Also, you've got to remember... most dog breeds were created for a specific purpose and even though you may get a pup which is several generations removed from that purpose... the pup may still carry some of those traits. True it most in all likelyhood it won't be a natural for that purpose but it will most likely exhibit something specific to the breed and it may be something of a nuisance depending on your situation.
Yup, that's part of my reasoning for a Golden. I want a buddy for my duck blind on the Normandy marshes.
For crating, I'm definitely going to do that, as every single Golden owner I've ever talked to has said that a crate is invaluable.
I've asked SWMBO to write up a list of reasons why she likes the idea of getting a dog and why she dislikes the idea of getting a dog. I'll post those as soon as I get them and we'll see where we go from there I guess.
Re mutts, the problem is, my wife really only likes the way Goldens look. Any other dogs and she gets grossed out. This may be a matter of training, of course.... We'll see.