Did you know the golden retriever is one of the most popular dogs among families in the US? They are intelligent, outgoing, and could also be great for families with kids. Today, our Lafayette vets discuss the personality traits and characteristics of golden retrievers and some useful information you should know before adopting one of these beautiful pups.
The Golden Retriever
Golden retrievers are affectionate, friendly, and eager to please. They are medium to large size dogs that on average weigh between 65-75 pounds (29-32 kilograms) for males and 55 to 65 pounds (25-29 kilograms) for females. Their fur is medium-length, and cream to light golden or dark golden to gold in color. They also shed a lot. Typically the lifespan of this pooch 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.
These dogs love playing, eating, and spending lots of time with their loving owners. Because golden retrievers are very active and love to run (requiring at least an hour of exercise daily) they are considered sporting dogs. They also enjoy retrieving almost everything that is thrown in their direction (hence the name), so they will be very happy going to the park with you to play a game of fetch. This also makes them great service or hunting dogs.
But, this breed requires lots of exercises every day which could make it difficult for them to adjust to the calm, house pet lifestyle. It's imperative for them to receive the exercise they need and that they have access to a fenced backyard to run around in. When golden retrievers aren't kept busy or stimulated they will become very unhappy and could cause trouble.
How to Take Care of a Golden Retriever
Lots of people think the fun personality and high energy level of a golden retriever will make a great addition to their family, but it's essential to be able to give this pup the level of care they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life.
Below, our Lafayette vets have shared some tips and advice you need to know when taking care of a golden retriever:
- Provide them with two 20-30 minute sessions of physical activity a day or both of you will become miserable.
- 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.
- Brush them at least once a week, because they shed a lot. Also, two times a year they blow their full coat, so we suggest brushing them once a day during these times.
- Clean your pup's ears once a week, starting when they are still a puppy (your vet will show you how).
- Brush their teeth two times a week minimum, to prevent dental diseases and keep their mouth healthy.
- Keep their minds active with games, activities, and puzzle toys. If they become bored they will get into trouble.
- These dogs have to be supervised like a toddler. Ensure that you are always picking up after yourself, closing doors behind you, and keeping the areas of your home blocked off that you don't want your dog entering. This helps keep them out of trouble and prevents them from chewing or eating things they shouldn't.
What You Should Know About Owning a Golden Retriever
These are fun-loving dogs that could make an excellent companions if they are provided with the right amount of exercise and the proper level of care they need. Although, there is some additional information you should know about this rambunctious breed before deciding to add one to your household.
- Golden retrievers are clingy and need to be near their owners. They'll follow you everywhere and sit at your feet.
- Keep them on a leash or in a fenced yard, or they will run away and chase down the first squirrel or bird they see.
- Expect puddles of water around their water dish because they are messy drinkers.
- These large dogs have fast-moving tails that knock over anything in their path. They need homes with lots of room.
- Don't rely on them to be guard dogs. They love attention and will cuddle anyone trying to break into your home.
- You will find fur everywhere! It will stick to your clothes, blankets, and furniture. You may even find it in your food.
- They love to eat! Plan on having them beg for a bite when you are eating your favorite snack or making dinner.
- To prevent any skin problems feed your golden pooch high-quality premium dog food (not grocery store brand).
- They have to attend routine exams regularly at your veterinarian's office. Golden retrievers are prone to developing skin conditions, allergies, cancer, and hyperthyroidism. Your vet at St. Francis Veterinary Hospital will be able to detect any arising conditions early before they become more expensive and harder to treat.
While you may have always wanted a golden retriever, they might not match the needs of your lifestyle. Be sure you can provide them with the level of attention and exercise they require to thrive. Talk to your vet if you are considering adopting this breed of dog, to make sure they will be the perfect addition to your family.