Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds, and it’s no surprise why: They are intelligent, friendly, love to please, and love life — what more could a Pet Parent want?
They are also beautiful, with their feathered, golden coat and expressive brown eyes. This member of the sporting group really has it all! We’ve rounded up some important pointers for any Pet Parent considering bringing a Golden into their family.
1. Golden Retrievers are the ultimate family dog.
Goldens have joie de vivre that makes them perfect for active families with children. They are typically great with kids, as long as they are well-socialized as puppies. Gently introduce your new Golden pup to people, friendly dogs, kids, and different environments while he’s young. Generally, Golden Retrievers have a sweet and lovable personality that will fit right in with family life.
2. These brainy buddies need (and love) to learn.
You’ll often see Golden Retrievers as service dogs or participating in sporting events. They love to learn and are eager to please. It’s important to teach Golden puppies basic commands, especially “Sit!” and “Down!” While this breed has a gentle temperament, they are also rambunctious; they could easily knock down a child or adult if they get too excited.
Goldens also do very well in obedience classes and are typically quite easy to train, so don’t hesitate to work your pup’s mind. You’ll both thrive on it.
3. Exercise is a must.
Golden Retrievers are an active breed, so make sure you give your canine companion plenty of exercise each day. A fenced-in yard with room to romp is a good idea for this energetic pup, as are a few well-paced walks a day. Goldens are also usually up for a swim and a hike, too. Just be sure to ask your veterinarian if your pup is clear to participate in high-impact activities, like leaping for a Frisbee — the breed can be susceptible to joint issues.
4. Goldens shed. A lot.
A Golden Retriever can be light to dark gold in color with a thick, water-repellent, double coat (harsh topcoat and soft undercoat). As a Pet Parent to a Golden, you’ll need to get used to finding your pup’s hair everywhere — in the spring and fall, this breed does some serious shedding! They also shed a healthy amount the remainder of the year.
Regular daily brushing and a monthly bath is usually all that’s needed to keep a Golden Retriever clean. You should also make time for teeth brushing and check those droopy ears often for signs of infection. Luckily, Goldens make up for all the effort with a ton of love!
5. Keep tabs on your pal’s health and weight (and visit the vet).
One of the most important things you can do for your Golden is keep his weight under control. Golden Retrievers can be food-obsessed and prone to obesity. If they carry extra weight, the risks for joint problems, heart problems, and cancer can all go up. Avoid giving your pup table scraps, limit snacking, and be sure to feed him a nutritious, balanced food formula.
Keep an eye on your pal for symptoms of hip and elbow dysplasia, osteoarthritis, cancer, cataracts, and progressive retinal atrophy (a genetic condition that eventually leads to blindness). Regular visits to your veterinarian will help you stay on top of any health issues that may crop up for your furry friend.
For an active family looking for a loyal and lovable buddy, the Golden Retriever can make a golden addition to the crew!