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Golden Retriever Adoption: Step-By-Step Guide

Golden Retriever Adoption: Step-By-Step Guide

There are few breeds as intelligent and playful as Golden Retrievers. But when it comes to kindness and friendliness, Goldens have no equal. These traits have made them one of the most beloved dog breeds in the world. Therefore, it’s no surprise that most people want to buy or adopt a Golden Retriever. Golden Retriever adoption is a broad subject, and one needs to understand what it takes to adopt a Golden Retriever and the responsibility that comes with it.

Golden Retriever Adoption: Step-By-Step

In this article, we will go through all the steps you need to take from the moment you decide you want to adopt a Golden Retriever until you bring your new dog home.

Decision to adopt

Firstly you must understand that decision to adopt a Golden Retriever is not the one you should take lightly. Take some time and ask yourself these questions: How much free time you have during the day? How long will your Golden be alone while you are absent from home? Do you have the financial means to properly care for Golden Retriever? Do you have enough space in your house to accommodate a large dog like Golden Retriever? 

Remember, owning a dog is a long-term commitment. Golden Retriever is not a toy, it’s a living being with its own needs and problems. If you want to own a dog, be prepared to sacrifice some of your free time and money. However, as every owner will tell you, it is absolutely worth it.

Is Golden Retriever the right dog for you?

Before you decide on the breed you want to adopt, do some research to see if that breed suits your lifestyle and mentality. Goldens are kind, playful, intelligent, and friendly, but they are not for everyone. Since Golden Retrievers are a working breed, they will need plenty of exercises. Otherwise, they can engage in whole sorts of destructive behaviors. Goldens are a large dog breed, and they have an insatiable appetite. So, be prepared to spend substantial amounts on high-quality food and supplements. 

Due to their thick double coat, they shed a lot, especially in the spring and autumn. Therefore, if you are an allergic person, the Golden may not be a good option. Golden Retrievers best suit outgoing, active people, so if you are a couch potato, they are not the right option for you.

Do you want a puppy or an older dog?

Now, that you have decided to adopt a Golden Retriever, the next step is to choose the age of the dog you want. Do you want a puppy or an older dog? 

There are pros and cons to both options, and we will name a few of the most important ones.

Golden Retriever puppies will need plenty of care and your free time in order to train them and teach them how to behave. However, this will pay off in the long run, as you will be able to eradicate and prevent any unwanted behavior.

Older dogs are less energetic and generally need less care than puppies. However, older dogs can have behavioral problems due to the mistreatment and abuse they may have gone through at one point in their lives.

It is actually quite difficult to find a Golden Retriever puppy to adopt, so you will probably end up with an older dog.

Find a dog shelter or a rescue organization online

With the development of the internet and social networks, any information is just a few clicks away. Rescue organizations and dog shelters are no exception, as most of them have their websites and Facebook and Instagram pages. Look at several websites in and outside your local area and check the lists of available Golden Retrievers.

Make sure to single out and note all the potential candidates for adoption before you visit those shelters.

Visit a shelter or contact the local Golden Retriever rescue organization

Now that you’ve made a list of all the possible candidates, it’s time to visit them and interact with them if possible. Meet the Golden Retriever you found interesting, and make sure to pay attention to his behavior. Is he playful, does he want to interact with you, or is he aggressive, shy, or afraid? 

If the dog seems shy and unwilling to come close to you, this may be a sign of behavioral issues that will take time to correct. Also, you can always ask the staff about the history or the health issues of the Golden Retriever you are interested in. 

Fill out an adoption application and pay fees

Adoption agencies want the best possible owners for their dogs. Therefore, you will need to fill out an application with some common questions. You have to prove you are capable of owning and caring for a Golden Retriever. You will need to prove you have enough space in your house. In some cases, you will also need a fenced yard to adopt a Golden Retriever.

After the agency has approved your application, you will need to pay adoption fees.

Fees and waiting time vary from shelter to shelter. In some cases, you will be able to take your Golden home immediately, and in some, you will have to wait for some time.

Take your dog home

Make sure you have prepared your home for the arrival of Golden Retriever and provided your dog his personal space, bowls for food and water, crate, toys, dog bed, etc.


Golden Retriever adoption is a great way to save a Golden that has suffered so much in his life and give him another chance to live a good life. Most of the Goldens from the shelter have gone through a lot. So, don’t be surprised if they show some problematic behaviors. Instead, make it your mission to help them change and forget about the abuse. You will not only help a being that has suffered, but you will also help yourself to become a better person.

I'm Michael, and I absolutely adore dogs. My faithful companion, Toby, is a Corgi who means the world to me. I'm passionate about building strong bonds with dogs and providing them with all the love and care they deserve.