Today, Golden Retriever is one of the most loved dog breeds. The breed originated in Great Britain in the 19. Century, particularly in the Scottish mountains. We mainly differentiate between English and American Golden Retrievers. English ones have a stronger constitution, and their hair is lighter and longer. American ones have longer legs and partially resemble some hunting breeds.
Golden Retrievers are still used in hunting to retrieve geese, ducks, and other birds, They love swimming in the water.
Goldies are a brilliant breed and fast learners. They make excellent service, and guide dogs, rescue dogs, therapy dogs, police dogs, and also do great in different dog sports. You probably already know this, but Goldies also make great family dogs!
Character and Temperament
Golden Retrievers are intelligent, confident, and patient dogs. They are great with children and are also appropriate for less experienced dog owners. These dogs are very devoted to their families and live in harmony with other pets in the house.
Living with his family members is very crucial for this breed, and it’s essential to include him in many different activities. Their predisposition to follow orders and to be likable to their owners can have a positive effect on their training. This predisposition is most useful, especially when we are training them to be service, guide, therapy, or rescue dogs.
These dogs have many qualities, including the sense of hunting and tracking, obedience, patience, reliability, they are friendly, kind and loving.
Socialization and Training
Golden Retrievers are energetic and active and love spending time in nature. Whether it is hiking, running, or swimming, your dog is going to have lots of fun. At least 45 minutes of activity a day is a must or separated in two 20-30 minutes parts. Puppies will need less activity but will usually fall asleep when they get tired.
Up to 2 years of age its better to prevent playing and running on concrete and other hard areas, and let them play on the grass/soft areas. Play with your dog in a grassy area to protect their joints. Their joints are not fully developed until two years of age.
Early training is important, playing with soft toys, teaching them how to behave, etc. Puppies like to “bite,” explore the world with their mouths. We can’t prevent it, but we can teach them how to be more gentle.
When they are young adults, we start teaching them how to properly walk with a leash, potty training, agility and more. This breed is very intelligent and fast learning. With patience, consistency, and love, these dogs can thrive in their full potential.
Compatibility With Children
Goldies are incredibly patient and loving around children, so there is no problem even around small children. Due to its size and strength, an adult should always be present, because the dog can jump on the child while playing. These dogs are perfect for families with children (small or big), and they also get along with other pets when properly introduced.
In the past, this breed was involved in physically very demanding work. These dogs are energetic and active and need lots of activity. At least 45 minutes of walking a day, playing, swimming, or jogging, is a must. As their name tells us, they love to retrieve (toys, balls).
If they don’t get enough exercise, they can become destructive (chewing your belongings, digging holes, jumping, etc.). They can also develop behavioral problems and become obese.
With obesity, the risk for heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and hip and elbow dysplasia highly increases.
If you don’t have enough time to attend to this breed’s exercise and social needs, this is not the breed for you.
Generally, Golden Retrievers are quite healthy and robust but can suffer from some of the following issues. Your dog might never suffer from any of these, but it’s essential to know them.
- Hip and elbow dysplasia (you can partially prevent this when you buy your dog from a certified breeder).
- Eye issues: Multifocal Retinal Dysplasia (MRD), Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA), Cataracts
- Ectopic Ureter.
- Allergies to food (can often be solved with a change of diet ).
Allergies, hip and elbow dysplasia, and cataracts can often be successfully treated. If you want to avoid certain conditions it’s advised to get the dog from a certified breeder.
Goldies have a rich coat and often shed. This breed needs a lot of brushing, much like Labs, so it’s better to start when very small to teach the puppy that brushing is a pleasant experience. You need to brush daily to keep the coat in a healthy condition. It is also import to trim paw hair regularly to prevent knots from developing. Ears need to be dry and clean to prevent ear infections.
It’s advised to take them to a professional groomer every once in a while. They need to be bathed when dirty, but not too often, as they might develop allergies or have irritated skin. A special shampoo has to be used.
The Golden Retriever is one of my favorite dog breeds. If you are new to the dog world and looking for a family dog you can hardly go wrong in choosing one.