While Golden Retrievers make wonderful pets, there are several things to consider if the dog is going to be part of a family with children. These factors include size & strength, exercise requirements, chewing habits, and time.
Size & Strength
Golden Retrievers are large and active. Despite their friendly disposition, or perhaps because of it, small children can easily toppled by a friendly nudge or wag of the tail. Even when Goldens are young, they have an abundance of energy and are known to jump. A well-meaning Goldie can inadvertently push down small children. That being said, Goldens are very even tempered and can handle the loud busy-ness of children. They are excellent playmates with endless energy.
Golden Retrievers are very active and need a lot of exercise. Be realistic about the amount of time that can be spent ensuring the dog has plenty of interaction and purposeful exercise. Simply leaving the Goldie in the back yard all day will not be enough exercise for him, and therefore you, to be happy. Goldens require dedicated playtime to expend their energy. You will tire long before your Golden Retriever does. Consider the amount of access your Golden will have to run and play.
Golden Retrievers love to chew things. While pups are especially prone to chewing, even adult Goldens love to chew. Small toys or parts of toys may become choking hazards to your dog. A well-intentioned dog or pup may destroy favorite toys, shoes, clothes, and blankets.
Chew toys are a must for Goldens, and keeping things not meant for chewing put away is a must for their human owners.
Just like children, Goldens need time devoted to their care and training. Families with small children may become overwhelmed by the amount of time it takes to train their Golden. Families with small children should seriously consider if they have the energy and time it would take to mold the dog into a family member.
Sadly, many Goldens end up at shelters or rescue facilities when these issues are not considered prior to getting a dog.
– Scott Hall