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Golden Retriever

There is so much to love about the Golden Retriever. These beautiful Scottish gundogs are powerful yet always retain a puppyish look. They’re a perennially popular breed among American dog owners thanks to their happy disposition and strong sense of  devotion. One look into those kind, soulful, and loving eyes, and you’ll be smitten!

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Animalia Team
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    Country of Origin

    United Kingdom

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    Breed Group

    Sporting Group

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    Height

    Male 23-24 In

    Female 20-22 In

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    Weight

    Male 65-75 Ib

    Female 55-65 Ib

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    Life Span

    12-13 years

In a Nutshell

Their friendly and tolerant attitude makes Golden Retrievers great family pets, and their intelligence makes them highly capable working dogs. They excel at retrieving game for hunters, tracking, sniffing out contraband for law enforcement, and as therapy and service dogs. They’re also natural athletes and do well in dog sports such as agility and competitive obedience.

 

These dogs are fairly easy to train and get along in just about any home or family. They’re great with kids and very protective of their humans. If you want a loyal, loving, and smart companion, then you should consider adopting one of these pups into your pack.

Life With a Golden Retriever

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Energy level

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Trainability Level

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Amount of Shedding

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Tendency of Barking

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Exercise Needs

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    Home Alone

    So-So

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    Living Arrangements

    Apartment will do

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    Kid Friendly

    Yes

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    Pet Friendly

    Yes

Looks & Personality

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The Golden Retriever’s coat comes in cream and various shades of golden. Their physique can vary from broad and dense to leaner and sportier. Their standout features are a broad head, short ears, straight muzzle, smooth and powerful gait, and rich, lustrous golden coat.

 

Thanks to their breeding as hunting and waterfowl-retrieving dogs in the Scottish Highlands, their outer coat is dense and repels water. They also have a thick undercoat. Both coats can vary in texture from wavy to straight. Heavy feathering appears on their chest, the backs of their legs, and their tail. Lovers of the breed say the Golden Retriever carries his or her tail with a “merry action.” 

 

Take note, Goldens shed quite a lot and require regular brushing. Get ready to break out the lint roller and use it just about everywhere. If you hate the hassle of regular vacuuming or suffer from allergies, you’ll want to think twice before welcoming a Golden into your home. Your neighbors are unlikely to mind living close to a Golden Retriever. The breed rarely barks, occasionally vocalizing to sound an alert or in response to unfamiliar stimuli. 

 

As for the Golden Retriever’s personality, new owners can expect a friend for life. These dogs are the perfect family pet as they are outgoing, playful, and gentle. They are affectionate to one and all, even other pets and young kids. They love to play, play, play, so make sure you’re up to meeting their exercise needs. Like most Sporting Group dogs, Goldens need at least an hour of vigorous daily exercise. Adult dogs make great companions on long runs and bike rides. Consult a vet before starting strenuous or high-impact activities that might put stress on a dog’s bones and joints during their first two years. Many Goldens happily get their exercise on hunting trips or at field trials and by participating in canine sports such as agility, obedience, and tracking.

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A tip from a vet

Golden Retrievers are prone to obesity which can cause additional health problems down the line. A sluggish, overweight Golden is a sad sight given the youthful vigor they grow up with. Make sure to serve high-quality dog food formulated to suit your dog's age and avoid excess calories. Tempting as it may be to offer lots of table scraps and rewards, remember that it’s possible to literally love a dog to death. Next time you’re thinking of offering a bite of people food or a calorie-dense treat, try offering stimulation and reinforcement through games, exercise, or praise instead. You’ll both feel better!
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A tip from a trainer

Golden Retrievers are easy to train. They thrive as work dogs, hunters, guides for the blind, search-and-rescue animals, and participants in competitive events. They are eager to please, so they thrive in obedience classes. A Golden that doesn't get enough exercise is likely to exhibit unwanted behaviors like digging and chewing – make sure to hide those new shoes! The breed loves mental challenges, like playing with puzzle toys and learning new tricks, but remember that mental and physical stimulation are both key.
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Did You Know

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    Tucker Budzyn is currently among the most recognized Golden Retriever on the Internet, with more than 3 million followers across YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook.

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    The Golden Retriever’s loving, affectionate disposition makes the breed an ideal choice as a therapy and emotional support animal.

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    You know all that exuberant behavior? That tends to last longer in Golden retrievers than other breeds. They mature slowly and can be playful and silly into adulthood.  

In The News

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Golden Retrievers are popular to real-life and fictional dog lovers alike, having made a name for themselves on the small and big screens. Celebrity Goldens have appeared in films and shows such as the Air Bud movies, Disney’s Buddy movies, Full House, and Homeward Bound.

Famous Golden Retriever Owners

Adam Levine, Conan O’Brien, Diane Keaton, Emma Stone, Andrew Garfield, Jackie Chan,Jimmy Fallon, Oprah Winfrey, Ronald Reagan.

The History Behind the Breed

In Scotland, Golden Retrievers were first bred in the early 1800s as hunting dogs. The most complete records of the Golden Retriever's development are included in the texts from 1835 through around 1890 by gamekeepers at Lord Tweedmouth's Guisachan estate at Inverness-Shire, Scotland. These records were released to the public in 1952, when Lord Tweedmouth's great-nephew, the sixth Earl of Ilchester, published the material. These helped back up many generational stories with factual evidence.

If a Golden Retriever Could Talk…

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Why do you keep referring to me as a “breed” – I'm not a dog. I'm an essential member of your family!

A Quick Anatomy Lesson

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Golden Retrievers are usually healthy dogs that live for 10–12 years. However, due to poor breeding, some Golden Retrievers may have allergies, heart disease, eye issues, hip dysplasia and cancer.

Common Health Problems

What about your Golden Retriever?