogs and people, but getting them there can be a challenge.

We had a young golden in our last adolescent/young adult class who was a gorgeous dog - I was a little bit in love even though I'm so not a golden person - but he had his owners at the end of their ropes because he struggled so much with arousal and getting amped up over everything in his environment (on top of being, well, a big, strong boy). Much improved by the end of class, but still, no breed guarantees easy to live with.

Have you considered attending shows and sporting events or even 'meet the breed' events (when it's safe to do so, of course!) to let your husband meet different breeds and talk to their owners? I'm also someone who doesn't find labs and goldens to be my 'thing', and the risk of going this route is that you find out that neither you nor your husband really 'click' with the breed you choose, which is sad for everyone involved.
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