Anyone who’s looking for a dog wants a faithful companion, a friend who will love them. A lot of people require a dog that’s calm and polite. Others value intelligence above all. Well, if you are looking for all of these qualities, the Golden Retriever seems like a great choice.

In this article you will read about the general characteristics of this breed, its abilities, health, appearance, breeding and all other important facts you need to know before purchasing a Golden Retriever.

Golden Retriever – appearance

Golden Retriever – appearance

The Golden Retriever dog is a strongly built breed. It has a very dense and wavy coat. The typical colors of Golden Retriever are blonde, yellow or, as the name of the breed suggests – gold. You can also come across white Golden Retrievers or red Golden Retrievers. Dark golden colors can also occur.

Golden Retriever – fur

Their top-coat is water-resistant. The fur under their bellies is soft which keeps the Golden Retriever from getting too hot in the summer.

Dog breeding experts describe the coat of the Golden Retriever as “rich, lustrous golden of various shades”. Such is the definition presented by The American Kennel Club.

Golden Retriever – size

Dogs of this breed reach the following height at the withers:

  • 56-61 centimeters (dogs),
  • 51-56 centimeters (bitches).

The weight of Golden Retrievers is typically within the limits of:

  • 29-45 kilograms (dogs),
  • 24-29 kilograms (bitches).

Miniature Golden Retriever

There is also a smaller type of Golden Retrievers – the Miniature Golden Retriever. Their character and temperament are exactly the same as their larger cousins. The only difference is size. It was achieved by breeders in the process of crossing different breeds together to pack all the qualities of Golden Retrievers in a “small package”.

Golden Retriever – character

Golden Retriever – character

Puppies for life – that’s how the owners of Golden Retrievers describe their dogs. They are very friendly and playful dogs. Their “puppy attitude” lasts for years, long after the end of their actual puppy years. You can be sure that living with a Golden Retriever will bring you a life full of joy and fun.

Not a guard!

Golden Retrievers love to cuddle and spend a lot of time with their owners. They are absolutely not aggressive. They are dogs that are very kind to people – extremely sociable. So, if you’re looking for a dog that could guard your house once in a while… Well, the Golden Retriever is definitely not the right choice for you. But, on the other hand, if your dream is having a dog that will guard your heart and soul, the Golden Retriever is more than perfect.

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Active and perfect for kids

Kindness towards people and an agreeable nature don’t mean that the Golden Retriever doesn’t like running. Oh no – it’s the exact opposite. They adore playing, catching and running after sticks. And if you throw a ball into water, it won’t be a problem for your Golden Retriever to get it. Your dog will love it! The Golden Retriever simply loves to swim!

Golden Retrievers are very patient with children. They are trusting, gentle, and would definitely not do any harm to any kid.

The Golden Retriever – a calm and intelligent dog

The Golden Retriever – a calm and intelligent dog

Golden Retrievers are also very intelligent. In fact, they’re one of the smartest breeds in the world. They are known to be very hard-working animals that can concentrate on a task when they are presented with one. But they can just as well find a goal to achieve for themselves.

Because of their calm character, they can live with people  and other animals in the house. Another dog or even a cat? Not a problem! You don’t have to worry about your Golden Retriever starting any fights.

Golden Retriever – health 

How long does the Golden Retriever live? Generally, from ten to twelve years. You’re probably asking yourself, is that a long or short period of time for a dog’s lifespan? Actually, for a medium sized dog like the Golden Retriever, it is not a bad lifespan. For example, German Shepherds usually live between seven and ten years. The lifespan of a Labrador, another popular breed, is from 10-12 years.

Golden Retriever – most common illnesses

Golden Retrievers often suffer from several diseases. There are especially:

  • bone cancer,
  • lymphoma,
  • cancer of blood vessels.

It’s a sad fact… Golden Retrievers are unfortunately very prone to cancer. The Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study did research which showed that a very high percentage of Golden Retriever dogs suffer from cancer –  two times more than other dog breeds.

Other common diseases that Golden Retrievers suffer from are:

  • Hip and elbow dysplasia
  • Eye disorders
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Skin conditions
  • Cataracts.

Golden Retriever – care

The Golden Retriever dog is not a pet which causes many problems with care. Although it is very important to remember a few basic principles.

Golden Retrievers – the most important rules of care

Golden Retriever puppies as well as adult dogs should be cared for and loved. You should spend a lot of time with your pet if you want to keep it happy. You should also follow the  following rules:

  • take care of your dog’s fur and brush its hair. You should do this about twice a week;
  • once your dog has entered the  molting period, brush its coat daily;
  • consider buying a proper brush. The perfect brush has straight and smooth teeth which don’t pull out the dog’s fur;
  • give your Golden Retriever a bath once in a while – but not too often! Ideally, once every two or three months. Why not more? Too many baths could interfere with your dog’s natural lipid layer. This may be the cause of future allergies;
  • once again – fur. The Golden Retriever loses a lot of hair. You have to be ready for years of cleaning it daily.
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Difficult? Maybe. Is it worth it? If you’re looking for a pet that will give you lots of joy, the trouble of cleaning its fur (and other responsibilities) will pay off. 

Golden Retriever – breeding

Golden Retriever – breeding

When considering buying a Golden Retriever, remember to look for your future pet only in renowned professional kennels. How can you tell which Golden Retriever breeders deserve your trust? The most important sign that the breeder is a professional is that they offer you the dog’s pedigree certificate. If you don’t see this document, you probably stumbled upon someone untrustworthy.

Another important sign of the breeder’s professionalism is their attitude towards their clients. If they are open to any and all questions and don’t seem to be hiding anything, then everything is probably fine.

Remember, buy your Golden Retriever puppies only from professional breeders!

Golden Retriever – price

You can buy Golden Retriever puppies for about 1,000-4,000 dollars. The exact price depends on the quality of the breeder. Of course, the price of a Golden Retriever dog is completely different if you adopt from a shelter. In this case, the prices usually start at about 35 dollars and may reach 300 dollars for an adult dog.

Is this expensive? These are certainly prices that could be burdensome to the household budget. But you should remember what you’re actually buying. You are paying for the beautiful appearance of the Golden Retriever and its affectionate nature, particularly great for kids. Those qualities increase the popularity of the Golden Retriever dog, and as a result, also raise the average prices. The Golden Retriever is the third most popular breed in the United States.

The most expensive Golden Retrievers

It’s also worth mentioning that the prices for a well-trained Golden Retriever, suitable for being a service dog, would be much higher. How much, exactly? Even 25,000 dollars.

The high price is another reason why you should be careful when choosing your dog. Ask the breeder about the dog’s medical history and even if you could meet the parents of your future pet. A professional breeder should not consider those requests as unreasonable. If he does, it may be a warning sign.

Golden Retriever – breed history

The Golden Retriever was first bred in the land of Scotland. It is believed that the first breeder was sir Dudley Marjoribankssir. The Scottish breeder bought a wavy-coated retriever from a shoemaker. This dog was the only one from the whole litter born with a yellow coat. Lord Marjoribankssir began the Golden Retriever Breed. His goal was to create a dog with great retrieving abilities which would help with bird hunting. He crossbred the wavy-coated retriever with the Tweed Water Spaniel and the Irish Setters.

The three types of Golden Retrievers

Today, there are three main types of the Golden Retriever dog – British, American and Canadian. You can find British Golden Retrievers mostly in Europe and Australia. They have broader skulls than the other two types of Golden Retriever. Their coats are usually brighter than the other dogs’. The American Golden Retriever is less muscular. The Canadian type has a darker coat and stands a little taller than the British or American dogs. Regardless of the slight differences between these types, all Retrievers are similar in character.

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Golden Retriever – for whom?

Who should buy a Golden Retriever puppy or a Golden Retriever adult dog? Families with children should definitely consider this purchase. The dog’s unique features, such as its friendliness, gentleness or openness to people are all great reasons to give your children a Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers certainly require some work, especially because of their coats. But the love that this dog will reward you with is priceless.

It has to be said one more time – if you are looking for a guard dog, the Golden Retriever is not a good fit. This breed is simply too quiet, too gentle and too friendly for such purposes.

But if you are looking for a nice, smart animal to cuddle and play with, then you’ll really hit the jackpot when buying the Golden Retriever – one of the friendliest dogs in the world.

Golden Retriever – trivia

In general, Golden Retrievers live from ten to twelve years. But, as in almost any field, there are some impressive,record holders. Augie, a Golden Retriever from  Tennessee , was born in the year 2000 and is still alive and well today!

How to quickly recognize the age of a Golden Retriever dog? It’s very simple. Their faces are a very accurate indicator of their age. You can also determine their age by looking at the color of their coat. In their youth, their coats on their faces are bright yellow or gold. In their later years, this light  fur turns gray.

Smart dogs and excellent swimmers

Golden Retrievers have webbing between their toes. It makes them great swimmers. Yes, if Michael Phelps were a dog, he would probably be a Golden Retriever.

According to the website dogbreedlist.info, the Golden Retriever ranks fourth on the list of the most intelligent dog breeds. The only smarter dogs are the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd.

Epilepsy and therapy

The Golden Retriever is an invaluable friend to all people, but especially for those suffering from epilepsy. Golden Retrievers are able to recognize an upcoming epilepsy attack. Thus, they can warn a sick person before the attack even starts.

Golden Retrievers are often seen as therapy dogs. Their unconditional love and huge amounts of empathy are important qualities in therapy work with children and elders.

The Golden Retriever – a pal for eternity

It’s clear that the Golden Retriever is one of the most extraordinary, well-behaved and intelligent breeds. Is it a dog for you? You probably already have the answer in your mind. We hope that all this information has helped you with making your decision! Who knows, maybe you will find your  pal for eternity?

In the meantime, why don’t you read our other articles about the world of animals. See you next time!