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Jovial, loyal, and gallant — Golden Retrievers are quite the package. Their disarmingly charming good looks make them one of the most beautiful dogs known to mankind. So adorable are they that a bunch of these good boys and girls have taken over Instagram, becoming quite the celebrities themselves.
But there’s a lot more to Goldens than what meets the eye. In this post, we are going to take a close look at Golden Retrievers and everything that makes them who they are.
America’s second most favorite dog breed, Golden Retrievers go all the way back to the United Kingdom during Queen Victoria’s rule. At that time, Dudley Marjoribanks, Lord the First of Tweedmouth, was carefully crossbreeding at least four different breeds of dogs to find himself the perfect companion for his estate in Inverness Shire, Scotland.
That’s why present-day Golden Retrievers have as many as four ancestors: the Duke’s yellow retriever, Tweed Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, and wait for it, the Bloodhound! No wonder Goldens turned out to be as fabulous as they did!
Because they were bred to hunt and withstand damp weather, Golden Retrievers grew up to be excellent swimmers who were hardy and always eager to please their masters.
They landed on American shores in the early 1900s. By the 1970s, their popularity skyrocketed. To this date, these beautiful dogs remain a hot favorite in the USA.
Besides warming up homes, the breed is also known for being excellent at fieldwork, leading search parties, and acting as guides for the blind. Talk about an all-around performer and nobody can dethrone Golden Retrievers from their spot.
Fun Fact: Tucker Budzyn, with a whopping 3 million social media followers across Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook is one of the most famous dogsters at present. His very first video hit 5.5 million views, with the internet raving over this cute Golden. And Tucker made it possible only within two weeks of making his Instagram debut.
It goes without saying, the most notable physical feature of Golden Retrievers is their luscious coat of fur. Their coats usually come in three colors: dark golden, golden, and light golden/beige. This breed has a water-repellant double coat of fur that can range from wavy to straight.
Fun Fact: Did you know that the coats of Golden Retrievers vary according to their type? Canadian origin Goldens have a thinner fur coat compared to their American counterparts.
But what makes them even more attractive is the atypical feathering around their necks, belly, and tails. They also have floppy, V-shaped ears that hug their elegantly elongated straight muzzles.
Fully grown Golden Retrievers stand tall at 23-24 inches for males, and 21.5-22.5 inches for females. The males are heavier than the females at 65-75 pounds. The females, when in their best shape, weigh roughly 55-65 pounds.
The best of the breed can go on to live for 10-12 years. But as always, there are exceptions. Augie The Golden lived for a good 20 years, finding her forever home at 14! She crossed the rainbow bridge in 2020.
Pro Tip: If you’re curious to find out what color your Golden pup is going to grow up to be, take a look at the tips of their ears. Whatever the shade of golden their ear tips are, their coat will be too.
Affectionate, amiable, and adorable, Golden Retrievers are a bundle of joy and energy to have around the house. They love to hog all the attention from their families and are always very eager to please their pet parents. That’s why these lovable dogs are very easy to train!
They’re also fairly easygoing and highly adaptable by nature. That’s why they gel well with kids as well as other pets, and even strangers! Don’t expect your Golden to bark at people they’ve never met before. He/she is most likely to befriend them in a jiffy!
That they don’t bark a lot makes this breed a pleasing company to be around. Golden Retrievers only bark when necessary: they like to alert their pet parents of noises or movements that they find out of the ordinary. They are, after all, quite an intelligent breed!
Because they’re always bubbling with energy, Golden Retrievers require a lot of mental and physical stimulation to remain happy and healthy.
Overall, they’re great as pets and can cheer up any household. Golden Retrievers are especially great for first-time pet owner(s).
Golden Retrievers are a highly agile breed: they need 1,353 to 1,740 calories per day if they lead an active lifestyle. About 1.5 cups of dog food per meal, twice a day should meet their requirement. If your Golden does not spend much time outdoors, or has no propensity for exercising, cut down the daily calorie consumption to 989 to 1,272 calories per day.
Because they often experience a spurt of growth, you must closely watch your Golden Retriever’s diet. They can be fed premium-quality, grain-free commercial dog food, canned food, or even homemade meals. Just make sure to consult your veterinarian to understand your pet’s exact nutritional requirements.
No matter what kind of food you choose for your Golden, make sure it contains 18-22% of high-quality protein.
Remember to not load up on treats. Feed them sparingly and use them as a part of your positive reinforcement training. Under no circumstances should you spoil your dog with treats!
You can also go ahead and safely feed them lean meats like pork, chicken, turkey, and even beef. Fishes like salmon are also good for their health, as are certain fruits and vegetables. You can, therefore, include a variety of food in your Golden Retriever’s diet as long as you give them a balanced meal.
As is the case with any other dog, feeding table scraps does not bode well for Golden Retrievers either. Steer clear of the practice from the get-go. If your dog never puts on a habit, he/she will never ask you to share your meals with him/her.
Should you avoid certain human foods for your dog? Definitely! Here’s a list for reference.
Apart from good food, you should also provide enough drinking water to your pet.
Always keep a clean and ample supply of water for your Golden Retriever to lap up whenever they’re thirsty. A well-fed dog is a happy dog, and as a pet parent, keeping your pooch happy is your responsibility.
Thanks to their muscular build an active lifestyle, Golden Retrievers are generally quite healthy. But like all breeds, they are susceptible to certain health conditions. If you have a Golden, keep an eye an out for the following diseases that can affect them:
To make sure that your Golden Retriever does not suffer from any hereditary conditions, conduct the following medical tests:
While all Golden Retrievers are susceptible to these breed-specific illnesses, those bred under unethical conditions, or brought up in negligent conditions are most likely to suffer more than healthy dogs. Make sure to get your dog from an ethical breeder.
Take your pet for regular checkups. If they face any issue, do not sit on it or try unverified home remedies. Take a professional opinion.
Vaccinating your Goldens at the correct age is crucial to canine health as well. Do not miss out on those!
Dogs, just like us, are prone to illnesses. Sometimes they might suffer from a condition in spite of your best efforts. For such emergencies, do consider investing in a good dog insurance policy. After all, pets are family and deserve the best care we can give them.
Despite their enviable fur coat, Golden Retrievers are not very heavy shedders. They do shade all year round, with a spike during spring and fall. It is a good practice to comb your Golden every day with a premium quality slicker brush. You should also invest in a de-shedding brush if you want to groom your dog at home.
Apart from shedding, Goldens need a lot of TLC for their big, floppy ears. Their ears can gather dirt, become a breeding ground for mites, or build-up wax if not groomed regularly. Gently lift up your pet’s ears and clean them with either non-toxic dog wipes, or per your vet’s recommendation regularly.
Do keep an eye on their nails as well. Big nails can cause them trouble: they can get into accidents or even scratch themselves badly. Give those nails a trim once a month.
Pro Tip: If you take your Golden Retriever out for a lot of walks, that can naturally end up filing their nails.
As far as baths are concerned, Golden Retrievers might need a good wash once a week to once every 4-6 weeks, depending upon how much dirt accumulates in their fur. If you are bathing your dog at home, do make sure he/she is completely dry after the shower. A high-velocity dryer can come in super handy in that case. Otherwise, you can always take your dog to the groomer.
Golden Retrievers do require a fair amount of work as far as grooming is concerned. Make a note of that before you get one home.
Because Golden Retrievers are always eager to please their parents, they’re a breeze to train. Show them a trick or give them a command, your dog will put his/her best efforts to execute the task. This innate character trait makes the breed suitable for becoming guide dogs, taking part in competitions, or even search and rescue operations.
They’re also quite social by nature and therefore do well when taken on walks. You can train your Golden Retriever to do a lot of tricks. Remember to choose a positive reinforcement-based training method for your beloved pet — it encourages them to perform better without feeling alienated.
As we already mentioned a few times, Golden Retrievers have high energy levels and therefore require a hefty dose of daily exercise. You should squeeze in two hours of exercise every day in addition to the training session.
Take them on walks, jogs, or runs — your dog’s going to love you for it. You can also play fetch, tug-of-war, and similar games with them throughout the day. The more you play with your Golden Retriever, the happier they will be. They are not the kind to sit idle and laze in the house.
If you’re planning to get the golden retriever dog breed, do ensure you have ample outdoor space to give them their daily dose of exercise. They’re big dogs and do not do well in confined spaces with limited activity.
Yes, they are! But owing to their size and energy, they require big houses with ample open spaces to live comfortably. They are habitually friendly and get along with other pets, kids, and guests. Goldens are an ideal choice for first-time pet parents as well.
Based on the color of their fur coat, Golden Retrievers can be dark golden, golden, and lightly golden. Based on their region of origin, they can be English, American, or Canadian. However, the differences are subtle and often unnoticeable to inexperienced eyes.
No, they don’t. They’re a quiet breed by nature that only barks to alert their owners of something unfamiliar or suspicious.
Although they’re moderate shedders, Goldens do shed their undercoat a lot during spring and fall.
They’re born friendly and happen to be one of the most amiable breeds known to mankind. They are also kind, intelligent, and devoted pets.