The Golden Retriever is the classic family companion. They are obedient, playful, intelligent, well-mannered, great with kids, and kindly to strangers. They are good watchdogs, but make lousy guard dogs as they love people far too much to be effective. Golden Retrievers are always at the top of their obedience classes and are often the champions of sporting competitions. Hunters find them to be reliable bird dogs, and their keen sense of smell and desire to work alongside people makes them sought-after narcotics sniffers. Golden Retrievers need people and are best suited for large, active families.