The medium-sized Golden Retriever is a great companion for children and an ideal family dog: they are very people-oriented and obedient, but require grooming and plenty of exercises.
The Golden Retriever is famous for its “will to obey” and is an exception. He wants to please his owner and likes to learn. He adapts to everyday situations with great resignation and loves to do things together with his owner. The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular family dogs worldwide. His good-natured resigned nature and his playfulness make him very popular with families with children. The friendly Golden Retriever also gets along well with other pets.
Also read: How can I stop my dog from barking?
Retriever owners jokingly say that a golden retriever would help the burglar carry the valuables out of the house rather than drive him out. His protective instinct is – if he has one at all – not very well developed. He is certainly not a watchdog, but his drive to work, his intelligence and his obedience make him a good guide dog and therapy dog. The combination of his good nose and his innate hunting instinct also make him suitable for use with the police and rescue services. For example as a rescue dog, drugs and explosives detection dog.back to menu ↑
The appearance of a Golden Retriever
The great popularity of the Golden Retriever is due not only to his good-natured but also to his attractive appearance. The medium-sized breed dog has a harmonious and well-proportioned physique. His well-shaped skull and dark eyes give the retriever the typical friendly appearance. Its powerful muscles and strong bones make it an agile dog. The retriever also likes to move.
The golden retriever belongs to the medium-sized dog breeds. In males, the height at the withers is between 56 and 61 cm. Females are slightly smaller with a height of 51 to 56 cm. The weight of the dog is – depending on the size and gender – between 30 and 40 kg. The golden retriever’s medium-length coat is smooth or wavy, but never curly. On the back, the coat should lie straight and flat. The coat should be longer on the front legs, the underside of the tail, and the chest and belly. Due to the dense undercoat, the retriever does not suffer from extreme cold and wet weather conditions. The color of his light hair varies from a bright glowing gold, a soft moon yellow to cream. Occasionally, white hair may appear on the chest.
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There are many legends about the origin of retriever breeds to this day. However, unlike most other retriever types, the history of the golden retriever can be traced back to at least 1864. In that year the British Sir Dudley Marjoribanks bought the yellow Wavy-Coated-Retriever „Nous“ from a shoemaker. The male was the only yellow puppy in the litter. His siblings were all black. On his “Guisachan” estate in the far north of Scotland, Marjoribanks, later called the first lord of Tweedmouth, started breeding dogs.
The goal was a perfect retriever for hunting wild birds. In 1868 he, therefore, crossed Nous with the Tweed Water Spaniel bitch “Belle” because Spaniels are not only very fond of water but were also known as good retrievers. Nous and Belle’s offspring crossed Tweedmouth over the next 20 years with other Wavy-Coated Retrievers and Tweed Water Spaniels, as well as Irish Setters and — in a line — with a sandy-colored Bloodhound. These crosses eventually resulted in the golden retriever as we know it today.
Due to the original breeding purpose, Golden Retrievers were initially used to retrieve shot games. With a soft mouth, he brought the already dead animals to the hunter. Many golden retrievers specialized in retrieving shot waterfowl. That explains the high water affinity of most representatives of this breed. Even today, golden retrievers are still good swimmers.back to menu ↑
The Golden Retriever Tree
After the breed was officially recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1913, the first breed club was founded eight years later and the beautiful dog quickly became popular in England and America. In the 1980s and 1990s, the golden retriever experienced a real boom, enhanced by frequent appearances in film and television. As a result, the dog became one of the most popular family and companion dogs not only in the Anglo-Saxon area but also in many countries of the European mainland. Even today, the golden retriever is one of the most common dog breeds in Anglo-Saxon and German-speaking countries.
Breeding and health
Unfortunately, this tree also has many negative effects. Breeders who want to earn easy money with cute puppies breed the dogs without regard to the nature and health of the animal. As a result, some breed-typical illnesses arose that the golden retriever still suffers from today. A targeted breeding selection and strict admission requirements are used to reduce the risk of hereditary diseases. However, the following hereditary diseases are still more common than average in the golden retriever:
- Hip Dysplasia (HD)
- Elbow Dysplasia (ED)
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
- Hereditary cataract (HC)
If you are interested in a Golden Retriever puppy, you should definitely check that the breeder has completed all the necessary health checks. Be sure to see the family tree and proof that the parents, grandparents, and siblings are also healthy. Unfortunately, there are still mass breeders of this breed who place little value on the health of their animals. So only buy your puppy from a recognized breeder and take the time to make a careful choice.
The price for a healthy puppy is around 1,200 euros with a serious breeder. A dog that you and your family will accompany for many years is well worth that money. A checked puppy will also generally cost you fewer vet costs than a mass-bred animal. Golden retrievers from a recognized breeder have a relatively high life expectancy at 12 to 16 years. In this case, the chance that you will have many years of fun with your four-legged friend.back to menu ↑
Of course, a genetically perfect puppy is just the beginning. Whether your dog is healthy and active for a long time also depends on whether the dog receives the right care. You should pay a lot of attention to the beautiful coat in the first place. Because the golden retriever not only loses hair twice a year during the moult, but always sheds a bit, the coat must be brushed regularly. This way you not only remove tangles but can also reduce the amount of hair that ends up on the floor, pillows, and sofa. By removing the dead-loose undercoat, the high temperatures in the summer are also a lot more pleasant for the dog. The golden retriever absolutely does not like too much heat.back to menu ↑
Necessary routine checks
In addition to the coat, your dog’s ears, eyes, paws, and teeth need regular routine checkups. You can therefore not only detect and treat many diseases in time but also prevent dangerous infections. Due to the regularity of the checks, you can not only quickly recognize changes in your pet, but you also ensure that the dog gets used to daily care and allows it to pass. In the best-case scenario, your dog will already get used to the daily necessary examinations and cleaning as a puppy.back to menu ↑
Golden Retriever food
Discover our choice of dog food specially tailored to a Golden Retriever!
The diet also has a major influence on the health of your golden retriever. But what is the right food for this breed of dog? Can it be better dry – give wet food? Or do you prefer to cook it yourself? And what about BARF? The food offered on the internet and in the supermarket is just as varied as the opinions about the right food for a retriever.
Unfortunately, the question of the best food for the golden retriever cannot be answered in general. Choosing the right diet for your dog depends on many individual factors. Age, size, weight and activity, and health affect his nutritional needs. You have to take these factors into account when choosing food. Just like us humans, a young agile dog with a high urge to move has a higher energy requirement than an older calmer dog with a tendency to be overweight.back to menu ↑
Lots of meat, little grain
Regardless of these individual criteria, the composition of the food gives you a first indication of whether the food is of high quality or not. Good dog food always has a high meat content. The meat content must be at least 70% or higher. Vegetables, herbs, and fruits should make up the rest. Too much grain is unsuitable for dogs and is an indication of inferior food. Sweeteners such as sugar, fructose, glucose, or syrup have no place in dog food. High-quality food is usually recognized by a detailed list of ingredients and the exact designation of the origin of the meat.back to menu ↑
Wet food is better than dry food
Dry food will be a convenient solution for many dog owners but is not always the best choice for dogs. Dry food often contains not only insufficient moisture but also insufficient important nutrients. Of course, you can use it in between, but only feeding dry food is not recommended. When choosing between dry and wet food, wet food is the best choice. You offer your four-legged friend even more variety if you also feed him raw meat (BARF food) or self-cooked food. In this case, you can best influence the quality and composition of the feed.
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As you think about the right food and care for your retriever, don’t forget what your dog needs most: love and attention. Golden Retrievers are very affectionate dogs that need a permanent place in the family. Keeping them in a kennel is totally unsuitable for these sensitive dogs. Make your golden retriever a part of your life and plan enough time for his physical and mental activity.
Like all hunting dogs, the golden retriever has a strong urge to move. Keeping this dog means a lot of training. Monotonous daily walks are certainly not enough. Finally, the intelligent retriever wants to be challenged not only physically, but also mentally. In addition to small fetch exercises or search games that you can easily integrate into your daily walks, different types of sports or training are also suitable to provide enough activity for your dog. For example, obedience, dummy training, tracking, or rescue dog training are great for a golden retriever. In addition, many other suitable sports and games where the retriever can use his good nose and his fetch urge. You also do the dog a favor if you let him take a dip in a river, lake, or sea. If all this is not around, he is also content with puddles of water and a garden hose.back to menu ↑
Raising a Golden Retriever
Before adopting an adorable Golden Retriever puppy, make sure you have enough time for this playful dog who loves to exercise. A retriever is certainly not suitable for people with a full-time job. For people who have the time and inclination to spend time with the dog and in the best case scenario have a house with a garden, the purebred dog is an incredibly loyal and loving companion.
In any case, training a golden retriever takes relatively little time. Of course, that doesn’t mean that this breed doesn’t need upbringing. But thanks to their joy of work and their obedience, Golden Retrievers make great learners. Just like with any dog, a little consequence is necessary. While the retriever likes to wrap his owner’s paw by looking cute and wagging his tail, consistent practice of key commands is important. There is no need to say the commands sternly. On the contrary. Say it in a calm loving way. The sensitive and affectionate dogs need a calm owner.