The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in India, their popularity is only second to Labrador Retrievers in India. But why are they so popular and so loved all over the country? Let’s find out everything you need to know about Golden Retrievers.
Golden Retriever Breed Information
You may have seen many videos of Golden Retrievers behaving like lapdogs but these gentle giants are everything but a lapdog. They were bred to work and hence work best if they have a particular job in the house.
Goldies love to fetch and have a very gentle touch, just like Labradors. Many pet parents say that their Goldies greet them with toys in their mouth which is really the cutest thing ever!
They are also great with kids, hence if you have children in the house or if you plan to have children any time soon, a Golden might be the best option for you.
Golden Retrievers were first created by Lord Tweedmouth who wanted a dog that loved the water and could bring back hunted animals without drilling holes into its fur.
Thus came the Goldens. They were first bred in 1835 but they were perfected over the next few decades. The breed gained a lot of popularity in 1904 and by 1920, they got their name – the Golden Retriever.
Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs. There are slight variations in the British and American Goldens. British lines have a deeper chest and are heavier boned than the American variety who are much leaner.
Height – 23-24 Inches
Despite the slight differences in their weight and height, both the American and the European Golden Retrievers are the same in terms of their demeanour.
As heavier dogs, they are prone to hip dysplasia, and if you don’t take care of their weight they can grow obese. But since they love to please, it’s easy to get them to play and be active.
Goldens have the heart of gold! They love to be around different people and different dogs. They are incredibly social and light up around company.
This is why it won’t be fair to keep a Golden Retriever if you have long and hectic hours at work. Since Goldens love people, they are very prone to separation anxiety, and situations that force them to be alone will accelerate that behaviour.
It would be best if you live in a family where someone can be with them all the time. But, we know that is not always possible. Don’t leave them alone for longer than 4-6 hours a day.
If you have a job that requires you to stay out for longer, make sure that a family member can come back home early, or during a lunch break to take your Golden out for a walk. Fortunately, doggie daycare is a viable option for them because they are friendly dogs and less likely to pick a fight with other dogs.
If you have a really hectic schedule, a Golden Retriever may not be the dog for you. As lovely as they may be, they deserve to be in a house that works for both them and their pet parent.
Goldens tend to put on weight so, we suggest not to buy food that is too high on calories. Sometimes, high-calorie meals lead them to grow too fast as puppies which can lead to misalignments in their bones, leading to severe health problems in the future.
They should have a healthy intake of calcium and phosphorus. However, we suggest that, instead of giving them calcium and phosphorus supplements as puppies, give them meals that are rich in minerals.
Fish meat, like salmon and trout, and other lean meats with a good helping of dog-friendly vegetables work wonders for them. Fish and poultry meat does not lead to weight gain and is also rich in vitamins and minerals.
Golden Retrievers are one of the easiest dogs to train. They love to please their human and they love to learn new things, both of which make them perfect dogs for first-time owners.
Secondly, since they are big dogs and love to be around people and dogs, training is not an option, it is necessary.
Apart from potty training and ample socialisation opportunities as puppies, Goldies need to be taught not to pounce on people and to be gentle around old people and children. Since they are very smart dogs, you can also teach them cool tricks like play dead, sit pretty etc.
Some Golden Retrievers have this habit of peeing when they are excited. This usually happens to little puppies and they tend to grow out of it as they grow older. But sometimes, the habit stays with them if they haven’t been socialised enough.
If your Golden puppy pees when you come home, or when their favourite person comes by, it’s nothing to be worried about. Just keep socializing them and they will most likely grow out of the behaviour with every passing month.
Some Goldies can be enrolled in competitive sports like dock diving too. It’s also good to note that they are excellent swimmers. They are one of the few dog breeds with webbed feet! You can take them to a doggie pool now and again to train them and burn off that extra energy.
If you keep them well, Golden Retrievers will have a healthy youth and adulthood. But unfortunately, as heavier dogs, Golden Retrievers are prone to quite a few health problems. Though of late, their average life expectancy is between 8-10 years; over recent years, many Goldens living for more than 10 years.
They are prone to big dog problems like hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, Osteochondrosis Dessecans etc.
Apart from big dog problems, Goldens are prone to cataracts and cancers. About 60% of Golden Retrievers die from some type of cancer.
Additionally, a double layer coat, makes it easy for fleas and ticks to latch onto them. During the monsoon season, you will have to be extra vigilant of fleas and ticks and make sure they are at bay.
Please buy a Golden Retriever from a licensed breeder, one who has done enough tests to find the best lineage and only breeds Golden Retrievers with fewer genetic conditions.
Ask the breeder about their family history and if any of their ancestors died of cancer. Also, ask about their genetic conditions and life spans and meet their parents to get an idea of what your Golden will be like when they grow up.
Breeders can sugarcoat the truth but parent dogs will show you their real self. Looking at the parents, you’ll know if they are pure Goldens and also learn more about their temperament.
How To Identify A Pure Golden Retriever?
Goldens and Labs look very similar as puppies. The major difference between the two is their fur. Goldens tend to have much more fur on their head, ears, stomach and chest than lab puppies.
Pure Golden Retrievers come in a rich golden colour, but they can also come in pale yellow or brown. Sometimes, you will find all white and all black Goldens but they are single colour dogs. You will never find a golden and white or a black and white Golden Retriever.
Check the puppies chest and paws for any discolouration if you suspect that they are not a pure breed. Only purchase a Golden Retriever from a certified breeder; this will reduce the chances of any mixing in the breed.
We do not support buying any dog from puppy mills or from markets that sell puppies in cages. These puppies are brought to this world by some very unthinkable methods.
Sellers will hide the truth by not introducing you to their parents. If you can’t see the parent, it’s a good reason to walk away.
Adoption is also a great way to help a Golden Retriever and get a loving companion. Adopted dogs may be older than your liking or may not be a pure breed, or from a strong lineage, but they still have a heart of gold and they deserve all the love they can get.
Goldens have a double layer coat and they are no strangers to shedding. You will see fur everywhere, on your clothes, on the floor, the doormats, the walls etc.
They need to be brushed almost every day to get rid of all their knots. Brushing also reduces the amount of hair you find in the house. If you have a lawn or a washing area, you can brush them there because it will be easier to clean up. This will reduce the amount of fur in your house.
But with a Golden Retriever around, you need to double up with the cleaning. Even if you dust the house every day, you will still find fur around your house. This is why they may not be the best companion for clean freaks.
Also, remember that Goldies are moderate droolers. So be prepared with a hanky every time you go out with them.
Every Golden Retriever is perfect but they are even more perfect when they are with a person who understands their requirements. Only then will both of you be happy.
Are you planning to get a Golden Retriever? Or do you have one already? What is the one thing you wish you knew before getting a Golden Retriever? Let us know in the comment section below.