I wouldn't ever go for a breed like a Golden Retriever or a Labrador for myself. They're very active dogs, and if you don't get them enough exercise they can get hyper and destructive. I just can't meet the needs that a large, active breed like that requires. My previous dog was a rescue from an abused animal shelter. Thats always a risky place to get dogs, because their behavior is unpredictable due to their previous owner. She was a really shy/wary thing at first, but when she learned to trust me she was the most docile, gentle, affectionate dog in the world. But for some reason she freaked out if men wearing hats got close to me. She got very protective, would growl and bark. If the guy took off his hat she was fine again and would get all affectionate. I'm guessing her abuser was a male who wore a hat all the time?