The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular pets in the UK and have been for a long time, thanks to their loving nature and calm personalities. They were originally bred to retrieve birds and game, and used by farmers as field working dogs. Some highlights:
Very adaptable and fit most lifestyles
Easy to train so good for first time owners
Very social and can get on with children and other animals alike
Some downsides to the Golden Retriever:
High maintenance when it comes to grooming
Lots of exercise and entertainment is required to stop them getting bored
They shed a lot of hair all year
The Golden Retriever can smell quite a lot and affect the house they live in
It has been a long-debated topic over the years, but the history of the Golden Retriever has now been widely agreed and attributed to Lord Tweedmouth, a Scottish member of the gentry, who began breeding dogs to create a breed with great ability to act as a gundog in water and marshlands. Tweedmouth was a hunter of waterfowl and wanted to create a retrieving dog with a good nose, whilst being mild tempered and loyal in the home. This goal was fulfilled and the Golden Retriever started to gain widespread recognition after winning the International Gundog League trial in 1904. In 1903 the Golden Retriever was officially recognised by the Kennel Club and have been since growing into one of the country’s most popular breeds.
The Golden Retriever has a wavy or flat coat which is very water resistant. They stand proud with strong and wide heads, black nose with dark eyes.
Male Golden Retrievers will grow to around 56-60cm at the withers, with bitches growing until 50-55cm.
Depending on male or female, a healthy Golden Retriever will be 25-35kg.
The colours accepted by the Kennel Club are Gold, Golden or Cream.
A Golden Retriever is definitely not the best watchdog or guard dog. They are very friendly natured and so, whilst they would make their owners aware of anything untoward, they are not known for acting aggressively.
Golden Retrievers are not known to bark a lot, but can sometimes become distressed when left alone. Other than this, you should teach your Golden Retriever puppy that barking is not allowed and they will quickly grow out of it.
The Golden Retriever breed is well known for being a smart dog, and they are always looking for ways to please their owners. The Golden Retriever responds very well to positive reinforcement, so when training your Golden Puppy, ensure to guide and reward good behaviour.
Yes! The Golden is said to remain like a puppy all the way through its life, loving to play games and perform. They learn tricks quickly and love nothing more than human attention with fun and games.
If you ensure to socialise your Golden Retriever Puppy when they first arrive home, you will have no problems. They are very good with children of all ages. If not socialised from a young age, keep an eye on the interaction but you should have nothing to worry about.
Much the same as with children, Golden Retrievers are known to behave very well around all types of pet, especially when socialised as a puppy. Again, make sure you keep an eye on adult interactions.
Golden retrievers are known to suffer badly if left alone for long periods. It is preferable to try give your Golden company all day.
12-14 years is the average lifespan.
Being from a working dog background, Golden Retrievers are active dogs and need a good amount of exercise and stimulation every day to remain happy. When you bring a Golden Retriever puppy home, make sure not to over exercise them. They should only be played with inside the house, but most importantly socialised in lots of different environments with different animals and people. When reaching adulthood, your dog needs around 2 hours of exercising and stimulation per day.
Whilst a happy and all round strong breed in general- the Golden Retriever breed can suffer from hereditary conditions like:
Before buying your puppy, you should consult with a vet of the various health schemes for dogs you can be involved in to minimise the risk of bad health.
Whilst we mentioned earlier the high adaptability of this dog, it is important to note that Golden Retrievers love nothing more than a good garden to explore. They will of course be fairly content in smaller homes or apartments, but we would not particularly advise this.
The Golden Retriever is well known for over-eating, If you allow them. They are not particularly fussy eaters so your choice or vet recommendation will be best, with it being very important that you stick to the recommended quantities.
This breed has a lovely coat, but they shed a lot, so need attention in the grooming department. A brush of the coat every day will ensure the loose hair is removed, and professional grooming every few months to trim the hair around the paws and ears. The Golden Retriever spends a lot of the time in the water getting dirty and smelly, so a bath with dog shampoo is required every now and then- but make sure not to over do it.
A LOT! The Golden breed sheds a lot all the way through the year. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of grooming.
How much does it cost to keep a Golden Retriever? As a rough guide in pricing: Cost to buy: roughly £600-1000 for a well-bred Golden Retriever puppy Other costs (Vet, Food etc): £40-50 per month
You can read our general buying guide here (/advice-on-buying-a-puppy/), with the most important thing being going to view your Golden Retriever Puppy, seeing it with its mother, and checking the quality of the breeder. More specifically, here is some Golden Retriever puppy buying advice:
Because the breed is so popular- be wary of over breeding. The Kennel Club states a bitch can only have 4 litters and must be a certain age, so check these rules on the website and make sure you quiz your breeder and ensure they have the correct paper work in place.
A big thank you to the following sources who helped to shape this article: