Golden Retriever - Right Dog For You?
Who can resist that cute little golden face with large hazel eyes? Golden Retriever puppies are some of the cutest puppies ever! Seeing a Golden Retriever puppy melts any heart and makes you want to get one of your own, immediately.
But, before you jump in with all four feet, let's look at the dog this little puppy will grow up to be? Find out whether a Golden Retriever is the right dog for you.
Is a Golden Retriever the right dog for you?
Golden retrievers are gentle, intelligent, and energetic dogs who, if socialised, fit perfectly into family life. Their high intelligence and good temperament make them easy to train. Their calm, tolerant temperament means that they make excellent furry best friends for children and is also the reason they are famed as the dog of choice for guide dogs, hearing dogs, and police dogs. Recently they’ve even been helping us as COVID detection dogs. On top of all these achievements, they’re pretty impressive in the show ring too.
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It’s important to make sure that every member of the family knows how to treat a dog and that you all follow the same rewards-based training and discipline techniques when raising a Golden Retriever.
Golden Retrievers make excellent pets for active individuals or families. If you want to jog, run canicross or just have loads of adventures with your dog, then this breed is for you.
They need at least two hours of exercise a day. Make sure you have the time and energy to spend on them. You can spread this out over the day or split between on-leash walks, training, and off-leash playtime in the park. They love catch and retrieve games, they are after all “retrievers”.
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Training - how much and what type?
Like all dogs, Golden Retrievers need the right training from the start. They need to understand the rules and how to stick to them. Begin training the minute you bring your pup home. You'll need all the info on how to socialise your puppy. The best training for your Golden Retrievers, in fact for any dog, is rewards based training, it’s the right thing to do. Reward them with lots of treats and praise.
No hitting nor violence - you never want your dog to be afraid of you.
Golden Retrievers are intelligent. They love to be given tasks to keep them occupied and have good problem-solving skills. They love to please, which makes them easy to train.
If you want professional support then here are some tips to Choose the right Dog Trainer.
Golden Retrievers are truly gorgeous with orange-tinted, fluffy coats - but that beautiful double coat has its downside. They shed - a lot, pretty much all the time - so you may appreciate our article 8 Cleaning Hacks For Dog Parents
You’ll need to groom them at least twice a week, or your house will be covered in hair. Grooming is brilliant for bonding, your dog will thrive with all the attention.
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You may need to groom them after walks too because Retrievers just love to wallow. They will be drawn to that muddy pool of water and they'll be only too happy to wade for as long as they're allowed.
A puppy will need to be groomed daily.
Fully grown, Golden's take up space. They’re large dogs and can weigh up to 80lbs and males can get up to 24” shoulder height. They need space.
Pro TIp: Keep food and treats where they cannot find them because these dogs LOVE to eat.
They grow to be big, the males are bigger than the females. You’ll need a generous space for this breed. They love to garden so if you pride yourself on your immaculate flower beds you’ll have to retriever-proof them.
If you’re buying a pup from a registered Golden Retriever breeder you can expect to pay no less than ￡1,400. Check out our research on the cost of getting a dog. Be prepared to pay what they’re worth, be sure to find yourself a reputable breeder.
There are some known health problems of this breed.
Hip and Elbow Dysplasia - check that the breeders health check documents for your pup's parents include screening for these common issues
Neurological conditions - a pinched nerve in the neck causes a wobbly drunken gait
Thyroid disease - causes flaky and patchy skin - but easy to treat and not itchy
Otitis - ear infection - treatable
Bumps under the skin - most often these are cysts or benign tumours
Your reputable breeder will have the parents' health checks and certificates. You will be able to know your dog's lineage. Pedigree dogs have been screened and will be on a database with The Kennel Club.
Your puppy should have had their first vet check by the time they are forever homed with you.
Sometimes being a dog parent just isn’t as easy as it looks, so if you do find that you are unable to cope with your puppy, there are people willing to help. Inform your breeder immediately, and get in touch with reputable rehoming organisations like Southern Golden Retriever Rescue .
They have the cutest, cuddliest, and friendliest personalities and they love to play. You can tell the colour your retriever pup will grow up to be by checking the tips of your puppy's ears. And these creatures are fluffy so you'll need to groom them daily.
They don't like to be left alone, and don't cope well at the kennels so if you like to go away often you'll need a pet sitter.
This puppy is a joy and flourishes in training. Start training immediately, be prepared for that growth spurt, you’ll find a big dog in your lap uncomfortable. You'll love how obedient and easy to train your Golden Retriever puppy is when you're consistent.
A retriever pup loves the sound of its own voice, so don’t expect them to be silent. If you feel your pup is barking excessively, chat to a qualified trainer or behaviourist. These puppies love to please so once trained they’ll be barking for all the right reasons.
For exercise they'll only need 5 minutes for every month of their life because their bones are soft and mustn't be put under pressure. It's important to start training immediately.
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Oh you are going to love this story as much as we do. Golden Retrievers came to us through the circus! A Russian circus no less, in 1885. We are forever indebted to Lord Tweedmouth. On seeing a group of Golden Retrievers perform in Brighton, he bought all 8 of them on the spot. Their temperament and beauty had so impressed him that he took the dogs back to Guisachan, his Scottish Estate to track deer. There the breed was crossed with Water Spaniels, Bloodhounds, Irish Setters and St John's Waterdog to make them the best retrievers for the bird hunt. And they’ve been impressing us with their circus antics ever since.
Today there are three types of Golden Retrievers - the English, the Canadian and the American. The English dog has the light golden to white coat and a stockier build. The American is more golden with a thick coat. The Canadian is the darkest in colour and their coat is thinner. When it comes to differentiating between a Labrador and the Golden, the Labrador has a thicker snout.
Once you have done your research and decided that a Golden Retriever is the right dog for you and your family, you need to decide if you’re getting a puppy from a breeder or getting yourself a rescue dog.
If you want to get a puppy, it is important to buy your pup from a registered breeder. To find a registered breeder in your area, refer to the Golden Retriever Club for guidance.
If you’ve decided on the rescue route The Kennel Club has a list of breed-specific rescue specialising in Golden Retrievers, in your area.
Good luck with your decision. When you have your Retriever secure in your lap be sure to enter our competitions, we love to see the faces of proud parents with their happy best friends.
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