Are you thinking about getting a dog? Do you believe a Golden Retriever might be the right choice for you? If so, this blog post is for you! We will share with you some of the pros and cons of owning a Golden Retriever, talk through a little Goldie history lesson and what it's like to live with a Goldie so that you can make an informed decision before adding one of these furry friends to your family.
Their easy-going and lovable temperament, makes them top the list of favourite dog breeds almost every year. So, don't miss out on these Goldie Nuggets! (I know, terrible….)
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 the breed that we know and love today. In 1968 he bred a wavy-coated Retriever called Nous to a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. Voila. The first Golden Retriever litter was born with Crocus, Cowslip and Primrose. They seem to be the foundation of all of today's Golden Retrievers.
The idea was to breed a dog who could be a capable hunter on land and water. Retrieving shot birds was their primary job.
Dogs similar to the Golden Retriever appear in old paintings before Lord Tweedmouths. However, the Goldie definitely has a more extended history!
Golden Retrievers stand at around 61 cm at their tallest, with males being larger than 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 entirely waterproof. A Golden Retriever's colour can be on all spectrums from whitish cream to a deep orange-red.
Like 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.
Below table shows all Golden Retriever registrations with the UK Kennel Club. In Q2 2022 3,046 Goldie puppies have been registered with the UK Kennel Club. That is even more than last year at the same time!
Source: https://www.thekennelclub.org.uk/media/2402/quarterly-breed-stats-gundogs.pdf October 2022
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. But, unfortunately, 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.
It's a good idea to avoid plasticky toys and instead focus your effort on natural dog rope toys. In addition, lots of exercise, mental ability games and switching up walking routes will tire your Goldie and avoid unwanted behaviour.
It's not surprising that the Golden Retriever is a true all-purpose breed, a genuine 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 skills, they will enjoy being the family's most important (and most good-looking) part.
Before being used as a canine-allrounder, they were bred to retrieve shot birds or pheasants. Goldies have soft muzzles. They can carry a hare, bird, or newspaper without leaving a mark. Rumours claim 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 round of fetch. It will be an authentic moment of bonding with your new friend.
The Goldie will generally welcome any activity involving 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. Their people-orientated temperament is the main reason for their yearly popularity.
Being alone disagrees with a Golden Retriever. Many develop separation anxiety when left alone too often, and that's when the mischievous occurrence of destruction can happen. Please keep this in mind if you're thinking about adding a Goldie to your family. They're not dogs that can be left alone for an extended period (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 severe separation anxiety.
If cleaning up dog hairs twice a week isn't for you, 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. So, House-proud humans, you have been warned.
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-focused
They love activities! You can have a lot of fun together
Super intelligent and a true canine superstar
Potential health problems in the Golden Retriever breed
Hemangiosarcoma is a bleeding tumour. On average, the Golden Retriever is susceptible to this type of cancer more significantly than other breeds. Periodic blood tests can help detect it early. Lymphoma is another cancer found more often than average in the Goldie.
Other genetic diseases to look out for are bloat, hip and elbow dysplasia (look out for breeder with good scores), liver problems, eye conditions and bleeding disorders.
Many of these conditions can be treated if caught early, but it's essential to work with a reliable veterinarian familiar with this breed to ensure your dog receives proper care.
Most diseases are inherited in a recessive manner. It means the puppy must inherit both parents' genes to become affected. The puppy becomes a carrier if the mutation is only present in one parent. Hence, choosing a reputable breeder who has done genetic testing on their litters is vital.
The more aware you are of these diseases, the higher the chances you can prolong your dog's life if problems arise. Same as with your child, be mindful of all required vaccinations and risks outside your home. This blog post, for example, outlines all toxic spring plants that can harm your dog.
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. For example, avoid synthetic rubber playthings like chew bones or tug-of-war ropes from polyester; polyester collars could cause skin irritation, while nylon leads absorb your pup's skin over time and cause fur matting. Instead, swap out those harmful materials with our eco-friendly pet products from hemp.
What else to learn about the Golden Retrievers temperament?
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. It's doubtful that they will tire out before you. This dog is perfect for an active family that spends loads of time outside.
To learn more about other dog breeds, check related articles or sign up for our newsletter here. This will also trigger a code for 15% off your first order of our eco-friendly pet products. We are working hard to add all dog breeds as soon as possible to have an extensive library!
Fun facts about the Golden Retriever
Joe 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 let's not be greedy with fun facts about this popular breed. The first photo ever uploaded onto Instagram was a photo of a Golden Retriever puppy with the caption "test". No hashtags were used….
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. They have a lovable and affectionate temperament and are not good at being alone. So before you run out and bring home your new furry friend, ensure 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 suitable for you.
If you have a Goldie in your life already, why did you choose them? Leave a comment below and tell us 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
Tendency to drool
Tendency to bark
Tendency to dig