When it comes to bringing a dog into the family home, few breeds get more interest than the famous Golden Retriever. And it is easy to see why; they are the finest example of what a dog can be. Spend any length of time around a Golden Retriever, and you will find a dog that is highly intelligent, extremely friendly around others, and utterly involved in everything you do as a family.
If you want a dog that your kids can grow up around with harmony, then the Golden Retriever makes an obvious choice. At the same time, if you want a dog that can be the perfect companion for long trips, then the Golden Retriever also matches up to that description. Thinking of getting a Golden Retriever for your house? Then you might want to read through this quick list of facts about these amazing dogs.
The basics of a Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a particularly gorgeous breed of gundog that stems from Scotland. Today, they are rated as some of the most popular dogs in the world, especially in the United States. Born hunters and field workers, they also work well as guide dogs, as search-and-rescue dogs, and as dogs that take part in competitive events. Really, they are the all-rounder of the dog world, having been a common presence since the mid-1830s until today.
So, the basics of owning a Golden Retriever comes down to three things: what height will it? What weight will it reach? And how long will it live?
- In terms of height, you can expect a Golden Retriever to reach anything from 23-24” as a male, and 21.5-22.5” as a female. This obviously can change, but this is the average.
- In terms of weight, you should see a male Golden Retriever reach around 65-75lbs in weight, whereas a female might reach around 55-65lbs in weight.
- In terms of age, these amazing dogs can live for around 10 to 12 years. Of course, this comes down to various factors including lifestyle, care, diet, and luck with illness and/or injury.
As you can see, then, the Golden Retriever is a dog with some pretty around-average stats when it comes to its weight, height, and age.
Golden Retrievers around others
One of the main reasons to get a dog comes from ensuring that they can spend time around children and others. How, then, does a Golden Retriever tend to act when you put it around others?
- If you have other dogs, you should have a dog that is more or less perfect for social time with other canines. The Golden Retriever is famous for getting on with other dogs like a house on fire.
- If you have a family, then you should have no problems at all. The Golden Retriever is not a dog that tends to gravitate towards one member of the family, instead of spending time with everyone without too much issue.
- If you have children, they are brilliant to have around. Most kids want to be around a Golden Retriever because they are cute, cuddly, and so easy to have fun with. This makes them ideal for any child, really.
So, you should find that having a Golden Retriever around the place means having a dog that is very easy to get around the place with. These tend to be great to spend time with, and they are very social, even with strangers. While some dog breeds are wary around those they do not know, the Golden Retriever is the total opposite. Everyone is someone they can make friends with potentially – it takes a lot to antagonise a Golden Retriever.
However, don’t think these are dogs that won’t stand up for you. If you or another family member is put under any kind of duress, expect the Golden Retriever to be right in the line to protect you. They are often strong, athletic dogs that would never hesitate to help out their owner if they were in any kind of trouble. This makes them easily adaptable to most social situations, and it also means they love to play with others.
How does a Golden Retriever grow physically?
Over time, you will notice that a young Golden Retriever goes from wanting to play all the time to be slightly more sedate as they age. They do want to get playful with most people, but they are not quite as non-stop as other breeds, like a poodle. For that reason, you can find that Golden Retriever dogs are great for having around kids as they grow at a pace that means they should never be too much for the children to handle.
Over time, dogs like a Golden Retriever become quite assertive with their own physique. This means they only tend to bark when they have something to really alert you to; they are not likely to just bark at everyone and anyone like other breeds. However, that assertiveness can lend itself to the Golden Retriever wanting a bit more action in terms of physical input. They aren’t really lounging dogs, so taking it on long walks and the like can be useful for burning up some of that energy.
However, unlike other breeds, the Golden Retriever is not a dog you have to worry about having limitless energy. As your Golden Retriever ages, too, you should notice that it can become less likely to have problems like drooling everywhere.
They do, though, have a problem with shedding – most dogs will shed their medium-length double coats all over the place. While not the most prolific breed, Golden Retrievers do have a habit of shedding their fur. They also tend to need a fair amount of care, probably taking it for a grooming session every 2-3 weeks.
If you want a dog that can easily handle changes at home, including to their own space, whilst growing at a physical pace that you can actually, control, then the Golden Retriever is the perfect place for you to begin.
Do Golden Retrievers need much exercise?
Exercise is vital for any kind of dog, and a sports-friendly dog breed like a Golden Retriever needs a fair amount of physical exercise. They tend to be dogs that get quite tetchy without regular daily exercise. If you see your Golden Retriever acting inappropriately, the first thing to do is take them for a long walk – it really is the best way to get that energy and stress out of their system. Typically, two hours of good, solid exercise per day should be more than enough for your dog.
They are great for everything from hikes to runes, though you should always have a Golden Retriever checked out for potential health issues (see below), especially in relation to their heart. Also, while they need exercise, their somewhat weaker bones and joints mean that you should probably keep activities to things like walks, basic play, and hunting trips. Fitness is vital, though, so make sure you can put together a plan for someone to take the dog for at least two nice, long walks each day along with some basic play and fetch sessions.
Do Golden Retrievers need training?
These are highly intelligent dogs, and typically need to be told no a lot less than other dogs. They learn quickly from your education and tend to be more than happy to learn with you. If you want to help them grow, though, you should get a Golden Retriever from a young age and slowly introduce them to people and places. From steven weeks to the first few months of life, this will help a Golden Retriever to get more adjusted to the pace of the life that you lead. They will become more naturalised to your mannerisms and your activities, and thus will find it easier to settle in.
Typically, though, a Golden Retriever will be happy to please you and thus will be more than keen to play along with anything that earns it your praise and respect. As such, expect these loyal little animals to do more or less what you ask; follow up any success with praise, and the natural intellect of a Golden Retriever should ensure that it learns a lot quicker.
Yes, training will be needed especially from a young age. Quickly, though, a Golden Retriever can get to grips with the demands.
How healthy are Golden Retrievers?
Health is something you should never take lightly with a Golden Retriever, as they can become ill very quickly without your watch. However, do not let that sentence put you off; these are generally very strong, healthy dogs. If they do get ill, though, action should be taken ASAP to help them get back to full and healthy status as soon as they can. You should, though, be aware that many Golden Retrievers can have problems including hip dysplasia, and eye conditions are common as well.
Look out for any signs of retinal atrophy or juvenile cataracts, and you might be able to get your dog a bit more help and support. Also, be sure to look very closely at the ears of a Golden Retriever; they tend to be commonly infected. Also, regular dental care is needed as Golden Retriever can have a history of dental and oral issues without regular and consistent support to keep on top of the problems.
Regular evaluations, then, on their eyes, their hips, their elbows, and their heart should be something that you look to make a common check-up. These are the most common areas of concern for even a healthy Golden Retriever.
However, you should always look to keep an eye out for a deadly problem: cancer. Some 60% of Golden Retrievers can suffer from cancer, so you have to be ready to keep out a close eye on that problem.
What do Golden Retrievers eat?
When it comes to diet, you should always look to speak with the vet and/or the breeder to get a more rounded idea. The primary challenge you might face when it comes to getting food for a Golden Retriever is ensuring that it can be properly fed when it comes to its dietary needs. This is why ensuring you get your Golden Retriever from a source that is going to be upfront and honest with you about their lifestyle so far is important.
You also want to know about dietary issues within the breeding history of that particular form of Golden Retriever. Knowledge is power, and you want to know as much as you can about what your Golden Retriever can and cannot eat.
Avoid giving a Golden Retriever high-fat foods and things like cooked bones from your own table, though, as they can contribute to weight gain. Sadly, overweight Golden Retrievers are more common than other dog breeds, as they have such a love of food. As such, you need to be vigilant about their eating habits.
However, one thing to look out for when it comes to Golden Retrievers is that they can have a lot of problems when it comes to not eating enough grain. Some research shows that eating a grain-free diet could be related to heart problems in a Golden Retriever. As such, you should look to do a lot more looking and searching to find out more about whether or not their dog is getting enough taurine in their diet. More research is needed on this key fact, but it is absolutely something to keep an eye on moving forward. This could be linked to taurine deficiency but is still under more research.
You want to make sure that any dog in your life is cared for to the best of your ability. However, when it comes to the Golden Retriever, the challenge can be a bit more pronounced. That does not, though, mean it is anything like not worthwhile; a Golden Retriever can be much better to have around the house than almost any other breed, in our opinion. If you can meet the challenge of caring for one, the bring more than enough love, joy, and happiness into your life to make any difficulties or stresses more than worthwhile.