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If you are looking for an exceptional dog to own, you may be thinking about purchasing a Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers are consistently one of the most popular dog breeds in the country, but what do you need to know about raising a Golden Retriever yourself?
Learn more about the golden retriever dog breed below, and consider reaching out to a professional who can help you find the best dog for your family.
- History & Origin Of Golden Retrievers
- Physical Attributes Of The Golden Retriever
- Behavioral Characteristics Of Golden Retrievers
- Common Golden Retriever Health Issues
- Golden Retriever Care
- Final Notes
History & Origin Of Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever breed is known for being friendly and obedient, but where exactly did they come from? It is widely believed that the first golden retriever was born in 1868. At that time, Lord Tweedmouth mated a spaniel with a yellow wavy-coated retriever. Most experts believe that the result was the first Golden Retriever.
The breeding process produced a handful of puppies, but it would take approximately 64 years before the Golden Retriever dog breed was actually recognized in the United States. Now, Golden Retrievers are among the most desired dog breeds in the world.1 2
Physical Attributes Of The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever breed is often a great dog for first time owners. This dog breed is often affectionate with family members, great around young children, and generally gets along well with other dogs.
Many dog owners are wondering, do Golden Retrievers shed? Yes, Golden Retrievers shed more than most other dogs, which is why Golden Retriever grooming is so important. You do not necessarily need to groom your Golden every day, but you do need to groom them regularly. Golden Retrievers have a medium-length double coat.
On average, Golden Retrievers grow to a height of approximately 24 inches if male and 22 inches if female. Male Golden Retrievers usually weigh approximately 70 lbs, while females weigh approximately 60 lbs. The Golden Retriever lifespan is between 10 and 12 years, but there are a number of factors that will impact the lifespan of your dog.3
Behavioral Characteristics Of Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers tend to be very social, however, it’s still critical to socialize them when they’re puppies to establish confidence and desirable behavior patterns. Golden Retrievers are very active and outgoing. They get along well with other people and other dogs, and they usually want to play all the time. Therefore, owners of Golden Retrievers should be prepared to get their dogs plenty of exercise. They love to play with toys, and they enjoy running.
Golden Retrievers are also highly adaptable dogs. They don't necessarily get stuck in a routine, and they are usually open to doing whatever it is that you want to do. They make decent watch dogs, but most people do not adopt a Golden Retriever to turn them into a guard dog.
That being said, Golden Retrievers are highly trainable. There are many dog owners who invest in obedience training for their Golden Retrievers, and it usually doesn't take them a lot of effort to practice basic commands. They are also very smart dogs, but to keep your Golden Retriever sharp, they require a lot of activity and mental stimulation.3
Common Golden Retriever Health Issues
Like all dogs, Golden Retrievers can develop some health issues and are genetically predisposed to others. By remaining vigilant and investing in routine vet care, you can reduce the chances of your Golden Retriever developing serious health issues at any stage of life.3
Some of the most common health issues that Golden Retrievers might develop include:
- Atopic dermatitis: There is a chance that your Golden may develop atopic dermatitis, which is a specific type of skin irritation and inflammation. If you notice that your dog is scratching a lot, it could be a sign that they have atopic dermatitis, which is also known as eczema. Unlike people, it can be difficult to tell when a dog has atopic dermatitis because the rash can be concealed by his or her fur. By grooming your dog regularly, you increase your chances of identifying dermatitis, which allows you to treat the issue more quickly.
- Hip dysplasia: Unfortunately, Golden Retrievers are also prone to hip dysplasia. This is a serious musculoskeletal issue that can have an impact on your dog's mobility and comfort. As long as you take your dog to the vet regularly, you can increase your chances of identifying musculoskeletal issues as early as possible, which could allow you to intervene sooner and improve the prognosis.
- Ear infections: Golden Retrievers have floppy ears. While that makes them adorable, it also means that the ears are prone to ear infections. That is why ear care and regular checkups are so important. By taking your dog to the vet regularly, you can make sure any potential problems related to the ears are identified as soon as possible.
These are just a few of the many health issues that Golden Retrievers can develop. To mitigate potential health issues, make sure to attend annual vet visits and reach out to your vet with any questions or concerns regarding your pet’s health. Dutch offers unlimited virtual vet visits and follow ups with our network of 100% licensed vets to ensure all of your care questions are answered.
Golden Retriever Care
There is a lot that you need to think about to provide appropriate care for a Golden Retriever. For example, you need to make sure you have the right diet and nutrition plan, and you need to provide your Golden with plenty of exercise for a healthy and happy life
In addition, you need to groom your Golden Retriever regularly. This dog breed sheds more than most other dog breeds, but you can keep your dog happy and reduce the amount of hair that ends up on your furniture by grooming your dog regularly.
There are a handful of tasks that fall under the category of Golden Retriever grooming. Some of the most important tasks that you need to complete from time to time include3:
- Bathing your dog
- Brushing their fur
- Trimming their hair and nails from time to time
- Taking care of their teeth by brushing with dog toothpaste every day
- Cleaning the ears properly
As your Golden Retriever gets older, these tasks are only going to become more important. Because Golden Retrievers are prone to developing a variety of health conditions, including ear infections, regular grooming is critical for prevention.
There are several tips you need to follow to ensure you groom your Golden properly. They include:
It is true that Golden Retrievers shed a lot, but as long as you brush them regularly, you can reduce the amount of fur that ends up on your clothing and furniture. Because they have dense coats, they can get matted easily, so make sure you brush your golden retriever at least twice per week. You might want to increase the frequency during the summer. In general, the brush you use is a matter of personal preference, but if you notice a fur not, you will need to remove it using scissors.
Do not forget that your Golden Retriever is also going to need a haircut every 8 to 10 weeks or so. In particular, the hair around his or her ears, feet, tail, and neck will need to be trimmed. You may want to reach out to a professional groomer who can help you, but you typically need hair clippers, a steel comb, a wire brush, and a grooming table to support your dog and keep him or her comfortable.
Golden Retrievers are also prone to developing skin infections. This is even more likely if you live in a human location. If you see your golden retriever scratching, biting, and licking his or her fur regularly, particularly if your Golden Retriever focuses on the same spot, it could be a sign that your Golden has a hot spot that needs to be addressed.
Golden Retriever ears are floppy, so they trap moisture, which creates an environment that is conducive to the growth of bacteria. You should clean your dog's ears regularly, at least once every two weeks or so. Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to learn how to provide the best ear care for your pet.
Occasionally, you may notice some discharge coming from the eyes of your Golden Retriever. Make sure you wipe the edges of the eyes with a damp washcloth. If you notice cloudiness developing in the eyes of your dog, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
If you allow your Golden Retriever’s nails to get too long, it can make it hard for your dog to get around. You might notice that your dog is walking in a slightly different manner, which can increase their risk of developing joint problems. You need to trim your dog’s nails from time to time, but the exact frequency will depend on whether your dog spends a lot of time inside or outside. If you hear your dog's nails clicking on the floor, they are too long and they need to be trimmed.
Do Golden Retrievers shed?
Yes, Golden Retrievers shed, and they tend to shed more than most other dogs. You need to brush your Golden Retriever regularly to reduce the amount of fur that ends up on your furniture and clothing. Furthermore, if you do not brush your Golden Retriever regularly, he or she could develop a lot of knots and his or her fur, which can lead to discomfort and skin problems.
Are Goldens high maintenance?
When compared to other dogs, Golden Retrievers do not necessarily take any more or less work. While they do shed a fair bit compared to other dogs, there are some dog breeds that shed more. The most important thing you need to remember is that you need to take proper care of your Golden Retriever. That means cleaning your dog’s eyes and ears, brushing them regularly, and bathing them as needed. You also need to brush your dog's teeth with toothpaste every day.
Do Golden Retrievers bark a lot?
No, Golden Retrievers do not bark that much. While your Golden Retriever will certainly bark from time to time, they usually only bark to alert you that something is happening. Therefore, if you hear your Golden Retriever barking, you should try to figure out why. There could be something that requires your attention.
Golden Retrievers tend to be social, happy, and loving dogs, but also require a fair bit of grooming and enrichment.
If you have questions about how to take proper care of your Golden Retriever, reach out to the experts at Dutch for help.
“Brief History of the Golden Retriever.” Golden Retriever Club of America, 12 Aug. 2015, https://grca.org/about-the-breed/breed-history/brief-history-of-the-golden-retriever/.
Baldwin, Lorna. “Golden Retrievers Go 'Home' for Gathering in Scottish Highlands.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 7 Aug. 2013, https://www.pbs.org/newshour/world/golden-retriever-gathering#:~:text=The%20golden%20retriever%20breed%20originated,bred%20the%20first%20golden%20retriever.
Greenberg, Aurora. “Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information.” American Kennel Club, 6 Nov. 2017, https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/golden-retriever/.