So, as I have already mentioned, the Golden Retriever is a very beautiful breed making it extremely popular in many countries as a family pet. They make incredible family dogs due to their friendly and sensitive nature with a very playful personality. The breed is extremely social by nature and is very well-known for being a great companion for children. Obviously, as with all dog breeds, you must socialise and train your pup properly from a young age in order to have a well-balanced dog that gets along with all. Socialisation is key if you are bringing your dog into a relatively busy household where there’s new people coming round, other animals and small children.
Unfortunately, the Golden Retriever is known to suffer from quite a few health issues so vet bills can be quite expensive. As with all dog breeds, they can be more prone to particular health conditions, which is incredibly important to be aware of before bringing a Golden into your home. For this breed, you should expect to see health clearances from the breeder which have been completed by a certified scheme. Certain health conditions that the Golden Retriever is more prone to include hip and elbow dysplasia, bone conditions, cataracts, epilepsy, eye diseases, heart problems, blood disorders, skin conditions, ear infections, cancer and bloat. Being aware of this prior to getting a dog is significantly important since, as an owner, you need to be able to care for your dog in the way they require which could mean some large vet bills.
The Golden Retriever as a breed is well renowned for being highly trainable due to their high intelligence and eagerness to please their owners. Alongside Labradors, Golden Retrievers are one of the most used breeds as service and therapy dogs due to their impressive trainability and sensitive nature. Training your pup consistently from a young age will be sure to prevent any unwanted bad habits or destructive behaviours from developing as your dog grows older. Goldens are known to be extremely successful in many canine competitions including obedience and agility.
Depending on the kind of person you are and your daily lifestyle this next point could be a pro or a con of the Golden Retriever. They are very active and lively dogs who need a large amount of regular exercise in order to stay fit and healthy. Adult Goldens need at least 2 hours of exercise each day which should be a combination of walks, off-lead runs, playtime and also mental stimulating activities. This breed is highly intelligent and so needs to be kept busy mentally as well as physically to be happy pups. They have a large amount of energy and it needs to be released to prevent them from developing any bad habits or unwanted destructive behaviours. They are a very loving dog and thrive off their humans’ love and companionship and if they are left alone for too long, they can become very distressed and even experience separation anxiety. So, depending on your routines and the adaptability of those routines this may be a positive or negative trait of the Golden.
Now, although the Golden Retriever is popular for its beauty with its long, thick golden coat, they are very high maintenance in regard to grooming. A Golden’s coat consists of two layers; a dense and water-resistant outer coat with a very thick undercoat. This double layer protects the dog from cold weather and water which actually enabled them to be great hunting companions and definitely explains their huge love for swimming! Some Goldens have wavy coats whilst others have straighter fur. The fur feathers on the back of the front legs and underbody with a heavier and thicker feathering on their chest, back of their thighs and their long tail. The Retriever comes in a variety of shades of gold from light to dark – some of the dogs can be bright white while others can be a deep dark golden. The thick coat of a Golden Retriever requires a lot of grooming; brushing your pup daily can prevent tangling and reduce the amount of hair that you find around the house. If not daily, then you should brush your Golden at least once a week as a minimum. This breed is a very heavy shedder all year round, particularly in the spring and autumn time. Having a Golden Retriever means accepting the fact that you will find their hair absolutely everywhere.
The Golden Retriever is a truly stunning breed with high intelligence and a loving and friendly personality towards all. However, it is important to consider both the pros and the cons to a breed before deciding if they are the pup for you.