For years, the Golden Retriever has been one of the world’s most popular dog breeds. They are intelligent, loyal, very friendly and great with kids. Yet, they are recognizable by their beautiful golden fur. If you’re looking for a cute four-legged family member, then this breed is the perfect choice.
21.5 to 24 inches (51 to 61 cm)
55 to 75 pounds (25 to 34 kg)
10 to 12 years
This breed has a coat and undercoat. The undercoat is thick, while the coat has excellent water resistance. Some layers of it are flat, and some are wavy. It is also typical that some parts of their fur “stick out” especially on the chest, thighs and tail. The colors are several different shades of yellow and gold.
Their posture is straight, the legs are muscular, and the tail is long and quite strong.
Golden Retrievers also have a kind face which is why children like them so much. They have medium to dark brown eyes. The jaw is strong, with a perfect, regular bite. The upper jaw overlaps the lower, and the teeth rest correctly on the jaws. The ears are triangular, reaching approximately to the level of the jaw.
Golden Retrievers attract people with their appearance. Yet, they seduce them with their temperament.
Friendly and gentle Retriever adores kids and gets along well with them. In fact, it is one of the best dog breeds for children and babies. Of course, it is necessary to take care not to leave toddlers alone with the dog. The Retriever could accidentally knock them down or injure them in the game. This breed gets along well with other animals – they can even live with a cat!
It is a sensitive breed that gets deeply attached to its human. So, your Retriever will enjoy your company, and it is not recommended to keep it alone in the yard. If it feels isolated, it will become depressive and destructive. It is a pet friend that asks for a lot of love and attention. So, if you can’t dedicate yourself fully, it’s better to look for a less demanding breed.
Highly energetic, he is a great partner for hikers. He also loves water and swimming. But, since he is gentle, he will also enjoy being tucked into your lap on the couch.
Due to their intelligence, Retrievers are not problematic for training. It is one of the most intelligent dog breeds. Still, you should start training them as early as possible. Practice shouldn’t be rude! The nature of a Retriever is to be obedient. He likes to show it while playing, by bringing sticks and balls. Due to his gentle and calm nature, he is not a suitable guard dog. In most cases, he will react to strangers by wagging his tail.
Common health problems
The Golden Retriever is a breed prone to some health issues. You should take your dog to the vet twice a year. The vet will test your dog’s hips, eyes, elbows, and heart.
Golden retrievers are sensitive to both skin and autoimmune diseases. Common diseases are coronary artery disease, elbow dysplasia, cataracts and entropy. They also suffer from allergies, cardiomyopathy, and epilepsy, only somewhat less often. It is necessary to be careful with their diet because they are susceptible to weight gain.
Another common illness is otitis. Otitis is a medical term for the inflammation of the ears. Inflammation occurs as a result of an infection or allergy. It happens due to the lowered ear shell that closes the entrance to the ear canal. That further leads to reduced air circulation and higher humidity in the ear. Otitis will cause pain, bleeding from the ears and it may lead to deafness. Early detection will prevent the need for surgery.
Hypothyroidism is a condition characterized by decreased production of thyroid hormones. These hormones affect many functions in the body, especially the metabolism. It can also lead to dry skin and fur, obesity, lethargy and excessive drowsiness. To prevent it, take your pet friend to the vet once a year for a blood test. A blood test will show the level of thyroid hormones. This testing should begin when the dog is two years old.
Malignant tumors are a crucial subject. Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers have a predisposition to several types of tumors. The most common are hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma and tumor fat cells. Doing an FNA biopsy (Fine Needle Aspiration) of every lump that you see on your dog’s body is a must.
It is a well known fact that regular grooming is important and not just to make your dog look pretty! Grooming can actually enhance your dog’s health because a clean, well-taken care of dog is less susceptible to outer infections and parasites.
It is necessary to brush their coat at least twice a week (during molting season, each day). That will keep the fur shiny and will reduce shedding. You should have brushes for both coat and undercoat so that you can do it adequately.
Their fur needs to be trimmed from time to time. You can do it yourself or take your pet to a professional groomer. With regular brushing they are less likely to get matted hair.
Dental hygiene is also crucial. You should try to brush their teeth once a day.
Golden Retrievers are great gourmands, enjoying tasty food. Still, they have an unusual habit of biting and swallowing anything they come across. And often things they swallow have no nutritional value.
Golden retrievers are unfortunately prone to various types of allergies. So, food additives are bad for them. For this reason, owners of this breed often choose to feed their pets with raw food. Certain types of food should be avoided at all costs because it can cause stomach problems. Those are beans, cabbage, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, and broccoli.
Golden retrievers are prone to weight gain and need regular exercise. For that reason, it is recommended to give them two smaller meals a day. They shouldn’t always have food available. If possible, meals should be at the same time every day. All dogs love a routine! The amount of food that your pet will eat depends on several factors such as age, size and activity level.
Golden Retrievers are adorable dogs so it’s understandable that sometimes it’s hard to say ‘No’ to them! But keep in mind that a trained dog will be much happier dog. Obedience training takes a little effort and a lot of patience and love. Even if you fail on the first or second attempt, don’t give up.
Choose treat that you give to your dog only during training. To make things even more fun, you can have a special treat for each new command!
Start with the easiest one: Come. Put a long leash on your dog and ask a friend to keep him from following you. Stand back and say “Come” and call your dog by his name. Your friend should let him go then. The dog will run towards you for a cookie, and you should praise him and give him the treat. This should be repeated until the dog connects your call with the reward.
Once your golden retriever has learned this command, continue with the next one: Sit. For the first time, stand in front of the dog and slowly lower the treat, holding it firmly in your hand. The dog will follow the treat with his eyes and sit down. As always, praise and reward him after a job well done.
Also, remember that Golden Retrievers are sporty and active dogs. They need at least 30 minutes of running, twice a day.
Lord Twedmouth is considered the first breeder of the Golden Retriever. He needed help while hunting so he eventually created a breed with an extraordinary sense of smell. Besides, he wanted a loyal and sporty dog.
Twedmouth had various attempts from 1835 to 1890. He was keeping only yellow specimens, gifting the rest.
The Kennel Club in England officially recognized the breed in 1911. The first name was “Golden or Yellow Retriever”. Later on, in 1920, the breed got its current name, Golden Retriever. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1932.
Over the years, golden retrievers have become guide dogs for blind or deaf people. It is because of their intelligence and mild temperament. They are often therapy dogs in nursing homes and for emotionally disturbed children.
They will love you no matter what! You will feel loved and thus more confident!
They will always cheer you up! They get enthusiastic about anything they see as a game.
They’re great partners for exercising! You will become more active and healthier!
They are gentle. With them, you will become more tender.
They define the term “loyal”. You will never feel lonely again.
When not to get a Golden Retriever? They are born with a sense of playfulness. Your puppy will wake you up at two in the morning because she decided it was the right time to play. Also, often you will find yourself awaken with a cold tennis ball covered in drool on your face. If you don’t find this funny, think again if you are the right friend for a Golden Retriever.