Golden Retriever – Is It The Right Dog For You?

Golden Retriever have been a family favourite for a long period of time. These super-intelligent dogs and devoted dogs excel at everything they are tasked to do; whether it is hunting, serving as a guide or therapy dog, playtime or even sporting activities.  Anyone who has owned a Golden knows what a loyal companion they usually are. But, there’s still so much more to learn about this loyal breed.

In this article, we’ll be letting you in on their history, personality, care tips, and answering possible questions you might have about owning a Golden Retriever.

Where Did Golden Retrievers Come From?

A dog’s lineage and history are important to understand before you buy one. Lord Tweetmouth was the first person to breed a golden retriever early in the 1800s.

Two golden retrievers standing infront of a lake

According to legend, they were probably the result of a mating between a yellow Flat-Coated Retriever and a Tweed Spaniel. In addition, wavy-coated retriever and setter breeds were also bred during those early years.

These beautiful breeds were known as Flat-Coated Retriever and were not given their category until the early 1900s. In 1920, the breed became officially known as Golden Retrievers. Due to their popularity among dog fans, Golden Retrievers have become one of the most sought-after breeds lately. 

Quick Facts About Golden Retrievers

TRAITSDETAILS
Life expectancy 10-12 years
Size Medium to Large
Height Male: 22-24 in (56-61 cm)
Female: 20-22 in (55–61 cm)
WeightMale: 60-80 lbs (27-36 Kg)
Female: 55-70 lbs (25-32 Kg)
Energy level Medium
HypoallergenicNo
Grooming levelHigh
SheddingMedium

Dog Appearance

Golden Retrievers, being one of the most attractive dogs, have heart-melting features which make a great combination with their childlike nature. They have strong and broad heads. The ears are not particularly large, but they are positioned high on the head and hang beneath the jawline.

A golden retriever sitting with a blue background

These dogs have long, floppy ears that complement their playful personalities, giving them the appearance of an eternal puppy. There is a good balance between the chest and the body.

Colours

As their name suggests, they are of golden colours but in different shades. The golden colouration of Golden Retriever dogs differs from the light golden colour of the white Golden Retriever or the English cream Golden Retriever.

Their tail bottoms and backs of their forelegs, fronts of their necks, and backs of their thighs are quite moderately feathered.

Coat

Golden retrievers have water-repellent coats that can be flat or curly and range from gold to cream in colour. This stunning golden coat is also called a double coat, as it consists of a water-resistant outer coat and a soft undercoat that regulates body temperature in both cold and warm weather.

Personality Traits 

One of the most popular dogs in the U.S. is the Golden Retriever, which comes as no surprise. They are highly intelligent, friendly, pretty, and loyal. As well as being lively, they are also energetic.

Golden retriever puppies playing with eachother

This breed matures slowly and retains its puppy-like behaviour until it is three or four years old, which can be a delight (and in some cases, mildly annoy you).

You don’t have to worry about their behaviour with other animals and your guests because your canine will end up being friends with them. Because of their social nature, these dogs make wonderful family pets as they are outgoing, trustworthy, amiable, and eager to please.

In addition, the breed is known for its sweet, calm nature. Generally, Goldens have been bred to work with people, and they enjoy pleasing their owners. While Goldens are hard-wired with a good temperament, they must be trained and raised to use their heritage fully.

When they are young, Golden Retrievers need early socialization. They need to be exposed to a variety of people, sights, sounds, and experiences. You want your Golden puppy to grow into a well-rounded dog, which can only be achieved through socialization.

Temperament and Instincts  

You might not think of a prey drive when a happy dog like golden retrievers comes to mind. And, you are right! These are usually used as working dogs with hunters but do not possess a high prey drive and are known for their confidence and gentle nature.

However, the Golden Retriever is known to have an extremely high level of pack drive and is a very social animal as a result. Because of this, they make fantastic family pets as they are eager to spend time with their owners.

Due to being people-oriented and their eager-to-please nature, these dogs are easy to train; and enjoy all of the attention they receive during training.

Nonetheless, some goldens may have a high prey drive, so be sure to address this issue with the breeder if you intend to buy a puppy.

How To Care For Your Golden Retriever

A person touch the head of Golden Retriever
Photo by Alice Castro from Pexels

Grooming

You can never leave grooming out of the mix when talking about caring for your dog. You need extra grooming for goldens because they shed a lot.

Throughout the year, the Golden’s thick, water-repellent double coat sheds moderately, but quite heavily once or twice a year.

Getting rid of old hair requires regular brushing before and after baths. You can brush with a pin brush daily to remove the dead hair and prevent it from falling everywhere. When regular shedding occurs, use a bristle brush; as it won’t penetrate the thick Golden coat.                                                                                                                                         

Diet and Feeding

The best way to keep pets active, healthy and thriving is to provide them with a proper diet. When we love and care for our pets, we are sometimes tempted to cross the line between healthy eating and overindulging.

You can keep your Golden Retrievers healthy by keeping them at their ideal weight. Whatever you feed them, make sure they don’t exceed their daily recommended calorie intake; whether you feed them dry or wet food, raw diets or homemade food. 

Maintaining their health, activity, and freshness is the goal, so you should consult a vet or pet nutritionist if your Golden Retriever is having trouble eating.

Activity and Exercise Requirements

Golden retrievers have a great deal of energy resulting from their working ancestry, and their health and happiness depend heavily on high-quality exercise. Since they also have a voracious appetite, which makes them particularly susceptible to obesity, exercises are a priority.

A Golden Retriever’s exercise requirements are influenced by its age, weight, and general state of health. If you are thinking of getting a pup, be mindful that they require less exercise than adult Golden Retrievers. Pups may suffer from joint problems due to overexerting themselves for too long. Since they are still growing, it’s best to limit the amount of daily activity they receive.

Nonetheless, most healthy Golden Retrievers require at least 90 minutes of high-quality exercise every day.

A gold retriever enjoys all types of dog sports. You can keep them engaged in agility which will keep their brain working as hard as the body. Or, your golden can engage in Canicross, which will fulfil their hunger to run.                                                                                                                                   

How To Train Golden Retrievers

Most owners love Golden Retrievers. Their soft-natured personality makes them safe and dependable companions. If you are a first-time dog parent, you don’t have to worry. It is easy to train Golden Retrievers since they are intelligent, eager to please, forgiving, and wonderful with children and other animals.

You can increase your chances of getting an easy-to-train golden retriever by choosing a reputable breeder and beginning training early. Ideally, a good breeder will breed only healthy, well-mannered dogs. Your breeder will also socialize your puppy at an early age.

Getting your puppy familiar with working with you as soon as you get him will make training easier for both of you in the long run.                                                                                                               

Health Problems

Don’t ignore the possible health issues while thinking of adopting a golden pup. There are health risks in any breed of dog, but Golden Retrievers are at a higher risk than most other dog breeds.

The undercoat of golden retrievers tends to be dense and insulating, while the outer coat tends to be longer and coarser. Bacteria thrive in such an environment. A parasite can easily aggravate an existing skin condition or cause a new one.

Your Golden’s skin problems can be reduced by regular bathing, grooming, and parasite prevention. They can also suffer from hip dysplasia, one of the most prevalent health issues in Golden Retrievers. Symptomatic hip dysplastic dogs often have difficulty climbing stairs or jumping onto chairs.

Daily Routine For A Happy Golden

 A routine is fundamental to your puppy’s health. When his routine is thrown off, he may become stressed, cranky, overtired, or even too hyper to function normally. He needs a routine to grow big, healthy, and strong. So, following one consistently will ensure he gets the right measure of rest, food, and exercise.

Feeding Schedule

Don’t feed your puppy extra out of love. How much and how often you feed your puppy should always be based on its size. In general, puppies between the ages of 8 and 12 weeks should consume approximately one and a half to two cups of food per day.

If you have any doubts, ask your veterinarian to determine the amount or brand of food you should give to your puppy.

Potty schedule

They haven’t yet acquired bladder control like children. Achieving that point takes training and maturity, and it isn’t possible to rush it. You must have patience and give it time.

Potty breaks are more likely to be required at certain points throughout the day. Here are some examples:

  • Right after waking up.
  • Following a meal.
  • Right after napping.
  • Immediately following water consumption.
  • During or after vigorous play.
  • Around midnight.
  • After a stressful event.

Grooming Schedule

How can we leave grooming out of schedule when talking about a golden retriever who sheds a lot of hair? Several simple brushing sessions during the week are often sufficient to keep your puppy healthy. Make sure to groom the dog at least once each week, including ear cleaning and nail trimming.

Socialization Schedule

Adventure and playtime are probably the two most important activities you should schedule in your golden pup’s routine. As previously stated above, they love to socialize and play. While it may seem obvious, many people neglect to walk their puppies every day due to busy schedules.

Plan or schedule a walk around the block of at least 15 to 30 minutes, even on the busiest days. You can include socializing at the dog park if you have extra time. Your pup will learn to anticipate walks if they take place simultaneously each day.

Is Golden Retriever The Right Dog For You? 

Frequently featured in the media and appearing on lists of the most popular breeds worldwide, the Golden Retriever is a highly visible breed and so in demand that you’re probably thinking of getting one!

A dog being caressed by his owner
Photo by Barnabas Davoti from Pexels

But how do you know if a Golden Retriever is the right dog for you? Do you and your family make the right kind of owners for a Golden Retriever?

Do you have sufficient space?

In my opinion, getting a Golden isn’t a good idea if your home does not have enough space. You will need to give your dog a place to sleep and a place to eat and drink; as well as a place to put their food and water.

Do you have enough time?

Goldens are very active and athletic dogs. Whether you have a bad day at work or during rainy days, Golden will still need to play 1.5 hours every day. That’s quite a bit of commitment involved, and you need to take this fully into account and meet up to it.

It is not necessary to exercise for more than 45 minutes a day. You can alternatively do swimming, hiking, running, or anything else you like, in a 2-hour session per week if you have a big yard.

Do you have enough energy?

Despite having enough time to exercise a Golden properly, do you have the energy to do so? The Golden Retriever is the ideal companion for outdoors folks who love swimming, hiking, getting out in nature and exploring with their dog every day.

If, on the other hand, you prefer staying at home instead of venturing out in the cold winter months; or prefer to kick your feet up in front of the TV five days a week, then a low energy breed may suit you better.

Do you have enough resources?

While we can not possibly calculate an exact cost per year, a conservative estimate is likely to be in the vicinity of £1300 or $2200 per year, possibly more. A Golden Retriever or any dog wouldn’t be a good choice if money’s tight and you’re already struggling to pay your bills.                                                                                                   

Should You Buy Or Adopt One?

So, you’re now ready for a new pup, but where do you begin? Should you look at adoption centres or breeders?

You can add a new furry friend to your home by purchasing a puppy from a responsible breeder. Finding a good breeder is all that’s needed, as long as they are more concerned with the breed’s future than making a quick buck.

There are several advantages to buying from a breeder, such as seeing your pup’s parents and knowing what your puppy will look like as an adult. As a result, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting when it comes to the dog’s breeding and lineage, plus you’ll see what the pup’s first few months were like.

A puppy purchased from a good breeder is likely to have already been socialized, comfortable with household sounds and traffic, and may even have some basic training commands. However, this is an expensive method of getting a puppy.

Adopt from a shelter?

You can also choose to adopt a dog from a shelter for a variety of reasons. This includes having a potty-trained canine, having a dog with its vaccinations up to date, and getting it at a less expensive rate as well.

Whether you choose to get your puppy from a reputable breeder or adopt one from a shelter, each comes with its pros and cons. However, both options will still lead you to the same destination—you’ll have an incredible addition to the family who will never let you down!

Before they add a new puppy to their family, many potential puppy parents want to know the golden retriever price. When you purchase from a quality breeder, you can expect the price of a golden retriever to be about $1,000 to $3,500. The overall cost of all golden retrievers is the same, considering all the other expenses you may expect.

FAQs About Golden Retrievers

A Golden Retriever can be classified into three types.

Although you may think all Golden Retrievers look the same, there are three color varieties—golden, lightly golden, dark golden—and three types –English, Canadian, and American. 

Depending on your Golden Retriever’s age, socialization, training, background, previous experience, and health, you can leave him alone for up to 4 hours maximum. A puppy should never be left alone for more than one hour per month of age, with a maximum of four hours.

The reasons golden retrievers are so friendly are almost all influenced by their personality traits. These dogs care deeply for humans and are also naturally patient. An adorable golden retriever is contagious in its playfulness and happiness.

  • The dog is large and very hungry. Breeds of this size can grow up to 75 pounds if overfed.
  • This breed requires vigorous exercise. The breed needs to exercise every day for 40-60 minutes.
  • The holy shed.
  • Not good at being alone in an apartment all day.
  • Suffers from certain health problems. 

Golden Retrievers are generally active and energetic dogs, meaning that they aren’t lazy. Laziness is often caused by health issues or medical conditions, too much exercise, boredom, weight issues, diet, emotional distress, or the weather; in addition to individual differences in personality

They’re low to average maintenance dogs. The only things they need extra attention for are shedding and health issues. Their trainability, obedience, and affectionate nature make them more manageable than many other breeds that bark incessantly and are hostile to children and other pets.

In terms of their relationships with their owners, their differences are perhaps the most significant. Male golden retrievers are devoted to their owners. Even though female golden retrievers love their owners, they may not be as devoted as males. Still, both males and females can be wonderful family dogs.

Golden Retriever Facts and Figures Summary

Appearance

  • Strong body
  • Sturdy legs
  • Water-resistant coat
  • Soft flapped ears
  • Thick otter tails, strong webbed paws

How to care

  • Brush them daily
  • Groom their coat weekly and watch out for their nails
  • Give them treats
  • Take them for exercise and walks daily

Health Problems

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Skin problems 
  • Bloating 

Temperament

  • Outgoing
  • Confident
  • Active
  • Kind
  • Intelligent
  • Agile
  • Mischievous
  • Trusting

Personality traits

  • Child friendly
  • Even-tempered
  • Intelligent
  • Outgoing

How to train

  • Start training them from an early age
  • Develop their habit of socializing

Daily Routine

  • Feed them 2-3 cups each day
  • Potty breaks after a meal, sleep and exercise
  • Brush their coat
  • Take them to walk daily