Ah, Golden Retrievers. What’s not to love? With their laidback personalities, beautiful yellow coat, and goofy grins, it’s no wonder Goldens are often called “America’s Sweetheart.” You may have even seen these furry cuties pictured in doggy catalogues, calendars, and other items as a symbol of friendship or cuteness.
While you may be tempted to choose a Golden Retriever as your next furry companion, make sure you know what it takes to raise and care for this beautiful breed. If you can successfully meet the needs of a Golden Retriever, we can almost guarantee you will have a wonderful friend for life!
Here’s everything you need to know about Golden Retrievers.
Golden Retrievers often vary between medium and large sizes. For males, they typically stand between 22 to 23 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 65-75 pounds. Females usually stand at 21.5 to 22.5 inches and weigh 55-65 pounds. Goldens are known for having long, active tails that may sweep against a coffee table at some point. In short, they need lots of room to move around and be themselves!
There’s no other dog quite like the Golden Retriever. Goldens have a long, thick golden coat, a broad head, short ears, and intelligent eyes that make them so irresistible for dog enthusiasts! When they walk, these fur-babies possess a smooth, graceful gait and often carry their long tail with wagging enthusiasm.
Originally bred as a sporting dog, Golden Retrievers require plenty of exercise to keep their energy levels down. They also just love bonding with their family and are eager to have that chance! Typically, Golden Retrievers need at least 20-30 minutes of exercise, whether it’s through long walks or a vigorous playtime session. A Golden Retriever that does not receive sufficient exercise will become bored, resorting to mischief and other bad behavior. A young Golden Retriever will need lots of physical stimulation so be prepared to head over to a doggy park or walking trail a lot!
Golden Retrievers will take any chance to play with their owners, especially if it’s a good game of fetch. These fur-babies are also huge on outdoor playtime, and are natural swimmers. They’re typically friendly with anyone they meet (you’ll rarely ever meet an aggressive Golden Retriever). Owners of Goldens will often tell you that this breed keeps their happy puppy-like attitude well into adulthood. Golden Retrievers love being with their families and do not do well being left alone for many hours.
Golden Retrievers have a beautiful and lustrous yellow coat that’s long and thick. Because their coat is water-repellent, they only need to be bathed once in a while. They do, however, shed quite a lot of hair once or twice a year so it’s important to regularly brush them. If you’re not a fan of finding doggy hairs in your furniture, floor, and even food, you may want to reconsider owning a Golden Retriever. Goldens also need regular nail trimmings.
A Golden Retriever’s energetic and laid back personality usually makes them easy to train and housebreak. We recommend starting training and socialization as early as possible, preferably from the age of 7 weeks to 4 months. You should expose your Golden Retriever puppy to all kinds of surroundings and people to get them used to interacting with others. That way, your cute and fuzzy Golden will grow up to be a handsome, well-mannered adult dog. Goldens are usually eager to please their owners, so be sure to use positive reinforcement and treats during training.
Other Things to Consider
If you’re looking for a ferocious guard dog to protect your home, a Golden Retriever is the wrong dog for the job. It’s true that Goldens can grow big in size, but they’re far from ferocious. They’ll bark and growl, yes—but when it comes down to defending the home, a Golden Retriever will likely pepper an intruder with kisses. A Golden Retriever is highly social, and thrives being surrounded by family and friends. Don’t be surprised if your Golden requires lots of cuddles and snuggles with you on a constant basis.
Golden Retrievers, like all breeds, need attention, care, and love from their families. When considering this breed, please keep in mind your house and family size, energy level, and most especially, the amount of time you spend at home. If you work full-time, you may end up leaving your Golden Retriever puppy alone for many hours, causing them to become bored and/or anxious. Think carefully and make sure to research before deciding on taking home a beautiful Golden Retriever. Once you make sure your lifestyle fits the needs of a Golden Retriever, we know you’ll have the time of your life with your smart, goofy and cuddly new buddy!
Do you work full-time but want a cute furry friend? Check out our blog, Best Dog Breeds For People Who Work All Day for dogs who would be perfect for you!