Golden Retriever pros and cons
Owning a Golden Retriever has advantages and disadvantages. Pros of owning a Golden include the dog's friendly and affectionate temperament. The sociable and playful temperament of the Golden Retriever makes this breed one of the most popular family dogs. Golden Retrievers make good family pets for older people and for families with children. Goldens are eager to please the owner and highly trainable. This easygoing breed is fit for first time dog owners, which is another con.
Disadvantages of owning a Golden Retriever include the abundant shedding. Golden Retriever owners need to brush the dog often. Investing in a good vacuum cleaner is also a good idea as there may be plenty of dog's hair around the home where a Golden lives. Goldens have plenty of energy and need to get sufficient exercise every day. Goldens enjoy long walks and owners need to be energetic enough to take the dog out for several good walks every day. This is not an apartment dog. Goldens need enough space and a country home with a large yard is ideal. Goldens are companion dogs that need to spend most of the day with the owners. One of the cons of owning a Golden Retriever is that this breed is not fit to be a guard dog. Goldens are so friendly by nature that counting on a Golden to protect your home is setting unrealistic expectations.
The Golden Retriever breed originated in the early 19th century in the Scottish Highlands. It was created by a gentleman named Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth (Lord Tweedmouth to you), a Scottish businessman and politician who bred dogs as a hobby. The breed was developed from crossing bloodhounds, setters and the existing retrievers to create a breed of hunting dog that could retrieve a large number of game birds from land and water. The American Kennel Club recognized the Golden Retriever breed in 1925.
Golden Retriever weight
Golden Retriever's weight
Golden Retriever male weight: 29 to 34 kg (65 to 75 lb)
Golden Retriever female weight: 25 to 29 kg (55 to 65 lb)
Golden Retriever size
Golden Retriever male height: 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 in)
Golden Retriever female height: 51 to 56 cm (20 to 22 in)
Golden Retriever coat: thick, long double coat
Golden Retriever colors: Light Golden, Golden, or Dark Golden
How many puppies do Goldens have on average?
Golden Retriever litter size: 4 to 8 puppies
How long do Golden Retrievers live?
Golden Retriever lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Golden Retriever other names for the breed: Goldens or Golden
How much does a Golden Retriever cost?
Golden Retriever price per puppy ranges from $500 to $3,000.
Golden Retriever personality
According to the breed standard, the Golden Retriever personality is friendly, reliable and trustworthy. The highly intelligent Golden Retriever with a friendly temperament is among the most popular dog breeds in the United States. Originally developed to help hunters find ducks in the water, Golden Retrievers have soft mouths so they don't damage and chew up the birds during retrieving.
There are several different types of Golden Retrievers including British type, American Type and Canadian Type. The Canadian Golden Retrievers are the tallest of the three types (males can reach 24" in height which is about 61 centimeters and females can reach 22.5" in height which is about 57 centimeters). American types tend to be lankier and less muscular than other types. British type Golden Retrievers have broader skull and the forequarters are more muscular than in other types.
Golden Retrievers are a versatile breed that can live in an apartment or in a large house. The large dog needs about two hours of exercise every day to stay healthy both mentally and physically. Golden Retriever's friendly personality makes him a perfect family dog. Are Golden Retrievers good with kids? Golden retrievers are playful, energetic and affectionate dogs and are very suitable for families with kids. Golden Retrievers love to play fetch with a ball or frisbee. The dog easily adopts to different environments and to different people. This breed can be a good hunting dog and a good show dog. The Golden Retriever breed is well suited for those who have little or no experience in dog ownership.
Easily trainable Golden Retrievers excel in obedience. The Golden Retriever is not fit to be a guard dog. The dog may bark when a stranger approaches his territory but in general Golden Retrievers will not attack as the breed is known for its friendliness. Golden Retrievers are easily trainable and used by search and rescue teams, as Seeing Eye dog for the blind and as a hearing dog for the hearing-impaired people.
Socialize your Golden Retriever early on. Take the Golden puppy to different environments and be sure to keep the dog comfortable at all times. Let the puppy meet people of different ages - from young kids to seniors. Letting the puppy befriend other family pets is also important. Keep new experiences short and always positive. Never let anyone play rough with your puppy. A well socialized puppy will grow into a confident adult Golden Retriever who can be comfortable in different environments and has a positive and friendly personality that makes this breed so irresistible to dog enthusiasts.
See video below for more information about this Golden Retriever - the large family friendly dog breed.
Golden Retriever shedding
One of the cons to owning a Golden Retriever is that Golden Retrievers shed a lot. Thick, long and wavy coat with a good undercoat of the Golden Retriever protects this breed in the coldest water. The coat needs daily brushing to avoid tangles. Regular brushing helps to manage the shedding. Many dog breeds shed all year long, but most breeds, including Golden Retrievers, experience heavier periods of shedding in the spring and fall. Golden Retrievers have a double coat - a long, silky outer coat and a downy, insulating undercoat. In the spring, much of this undercoat sheds out and can get caught in the outer coat, forming mats, particularly around ears, tail and "underarm", where the front legs meet the chest. In the fall, the undercoat grows in more thickly again. During both these periods Goldens need extra grooming with a natural bristle brush and an undercoat rake to prevent mats and keep their coats looking clean, bright and shiny.
Video demonstration of using a Furminator brush on a Golden Retriever.
Using a Furminator deshedding tool helps to keep Golden Retrievers's shedding to a minimum.
Golden Retriever supplies
When you are getting ready to bring a Golden Retriever home, getting the needed supplies ahead of time is important. Here are the essential puppy supplies every new Golden Retriever owner should have on hand.
Food and Water Bowls
Weighted metal bowls or heavy ceramic bowls are the best. These won't tip as easily and won't tempt your dog to chew like plastic bowls might. These are also not likely to collect bacteria as they are easier to clean. Slow feeders for large breeds are great for Labradors. Slow feeders prevent the dog from eating too fast, thus swallowing air along with their food.
Crate for a Golden Retriever
Crates are very helpful and your dog will find a "den-like" environment comfortable for sleeping and relaxing in. Another important function of a crate is that crates are used for housetraining. Crate-train your puppy right away and he will come to love and cherish his "den". Wire and plastic are both acceptable options, but dogs generally prefer an enclosed den that is only exposed on one side. If confined to a small space but exposed on all sides, dogs can get anxious. If you choose a wire crate, cover the top, sides and back with a blanket or, when outside, with a waterproof cover. This keeps the sun off and gives your dog a safe and secure feeling.
Dog leash and collar for a Golden Retriever
Every dog needs to learn how to walk on a leash. A light nylon collar and 6-foot leash are appropriate for puppies, but adults can use them too. Nylon leashes and collars are washable, and you can buy reflective kinds, which are better for walking dogs at night. Leather leashes are easier to grip, less likely to chafe your skin if your dog is pulling on the leash, and develop a lovely patina as they age. Retractable leashes are good options when walking in areas where you want to allow your dog to explore off the path, but they aren't a good idea if you are trying to teach your dog to heel and not to pull on the leash. If this isn't a problem, a retractable leash works fine. Just be sure you are still able to keep control of your dog if necessary.
ID tag should be on the dog's collar so that whoever finds the dog can return the dog back to you in case your dog gets lost.
Dog toys for Golden Retrievers
Every puppy needs to play, learn interact and chew on something. Golden Retrievers will quickly learn which toys are theirs if you give them their own toy box - a simple box or laundry basket will do. Keep it full of interesting toys and rotate the toys from time to time so that the dog can find something interesting in that box. You can also teach your dog to recognize each toy by the name. You will need to give your dog one new toy at a time and let the dog play with that toy for a few days, making sure to repeat the word that you want to use to name the toy. This helps your dog to associate each toy with its name and soon he will learn names of all his toys and can bring you one when you request a specific toy by the name. Great way to help your puppy develop his intelligence! Goldens typically enjoy balls, Nylabone Frisbees, and anything appropriate for chewing. Try stuffable toys you can fill with treats, especially those that make your Golden work to get the treat out to keep him busy for hours.
Dog shampoo and conditioner
Choose a basic dog shampoo, or one specially formulated for medium-length coats. If your dog has sensitive skin, choose a shampoo designed to soothe the skin. Dog conditioners help to keep the coat smooth, shiny, and tangle free.
Dog nail clippers
Choose clippers designed for large dogs, never use nail clippers made for people on your dog. Some clippers come with a file or an electric smoother built into the clippers, to smooth out the rough nail surface after clipping. You can also use a nail grinder.
Keep the dog's ears clean to prevent ear infections.
Small blunt-tipped trimming scissors
Golden Retrievers tend to grow long hair between and around their paw pads. This can get tangled and in the winter, can collect balls of ice or irritating de-icing salt. Keep your dog's paws trimmed, clipping out hair from between paw pads and around the feet.
Brush your dog's teeth every day to prevent dental issues.
Golden Retriever training
Goldens take to training quickly and with enthusiasm, so housetraining and basic commands come easily to Golden Retrievers. It is up to the owner to invest the time and energy into training their dog so that the dog can earn that title of the "perfect family dog". Because Goldens are quick to learn and are sensitive, they don't need harsh training methods. They only need consistency, a fun approach to training, and lots of positive reinforcement for a job well done.
Untrained and unsocialized Golden Retrievers who aren't taught good manners and not exposed to other people and dogs early in life can be pushy, nippy, aggressive, hyperactive, and destructive. Regular training and lots of positive, safe life experience is the way to bring out the very best in your Golden Retriever, so that his true nature and personality can shine.
Golden Retriever puppies often display signs of oral fixation and the puppy will chew on things to relieve the oral fixation. To help your puppy be sure to provide the dog with appropriate dog toy that they can carry in the mouth and make sure the toy is safe for chewing and doesn't have small parts that the dog can accidentally swallow. A good toy would be a hard rubber ball to play with. Train your dog to retrieve objects to help the dog satisfy its natural desire to retrieve. This highly intelligent breed responds well to both basic and advanced training. House training should start the minute you bring the puppy home. Select a spot where you prefer to use as your dog's toilet and bring your puppy in that area immediately after each feeding and twenty minutes after feeding. These are the times when most dogs tend to need to relieve themselves. Very young puppies (under 4 months of age) may need to pee every hour or so. Take your Golden Retriever outside after a nap, first thing in the morning, before going to bed at night and also before leaving the dog alone. To prevent forming a habit of your dog eliminating itself in the house, watch the dog's behavior closely and whenever you notice that the dog is pacing, circling, sniffing and leaving the room - take this behavior as a signal to take the Golden Retriever outside so that the dog can relieve itself in the designated area. Praise your Golden Retriever or reward it with a treat as soon as the dog is finished relieving itself in the designated area. Always bring the dog to the same area designated as the dog's toilet so that the familiar environment will encourage your Golden Retriever to relieve itself.
Never punish your dog or scream at the Golden Retriever if the dog doesn't do something right. Stay calm if you catch your puppy in the middle of an accident. Clap sharply in order to startle the dog. This will usually cause the puppy to stop. Then quickly run with the dog outside, encouraging the puppy to follow you. If your Golden Retriever finishes peeing or pooping outside, give a reward. If she has nothing left, don't worry about it. Screaming and punishing can only scare your puppy and make it more difficult for the puppy to learn. Instead be sure to reward the good behavior immediately so that the dog associates the reward with his behavior. Ignore the bad behavior. Staying consistent is the key to success.
When it comes to intelligence, the Golden Retriever earned a spot in the top five most intelligent dog breeds. The eager to please the owner Golden Retriever is among the easiest dog breeds to train. Use motivators such as food, praise or play and you will be amazed at how smart the Golden Retriever is. Intelligence is determined not only by genetics. Environment plays a huge role in developing an intelligent dog. As an owner you have the ability to help your Golden Retriever puppy to develop its intellect. Teach your dog names of various objects as the dog is capable to remember hundreds of words. Develop his mental power by naming each of his toys. When you get a new toy for the dog, be sure to name the toy as you are playing with the dog using the toy. Let the dog play with the same toy a few days and keep naming the toy until your Golden Retriever knows the toy by the name and can bring it to you when you ask to bring that specific toy. You can also teach the dog names of other objects. Keep increasing the dog's vocabulary as that helps to create new associations. This is one of the ways to develop your dog's intelligence.
Raising Golden Retriever Puppies
Pet ownership is a commitment. A good Golden Retriever owner is prepared to put time, money, and energy into proper veterinary care, training, quality food, supplies, and invest quality time into building the relationship between human and dog. The reason why there are so many Golden Retrievers abandoned to animal shelters and rescue groups is because many people aren't suited for this breed of dog. Puppies require housetraining. They chew things you don't want them to chew. They require shots, worming, and checkups that can be expensive. They need obedience training and socialization too. Adolescent dogs aren't easier. Big and full of energy Goldens can easily get into trouble especially between 8 months of age to approximately 18 months until the dog will start maturing into an adult. In old age, Goldens may suffer from many diseases associated with aging, from arthritis and hip dysplasia to eye diseases, cancer, heart problems, and many other conditions. Senior Goldens need more frequent check-ups, tests and veterinary care than Goldens in their prime, and the committed owner will provide this care, along with sensitivity towards an aging Golden's changing needs.
If you are ready to become a responsible and committed Golden Retriever owner, ask yourself the following questions:
Having a fenced yard helps, but am I ready to spend about two hours every day walking and playing with my Golden Retriever? Am I active enough to keep up with this breed?
Do I love to vacuum? Golden Retrievers shed all year, picking up the pace of shedding in the spring and the fall. That means a lot of vacuuming, and tolerance for the occasional stray Golden hair on your pillow, rug and even in your morning coffee.
Is my home ready for a Golden Retriever? Is my furniture ready to be occupied by a big yellow dog? Your Golden Retriever will bargain with you for comfort privileges.
Am I sure I want a dog around all the time? Golden Retrievers want to be a part of everything that you do.
Best dog food for Golden Retriever
Feed your Golden Retriever with high quality dog food. Best dog food for Golden Retriever is made of high quality ingredients and it should also be age-appropriate because dogs of different ages have different nutritional needs. Remove the food between feedings. Regular feedings make it easier to house train your Golden Retriever as your dog will have regular times when it needs to eliminate. A young puppy needs four or five small meals a day. By six months, it will need only two meals a day.
How much to feed a Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever puppies up to 6 months of age need to be fed 3 times per day. Feed the puppy the low end of recommended amount of food, or as much as the puppy will eat in ten minutes. Best dog food is a puppy food for large breeds specifically formulated to moderate growth, or a premium adult food.
Golden Retriever adolescents between 6 months and 1 year old need to eat 2 or 3 times a day. Feed the adolescent Golden Retriever the low end of the recommended amount of food, or slightly more if you can see his ribs. Or, as much as the adolescent will eat in ten minutes. Best dog food for adolescent Golden is premium adult food.
Active Adult Golden Retriever between 1 to 7 years old need to eat 2 or 3 times a day. Feed the adult Golden Retriever the low end to middle the amount of food, or slightly more on days of high activity. Or, as much as the dog will eat in ten minutes. Feed the dog premium adult food for active dogs or regular premium adult dog food.
Sedentary Adult Golden Retriever between 1 to 7 years old need to eat 2 times a day. Feed the adult Golden Retriever the low end the amount of food, or slightly less if a dog is losing a noticeable waistline when viewed from above. Or, as much as the dog will eat in ten minutes. Feed the dog premium adult dog food.
Senior Golden Retriever are dogs that are approximately 7 years old and older need to eat 2 times a day. Feed the senior Golden Retriever the low end the amount of food, or slightly less if a dog is losing a noticeable waistline when viewed from above or reducing activity level. Or, as much as the dog will eat in ten minutes. Feed the dog premium adult dog food or premium food designed for senior dogs.
Golden Retriever grooming and care
To prevent ear infections be sure to clean your Golden Retriever's ears regularly. Floppy ears of Golden Retriever are prone to ear infections when moisture gets trapped inside, creating a breeding ground for bacteria. If you notice your dog scratching his ears a lot, give your vet a call. The best way to prevent infection from occurring in the first place, is to keep your dog's ears clean and dry.
Bathe your Golden Retriever once every couple of months. Some Golden Retrievers might not like standing in the bathtub, so get your Golden puppy accustomed to regular baths at a young age, when your Golden is physically easier to control. Brushing your Golden retriever before bathing will help to remove tangles that tend to get tighter in the water. Use positive reinforcement by providing your dog with some treats as you are bathing him.
Nail trimming is important because long nails can easily scratch people and can also damage the dog's feet by causing foot pads to splay. Nails should be short, neat and smooth, and the best way to accomplish this is to trim your Golden's nails a little bit every week, rather than a lot every couple of months. Inside every dog's nail is a little vein called the quick. The longer the nail grows, the further down the nail the quick grows. When you clip your Golden's nails, you have to be careful not to clip the quick. this is painful to your Golden Retriever, and can make him fear nail clipping. It also causes bleeding which can be difficult to stop. To be safe, have a stryptic pencil or powder to stop bleeding. The bleeding will stop eventually, but in the meantime you are risking getting blood all over the house. Start nail trimming right away so your Golden gets used to it. Puppies may not like it, but they will get used to it if you do it regularly. Make the process rewarding to your puppy. At first, just do one nail each day, trimming daily instead of weekly. This will get your Golden puppy used to the routine. Work up to one paw each day. Take it slowly, and offer lots of praise, rewards and fun play session afterwards.
Dental care could save your dog's life. A senior Golden Retriever with teeth covered in plaque can be at a greater risk for early death and heart disease. Dental plaque can lead to bacterial infections of the heart, so keeping your Golden's teeth clean from the start is important. Daily brushing can prevent the need for professional teeth cleaning later in life, and expensive procedure that requires anesthesia. Nylabone chew toys also can help keep the teeth free of plaque. Always use a toothpaste made for dogs. Toothpastes made for humans can be dangerous for your dog's health.
The video below features a Golden Retriever owner who is sharing his experience about what it takes to live with a Golden Retriever.
Golden Retriever health issues
Common health problems in the Golden Retriever Breed include hip dysplasia, heart problems, eye disorders and cancer. Take your Golden Retriever to the veterinarian once a year for a checkup.