I researched thoroughly (or so I thought!) before deciding to adopt a Golden Retriever eight months ago, however Polly has since kindly enlightened me about a few things the standard breed books forgot to mention ....
2. Goldies prefer to act as tour guide on walks, they are total 'jobsworths' in this respect, so if they think you need to turn right not left for example, they will a)lead you firmly the 'right' way, or b)plonk themselves heavily on their bottoms or tummies, refusing to budge, until you see the error of your ways.
3. Goldies are social butterflies, always on the lookout for party invitations from other dogs. For them, socialising is the entire purpose of walking, so you will need to allow plenty of time for your daily constitutionals. In return for this consideration, Goldies will happily introduce you to every other dog walker and his dog, in your neighbourhood.
4. Goldies feet smell like Cheddar cheese and if you don't know this fact, may cause marital disharmony when you criticise your partner for leaving his/her stinky shoes in the hallway. In fact, Goldies are whiffy in general and above all, love to roll in 'eau de fox poo'. No amount of baths will convince them of the need for maintaining personal hygiene.
5. Goldies DO chase cats and thoroughly enjoy so doing. That said, they don't eat them and will graciously accept a severe whack on the nose from said cat in return for a jolly good chase.
6. Goldies usually understand a whole heap more than they choose to have you believe. Words such as 'down and stay' for example, may be completely ignored at doggie training school, but at home, will miraculously be put into action if trainer also offers the magic word 'Bonio'.
7. Goldies are very keen gardeners. They don't understand the purpose of 'lawn' or 'rose bed' but do understand the need to dig and prune ... diligently and regularly.
8. Goldies prefer to greet visitors with a soft toy in their mouth. They may chew other toys to pieces, but said softies will always remain safe, even after they have completely and utterly loved the stuffing out of them.
9. What you may perceive as 'stubborn', your Goldie will perceive as 'good sense' and no amount of shouting or tugging will convince him/her otherwise. That said, Goldies are usually very willing to be convinced by a well timed nibble of Cheddar cheese, a tickle behind the ears and a smiley voice.
10. Goldies will sit on your lap when you need to work, lick your ears when you're not paying attention, sleep on your couch when they think you're not looking and completely steal your heart without warning!