Golden Retriever Breed Card
Golden Retriever Breed Overview
21-24 inches tall
Country of Origin
Affectionate, Friendly Sociable
Golden Retriever History
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. For years it was generally accepted that Goldens were direct descendants of Russian circus dogs purchased by the English gentry.
More recent info reveals that the Golden Retriever breed was formed when Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Scottish Lord Tweedmouth, bred his unregistered Yellow Retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. This breeding produced a litter of four dogs, and all Goldens today are direct descendants of Nous and Belle.
The Golden Retriever was recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925. Although originally bred as a gundog and tasked with retrieving waterfowl, today, the Golden Retriever is a loving companion dog.
Low End: $500
High End: $4000
Golden Retriever Physical Traits
Goldens are large-sized, athletic, symmetrically put together, powerful and energetic. Probably the most noticeable feature of a Golden Retriever, and the one for which it got its name, is its rich and lustrous coat that comes in various shades of gold.
The Golden Retriever is a sturdy and muscular dog with a broad head and well-balanced and proportionate body construction. When in motion during play sessions, the dog has a powerful gait and a feathery tail that makes it stand apart.
The Golden has a long and straight muzzle that blends smoothly into the skull. The eyes are intelligent and friendly in expression. They are large with dark and close-fitting rims that are set apart in deep sockets. The ears are short and have their front attached just above the eye. They fall close to the cheek, and when pulled forward, they should cover the eye.
Dense and water-repellent, the double coat of the Golden Retriever protects and insulates the dog from the elements. The straight or slightly wavy outer coat should lie close to the body. Goldens have a natural ruff around the neck, while heavier feathering should be visible on the front of the neck, rear of the thighs, and underside of the tail.
Size & Weight ❤️
Height: 23 to 24 inches
Weight: 65 to 75 pounds
Height: 21.50 to 22.50 inches
Weight: 55 to 65 pounds
Coat & Color
Golden Retriever Temperament and Personality
Golden Retrievers are naturally intelligent, friendly, reliable, trustworthy, and high-energy dogs. Golden Retrievers are friendly with those they know and those they have just met. This friendliness means that they make terrible guard dogs. However, they have been known to make excellent watchdogs and, more often than not, will sound the alarm to let you know someone is around.
GOOD WITH KIDS
Yes, the Golden Retriever loves being around kids and is an excellent family dog.
They are easy to train and always want to please their owner. This makes them perfect dogs for family life, and they love to associate themselves with kids. Additionally, these dogs can also work as guard dogs to protect kids when required because of their high intelligence.
Good with Other Pets?
GOOD WITH PETS
Yes, the Golden Retriever is great with other pets.
They love playing with other dogs and spending time outdoors. They are also social and love to be around other pets and humans. Make sure you socialize your dog right from when they are a pup to make sure that their behavior does become a hindrance later on in life.
Barks a Lot?
No, the Golden Retriever only barks to try and get your attention.
Otherwise, this breed is not that vocal. This is a good thing, especially if you have young children or small pets at your home. This breed, however, might bark when they see another dog out of caution or excitement. But otherwise, they do not vocalize much.
Can Be Left Alone?
Likes Being Alone
Yes, with the right training, the Golden Retriever can be left alone easily.
However, they do get agitated if left alone for extended periods. Proper crate training can go a long way in helping your Golden spend time alone. Giving them loads of toys can also help ease their transition into spending time alone.
Golden Retriever Training
Golden Retrievers are dogs that love to learn through games. They are extremely intelligent and fun to be around. You can expect your training sessions to be a lot of fun for both you and your dog. Happy voice tones can work wonders in contrast to stern ones.
Sometimes, your Golden might get distracted and won’t respond to a cue from you. In this case, you should act playful and regain their attention. You can then try to get them to do the task once you have their attention and have them re-engaged. Start with socialization and obedience training and work your up toward more advanced training forms.
The versatile use of this dog as a sheepdog, sporting dog, hunting companion, and service dog speaks volumes about its trainability. However, you need the right approach for successful training.
Golden Retriever Needs
A Golden Retriever can be a high-maintenance dog – it requires a lot of exercise and attention while also needing extensive grooming. They also need consistent and proper veterinary care, as they are prone to several health issues.
Goldens need a high-quality dog food that is appropriate for the dog’s age. This will ensure that your dog is getting the right nutrients depending on their needs. It is easy for Goldens to become overweight, so you need to keep an eye on the number of treats you give them per day.
While treats are great for training, too much of it can lead your dog to become obese. Talk to your vet if you have any problems with your dog’s weight or diet.
Exercise & Activity Levels
Just like most sporting dogs, Goldens need a lot of daily exercises. Games like catch, fetch, hide, and seek or other activities like jogging or walking together provide a mutually beneficial bonding experience between dog and owner.
This is a breed that naturally likes to track, hunt, and retrieve objects, so play to this strength and create fun games you can do together that involve these attributes.
The Golden Retriever sheds its coat heavily once or twice a year. They also shed moderately on a regular basis. Regular brushing (once or twice a week) with a slicker brush is recommended. Occasional professional groomer sessions are also beneficial.
Bathing is done on an as-needed basis. The full grooming session also includes nail trimming and ear cleaning. Using ear cleaners is important as the breed is prone to ear infections.
Golden Retriever Average Lifespan
The average lifespan of a Golden Retriever dog is around 10 to 12 years. The breed is prone to several health conditions, some of which affect the lifespan and the overall quality of life.
Commom Health Problems
- Hip Dysplasia and Elbow Dysplasia: These are common joint problems in dogs and stem from incongruency between the bones forming the hip and elbow joint, respectively. They are painful and result in impaired mobility.
- Eye Disease: Golden Retrievers are prone to several eye diseases, such as cataracts, glaucoma, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy, pigmentary uveitis, etc. If left untreated, these can impair vision or even cause blindness.
- Heart Disease: This is another possible issue in Goldens. Heart disease impacts the quality of life and requires continuous monitoring and management. One of the most common heart issues is subvalvular aortic stenosis.
- Hypothyroidism: This happens when your dog’s thyroid gland is unable to produce the right quantity of thyroid hormones. It can lead to mood changes and cause obesity in some cases.
- Ear Infections: Golden Retrievers are prone to ear infections and require regular ear cleaning to prevent this health issue.
- Cancer: Sadly, Goldens are prone to several types of cancer, including mast cell tumors, lymphomas, osteosarcomas, and hemangiosarcoma.
Recommended Health Tests
- Hip Evaluation
- NCL DNA test
- Elbow evaluation
- Cardiac exam
- Ophthalmologist exam
Tips for New Golden Retriever Owners
Here are some helpful tips for first-time Golden Retriever pet parents:
Find a Reputable Breeder: If you get your puppy from a reliable breeder, you can be sure that it will live a long and healthy life. They will fall ill less often and will be less prone to diseases. You can learn a lot more about the breed through breed clubs such as the Golden Retriever Club of America.
Get Puppy/Dog Products in Advance: Make sure that you get your dog’s belongings before you get them home. This ensures a smooth transition for your pup into its new home. You can also use the toys to grab their attention and build a strong bond with them as they grow older. Treats and kibble can be used for training also.
Provide Plenty of Exercises: Goldens are extremely active dogs. Make sure that they are exercised enough throughout the day. Additionally, they should also be given mental stimulation exercises in order to improve their quality of life. This keeps them healthy and stimulated throughout the day, so they don’t go after your furniture and engage in unhealthy behavior.
Golden Retriever Similar Breeds
– Chesapeake Bay Retrievers
– Labrador Retrievers
– Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers
– Flat-Coated Retrievers
– Curly-Coated Retrievers
Golden Retriever Supplies You Need
Golden Retrievers need a high-quality slicker brush to manage dead hair in the thick undercoat and shedding. They also need a good dog shampoo made for long-haired and sensitive breeds. A nail clipper/grinder and ear cleansing solutions are also must-have additions to the grooming kit.
Considering the playful nature of the breed, you should also invest in dog toys. Luckily, Goldens are not picky and would play with anything – from frisbees and plushies to squeaky toys and interactive toys.
Golden Retrievers are food-motivated but also prone to weight gain, so it is a good idea to get healthy dog treats. To support the achy joints, especially during senior years, it is advisable to get a comfy orthopedic dog bed.
Best Dog Beds for Golden Retrievers
Best Dog Food for Golden Retrievers
Golden Retriever Fun Facts
If interested in Golden Retrievers, check these fun facts about the breed:
Fun Fact 1
Thanks to their excellent tracking abilities and keen sense of smell, Golden Retrievers make excellent search and rescue dogs. They are also great therapy dogs and guide dogs.
Fun Fact 2
Golden Retrievers are listed among the four smartest dog breeds in the world (alongside Collies, German Shepherds, and Poodles).
Fun Fact 3
While in office, two US Presidents (Ford and Reagan) had Golden Retrievers as beloved pets.
Fun Fact 4
Because of their trainability, Golden Retrievers make popular actors and are featured in many movies, TV shows, and commercials.
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