Dog breed info
Weight: 65 — 75 lbs
Height: 23” — 24”
AKC Rank 2008 #4
Lifespan: 10 —13 yrs
Dog Breed Info - The Golden Retriever
A Golden with her puppies
This majestic canine was registered by the AKC in 1927.
Golden Retrievars are fine companions for hunters, with their natural love of the water and retrieving game. They are an ideal family dog and get along quite well with children and other pets in the house. This is a gentle breed, not at all aggressive.
The breed can be traced back to Scotland in the early 1900’s when it was a hunting and retrieving dog on land and water, something favored by hunters.
In the USA, Golden Retrievers have become highly popular and have ranked high on the popularity list, staying in the top 10 breeds for a long time.
Golden's are highly intelligent. They have found their way into working as guide dogs for the blind and handicapped, therapy dogs in nursing homes, and so on. This is a dog that can truly “lower your blood pressure” and the elderly, disabled, and less fortunate all appreciate when the “Goldie” comes to visit in their ward, room or hospital bed.
Very intelligent, easy to train, eager to learn. Use clicker training along with positive reinforcement. The dog will respond and you'll see a difference in how fast she learns.
Want to crate train your Golden Retriever puppy? It's easy and if you're interested, take a look and you'll see what to do. Crate training your puppy will save many headaches and problems.
Golden Retriever puppies pick up pretty fast and are relatively ease to house train, potty train, toilet train, housebreak or whatever you want to call it. If you have a puppy, decide if you want to crate or paper potty train it. For the best results, we have a page at Crate vs Paper Potty Training which will help you decide and from there you can get all the information you need to get the job done. Always praise the pup profusely when she goes potty in the RIGHT PLACE so she knows she has done a good thing. Either method will work for this breed.
If you have an older dog, take the dog outside every two hours until she gets the idea which door leads to her potty area. Older dogs catch on to the potty or housebreaking pretty fast once they are shown what to do.
Golden Retrievers are
beautiful, gentle dogs
The Golden Retriever is known for it’s devoted and obedient nature as a family companion. Ignoring this dog’s active nature and powerful physique can lead to behavior problems, and this breed needs daily physical and mental exercise. Poorly bred Golden's may be overly exuberant and boisterous. Well trained and exercised Golden's are calm and mannerly at home, and always enjoy a good play time. The Golden Retriever especially enjoys games that involve retrieving things it can carry in it’s mouth like sticks, balls and Frisbees.
If you happen to get a Golden with a separation anxiety problem, that can be dealt with by investing a few hours of work on your part and some "tough love."
Friendly Toward Other Dogs
Very... enjoys company of other dogs as a rule.
Friendly Toward Other Pets
Golden's Get along with other pets in the household.
Friendly Toward Strangers
Likes people. Bring on your relatives and guests.
Very playful, loves to have fun. A kid at heart.
Very affectionate. A real loving dog.
Good with children
Yes. Keep toddlers at bay. Teach all children how to behave around a dog. They must learn what to do and NOT to do to a dog. 6 years old is a good age for a child to have a dog.
Good with Seniors over 65?
Yes. The Golden Retriever makes a great companion for seniors. As long as the senior is active, can walk and drive his dog to the vet, he will have a fantastic, loving companion. If longevity or training are issues, find a Golden Retriever Rescue groups or kennel and get a 2 or 3 year old dog that is house trained and knows a few commands. This will save a lot of headaches.
A house with a medium size fenced back yard is ideal, or a wide open farm.
Apartment living is possible for a Golden Retriever as long as the she can get out for exercise and has room to stretch.
You can play ball with your Golden Retriever - a good game of fetch is great exercise.
Moderate energy. Lively, but not boisterous.
Exercise needs, daily
The Golden Retriever needs daily exercise and human interaction. Challenging obedience lessons, active games or retrieving sessions are all good ways to exercise the Golden’s mind and body.
A routine of two good walks and a game of fetch will work too.
Not the best. May bark at the doorbell.
Likely to alert in case of fire or storm damage.
Poor. Some training might help, but not really his nature.
Brush every other day. Golden's love the attention and it keeps their coat smooth and looking neat. No need to see a groomer.
Suggested Reading For The Golden Retriever
Click on the cover photo for more book information and editor reviews.
- Third book from the left, "A Dog Who's Always Welcome" goes beyond ordinary obedience training and your dog learns therapy- dog work so you can take him anywhere and he'll focus on you and behave like a perfect gentleman.
- The book on the right is by the American National Red Cross and deals with dog emergencies, illnesses and injuries. Ir's a valuable reference manual for all dog owners. Vol 2, 2008, includes DVD.
Golden Retriever Breeders
In the event you decide to go looking for Golden Retriever puppies, be SURE to find reputable breeders that really know what they are doing. Be sure the puppy has been well socialized and started in obedience training. Check your local dog pound or kennels first.
Golden Retriever Breeders with puppies for sale.
Golden Retriever Rescue
In the event you are seriously considering the adoption of a Golden Retriever and are looking for a rescue group or groups in your state, here are several links that might help:
Petfinder - Golden Retriever Rescue
Adopt A Pet This is an interesting site but you can also go online and search for Golden Retriever Rescue groups or kennels and see if you can fins a place closer to you.
Dog Health Issues For The Golden Retriever
Below are the illnesses or medical problems as listed for the Golden Retriever by various vets.
This is basically a healthy breed. Don’t let the list below scare you! Your own dog will probably never have ANY of these problems. These are medical issues this breed is prone to that have been listed by various veterinarians at different times over the past decade or so and some pertain to puppies and very young dogs that a breeder would deal with.
The information contained herein has been gathered from numerous books by veterinarians and is intended as general information only. Every dog and situation is different. You must see your vet. Our information is for general interest only and not intended to replace the advice provided by your own veterinarian.
- Progressive Retinal Atrophy—An inherited, untreatable disease of the retina affecting both eyes causing blindness. It’s in the genes of the dog and is not painful. Starts with night blindness and progresses as the retina gradually deteriorates.
- Seborrhea—Hereditary. Skin disease. Itching and scratching. Usually dry, flaky coat with the familiar “dog” odor. Sebaceous glands will produce a waxy, oily substance in the armpits, in the ears, under the dog and around the elbow joints. Secondary ear and skin infections are common too. There are many, many causes and IF the vet can identify one and treat it, you’re lucky. It’s a tough disorder to pinpoint. Springer and Cocker Spaniels, Westies and Golden Retrievers are among the most susceptible
- Prone to allergies.
- Hemangiosarcoma—An incurable tumor in the blood vessels. It is a highly malignant and aggressive cancer that lines the blood vessels. In the early stages, this cancer shows no signs is painless and develops slowly. A lot of dogs die from internal bleeding before there is even a diagnosis. This is one deadly, stealthy disease.
Gastric Torsion—Sometimes called Dog Bloat or “Twisted stomach.” Mainly in larger, deep-cheated dogs. Here's a brief description of the problem. Symptoms include excessive drooling, nervous pacing, agitation, weakness, attempt to vomit, bulging stomach area, heavy breathing, retching and gagging, shock or total collapse. It's life threatening.
- Mast Cell Tumors—Mast cells are found throughout the body and help maintain the dog’s normal immune response, health and body functions. The tumors in question are CANCEROUS and spread through the body. There is no known cause for mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early-detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. The best formula is to keep the Golden Retriever as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog survives or not depends on how advanced and fast moving the malignant tumor is.
- Lymphosarcoma—Cancer of the lymph glands which amounts to “cancer everywhere in the body.” Middle age and older dogs are the likely candidates. No appetite, weight loss, no energy and increased thirst and urination are signs of the disease. When a lymph node become cancerous, you can begin to feel the hardness of the node at the angle of the jaws and in front of the shoulder blades, for example because the nodes become enlarged. There are many other nodes you can’t feel. With chemotherapy, the dog may have a year to live. Without chemotherapy, she has up to 6 weeks to live. About 45% of all dogs in the USA will die of cancer by age 10 and only a third will die of old age. (Current statistics) This disease is common to the Flat-Coated Retriever, Golden Retriever and Rottweiler.
- Hip dysplasia - Hind end limping, back legs act lame. Wear and time causes the femur to fit poorly into the pelvic socket with improper rotation causing great pain and difficulty walking. You may notice the dog “hopping”” like a rabbit when running plus hesitating to climb stairs, all due to pain in the hind quarters. The problem actually starts as a very young puppy with an abnormal formation of the hip joint and grows progressively. A vet can locate this with a diagnostics test.
- Atopic dermatitis's—Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.
- Distichiasis—An eye condition involving the cornea. Eyelashes, growing improperly on the inner surface of the eyelid cause corneal ulcers due to the constant rubbing and irritation. The problem is fixed by having the vet remove the lashes if the ulcers don’t heal.
- Glaucoma - Eye problem. Painful pressure builds in the eyes leading to blindness.
- Elbow Dysplasia—This, as with hip dysplasia, is something the some Golden Retrievers are born with. Wear and time in the front legs (elbow joints) cause lameness by the time the dog is roughly a year old. If you have a dog prone to this disease, have an early x-ray to see if surgery to the joints will stave off further damage to the joints. Typically, there has been no cure, but recently doctors have come up with some ideas. 1) Keep the weight of your dog down. 2) Use anti-inflammatory medication. 3) Look into injections of stem-cells to help regenerate bone-covering cartilage to cause the bones to line up properly again. (This is new research and some vets may not know about it so ask around.)
- Osteochondritis dissecans—A common type of elbow dysplasia except it can occur in any joint including the shoulder of the Golden Retriever. Flaps of cartilage rub against tissue causing irritation, pain, lameness and in time, joint degeneration disease. Pieces can break loose and float around limiting movement, or getting lodged or wedged inside the joint itself. Look for lameness, pain and swelling in joints. Treatments include Non-steroid anti-inflammatory meds, weight loss, confinement to rest the joints, and dietary supplements for joint health. Surgery is the last option for very severe cases.
- Hypertrophic osteodystrophy—Orthopedic bone disease in large dogs, 2 to 6 months old. Very painful and possibly caused by poor nutrition. There will be pain and swelling in the affected legs. Look for lameness or a desire not to move at all, and loss of appetite plus a high fever may also occur. Medication, bed rest and a special diet are usually given. The disease can be fatal.
- Aortic stenosis—Hereditary heart defect. A narrowing of the aorta inhibiting blood flow in the heart, causing the heart to work harder in the Golden Retriever. If the condition is mild, the dog may never show symptoms and live a long life. If severe, the dog will object to exercise, possibly faint at times or experience sudden death. In 90% of the affected dogs, the condition of the heart would not change from around 1 to 2 years on through it’s life. The dog’s most affected by this condition are the Newfoundland, Rottweiler, Boxer, and Golden Retriever..
- Corneal ulceration—Caused by eye injury and common to dogs whose eyes are prominent. Corneal ulcers can easily become infected. Keep all dogs with prominent eyes like Pugs and Boston's away from dirty, polluted, dusty areas. Infections are very hard to treat.
- Entropion—Eye irritation caused by the eyelids and lashes rolling inward. The problem is usually inherited and found in young, adult dogs. It can come from an eyelid spasm. Affected eyes will be held partially shut and tear excessively. Both eyes will usually be affected the same. Treatment for the condition requires eye surgery.
- Ectropion—A hereditary medical problem. The lower eyelid grows outward leaving a gap between the eye and the eyelid. Excessive tearing and conjunctivitis are common signs of the disease but some dogs will have no symptoms. Blunt trauma and/or nerve damage can also cause the problem. If the cornea becomes damaged or if the conjunctivitis becomes chronic, surgery will be necessary.
- Atopic dermatitis's—Atopy. Hereditary. Shows at 1 to 3 years age in the Golden Retriever. Skin allergy triggered by dust mites, pollen, poor quality foods and other garbage we put into the dog’s environment. Many breeds are prone to this. The dog will lick, rub, chew and scratch the infected areas. Allergens can also come from fleas, bacteria and yeast infections. See your vet. There are many treatments ranging from medicines, antihistamines, diets, bathing, cleansing the house of dust mites and so on.
- Interdigital dermatitis - An infection occurs between the "toes" of the dog and sacs fill with pus which bothers the dog. She licks and bites at the bothersome infections and after a few days, they break open and drain, giving relief to the dog. Al;l you will see is the dog limping around. Clean and cleanse the infected feet well, see a vet for medication to prevent returning infections and that should do it.
- Epilepsy - A serious seizure disorder that shows up at around 2 to 4 or 5 years of age in dogs..
- Cataracts - Hazy or cloudy vision and if not treated can lead to total blindness.
- Diabetes—The pancreas manufactures the hormone INSULIN. If the pancreas stops making, or makes less than the normal amount of insulin, or if the tissues in the body become resistant to the insulin, the result is called “diabetes.” The dog can NOT control her blood sugar without injections of insulin on a regular basis, but given the insulin, the Golden Retriever can live a normal life like a human can. If the dog does not receive the insulin injections at the same time each day of her life, the dog will go into a coma and she will die. Some causes of diabetes may be chronic pancreatitis, heredity, obesity or old age, but no one is sure. Symptoms are excess drinking and urination, dehydration, weight loss, increased appetite, weight gain, and cataracts may develop suddenly. Treatment is in the form of the insulin injections daily and a strict diet low in carbohydrates and sugars. Home cooking may be suggested in some cases. Frequent trips to the vet for blood monitoring will be needed but diabetes is not a death sentence.
- Hypothyroidism—An underactive thyroid gland produces too little thyroid hormone which reduces the dog's metabolism level. Hypothyroidism stems from the dog’s immune system attacking the tissues of the thyroid gland. Bottom line is the dog becomes symptomatic. The cause can be a predisposition for thyroid problems, air pollution and allergies. A FEW symptoms of the disorder include lethargy, weight gain, skin infections, dry skin, hair loss, slow heart rate, ear infections, depression. See your set right away.
- Laryngeal paralysis— A paralysis of the larynx. Found in middle aged and older, larger dogs like Labs and St. Bernard's, and Retrievers. It’s a malfunction or weakness of the muscles of the larynx or the controlling nerves. The larynx does not function properly causing difficulty breathing. This can also be caused by an injury to the larynx, illness and other factors. If you notice a change in voice, trouble breathing, coughing, gagging, fainting or any other odd symptom, get to the vet right away.
- Mast Cell Tumors—Mast cells are found throughout the body and help maintain the dog’s normal immune response, health and body functions. The tumors in question are CANCEROUS and spread through the body. There is no known cause for mast cell cancer and no cure, other than surgery for early-detected, low degree tumors that haven't spread too far. The best formula is to keep the dog as healthy as possible and be aware of any signs of tumors or poor health. Whether the dog survives or not depends on how advanced and fast moving the malignant tumor is.
- Dermoid sinus—Hereditary—An infection and inflammation noticed at birth in the sinus or tubes running along the spine from the rear end to the neck. These are a thick-walled tubes with skin cells, fiber tissue, hair and oils. When the sinus becomes infected with bacteria and inflamed, it can cause swelling and infection in the spinal cord which causes encephalitis and abscesses.. Surgery is the remedy.
Other health problems could occur with your Golden Retriever. If you notice any problems with your dog, take it to the vet immediately. This website is for general information only and is not intended to, in any way, be a medical guide.
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