Own a Golden Retriever, or welcoming one into the family? Here's everything you need to know about your furry friend, from grooming and exercise to common health problems.
- Size: Large
- Life span: 10+ years
- Coat: Medium length but thick and easy to clean. Must be groomed once a week to keep it in good condition
- Exercise: 2+ hours a day
Golden Retriever personalityGolden Retrievers are a kind and affectionate breed, which is why they have become one of the top choices for a family pet. With their long, glossy, flaxen coat, it's not hard to see why so many people fall in love with these dogs.
Golden Retrievers were originally working dogs and bred to retrieve game as their name suggests. They're clever dogs too; thanks to their intelligence and ability to be well trained, they also make excellent guide dogs for the blind, as well as other types of assistance dogs.
Golden Retrievers need a lot of exercise and love long walks off the lead. They also crave mental stimulation in the form of interactive games. Like other intelligent dogs who were bred to work, they need to have a job to do. Teach yours to fetch the paper, wake up family members, or compete in dog sports. A tired golden is a well-behaved golden.
They love creature comforts though and once they're back home after a long walk, will like nothing better than to curl up on the couch with you.
Perhaps the one job the Golden Retriever is not suited to is being a guard dog. He is so keen to impress and say hello to just about everyone he meets, he's more likely to roll over than protect your home.
The Golden Retriever is considered one of the smartest breeds and these dogs are often used on search and rescue teams because of their keen sense of smell and tracking abilities.
Common health problems and illness
Heart diseaseUnfortunately, Golden Retrievers are prone to heart conditions. One of the most common heart conditions seen in large breed dogs such as golden retrievers is aortic stenosis (AS), which is a narrowing just above the aortic valve in the heart. This narrowing causes the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta to be partially obstructed. Because of the obstruction, the heart must work harder to push the blood through the opening and, over time, this can cause problems and even death.
Joint conditionsLarger breeds like the Golden Retriever can be prone to hip or elbow dysplasia. This develops when the bones that form the hip or elbow joint develop abnormalities in the cartilage which lines the surface of the joint or structures around it. Golden Retrievers can also suffer from cruciate disease, wherein the cruciate ligament, which crosses inside the knee joint, slowly frays and gets weaker. Like all dogs, they can develop arthritis from these conditions, and long-term treatment or surgery is required to keep them active.
Check out our pet breed guide to learn more
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