Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota: RAGOM is a 501(c)(3) organization, rescuing Golden Retrievers and re-homing them through adoption since 1985. Serving Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota.

Here are 10 reasons to consider adopting one of our RAGOM seniors:

  1. Theyíre not puppies. Puppies are amazing in many ways, but they are also unpredictable, loud, messy and a 24-7 job that may not suite everyoneís lifestyle. Puppies need to be house trained. Puppies are teething and like to chew. Puppies donít yet understand the word ďno.Ē Our senior Goldens have already gone through this process and may be a better match for those who donít have the time, energy and patience for a younger dog that is still trying to learn the ropes.

  2. If they need training, they are easier to train. Older dogs are ready and eager to please, which makes them great at training and focusing on the task at hand. More than likely, theyíre already trained in all of the basics. But if not, they are familiar with human interaction and will pick up on the details quickly.

  3. They have an established personality. Our senior Goldens are all grown up. RAGOM and our family of foster parents will know specifics about their mature size, weight, personality, grooming requirements and ability to interact with children and other animals. This sort of information makes it easier to pick the right dog and avoid any unwelcome surprises.

  4. They allow for future flexibility. Many people want to adopt a dog, but hold back because they are uncertain of what the future may bring. They may want to switch careers, travel, move to a new city or country, have children and more. A younger dog can be upwards of a 15-year commitment, which isnít the best fit for those with uncertain future plans. Providing a loving home for a senior dog is a smaller and shorter commitment, but extremely rewarding and fulfilling.

  5. They are super-loving machines. This isnít a scientific fact, but we receive story after story of older dogs being the most cuddly and affectionate creatures on earth. Thereís something about the Golden Years that makes a dog incredibly devoted and grateful. Trust us when we say there is a bond with a senior dog that is unique and irreplaceable.

  6. They enjoy easy living. Itís not that our seniors donít require exercise, because most enjoy walking and swimming just as much as any Golden Retriever. But unlike puppies, they donít need or want to run a marathon every day. Older dogs make great couch potatoes; so bring on the movie nights and popcorn!

  7. They a good match for any lifestyle. Senior dogs make wonderful companions for everyone, whether youíre a senior yourself, a busy professional or a family. Some breeds of dogs require special considerations, but Goldens in their Golden Years tend to love everything and everyone.

  8. They are instant stress-relievers. Sure, it can be said that any dog, cat or house pet can be a stress reliever. And itís true. Studies have shown that animals can decrease blood pressure levels and reduce stress. But given that senior Goldens are laid back, enjoy leisurely walks and love to cuddle; we think they are some of the most effective stress-relievers of them all.

  9. RAGOM has an entire family of senior Goldens! If youíre interested in learning more about our gray-faced Goldens, here are just a few from our RAGOM family. Click on any of their photos to learn more about why they might be right for you.
  10. Nevaeh 07-202
    Big Bear 12-217
    Sweety 11-175
    Sage 12-235
    Yukon 12-264

  11. They need a hero. Weíve been talking a lot about how wonderful senior dogs can be, which is exactly why they need someone wonderful like you. Someone who has an open heart and is willing to give a beautiful dog a second chance. Someone who understands the importance of living each day to its fullest and the emotional bond that can be built between a person or family and a dog who is in his or her Golden Years. Not all of our senior pups are a walk in the park. Some of them do have special needs and require patience, understanding and most of all, extra love. If youíd like to learn more about the dogs we have available for adoption, or have questions in general, please email us.

Thank you for supporting RAGOM and considering our family of senior Goldens!


One of the most important factors in building a close bond with your dog is helping them feel safe, comfortable and loved. Prong or choke collars, on the other hand, can harm your relationship and lead to more fearful and aggressive dogs. Click here to learn more about this topic from the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behaviorists.

Since your pup wasn’t born with an understanding of leash etiquette, the responsibility falls on us to teach them. Here are a few methods that can make walks and runs safer for your Golden and more enjoyable for the both of you.

The Gentle Leader: A Gentle Leader is a type of leash that can eliminate pulling without causing pain to your dog. Essentially, it is a head collar with two soft nylon straps. The neck strap portion fits high and snug at the back of the neck above the windpipe and the other portion loops loosely around the nose behind the corners of the mouth. When a gentle leader is on properly, your dog can open his or her mouth to eat, drink or bark, unless you choose to apply pressure to the leash.

What’s great about a gentle leader is that you can guide your dog’s nose and the body will follow. As you can imagine, it’s tricky for a dog to drag their human down the street when their head is turned to the side! And unlike the choke chain or prong collars, gentle leaders only apply slight pressure to the dog’s muzzle and no pressure on the throat. Click here to watch a short video demonstration.

Positive Reinforcement: Positive reinforcement simply means that your dog is rewarded for good behavior or positive progress, rather than being scolded for doing something wrong or inappropriate. As an alternative to a gentle leader, here’s one way you can leverage positive reinforcement on a traditional leash.

With your dog on a standard leash (non-retractable) start to walk forward. As soon as the dog takes the lead and begins to tighten the leash, stop dead in your tracks and wait. It’s likely that your dog may be a little surprised by this and wonder what you are up to. They may lean into the leash or pull even harder. Or, they may lie down on the ground and wait for something to happen. But eventually, they’ll look back up at you with a quizzical look…that’s your opportunity. If at any stage your dog looks up at you or slackens off the leash, immediately and excitedly PRAISE THEM! After your praising is finished, recommence the walk. The key is patience and consistency. By following this approach every time you walk, you are communicating two things to your dog:

1) If the leash is loose I get to walk and I get positive praise.
2) Paying attention to my human leads to good things.

If your dog isn’t catching on after multiple attempts and you’re running low on patience, give them an occasional treat in addition to positive praise. Once your dog has the idea, you can begin taking more steps. Eventually, your dog will learn that it’s easier to just walk by your side and not pull, which should of course be rewarded by more praise and treats.

In addition to teaching proper forward motion, try changing your pace or making some unexpected turns. When your dog catches up to you and is back at your side, reward and praise yet again. This will encourage your dog to keep an eye on where you are going, and forget about pulling on the leash.

At first, this method may only take you to the end of your driveway after 30 minutes, but will eventually lead up to an ordinary walk around the block. Since this is a training exercise, distance isn’t the end goal. Don't get discouraged and don't give up! If you are seeing gradual progress each time you go for a walk, you are on the right track.

Thanks for reading and keep up the good work! And be sure to try positive reinforcement with other training efforts as well. Praise over punishment is the key.


1. Pack a picnic and take a hike at a dog-friendly park:


Golden Fun!

2. Get into the Fall football spirit with a game of fetch with your dog

Golden Fun!

3. Enjoy the vibrant foilage with a drive in the country:


Golden Fun!

4. Sip a hot beverage, or enjoy a meal on a dog-friendly patio


5. Make yard work fun with your pup

Golden Fun!

6.Lounge around a backyard bonfire.

Golden Fun!

7. Explore dog-friendly orchards with your pet:


8. Support your pet's social well-being with a trip to the dog park


9. A Fall weekend getaway or day trip with your dog


Golden Fun!

10. Attend Halloween events or Fall Festivals:

1st Annual Howl-O-Ween Pawty

5th Annual Woof-n-Treat Doggy Halloween Party and Costume Contest



Golden Fun!

**What are some fall activities that you enjoy with your pets? Send us your comments and fall photos HERE. Please send by Friday, October 12th. We will collect your info and share some of the feedback on the RAGOM homepage soon after!**



© 2012 Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota, Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED