The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world ranking as the fifth-most popular dog breed by registrations worldwide. Since Golden retrievers were initially crossed by the Scottish elites for hunting games and leisure activities, they excel at retrieving games and physical activities, but their friendly nature makes them suitable also for the role of assistant dogs and for therapy. They’re also natural athletes and do well in games which test agility.

Overview

Origin: Scotland, UK.
Avg Price in India: Rs.20000 to Rs.25000
Breed Group: Sporting
Life Expectancy: 10-12 years
Size: Medium
Colors available: Dark Golden, Cream, Light Golden, Golden
Weight: Female: 25–32 kg, Male: 30–34 kg
Height: Female: 51–56 cm, Male: 56–61 cm
Temperament: Friendly, Intelligent, Devoted
Shedding seasons: Spring and Autumn

Golden Retriever

Characteristics:

Good for First-time Owners:
Since Retrievers are very friendly, they quickly get along with new owners and adapt to their surroundings. Score: 3/5

Energy Level: 5/5
Initially bred for physical activities and retrieving, they possess abundant energy reserves and are always enthusiastic for some play.

Exercise Needs: 4/5
They need exercise to thrive happily. A rough 40-60 minute workout is a must for your golden. They also enjoy activities which work on both their mental and Physical health.

Playfulness: 5/5
They seek attention from everyone and hence are always ready to play with. They are also kids-friendly and always up for training.

Affection level: 5/5
They are family dogs, therefore need people around them to belong to. They are very affectionate and attached to their owners, which is why they rarely wander away.

Kid Friendly: 5/5
Goldens love children because of ‘play-along’ factor. With proper training and techniques, they become obedient and well-mannered around people and kids.

Ease of training: 5/5
With high energy levels and look out for activities, Retrievers are easy to train due to their exuberance for activities.

Tendency To Bark Or Howl: 3/5
Since they are very friendly, they only bark occasionally at strangers. They may only bark or howl if they are left alone for some time as they are people-oriented.

Amount of Shedding: 5/5
They shed copiously throughout spring and autumn seasons as well as with monsoons around the corner.

Protection ability: 2/5
Retrievers are friendly even to strangers, which makes them lack protective ability as compared to other breeds.

Grooming needs: 4/5
Because of their coat being key to their breed they need to be looked after and ensure basic grooming.

Apartment-Friendly: 3/5
Loneliness can turn retrievers towards barking, digging, and general destructiveness. They need to be around a family and bigger spaces as they are medium-sized.

Cold tolerance: 3/5

Heat tolerance: 3/5

Potential of weight gain: 4/5
These dogs gain weight very easily if overfed or not provided with proper exercise.

Wanderlust Potential: 2/5
Since they love their owners and people around them, their tendency to run away from their attached ones is very rare.

Background

The Golden Retriever was initially bred in the mid-19th century in Scotland as a cross between the best water spaniels and existing retrievers for the elite as the existing retriever breeds were not adequate for the then-present games and agility requirements.

They are used for diverse purposes like guide dogs drug or bomb-sniffers etc. They also help in rescuing people during earthquakes and similar disasters. Just like the Leonberger, Newfoundland and Labrador Retriever dogs, Golden Retrievers are water-rescuers as well.

Physical Characteristics

Golden Retrievers are sturdy, medium-sized muscular dogs. They have a broad head, a straight muzzle, and short ears. Their coats occur in shades of golden toning from light to dark and shed in small amounts throughout the year, but profusely during Spring and Autumn seasons. They have a water-resistant and slightly wavy topcoat while the softer undercoat helps keep the retriever warm during winters and cool during summers.
As it grows older, a retriever’s coat can change tones to darker or lighter shades of golden, along with whitening of the fur surrounding the muzzle area. Puppy coats are much lighter in shades than their adult coat shades. A puppy with darker ear tips may mean that his coat will be darker in shade during adulthood.

Personality

Goldens are enthusiastic, trustworthy attention-loving or eager-to-please family dogs. They have a joyous and playful approach and often continue their puppyish behavior into adulthood. They are energetic and powerful dogs who enjoy playing outdoors. Swimming and fetching come naturally due to being bred to retrieve waterfowl. However, retrievers crave attention from owners as well as strangers. They need to be with their pack. They like to be spent time with the loved ones and retain the playful personality like that of a pup until three to four years of age. Since they were originally bred for physical activities, they need regular exercise routine to keep them occupied and to maintain a healthy life. Some may wake you up or bring you the morning newspaper. But Golden Retrievers are not a watchdog due to its friendly behavior.
They love to eat and quite quickly become overweight if not fed properly.
Like other dogs, goldens also require exposure to different people and surroundings. Different sights, sounds, and experiences during their early years ensure that the puppy grows up as a well-rounded dog.

Health

In addition to the heavy seasonal shedding, year-round light shedding is also present. The most prevalent health problem is skin allergy (often leading to acute moist dermatitis or “hot spots”), with the most common allergy being due to fleas. Their hair forms knots under the ears and areas around leg and belly, if not groomed.

Other health problems observed in the breed include cancer, epilepsy and hip, and elbow displacement. Eye problems such as juvenile cataracts are also quite common. It is recommended to visit the vet once every 5-6 months for a complete checkup of the golden retriever.

Grooming

Brush Golden Retrievers daily from head to toe. Since a retriever’s coat makes the most of its hygiene, it should be brushed daily to keep it healthy and tangle-free. Regular brushing will help remove mats and decrease shedding.
Bathing you retriever with warm water and a quality dog shampoo occasionally. Recommended at least once a month to prevent the stink from generating.
Do not trim retriever’s entire coat for non-medical reasons or prescription. The coat traps cool air on a hot day and traps warm air on a cold day. If you were to trim it entirely, it would disturb this natural heating and cooling system.
The fur on Golden Retriever’s feet should be 1/2 inch long and should lay down smoothly against the foot’s surface.
Also, inspect the Golden Retriever’s pads often. If you find any cracked pads, apply Vaseline.
Trim his nails in every few weeks, and brush his teeth regularly for oral care and for good overall health.
Wipe your dog’s eyes and clean its ears weekly once.
Apply flea and tick preventative to complete your Golden Retriever’s grooming ritual.

Nutrition

Recommended daily amount of food: 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals. The age of four to seven months is very crucial as goldens grow rapidly, making them susceptible to bone disorders. They do well on a high-quality, low-calorie diet that keeps them from growing too fast.
If you choose to give your dog treats, do so in moderation. Treats can be an essential aid in training, but giving too much can cause obesity.