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Know Your Dogs! An Intro to the Golden Retriever

Fast Facts

Loyal, loveable, and energetic throughout their lives, Golden Retrievers are perfect companions for pet parents looking for the kind of dog that just wants to be man’s best friend. They are perfect to introduce into families of any size, and typically love children, other dogs, and even the family cat. Weighing between 50 and 80 pounds, a Golden Retriever isn’t so much a gentle giant as a bull in a china closet, and has been known to knock an unsuspecting person down in the middle of a bout of enthusiasm.

The Golden Retriever is a lover, not a fighter, and is more interested in finding your hidden slippers or lying at your feet while you watch television in protecting their property or fighting with other dogs. Because of the Golden’s size and enthusiasm, many other dogs will respond in either a fearful or aggressive way, when all your pup wants to do is play with a new friend.


While the Golden Retriever is easy-going and fun loving, the one thing they are not is mellow. If you choose this breed as your canine companion, you’d better come prepared with energy to spare, because they’re not about to let you waste valuable time sleeping when you could be out having fun!

Golden Retrievers are among the most loyal, affectionate, and friendly dogs you’ll ever find, and exactly the type you’re looking for if you want an active, loving friend that’s always happy to see you-and you don’t mind a 60-pound ball of fur jumping in your lap when you get home. They are also the original “fetch” dogs, and will literally spend hours chasing after a ball, stick, or Frisbee without getting tired or bored in the process. Anything you throw, no matter how far you throw it, a Golden Retriever will run after and attempt to catch.

Like their Labrador Retriever counterparts, Goldens are obedient and easy to train, but as puppies, their natural energy and enthusiasm for life can be a little hard to handle. Chewing and retrieving are favorite pastimes, and even when you think you’ve placed an object out of reach, your Golden Retriever puppy considers this an extra challenge to make the game more fun. Fortunately, most outgrow their hyperactivity through age and training, and as long as they are allowed regular exercise and time outdoors, thrive in almost any environment.

Grooming & Appearance

Golden Retrievers typically have long, floppy ears and a wide-eyed innocence that conveys a naturally friendly and trusting personality. They have very expressive faces that don’t hide emotion well, and you’ll know fairly easily when your canine companion is happy or sad, energetic or tired. When they are happy to see you, which is almost always, you’re likely to physically see their faces light up.

When it comes to grooming, Golden Retrievers are about as low-maintenance as it gets. A bath and an occasional brushing is all it takes to keep your furry friend in shape; however, if they had their way, a Golden would settle for rolling around on the grass and jumping in the lake instead.

Health And Lifestyle

Like most medium-to-large breeds of dogs, Golden Retrievers live for an average of about 12 years. Although they’re likely to show signs of aging around 9 or 10, their spirits typically remain childlike and enthusiastic, and a Golden Retriever will keep on running and exploring until the last day of their life. As a result, it’s important for pet parents to keep an eye on their furry friends, since this breed isn’t likely to slow down due to fatigue or illness. Particularly as your Golden gets older, it’s important to limit the time and intensity of their play sessions, and to make certain they have frequent vet visits.

Exercise and limiting food rations are key to keeping this breed of dog happy, healthy, and energetic. Largely due to their boundless energy, Retrievers are almost always hungry, and aren’t fussy about eating whatever type of dog food or table scraps happen to cross their paths. Since arthritis, obesity, and hip problems are common as Retrievers get older, it’s important to keep an eye on their eating habits, and try to keep them healthy.

Who Should Own One?

If you’re looking for a quiet, reserved, and self-sufficient disposition, the Golden Retriever isn’t for you. They’re happiest in situations that provide outlets for their seemingly boundless energy, and give them plenty of opportunities to play, as well as things and people to play with. Despite their size, the Golden Retriever isn’t terribly good at being a guard dog, since they’re more interested in befriending and examining people than in chasing them away.

A born extrovert, a Golden Retriever is a family dog, and won’t just attach himself or herself to one person. This makes them a great addition to households that are always full of activity, and have multiple people or pets. It’s also ideal if the family lives in a house with a backyard, since your Golden Retriever is happy to be outdoors as often as possible, even in the snow.



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