Golden Retriever

Smart, loyal, and easy to work with

Golden Retriever

By Toni Grzunov - Last updated on May 04th, 2021

All You Need To Know About The Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide, especially in the United States. Their reputation as skilled hunters comes second to being fantastic family pets. 

Golden Retrievers love children, are playful and affectionate. They have an excellent attitude for pets but also make great working dogs because of their intelligence. They are known for their ability to retrieve game for hunters. 

Seeing as how popular this breed is, it comes as no surprise that you’re interested in getting one. We have you covered when it comes to all the important facts about Golden Retrievers!

Fast Facts

Group - Sporting

Height - 23-24 Inches (male) 21,5-22,5 Inches (female)

Weight - 65-75 Pounds (male) 55-65 Pounds (female)

Hair Length - Long

Shedding - Moderate Shed

Lifespan - 10-13 Years

The Appearance of the Golden Retriever

These gorgeous dogs are well known all over the globe, thanks to their looks. Their kind expression and friendly eyes will undoubtedly draw your attention. Naturally, the first thing everyone notices is the beautiful golden coat!

Golden Retrievers have a symmetrical build, and their bodies are strong to fit their active lifestyle. They are hunting dogs, so expect their bodies to always be in a hardworking condition if properly taken care of. 

Their head is broad with a deep foreface. The muzzle has a straight profile, and it blends smoothly into the skull. The most notable part of the face of a Golden Retriever is the eyes.  They are medium-large, with dark rims and an intelligent, friendly expression. Once these pups look at you, they will win you over for sure!

The outer coat of Golden Retriever is dense and water-resistant. It is highly resilient and can be wavy or straight. It has some feathering on the back of the legs and the bottom part of the body.  Heavier feathering is on the neck, tail, and thighs. There is also some natural ruff around the neck, usually untrimmed. 

Many people like to compare the Golden Retriever to a Labrador. Truthfully, they do share a lot of similarities when it comes to appearance. Both have folded ears and long tails. Their coats are both water-resistant, but the Lab’s is shorter. 

However, it is easy to differentiate one from the other if you know what to look at despite the similarities. Labradors are more muscular and have wider heads, while Golden Retrievers have longer snouts.

Featured Golden Retriever Dog Breeders

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What colors does a Golden Retriever come in?

As their name implies, Golden Retrievers come in only one single color - gold. Naturally, there are many gold shades these dogs can come in, ranging from light yellow to dark copper.

Some Golden Retrievers come in white, and these normally aren’t fit for showing. Still, if you’re just looking for a pet, we’re sure that the color will be the least of your concerns!

Well, that was simple! Now that we know all about this dog breed’s looks let’s talk a bit about their personality!

All about the Golden Retriever personality

Golden Retrievers were bred to work together with people, and it shows in their personality. They have a calm nature and are exceptionally sweet. These dogs will work hard to please their owners.

However, you should train them, so you can get the best out of their personality. Early socialization is key here

In general, the easiest way to describe the personality of a Golden Retriever is friendly. They make fantastic pets and will enjoy being a part of any activity together with the family. Golden Retriever’s character is their hallmark. 

They are patient with children and will get along well even with strangers. This is why they don’t make good guard dogs. They have a gentle disposition that doesn’t make them threatening at all! However, this means they make wonderful pets!

You should never fear that your Golden Retriever will show a sign of aggression or hostility towards other people or animals. That is simply not in their character. 

These dogs are always calm and are well-known for being extremely intelligent. According to the ranking found in Stanley Coren’s “The Intelligence of Dogs”, this breed is on the fourth spot.

Is a Golden Retriever easy to train?

When it comes to training, Golden Retrievers are described as eager to please. 

As previously mentioned, early socialization is key. Other than that, most breeders recommend puppy training classes. In general, you should expose your Golden Retriever to many different places, situations, animals, and people. Do this before it is four months old, and it will surely develop into a well-mannered dog.

By going through obedience training with your Golden Retriever, you will be able to strengthen your bond. These dogs enjoy pleasing their owners, and this type of activity is right up their alley!

There is no need for harsh training methods. They love positive and upbeat workout styles. Dogs that are this loyal and outgoing are a joy to discipline, and you really shouldn’t have a problem with them at all.

Their personality should make anyone happy, and they are easy to train! Next, let’s talk about grooming. Hopefully, it’s just as simple!

How much Grooming does a Golden Retriever need?

Golden Retrievers require regular grooming since they do shed more than average. They shed moderately during the summer and winter and more heavily during the spring and fall. 

Their coat is thick, so it is recommended to brush your Golden Retriever every day. At the very least you should do it once a week.

As Golden Retrievers do shed a lot, they are not a hypoallergenic breed, so avoid them if you have allergies.

Their long hair can get knotted up around the ears and legs if not appropriately groomed. These dreads can cause severe pain and discomfort to your dog and need to be cut off swiftly.

These dogs also require baths once a month, but often even more frequently, to keep your dog smelling and looking nice and clean. 

You should brush the teeth of your Golden Retriever two to three times a week. This will remove any bacteria or tartar buildup. When it comes to nail trimming, you should do it once or twice a month. Of course, some dogs will wear down their nails naturally, so this won’t be necessary. 

Golden Retrievers have folded ears, which can create a good gathering place for various bacteria or fungus. That is why this breed is prone to ear infections. You should check their ears every week. You will know they have an infection if you notice redness or a bad odor. Wipe the ears of your dog using a cotton ball. Clear the outer ear only, do not insert anything inside of the ear!

Your Golden Retrievers should be accustomed to grooming while they’re still puppies. Your goal needs to be to make grooming a positive experience. Reward and praise them, which will make your life easier down the line!

The Health and Fitness of the Golden Retriever

The biggest health issue that occurs with Golden Retrievers is cancer. According to a study, around 61% of these dogs’ deaths in the United States were caused by cancer. The most common forms are hemangiosarcoma (blood vessel tumor), lymphosarcoma (a type of blood cell tumor), osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer), and mast cell tumor. 

Other disorders that can occur are hip and elbow dysplasia, and they afflict around one-fifth of all Golden Retrievers. Most puppies are screened for these disorders before being sold. This is why you should get your puppy from a reputable breeder.

Other health issues that can arise are eye diseases, such as cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, and glaucoma.

Golden Retrievers can also suffer from heart as well as joint diseases. A common heart disease that is prevalent in this breed is subvalvular aortic stenosis. This disease appears when the aortic valve of the heart narrows. The heart must work harder to pump the blood through the valve, which can have harmful effects. 

The Nutrition of the Golden Retriever

You should always give your Golden Retriever the highest quality dog food. Just make sure it is appropriate for its age. This food will usually have all the nutrients it needs.

These dogs can become overweight, so be careful about that. You need to watch their calorie consumption, but that won’t be a problem at all. Give your dog treats, but do so in moderation!

When it comes to table scraps, avoid foods with high fat and cooked bones. Make sure to check with your vet if you’re unsure about whether you can give a certain food to your dog.

As with humans, the amount of food you give to your Golden Retriever will depend on how active it is. It makes sense that a dog that leads an active lifestyle will require more food than that spending the day lying around the house.

A good piece of advice is to feed your Golden Retriever twice a day. Don’t leave food out constantly.

Where does the Golden Retriever come from?

Golden Retrievers were originally bred in Scotland during the 19th century. Wealthy people were using them as hunting partners during that time. Wildfowl hunting was popular, but the existing Retriever breeds could not retrieve the downed game from water.

The hunting grounds back then were filled with rivers and ponds. This is why they decided to cross retrievers with Water Spaniels, and we got the Golden Retriever we know today.

The original cross was between a yellow-colored Retriever called Nous and a Water Spaniel female called Belle. This cross produced a litter of four pups which became the basis of a new breeding program.

10 Golden Retriever Mixes you would like to know about*

Dog crossbreeds or mixes are sometimes called designer dogs. The name fits since you are “designing” a new dog by mating two purebred dogs. It has become popular in recent times, and more and more breeds have several noteworthy crosses we could write about.

The thing with mixed puppies is that it is hard to know which characteristics they will inherit from their parents. You should research as much info as possible on the parent breeds to understand what you can expect. This way, you will find a mix that has all of the characteristics you want and love.

Read on to see the most popular Golden Retriever mixes:

*Not all breed mixes are equal in quality! neither condones nor endorses any example of unethical and unhealthy crossbreeding. We encourage everyone to research in detail before they choose to get a crossbreed. 

Questions people often ask about Golden Retrievers

  • +Can Golden Retrievers protect you?

  • +Are Golden Retrievers lazy?

  • +Can Golden Retrievers be left alone?

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