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Top FAQs About The Golden Retriever

February 1, 2024

Did you know that one of America’s favorite dogs has a special day this month? Golden Retriever Day is February 3rd! These pups are not only adorable, they’re also extremely loving, loyal, and fun. A local Porters Lake, NS veterinarian puts this Very Good Boy in the spotlight below. 

Basic Info About The Golden Retriever

Though they are medium-large in size, Golden Retrievers have huge hearts. Males can reach 24 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds, while females can reach about 23 inches tall and weigh 65 pounds on average. There are three types of Golden Retrievers: British, American, and Canadian. All three are equally adorable, as you can probably guess.

Wondering why Golden Retriever Day always falls on February 3rd? Kristen Shroyer of iheartgoldenretrievers chose this day In honor of her beloved pooch, Quincey, who was born on February 3rd. 

What Is The Golden Retriever’s Character? 

One of America’s most popular dogs, the Golden is a truly exceptional pooch. These dogs have a wonderful temperament. They’re loyal, loving, affectionate, and also great with kids. Their cheerful demeanor is even cited in the breed standard: early records often noted that their tails often moved in a “merry” manner.

What Are Golden Retrievers Good At?

Fido’s top skill may be being adorable. However, he’s actually very well rounded, and is good at many things. 

Known for their intelligence and unwavering obedience, Goldens excel in various canine sports and activities such as obedience, agility, and tracking. A skilled hunting dog, Fido also has a knack for swimming and playing Fetch. He’s even ventured into politics! Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II was elected mayor of Idyllwild–Pine Cove, California. It’s safe to say that the town has gone to the dogs: Max quickly enlisted his cousins, Mitzi and Mikey, as deputy mayors, and was eventually succeeded by another cousin, Max III. (This was actually part of a fundraiser. The town doesn’t have any official government, so locals decided to elect a pet. Fourteen dogs and two cats were on the ballot for this honorary role.)

Their only weakness is being watchdogs: these guys are usually so friendly that they’re more likely to welcome a burglar and beg for belly rubs than to drive them away.

What Makes A Golden Retriever A Good Family Dog?

Generally, Golden Retrievers are excellent family pets. They are very patient with children, and do well with cats and other dogs. They are very eager to please their owners, which makes them easy to train. However, because they need so much exercise, they prefer a yard. (Fido also would like to politely request a swimming pool.)

Golden Retriever: Coat And Grooming Needs

This breed is aptly named: the Golden has a thick, beautiful coat of gold in color. Unfortunately, Fido will try to share it with you, and will probably distribute it everywhere. You’ll have to brush your pooch regularly. On a brighter note, you won’t have to bathe him very often. As far as grooming needs go, dental care and nail trimmings are also important.

What Is The Difference Between Golden Retrievers And Yellow Labrador Retrievers?

Fido bears a striking resemblance to his closest companion, the Yellow Labrador Retriever. It’s easy to confuse the two, as they share many similar traits in terms of size, looks, and personality. The main contrast lies in their coats: Goldens boast longer fur and slightly longer ears and snoots, or noses. Although both breeds excel in various fields, Goldens are commonly utilized as service or therapy dogs, while Labs shine in search-and-rescue and law enforcement work. 

What Are The Origins Of The Golden Retriever?

Thanks to detailed records kept by one of its early developers, Sir Dudley Majoribanks, we have abundant information about its lineage. Majoribanks’ records were published in 1952 and include many specific details about the breeding program he initiated in Scotland back in the 1860s. He began by crossing a Flat coated Retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel. There is some dispute about where Nous came from: some believed that he was obtained from a Russian circus trainer, while others held that the pup originally belonged to a cobbler or a Gypsy. Regardless, Nous was bred to Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel of “Ladykirk” heritage. The pairing resulted in some very adorable puppies, who became the foundation stock for ongoing breeding efforts. The family tree also includes the Red Setter, Labrador Retriever and Bloodhound. 

How Healthy Are Golden Retrievers?

Although Fido is quite hardy, some lines of Goldens are susceptible to certain health problems, such as allergies, skin problems, and eye issues. This is likely a result of irresponsible breeders, who were more interested in turning a profit than following quality standards. A small percentage of Goldens aren’t as cheerful as the rest are: poor breeding practices may be the reason for that as well.

Back to health issues. Goldens are susceptible to a few health problems. About a fifth of these dogs develop joint issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Additionally, Fido may suffer from subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), a potentially fatal heart condition. Cancer is also common. You may want to enroll Fido in pet health insurance. We’d also recommend going through with the recommended tests. The official breed guidelines recommend the following: 

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 5 (Golden Retriever) (NCL, NCL5) – DNA Test
  • Cardiac Exam

Your furry pal will also need his ears cleaned regularly. Those cute floppy ears Goldens have create a warm, damp environment, in which bacteria can flourish. (Fido’s love for swimming doesn’t exactly help here.) Ask your Porters Lake, NS veterinarians for more information.

How Active Are Golden Retrievers?

Like many of the other dogs in the sporting breeds group, Goldens are known for their high energy levels. It’s important to ensure that your furry friend, Fido, gets plenty of exercise and playtime. This can become challenging as your pooch ages, especially since the Golden has a weakness for snacks that may lead to weight gain. 

Ask your Porters Lake, NS vet for personalized advice on an appropriate workout routine for your canine companion. Due to Fido’s susceptibility to hip dysplasia, you may need to avoid intense activities and discourage jumping or standing. As he gets older, Fido may become more sedentary, so it’s crucial to prioritize his physical activity. However, it’s worth pointing out that many Goldens love swimming. This is a great workout that is easy on the joints.

What Are Golden Retrievers Favorite Things? 

These cheerful, lovable pups love everything and everyone. While we can’t officially poll our furry patients, we have a pretty good idea of what Fido would list if he were able to tell us what he loves the most.

The results, in no particular order: 

  • Playing Fetch
  • Bacon
  • Belly Rubs
  • Tennis Balls
  • Swimming
  • Treats
  • Playing
  • Naps
  • Bacon
  • Car Rides
  • Squirrels
  • Dog Parks

Go ahead and indulge your pup’s lust for life by treating him to some of his favorite things regularly. Just don’t go overboard on the treats: these guys are prone to getting chubby. 

Conclusion: Golden Retrievers are fantastic dogs, and are extremely popular pets. Friendly, obedient, and playful, they embody everything you could want in a canine companion. 

Do you have questions about caring for a Golden? Have you recently adopted one? Contact us, your local Porters Lake, NS pet hospital, today! We’re here to help!