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Golden Retrievers are well-suited for busy households with lots of activity. Goldens thrive on attention and are usually friendly toward children and other family pets.
Golden Retriever Traits
Golden Retriever Temperament
The Golden Retriever personality is naturally outgoing and eager to please. Although individual personalities can vary, most Goldens love people and social outings, thriving in homes with lively environments.
Generally, Goldens are born to mingle and see everyone as a potential new bestie. Whenever they meet someone new, they seem to say, “Hi! I am so glad we met. Do you have a ball to throw for me now that we’re friends?”
That friendly demeanor, coupled with their moderate weight and height, make Golden Retrievers excellent dogs for families with young children. However, not all Goldens are without challenges. When bringing a Golden home, cautiously introduce them to household members, especially smaller ones like children and cats.
Goldens are also intelligent; they’re quick learners and easy to train. Working is in their DNA: They were and are bred to be gundogs, retrieving waterfowl with their soft mouths, a characteristic that allows them to carry delicate items without applying excessive pressure. They often serve as guide dogs, therapy dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs. For optimal health, Golden Retrievers need ample mental and physical exercise.
Keep in mind, though, that even the best-trained Goldens can be mischievous. So be prepared for occasional capers and learn to laugh with your dog as they “help” you unload the laundry basket.
How to Care for a Golden Retriever
As adaptable and easygoing as Golden Retrievers are, they’re not low-maintenance.They need daily exercise, regular brushing and training.
Golden Retriever Health
Golden Retrievers have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, but the Golden Retriever lifespan can vary greatly depending on many variables, such as weight, fitness level, and illness. Some dogs can live to 14 without issue, while others can develop health problems well before that. The best thing you can do is follow preventative health protocols and know what those potential health problems are, so you can recognize and treat the signs quickly.
- Cancer: The biggest health issue for Goldens is cancer. According to a study conducted by the Golden Retriever Club of America, cancer was identified as a cause of death in 61.4 percent of the Golden Retrievers studied. If your pup has cancer, your vet can help you determine the best course of action to treat your pup.
- Ear Infections: Those adorable floppy ears? They can trap moisture, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Clean those cute ears regularly with a non-irritating solution like Epi-Otic to prevent ear infections.
- Skin Infections: The Golden Retriever breed’s thick undercoat can attract skin-irritating bacteria. That’s why it’s so important to bathe or rinse them off with clean water after a swim. If your pup develops a skin infection, contact your veterinarian. They’ll show you the best way to treat the infection.
- Hip Dysplasia: Roughly 8.5 percent of Goldens have hip dysplasia, which is a deformity of the hip joint that occurs during puppyhood, resulting in looseness of the joint and eventually degenerative joint disease. Check with your veterinarian for the best treatment options if your Golden suffers from this condition.
- Heart Conditions: They are also prone to certain heart conditions, like subaortic stenosis, which is a narrowing of the area just below the aortic valve (the valve where blood leaves the heart and travels to the rest of the body). This can sometimes be detected as an audible murmur during a veterinarian exam. Your veterinarian will determine the best treatment.
Golden Retriever History
The Golden Retriever breed originated in the Scottish Highlands through the efforts of Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth. Marjoribanks selectively bred different dog breeds to create an energetic pup who could retrieve objects from the water and on land.
Among the breeds that Marjoribanks used in his breeding program were the Yellow Retriever, Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. He eventually developed a retriever with speed, agility and loyalty.
Goldens began arriving in the United States in the early 1900s and gained recognition from the AKC in 1925. Their popularity skyrocketed when President Gerald Ford had a Golden Retriever of his own named Liberty. Now, many organizations are dedicated to the breed, such as the Golden Retriever Club of America.
So, where is the best place to find Golden Retriever puppies today? The American Kennel Club maintains a list of reputable Golden Retriever breeders. Expect to spend anywhere from $1,200 to $3,500 for a pup, depending on the breeder. When selecting a breeder, make sure they screen their dogs for health and temperament issues.
You can also reach out to Golden Retriever rescues to adopt a Golden, or keep an eye out for the breed at your local animal shelter. You can find a local shelter through Chewy’s network.
Are Golden Retrievers hypoallergenic?
Golden Retrievers aren’t hypoallergenic, which means they are not the best dog breed for sensitive allergy-sufferers.
Are Golden Retrievers Labradors?
Golden Retrievers aren’t Labrador Retrievers, but they share a common ancestor in the St. John’s Water Dog, an extinct ancestor of the aforementioned Tweed Water Spaniel. Goldens were originally bred in Scotland, while Labradors were bred in Newfoundland.
Are Golden Retrievers aggressive?
Golden Retrievers aren’t typically aggressive. However, there can be exceptions if they were poorly socialized or abused by a previous owner. Like any dog, they can be territorial over food or high-value toys.
What are the different types of Golden Retrievers?
When researching Goldens you might come across a few marketing terms: English Cream, Canadian Goldens, American Goldens, etc. In reality, there are no true “types” of Golden Retrievers. All Golden Retrievers are simply Golden Retrievers, and variations in color and body composition are results of breeding for specific traits. As mentioned above, dogs who are bred for field work might be redder and leaner than those bred for the show ring, but beyond that there is little difference in types.
What are the most common Golden Retriever mixes?
- Golden Retriever-Poodle mix (Goldendoodle)
- Golden Retriever-German Shepherd mix (Golden Shepherd)
- Golden Retriever-Husky mix (Goberian)
- Golden Retriever-Labrador mix (Golden Labrador)
- Golden Retriever-Corgi mix (Golden Corgi)
- Golden Retriever-Bernese Mountain Dog mix (Golden Mountain Dog)
- Golden Retriever-Rottweiler mix (Golden Rottie Retriever)
- Golden Retriever-Dachshund mix (Golden Dox)
- Golden Retriever-Chihuahua mix (Golden Chi)
- Golden Retriever-Cocker Spaniel mix (Golden Cocker Retriever)
What are the most popular Golden Retriever names?
The top names for a Golden Retriever include Luna, Daisy, Sadie, Lucy, Ellie, Cooper, Max, Tucker, Milo, Charlie, Leo, and Murphy. These are the most popular names among Chewy customers who have Goldens. For more name inspiration, check out our dog name guide.
The Golden Retriever is a loving, loyal dog who makes a great family pet. Sure, they need a lot of exercise, attention, and daily brushing to be at their happiest and give them the best chance of living well into their senior years. But it’s a small price to pay for their wonderful company.
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Top Golden Retriever Names
These are the top Golden Retriever names as chosen by Chewy's pet parents!