Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the US. They are usually friendly, intelligent dogs, that can be great with kids. In this blog, our Stockton vets share some useful knowledge and information about owning a golden retriever and their personality.
The Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are friendly, eager to please, affectionate dogs that on average weigh approximately 55 to 65 pounds (25-29 kilograms) for females and 65-75 pounds (29-32 kilograms) for males. They have medium-length cream to light golden or dark golden to gold fur that frequently sheds. The average lifespan of this medium to large size pup is between 10 - 12 years.
This is a trustworthy, outgoing pup that is usually easy to train. While they do drool a lot, they bring their signature smile and fun-loving puppy-like attitude with them into their adulthood. They are also great with kids, seniors, other dogs, and even cats, which is why they are one of the most popular dogs among families with children.
They love to eat, play, and spend time with their owners. Golden retrievers are considered sporting dogs, that are very active, love to run, and require at least an hour of exercise every day. They also love retrieving anything that is thrown at them (hence the name), so they will be very excited when you bring them to the park for a game of fetch. This also makes them perfect hunting dogs or even service dogs.
However, their breed needs exercise which can make it hard for them to adjust to being a calm, house pet. It's essential for them to get the exercise they require and that they have access to a fenced backyard to run around in. When this dog isn't kept busy or stimulated they will be unhappy and can get into trouble.
Taking Care of a Golden Retriever
While many people can consider the personality and energy level of a golden retriever a perfect addition to their home, it's important to be able to provide this pooch with the proper care they require to be happy and healthy.
Here we share how you can take care of your golden retriever:
- Feed your golden retriever high-quality foods that are designed for their appropriate age. Make sure you are being consistent with their diet and not giving them human food.
- Provide them with two 20-30 minute sessions of physical activity a day or both of you will become miserable.
- Keep their minds active with games, activities, and puzzle toys. If they become bored they will get into trouble.
- Brush them at least once a week, because they shed a lot. Also, twice a year they blow their entire coat, so we recommend brushing them every day during these times.
- It's important to brush their teeth at least two times a week, to keep their mouth healthy and prevent dental diseases.
- Clean your pup's ears once a week, starting when they are still a puppy (your vet will show you how).
- They need to be supervised like a toddler. Make sure you are always picking up after yourself, closing doors behind you, and blocking off all areas you don't want them to enter. This helps keep them out of trouble and prevents them from chewing or eating things they shouldn't.
What to Know & Expect When Owning a Golden Retriever
These fun-loving, beautiful pups can be excellent companions if given the proper exercise, diet, grooming, and care. But there are some other things you should know about this rambunctious breed before bringing one into your home.
- If you don't keep them on a leash or in a fenced yard, they will run away and chase down the first bird or squirrel they see.
- These are large dogs with fast-moving tails that will knock over anything in their path. They need a home with lots of space.
- Golden retrievers are clingy and need to be near their owners. They'll follow you everywhere and sit at your feet.
- You will find fur everywhere! It will stick to your clothes, blankets, and furniture. You may even find it in your food.
- To prevent any skin problems you need to feed your golden pooch high-quality premium dog food (not grocery store brand).
- Expect puddles of water around their water dish because they are messy drinkers.
- They love to eat! Plan on having them beg for a bite when you are eating your favorite snack or making dinner.
- Don't rely on them to be guard dogs, they love attention and will happily cuddle up to anyone trying to break into your home.
- They need to visit the vet regularly for routine exams. Golden retrievers are prone to developing skin conditions, allergies, cancer, and hyperthyroidism. Your vet at Rosemarie Pet Hospital will be able to find these conditions early before they become harder and more expensive to treat.
While you may have always wanted a golden retriever, they may not fit your lifestyle. Make sure you can provide them with the level of attention and exercise they need to thrive. Talk to your vet if you are considering adopting this breed of dog, to ensure they will be the perfect addition to your family.