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Doggy Spotlight: The Golden Retriever 

February 1, 2024

Did you know that Golden Retriever Day is in February?  As a tribute to her beloved pooch, Quincey, Kristen Shroyer of iheartgoldenretrievers chose the pup’s birthday, the 3rd, to celebrate this amazing breed. Goldens are not only adorable, but also very loving, loyal, and fun. A local Washington DC veterinarian discusses the Golden Retriever in this article.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Owning A Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers are truly wonderful dogs. Besides being loyal, loving, and affectionate, they are also great with kids. In fact, the breed standard notes their cheerful demeanors. It was often noted that their tails moved in a merry manner in early records. They are usually very patient with both cats and other dogs. They’re also very intelligent and eager to please, which makes them easy to train. Because they require so much exercise, they will do best in a house with a yard. (Fido would also like to politely request a pool.)

Truly, you couldn’t find a better canine companion. These sociable and bright dogs are eager to please their owners and make fantastic additions to any family. They excel in a variety of tasks and have an overall cheerful and affectionate demeanor. 

There are only minor drawbacks to keep in mind when considering adopting one of these delightful dogs. For instance, they do shed quite heavily. Additionally, while they fall under the medium-sized category, Golden Retrievers may be larger than what certain landlords permit. Lastly, there is also the potential for the health concerns. (We’ll delve into that later.) 

How Are Golden Retrievers And Yellow Labrador Retrievers Different?

Fido looks a lot like one of his best buddies, the Yellow Labrador Retriever. With their comparable size, appearance, and temperament, it’s no surprise that people often confuse the two! One noticeable distinction between them is their coats, as Goldens sport longer fur. They also have longer ears and noses.

Although both breeds excel in various tasks, Goldens are more commonly utilized as service or therapy dogs, while Labs dominate in search-and-rescue and police work. 

What Are Golden Retrievers Really Good At? 

Originally hunting dogs, Goldens excel in a variety of canine sports and activities such as tracking, agility, and obedience. Fido also has a natural knack for swimming and playing Fetch. (He’s also very good at begging, collecting belly rubs, and making people smile.) However, his talents extend beyond just physical activities; he’s even dabbled in politics. A Golden named Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II was elected mayor of Idyllwild-Pine Cove, California! Max quickly enlisted his cousins, Mitzi and Mikey, as deputy mayors during this adorable fundraising event. 

There is one thing Goldens are very, very bad at: being guard dogs. They’re too friendly for that line of work. 

Golden Retrievers: What Do They Love Most?

These charming canines love everything and everyone. Despite not being able to poll our furry patients, we have a pretty good idea of what Fido would say if he could speak.

In no particular order, here are the results:

  • Breakfast
  • Supper
  • Bacon
  • Belly Rubs
  • Playing Fetch
  • Swimming
  • Toys
  • Mud Puddles
  • Treats
  • Playing
  • Naps
  • Bacon
  • Car Rides
  • Squirrels

It’s not hard to get that tail going! Just don’t go crazy with the treats and snacks.

Golden Retrievers: What Are They?

The adorable and charming Golden Retriever is a medium-sized dog with a big heart. Males can grow to 24 inches tall and weigh 75 pounds, while females can reach 23 inches tall and weigh around 65 pounds. Fido usually lives around 10 to 12 years, but will always be a puppy at heart. Golden Retrievers are divided into three groups: British, American, and Canadian. They are all equally adorable, as you can probably guess.

Where Did Golden Retriever Come From?

This Very Good Boy hails from Scotland. The breed was originally developed by Sir Dudley Majoribanks. Thanks to his detailed records, which were published in 1952, we have a wealth of information about the breed’s lineage. In the 1860s, Majoribanks started his efforts by crossing a Flat coated Retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel. There is a bit of mystery about Nous: he may have come from a Russian circus trainer, cobbler or gypsy. No one is certain. What is certain is that he was bred to a Tweed Water Spaniel called Belle, of “Ladykirk” breeding. Their offspring formed the basis for the ongoing breeding program, which also included Red Setters, Labrador Retrievers and Bloodhounds.

Golden Retriever Coat And Grooming Needs

Golden Retrievers are aptly named: they have thick, beautiful fur that is gold in color. Fido will try to share his pretty fur with you, and will politely distribute it everywhere. Plan to brush your canine buddy regularly. Dental care and nail trimmings are also necessary. However, you won’t need to bathe your pooch very often. 

How Healthy Is The Typical Golden Retriever?

Fido tends to be pretty hardy. In general, Goldens are quite healthy. However, certain lines are prone to certain health issues, such as allergies, skin problems, and eye problems. This may very well be due to irresponsible breeders, who prioritized profit over quality standards. A small percentage of Goldens are not as cheerful as the breed is known to be: this may be the reason.

As with any breed, Goldens have some health issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. In fact, one out of every five of these pups will suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia. A Golden puppy’s chances of developing subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) and/or cancer are also high. Also, Goldens need to have their ears cleaned regularly. Their floppy ears create a warm, damp environment where bacteria thrive. Contact your Washington DC  vet for more information.

You may want to consider enrolling Fido in pet health insurance. Tests recommended by the National Breed Club include hip and elbow evaluations, cardiac evaluations, eye exams, and certain DNA tests. We encourage you to stay up to date with all of these. 

If you’re in the market for a Golden puppy, be sure to go through a responsible breeder. (We also probably don’t have to tell you that these guys are ridiculously cute as babies.) 

Are Golden Retrievers Very High Energy?

Goldens, like other sporting breeds, tend to be quite lively. It is important to ensure that Fido stays active and engaged in regular exercise and playtime. Otherwise, he may experience weight gain. His fondness for snacks doesn’t help here, either. 

You’ll want to consult with your Washington DC veterinarians to determine a suitable workout routine for your furry friend. Given the risk of hip dysplasia, you may be advised to avoid strenuous activities and discourage jumping or standing on hind legs, especially when Fido is a puppy or senior. 

As your canine companion ages, he may become less active and more sedentary, so it is crucial to make sure he continues to receive proper physical stimulation.

In conclusion, Golden Retrievers are amazing dogs with wonderful temperaments. They do need a lot of activity, but are suitable for nearly any household.

Do you have questions about caring for a Golden? Contact us, your Washington DC pet hospital, today! 

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