Congratulations! You have finally decided to share your life, time, and money with a new dog. Having owned (or been owned by) several dogs in the past, I feel qualified to help advise you on the characteristics inherent in two of the most popular breeds, the Golden Retriever and the Chihuahua. All dogs require companionship and interaction, food, water, and exercise. These two dogs are popular breeds for many reasons and both have their good and bad points. Taking into consideration each animal's physical characteristics, behavior, and personality will help in making the decision of which one is for you.
First, let us discuss physical characteristics. Golden's pretty much just come in varying shades of gold. There is not a lot of choice in this department. While their fur is very beautiful, it requires a lot of work. Golden's have a thick, feathered coat that produces profuse shedding and requires regular brushing to keep the hair from matting together.
They are considered large dogs, regularly weighing in over 50 pounds. On the other hand, the Chihuahua is one of the smallest and easiest of all breeds to carry around in your arms. They come in a vast array of sizes, coats and colors. Chihuahua's tend to shed, too, but not at the level of the Golden. While small dogs take up less space in a tiny apartment, the Chihuahua's small size and tiny bones make him one of the more fragile breeds. They break easily when dropped. Nonetheless, older people and people with children may feel more confident of not being accidentally knocked over by a small dog.
Secondly, let's look at the differences in doggy behavior. The Golden's bounding, enthusiastic welcome home is enough to knock over most adults. They are usually friendly dogs with a cheerful, tail-wagging nature.