I dearly love Golden Retrievers. They're about as family-friendly a breed as one could wish, and willing to play at the drop of a hat (and drop it themselves if no-one will do so for them). Nevertheless, I have to admit that when it comes to 'serious' dog work, they're not necessarily the best choice. They're easily distracted by anything edible or play-able ("Ooh! Shiny!"). Proper and intensive training can overcome that, but it's more difficult with them than with other 'working breeds', in my experience. Miss D. calls them (with great affection) 'the ditz of the dog world', and I'm forced to agree with her concerning most of the Golden Retrievers I've met.
The Lonely Libertarian put up this video clip of a dog obedience competition that had me rolling in the aisles. I couldn't resist re-embedding it here.
The ditz of the dog world, indeed!