Given their cheerful and friendly demeanor, beautiful golden coat, adorable smile, and unconditional loyalty to their owners, it’s no surprise that the Golden Retriever is one of the top 10 most popular dog breeds in North America. This breed makes for a wonderful family pet, they are smart and well suited to working and learning. Originally bred for retrieving ducks and other fowl for hunters, Golden Retrievers thrive in agility and obedience training. Golden Retrievers require at least 2-houra of daily activity, but also rely a family connection. These are family dogs and they need to feel apart of the pack, so don’t consider this breed if you are not able to provide enough mental stimulation to your new loyal sidekick!
Golden Retriever History
As firearms improved in the 1800’s, the distance between the hunter and the downed fowl began to increase, leading to a greater number of lost birds when hunting. This led to the need for a specialist retriever that could track and retrieve downed foul in the Scottish wetlands. Golden Retrievers originated in Scotland in the 19th century by breeding existing Scottish yellow-colored Retrievers with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. The result was the Golden Retriever, an active and powerful breed capable of swimming and retrieving downed game in the marsh ponds and rivers of Scotland, but with a gentle mouth adapted for preserving the hunted game meat.
Golden Retriever Appearance
Size - Large
Height - Males: 23 to 24 inches; Females: 21.5 to 22.5 inches
Weight - Males: 65 to 75 pounds; Females: 55 to 65 pounds
Color - Dark golden, light golden, cream golden, red golden
Golden Retrievers can be spotted from a mile away! They are a large breed with a distinct long wavy golden topcoat. Their undercoat is soft and sheds in the spring and fall. Their golden coat is water repellent, and the color is a rich, radiant golden that ranges from dark yellow to light brown, and more recently some white and some red Golden Retrievers have emerged. They are bred to have a broad head, friendly eyes, and a loving expression. Golden Retrievers are sturdy and muscular, with a deep, well developed chest. They have medium sized round feet with round, compact, thick black pads. Golden Retrievers are symmetrical, powerful, and active with an enthusiastic, sharp, and confident stature.
Golden Retriever Personality
The Golden Retriever is widely considered as one of the friendliest dogs! They are kind, gentle, enthusiastic, and want little more than to please their owner. These breeds desire attention and affection above all else, and will seek it from anyone, whether family or strangers. Goldens adapt easily to new environments, especially a people-filled environments!
Properly bred Golden Retrievers love everyone… which can lead to jumping up when meeting new people and hard pulling on the leash. Because these are large dogs, it’s important to start
obedience training as early as possible to curtail their rambunctious (yet friendly in nature) behaviors. Fortunately, this breed is highly food motivated and very easy to train. Start training early and you will reap the benefits immediately, and for years to come!
Golden Retriever Exercise Requirements
Golden Retrievers require at least 2-hours of daily activity and they love activities such as swimming, jogging, and of course, chasing! It’s best to spread their exercise out throughout the day, ensuring they have multiple opportunities to run each day. Access to a large off-leash park is crucial to Golden Retriever ownership so they can run and chase their favorite ball or frisbee. Because this is an intelligent dog breed, Golden Retrievers become bored easily, so don’t shortchange your Golden Retriever when it comes to their physical regimen!
While not sufficient to exclusively rely on Spot to walk your Golden Retriever, Spot’s on-leash dog walking services can significantly contribute to your Golden Retriever achieving their exercise requirements. Spot walks are all private and on-leash to ensure your
Golden Retriever is always receiving the one-on-one attention they deserve. Dog walks are also conveniently available on your schedule, on-demand walkers are available with as little as 90-minutes notices, while a Spot recurring walker will provide consistency and can be booked on a weekly ongoing basis. So whether you need a dog walker every month or every day, Spot is always just a few clicks away.
Golden Retriever Care
Golden Retrievers are perfect dogs for the outdoor enthusiast, they love to swim, hike, jog, chase, and roll! It’s important that a Golden Retriever receive at least 2-hours of activity per day. If possible, best results are four 30-minute sessions of ball chasing or off-leash walking per day, as their name indicates, these dogs love to retrieve. As natural born retrievers, this breed is at their best when they have something in their mouth, whether a ball, toy, shoe, or something else lying around. A lack of exercise could lead to behavioral issues as the dog becomes bored, stubborn, and mischievous.
Golden Retriever Health
- Major health concerns: CHD, skin problems, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma
- Minor health concerns: SAS, elbow dysplasia, eye disorders, seizures, hypothyroidism, mast cell tumors
- Occasionally seen health concerns: osteosarcoma
- Suggested tests: hip, eye, heart
- Average life span: 10–12 years
Golden Retrievers are naturally very healthy dogs with an average lifespan of 10-12 years, but have been known to reach the high teens. The oldest ever recorded Golden Retriever is still alive and just celebrated her 20th birthday! If the Golden Retriever you are considering comes from a reputable breeder, it will be screened for the most common health conditions such hip dysplasia, cataracts, pigmentary uveitis, progressive retinal atrophy, and certain heart diseases. Other major health concerns for an ageing Golden include skin problems, hemangiosarcoma, lymphoma.
Golden Retriever Grooming
With their wavy and waterproof golden topcoat and soft undercoat, Golden Retrievers require regular brushing and bathing. Their fur has the tendency to collect debris and mat if not brushed on a regular basis. Goldens shed throughout the year, but especially in the spring and fall. When it comes to Golden Retrievers, the more brushing the better, but don’t expect this to eliminate their shedding.