Golden retrievers are listed among the top 5 dogs for 3 consecutive years.
They make a perfect family dog and are filled with energy.
Their name is justified as they love the game of retrieving.
1. Quick Facts:
Avg. Weight: 65-75 pounds (male), 55-65 pounds (female)
Avg. Height: 23-24 inches(male), 21.5- 22.5 inches (female)
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Dog Group: Sporting group
Dog Ranking: 3/193 (America)
Colors: Dark Golden, Light Golden, Cream, Golden
2. At A Glance:
- Size (5/5)
It is a medium-sized dog whose weight can range from 55-75 pounds.
The average puppy weight when it is born is 7lb depending on the weight of the mother.
- Affection Level (4/5)
Considers its family as a pack and is known to be a perfect family dog.
It is highly affectionate and gets along well with all the family members.
It is continually eager to please which makes him an attention seeker.
- Apartment Friendly (2/5)
Retrievers are less apartment friendly.
A house with a medium-sized yard would be a good fit for them.
The house may also have a peculiar dog smell with retriever in the house.
However, if you plan to keep a retriever in an apartment then make sure all their exercise needs are taken care of.
The dog may have behavioral issues if the exercise isn’t sufficient or he is kept alone for a long time.
- Cold Weather Tolerability (3/5)
Golden retrievers develop an additional coat during winters but this doesn’t mean that they can survive extreme temperatures.
Chilly weather would require you to bring your dog indoors.
On a general note, the suitable range for Golden retrievers in cold weather is 7°- 15°C.
- Hot Weather Tolerability (3/5)
You may think that the double coat would make the dog suffer because of the heat but actually, the double coat helps to provide cooling to the dog.
Shaving it off may be a bad idea because it would bring the skin in close contact with the heat which may result in sunburns and other skin infections.
The ideal temperature range which is suitable for them is 21°-29°C.
- Barking Tendencies (4/5)
Barking is a basic way of dogs’ communication.
If you stay in a bungalow, the barking won’t bother people around.
But if you stay in an apartment then the neighbors may get bothered.
These dogs love attention, be it a golden retriever puppy or an adult.
However, they may bark only when they are in need of something or if something seems unpleasant to them.
- Cat-Friendly (5/5)
These dogs like retrieving and so they like chasing cats.
More than danger this could seem like amusement for both the animals because cats are comparatively smaller in size than retrievers.
- Dog-Friendly (5/5)
Goldens love playing with other dogs.
They are energetic dogs who need play-buddies around.
Sporty dogs are known to be enthusiastic when it comes to getting along with other people and animals.
Their natural instinct to stay active helps them to find play-mates in other animals.
- Exercise Needs (5/5)
Retrievers are sporty breeds and need to keep themselves active.
This requires them to have at least 40-50 minutes of exercise every day otherwise their energy will find ways to exit in a destructive order.
Golden retriever puppies aged one month need to exercise 5 minutes a day and then gradually increase their timings.
This breed has a high affinity for water.
It loves to play with water and is good at swimming too.
- Grooming Needs: (5/5)
The breed is equipped with medium length golden hair which makes it shed more.
The pattern of shedding depends from season to season due to the influence of the temperature and environment.
It sheds more than the usual in spring and fall.
- Playfulness: (5/5)
They have a high attribute in playfulness.
Their size and enthusiasm make them have a playful attitude so they get along with people who like to play with them.
- Trainability (4/5)
Golden retrievers are easy to train because of their intelligence.
They have a strong sense of smell and so they are used as service dogs and guide dogs for blind people.
In the past, golden retrievers were attributed as being working dogs as they used to fetch the hunted birds from far off places for their owners.
- Intelligence (5/5)
This breed is ranked 4th in the smart dog list.
The list is based on obedience-command trainability.
It can follow commands after a few repetitions.
They perform well in dog sports because of their inherent ability to follow the given instructions.
- Mouthiness (5/5)
They have a strong pull for chewing things.
It helps them explore things kept near their surroundings.
A small puppy has more affinity for chewing.
This also helps their teeth & gums to develop.
Retrievers are mouthy and are always ready for a game of retrieving.
- Price group (4/5)
It is a high price group dog.
Prices of dogs depend on the type of breeder.
It does not necessarily mean that cheaper dogs are unhealthy.
The price to buy a golden from a rescue or a breeder can range from $500- $2000.
3. About Breed:
In the words of American Kennel Club, Golden retrievers are friendly, intelligent and devoted.
It has its origins in Scotland and it makes a great retriever/ fetching dog.
It is known to be a perfect family dog and is blessed with gorgeous golden hair.
Golden retriever puppies are new to the environment and so they should be first taught given potty training and socialization classes.
Puppy socialization is important because after the puppy reaches an age of 13 weeks it starts shying away from new experiences and people.
This may affect its adult life.
It may turn into an introvert and stay away from people and other dogs as a result of shyness or fear.
4. Where Breed Came From:
Golden Retrievers were primarily used as hunting dogs in the Scottish Islands.
The hunters required a dog who could fetch on land as well as water.
Lord Tweedmouth crossed a Tweed Water Spaniel with a yellow dog named ‘nous’ which resulted in 4 yellow puppies with the exact characteristics that the hunters wanted.
These resulted in becoming the origins of this breed.
These are medium to huge sized dogs.
The size of the dogs depends mostly on three factors: Food habits, genes, and level of activity.
It differs according to these three factors.
If it is overfed, it is likely to suffer from obesity.
Retrievers are prone to obesity because they like eating.
Golden retrievers are intelligent and do not need a lot of time to get trained.
They are easy to train because of their gentle temperament.
They belong to the sporty category of dogs and thus are very energetic.
They are seldom lethargic.
High energy dogs need to use their energy in the right places so they need to exercise and hence need to be trained.
They excel in obedience sports and other competitive games.
They can function as guide dogs, rescue dogs and service dogs as their strong sense of smell and intelligence favors them in these professions.
Grooming requires extra efforts on the part of the owner because of its high shedding rate.
Regular brushing will help maintain the smoothness of the hair.
Brushing the hair also reveals if there are any infections or wounds under their hair.
Care related to nail, ears, teeth, and coat goes without saying.
A young one should be introduced to trimming nails in their puppyhood because later in life they become reluctant when you touch their paws.
The outer ear should be cleaned with a soft material regularly.
Brush their teeth twice or thrice a week to avoid plaque and bad breath.
8. Common Diseases and Health conditions:
Some of the common diseases that they suffer from are Hip dysplasia, skin diseases, chest conditions, cancer, Cataract, Von Willebrand disease, and Luxating Patella.
A cataract is one of the health conditions that is seen in dogs who are 4-5 years old.
It may affect the eyelids, eyelashes and may cause blindness.
Around 60% of Golden retrievers die of cancer.
The most common kind of cancer is hemangiosarcoma which arises from the lining of the blood vessels.
Von Willebrand disease occurs because of a genetic blood disorder.
It is caused because of a defective or missing Von Willebrand Factor (VWF) which helps the blood clot.
Because of the absence of this, it may result in excessive bleeding or internal bleeding and blood can also come out through urine.
Luxating patella is a joint pain condition where the kneecap is displaced.
Symptoms may include limping, abnormal sitting posture and irregular skipping.
An adult dog requires two meals per day with each meal consisting of 1 ½ cups of high-quality dry food.
A puppy requires frequent meals for the first three months.
During the first three months, it should be fed three times per day.
However, feeding depends on size, age, metabolism, and level of activity of the dog.
Some of the nutritious food that you may want to include in your doggo’s diet can be lamb meat, buffalo meat, salmon, sweet potato, oatmeal, carrots.
Meat provides calcium, protein as well as vitamins and minerals.
Food like salmon sweet potato carrots are a source of complex carbohydrates and can be given to dogs who are lactose intolerant.
Carrots, blueberries, and cranberries are a great source of antioxidants.
Antioxidants make their immune system strong and act as an anti-aging food.
There are various dog meals available online and in supermarkets.
10. Vaccination and Care:
Vaccinations need to start at the age of 6 weeks.
A proper schedule should be followed when giving vaccinations.
This provides the time to the system to get immunity against the disease.
Giving many vaccines at a time may prove to be harmful to the pup.
There are two types of vaccinations.
One is the 5 in 1 vaccination which protects the puppy against canine distemper, parvovirus, parainfluenza, hepatitis and adenovirus cough.
The other one is 7 in 1 which includes all the vaccines of the previous type and also includes prevents the puppy against some leptospirosis.
Vaccination for rabies is compulsory by law in some states and is given only after 3 months from birth.
11. Monthly Expense Estimation:
If buying a purebred golden retriever then it may cost $500 -$3000.
If adopting from a shelter, the prices will reduce to $50- $300 depending on the age of dog and type of shelter.
The monthly expense for keeping a golden retriever as a pet will be $65-$85 excluding medical expenses.
Spaying or neutering costs around $250- $500.
One veterinary visit may cost $80 in normal cases.
Training in the initial phases of the dog costs $50-$125 for four to eight weeks comprising of one-hour sessions.
12. Behavior With:
Retrievers are friendly dogs and get along with children.
Toddlers shouldn’t be left with the dog unsupervised.
The enthusiastic nature and the size of the dog hold a risk with respect to stepping over the child or pushing them away.
Although it may not have an intent to hurt the child, the child may be at risk when young.
Likewise, children shouldn’t be left with puppies without supervision as the puppy’s bones are fragile and a little fall may cause pain to the young one.
If these risks are kept at bay then overall Goldens are friendly with people.
They are also friendly with other dogs and like play buddies around them.
It is eager to please which also makes it attracted to anything new.
It is athletic, cheerful and peaceful with other animals.
The dog is cat-friendly and may try to initiate playing games with the feline friend.
Growing up together with a cat helps both the animals to form a bond between them.
Introduction of a cat when the dog is an adult should be carefully supervised and if it is successful only then should both of the animals stay together.
If you’re ready for a dog which is cheerful, energetic and needs a lot of exercises, then the Golden Retriever may be perfect for you.
It is a medium-sized dog and thus needs a yard to play around.
It is less apartment-friendly and the neighbors may get bothered if it barks frequently.
The costs related to medium dogs should be kept in mind.
This breed also sheds more so if you are ready to have golden hair all over your house and clothes then you should consider bringing home a golden retriever.
It is friendly to other animals and eager to please.
It likes the game of fetch so make sure you have enough toys to give him to carry around in its mouth.
14. Something Fun About Golden Retriever:
Augie, a golden retriever holds a Guinness book of world record.
It holds the record of holding the most number of tennis balls in its mouth at once.
It held 5 tennis balls at one time on 6 July 2003.
It is owned by the Miller family in Texas, USA.