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Dogwood Animal Hospital

2050 Sugarloaf Parkway
Lawrenceville, Georgia 30045

Spotlight On The Golden Retriever

February 1 2024

February brings a slew of fun pet holidays. Many are on the serious side, such as Pet Theft Awareness Month. However, we’re also celebrating one of America’s favorite dogs: the Golden Retriever! Fido’s special day is the 3rd, but we’re happy to keep these Very Good Boys in the spotlight. A local Grayson, GA vet discusses this charming and adorable pup in this article. 

What Is A Golden Retriever?

Fido is a medium-sized dog with a huge heart. Male Goldens can grow to about 24 inches tall and weigh up to 75 pounds. Females can get to about 23 inches tall and weigh up to 65 pounds. Goldens usually live about 10 to 12 years, but are always puppies at heart. 

There are three types of Golden Retrievers: British, American, and Canadian. As you can probably guess, they are all really cute.

Are There Any Pros And Cons To Owning A Golden Retriever?

There are plenty of pros to choosing a Golden. These sociable and clever pups are eager to please their owners and are ideal for families. They excel in various tasks and have a generally cheerful and affectionate demeanor. They’re also absolutely adorable. 

There are a few downsides to owning one of these incredible dogs, such as heavy shedding. Also, due to their larger size, they may not be allowed by some landlords. That’s something for renters to consider. The only other potential downside would be the possible health concerns we previously mentioned.

Golden Retrievers: What Do They Love Most?

Goldens are known for loving everyone and everything. This is the dog that thinks everyone is his best friend, and thinks every day is the best day ever. 

But what do they enjoy the most? Well, we can’t poll our furry patients. However, we have a pretty good idea of what Fido would say if he could talk.

In no particular order, here are the results:

  • Bacon
  • Belly Rubs
  • Playing Fetch
  • Swimming
  • Treats
  • Playing
  • Naps
  • Bacon
  • Car Rides
  • Squirrels

What Kind Of Temperament Do Goldens Have?

Fido is among the most popular dogs in America, and it’s not hard to see why. In addition to being loyal, loving, and affectionate, he’s good with kids as well. Their cheerful demeanor is noted in the breed standard. Their tails are often noted to move in a merry fashion in early records.

What Is The Difference Between Goldens And Yellow Labs?

Fido and his best buddy, the Yellow Labrador Retriever, bear a striking resemblance to one another. It can be challenging to tell them apart, as they share similar sizes, looks, and personalities. The main contrast lies in their coats: Goldens have longer hair and slightly longer ears and noses. Although both breeds excel in many similar roles, Goldens are typically found working as service or therapy dogs, while Labs thrive in search-and-rescue and police operations. 

What Is The Golden Retriever Really Good At? 

Goldens are known for their intelligence and obedience. They excel in various doggy sports and activities, including obedience, agility, and tracking. Fido also possesses a natural talent for hunting, and is a natural swimmer. One thing these guys don’t naturally excel at? Being watchdogs. In fact, they’re so friendly they’re more likely to cheerfully run up to a burglar begging for belly rubs than to drive them away.

What Is The History Of The Golden Retriever?

Originally bred in Scotland, the Golden’s lineage can be traced back to Sir Dudley Majoribanks. Thanks to Majoribanks’ detailed record-keeping, we have a wealth of information about their origins. These records were published in 1952. They offer a detailed explanation of Fido’s family tree.  Back in the 1860s, Majoribanks crossed a Flat-coated Retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. Details of Nous’ back story are a bit fuzzy. Some sources said that he was purchased from a Russian circus trainer. Other rumors said he came to Majoribanks via a cobbler or a gypsy. What is certain is that his and Belle’s offspring became the foundation for Majoribanks’ ongoing breeding program, which also included Red Setters, Labrador Retrievers, and Bloodhounds. This resulted in the beloved Retrievers we know today.

Are Golden Retrievers Healthy?

Fido tends to be pretty hardy in general. However, some lines of Golden Retrievers are prone to allergies, skin problems, and eye problems. It’s safe to say that irresponsible breeders are to blame here: less reputable breeders often take advantage of Fido’s popularity to make an easy profit. Unfortunately, some are more interested in the money than maintaining quality standards. 

Goldens are susceptible to a few health issues. Fido is also at risk for subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), a heart condition that can be deadly. Hip and elbow dysplasia are very common with these pups. As many as one in five of these dogs will develop joint issues. Fido is also at risk for cancer. You may want to take out pet health insurance if you’re considering getting a Golden puppy. We’d also recommend having certain tests done. The breed standards suggest the following: 

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 5 (Golden Retriever) (NCL, NCL5) – DNA Test

Fido will also need his cute ears cleaned regularly. The shape of Goldens’ floppy ears creates a warm, damp environment where bacteria can thrive. Ask your Grayson, GA veterinarians for more information.

Golden Retrievers: How Zoomy Are They?

Goldens, like other sporting breeds, tend to have high levels of energy. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your canine companion gets plenty of exercise and playtime. Otherwise, he may become overweight. (His fondness for snacks certainly doesn’t help in this regard.) We recommend asking your veterinarian to suggest a suitable workout routine for Fido. You will need to take a few precautions with your furry pal, because he may be prone to hip dysplasia. This may entail avoiding activities that involve too much impact, jumping, or standing, especially during his youth and senior years. That said, it’s worth noting that these pooches typically love swimming, which is a great form of exercise. 

While the Golden is very energetic as a puppy, he will slow down over time. As Fido ages, he may become less active and prone to lounging around. 

What Makes A Golden Retriever A Good Family Dog?

It’s hard to find a more lovable pooch than the Golden Retriever. These guys are cheerful, gentle, and obedient. They’re patient with children, and do well with both cats and other dogs. They’re also very eager to please, which makes them typically easy to train. However, since they need so much exercise, they will do best in a house with a yard. (Given the chance, Fido may also politely request a pool.)

What Kind Of Fur Do Goldens Have?

As their name suggests, Golden Retrievers have thick, beautiful fur that is gold in color. However, there is a downside to that coat: Fido will try to share it with you, and will politely spread it, well, pretty much everywhere. Regular brushing sessions are essential. On a brighter note, you won’t have to bathe your pooch very often. 

In Conclusion: Friendly, obedient, playful, and super cute, the Golden Retriever is a wonderful dog and a great fit for families. Just do plenty of research before adopting one. 

Do you have questions about caring for a Golden? Contact us, your Grayson, GA animal clinic, today! 

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