Acquired: Other (stray, given dog by friend etc.)
Training: Attended conferences / shows
Posted August 18, 2014
Hank was sadly listed as "free" on Craigslist when I got him 4 years ago. He was the typical case of a cute puppy who turned quickly too huge and too rambunctious for a family who had a new baby and worked long hours. He was left alone for 10 hours a day in his formative puppy months -- long stretches with no activity, no training and no attention aren't good for any pup and typically lead to destructive behaviors such as chewing up rugs, etc.
When I brought him home I quickly realized he'd not even yet been "potty trained" but within days, he was. Within days, his chewing behaviors had stopped. In general, Goldens are often considered big goofballs, but I can vouch for their wits -- they're maybe a little stubborn, but certainly not stupid.
Hank is the most non-aggressive dog imaginable, sweet to every creature he meets, but somehow is also a target of other dogs. All small dogs seem to want to attack him for no apparent reason. His one fault is the launching. Out of nowhere, he likes to leap through the air at people -- out of pure enthusiasm.
Overall, he's a gentle giant, extremely quiet -- rarely EVER barks (though he does have an adorable morning howl-yawn!) -- and very much a cuddle buddy.
He recently charged at a bear in my defense (thankfully I caught him by the tail in time), so he's no coward, but he never barks at strangers nor at a knock on the door, so I would not say he's a guard dog by any stretch. He's my first golden, and he's stolen my heart. Everybody who meets him falls in love. Those movie-star good looks combined with the goofball body language and the sheer lovableness -- he's just a perfect dog.