Golden Retriever Temperament and what to expect when choosing a Goldie

Are you thinking about getting a dog? Do you think a Golden Retriever might be the right choice for you? If so, this blog post is for you! We are going to share with you some of the pros and cons of owning a Golden Retriever, talk through a little Goldie history lesson and what its like to live with a Goldie, so that you can make an informed decision before adding one of these furry friends to your family. Don’t miss out on these Goldie Nuggets! (I know, terrible….)

Golden Retriever in a hemp harness
Golden Retrievers are true canine allrounders

History of the Golden Retriever

Scotland didn’t only give us Whiskey, the Loch Ness Monster and the well-pitched sound of bagpipes. They also gave us the Golden Retriever. We should be forever grateful.

Lord Tweedmouth is pointed out as the main instigator of this breed. In 1968 he bred a wavy-coated Retriever called Nous to a Tweed Water Spaniel called Belle. Voila. The first Golden Retriever litter was born with Crocus, Cowslip and Primrose. They seem to be the foundation of all of todays Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retrievers stand at around 61 cm at their tallest, with males being larger than the females. The average weight can be anywhere between 29kg and 36kg. They have a dense undercoat with a flat wavy top-coat that makes them quite waterproof. A Golden Retrievers colour can be on all the spectrums of whitish cream to a deep orange-red.

Similar to their cousins, the Labrador Retriever, their life expectancy is around 10-12 years. This is quite normal for a breed that size. The oldest Golden known was 19 years and 11 months when she crossed the Rainbow bridge. A precious little angel called Augie.

What is it like to live with a Goldie?

You’d be surprised how clever they are. According to a study the Golden is the fourth most intelligent breed in the world, only outsmarted by Border Collies, Poodles and German Shepherd Dogs. That can make them easily bored. And unfortunately, destructive at times! They are often referred to as “mouthy” as they like having stuff in their mouth to chew on.

Its a good idea to avoid plasticky toys and instead focus your effort on natural fibered ropes and toys.

Golden Retriever chewing on a hemp rope
Golden Retrievers are described as "mouthy". They love carrying things with their mouth. That's how they explore the world

It's not surprising that the Golden Retriever is a true all-purpose breed, a true allrounder. They can act as guide dogs for the blind, help children with anxiety, detect drugs and explosives or put their talents to the retrieving part. If they’re not picking up any of the above talents, they will enjoy being the most important (and most good-looking) part of the family.

Before they were used a canine-allrounder, they were bred to retrieve shot birds or pheasants. Goldies have soft muzzles. They can carry a hare or bird or newspaper without leaving one mark. Rumours claiming even an egg without cracking it. If you decide to get a Golden or maybe you even own one, I guess it’s worth a try. Let us know how it goes in the comment section 😊

Goldies have webbed toes (same as the Lab), which makes them excellent swimmers. No surprise that playing fetch in ponds and waters will be their favourite game. Make sure you have parks and forests nearby for a daily game of fetch. It will be true moments of bonding with your new friend.

In general, the Goldie will welcome any activity that involves you and a toy. They love to be part of any family and will stick their noses into literally anything. As a dog from the gundog group, they will love anything that involves a hooman. Gundogs were bred to work alongside humans, hence the natural incline.

Being alone does not agree with a Golden Retriever. Many develop separation anxiety when left alone too often and that’s when the mischievous occurrence of destruction can happen. If you’re thinking about adding a Goldie to your family, please keep this in mind. They’re not dogs that can be left alone for extended period of times (not many dogs can), but Goldies are especially sensitive. With the Covid-19 pandemic ending, more dogs will be left alone and it can end in serious separation anxiety.

If cleaning up dog hairs twice a week isn’t for you, then you should also re-evaluate owning a Goldie. Due to their double coat, they will shed. Regular brushing twice a week can alleviate the problem, but also this is a time-consuming exercise.

Golden Retriever characteristics in a nutshell

  • Bred to retrieve, meaning they love carrying things in their mouth

  • Shedding: Make sure you have time to brush or the financial freedom to groom your Goldie

  • Gundogs are naturally a high energy breed and very human-centric

  • They love activities! You can have a lot of fun together

  • Super intelligent and a true canine superstar

Potential diseases in the Golden Retriever breed

Hemangiosarcoma is a bleeding tumor. On average the Golden Retriever is susceptible to this type of cancer in greater numbers than other breeds. Periodic blood tests can help detect it early. Lymphoma is another type of cancer found more often than average in the Goldie.

Another genetic diseases to look out for is bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia (look out for breeder with got scores), liver problems, eye conditions and bleeding disorders.

Many dog owners are unaware of the danger in some pet toys and accessories that can worsen health issues, when they innocently buy cheap products from the Far East. Avoid synthetic rubber play things like chew bones or tug o' war ropes from polyester; polyester collars could cause skin irritation while nylon leads absorb into your pup's skin over time! It's just the way micro plastics behave. Swap out those harmful materials with our eco friendly pet products from hemp.

Golden Retriever
Did we mention they're very photogenic dogs?

What else Do you remember that kid in school that was naturally athletic and excelled at any sport? That’s your Golden. They’re natural athletes and good at everything. Its very unlikely that they will tire out before you. This dog is perfect for an active family that spends loads of time outside.

If you want to learn more about other dog breeds, check related articles or sign up to our newsletter here. This will also trigger a code for 15% off your first order on our eco friendly pet products. We are working hard to add all dog breeds as soon as possible to have a whole extensive library for everybody!

Fun facts

Jo Biden isn’t the only president with a dog in the White House. President Reagan and Ford both owned a Golden Retriever while in office. Reagan had Victory who lived on his range and never in the White House. Gerald Fords Golden Retriever Liberty lived and grew up in the White House and even gave birth to the first litter of puppies here.

But lets not be greedy with fun facts with this very popular breed. The first photo ever uploaded onto Instagram was a photo of a Golden Retriever puppy with the caption “test”. No hash tags were used….

Final thoughts

If you’ve read this far and are still convinced that a Golden Retriever is the pup for you, congratulations! You’re in for one of the best relationships of your life. But be warned – they’re not called “retrievers” for nothing; these pups love to fetch (and chew on) just about anything they can get their paws on. So before you run out and bring home your new furry friend, make sure you have everything ready for his or her arrival. Food, water, toys, vet check-ups – it takes a lot to take care of a Golden Retriever! And if you don’t have the time or energy to put into that, a Goldie might not be right for you.

If you have a Goldie in your life already, why did you choose them? Leave us a comment below and let us know what drew you to this breed. And don’t forget to share photos of your new pup with us – we can’t wait to see them!

Owners voices in three words

Hilarious, playful, a joy
Happy, naughty, lovable
Crazy, sloppery, softy
Happy, funny, confident and much much more
Greedy, loving, needy

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Fairly demanding

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