Breed overview – The Golden Retriever

by Amy Cooper
Golden retriever

Are you considering getting a golden retriever? Or are you just interested in the breed? Well this is the perfect place to start! This post is a short summary of the golden retriever breed characteristics from their size to how much exercise they need.

Summary

Golden retriever colours

As the name suggests golden retrievers have a medium length cream or golden coat and were bred to retrieve game. This medium length coat means that they need grooming several times a week and will shed lots! They stand at 55-61cm to the withers so are classed as a large breed and have a lifespan of 10+ years. 

Grooming

As I mentioned above golden retrievers need a lot of grooming! They can get knots or matts very easily because of their medium length coat. So, have to be brushed out regularly with a slicker brush, undercoat rake and a greyhound comb. If you want to trim your golden at home rather than take it to a groomer you won’t need much equipment. You will need a pair of thinning sheers and a pair of either curved or straight sheers. There are plenty of good you tube videos on how to groom at home but basically you thin behind the ears, trim the feathers and neaten up the Grinch feet. Obviously goldens will also need their nails trimmed and teeth cleaned regularly exactly the same as all other dogs. 

Exercise

Golden retriever on a walk

Because golden retrievers are a large breed and were originally hunting dogs, they need lots of exercise (1+ hours a day)! Not only do they need physical exercise like walking or swimming but also mental stimulation. Which can be done by training, which your golden will love, or using puzzle toys. 

Health

Golden retrievers, like most large breeds, are genetically predisposed to hip dysplasia. This is the biggest health concern with goldens. However, all good breeders have both parents genetically tested/screened for hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia and eye problems. This means that when you buy a puppy you know it’s got a much smaller chance of developing these problems when its older. 

Temperament

Goofy golden retriever

Golden retrievers are playful, intelligent, affectionate and gentle! They are also eager to please and love to work which is why they are so easy to train and often used as assistance dogs. Goldens also tend to be very active and mature slowly so can behave like an oversized hyper puppy! Finally goldens tend to form a true companionship. This means they really do want to spend time with you rather than just pleasing you for food or walks. 

So, overall golden retrievers are a very gentle happy go lucky breed which makes them the perfect family pet! They are also very easy to train which is why they are often used as assistance dogs. This makes them perfect for first time dog owners!

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