Golden retriever: features, behavior, looks, history, breeding and health

The medium-sized Golden Retriever is a great childhood friend and a suitable breed for a family dog. It is very close to people and easy to handle, its fur care is not very demanding, but it needs a lot of exercises.

The Golden Retriever was originally bred as a hunting dog, a retrieved small game retriever.


Features of Golden Retriever

Unlike many other breed dogs, the Golden Retriever is known for its desire to please. It wants to please its people and is therefore very eager to learn. It adapts very moderately to daily situations and is happy to be part of its owner’s activities. This close-to-human retriever is one of the most beloved family dogs in the world. Families with children in particular like golden retrievers because of their kindness and serenity, as well as their trustworthy and playful nature. The friendly golden retriever is also suitable for a family with other pets.

The owners of the Golden Retriever joke that the Golden Retriever would help burglars carry valuables out of their homes rather than drive them away. And true, its patience for protection has evolved very rudely, if at all. It is certainly not a watchdog, but its willingness to work, intelligence, and easy handling make it suitable for a guide dog, therapy dog ​​, or companion dog for the blind. The combination of its precise nose and native hunting ground is a feature that makes golden retrievers also widely used in government operations, rescue work, as a drug dog, and as explosive dogs.



The Golden Retriever is very popular with people, and it is certainly not only due to its kind nature, but also its charming appearance. This medium-sized breed dog has a well-proportioned and balanced physique. Its essence is gentle and benevolent with a straight-lined head with dark eyes under the pigmented eyelids. With strong muscles and strong bones, the Golden Retriever is an agile and movement-loving dog.

The Golden Retriever belongs to medium-sized dog breeds. In males, the height at the withers is 56 – 61 cm, and in females slightly lower, 51 – 56 cm. The weight of a dog depends on its sex and size, but it is about 30 to 40 kg. The coat of the Golden Retriever is of medium smooth and slightly wavy, sometimes even curly, hair. The hair on the back goes along the back, while there is plenty more hair behind the front legs, in the abdomen, chest, and under the tail. Due to the dense undercoat, extreme conditions such as cold and rain do not harm the golden retriever. The color of the coat is light, but its hue varies from a strong golden hue to a yellowish and creamy hue. Some individuals may also have white hair on their chest.


History of the Golden Retriever

There are many stories and legends about the origins of the Golden Retriever. Unlike many other retriever dogs, the story of the Golden Retriever dates back at least to 1864. In that particular year, an English gentleman named Dudley Marjoribanks bought a yellow retriever with his wavy fur from a shoemaker and named it “Nous”. This only yellow male was thrown out of an otherwise black litter. At his Guisachan mansion in northern Scotland, Marjoribanks, which was later also named the first lord of Tweedmouth, later began breeding the dog.

His purpose, with breeding was to get the perfect retriever dog for hunting wild birds. Therefore, in 1868, he mated the Nous dog with the Tweed water spaniel bitch “Belle”, as the spaniels were known as durable retrievers and also avid water lovers. For the next twenty years, the off spring of Nous and Belle were mated in Tweedmouth with wavy-haired retrievers and Tweed Spaniels, as well as Irish Setters, as well as a sandy wedding dog. The cross between these eventually gave birth to today’s Golden Retriever.


The Golden Retriever boom

The first official breed definition was made by the British Kennel Club in 1913 and eight years after that the first breed federation was formed. After that, these adorable dogs quickly rose in popularity in their home country of England as well as the United States. The real boom around the race began in the 1980s and 1990s when the race also appeared in many movies and television. After that, the breed was a popular family and companion dog not only in the Anglo-Saxon region but also in many European countries. According to the puppy statistics of reliable breeders’ associations, the breed is today the most common dog breed in the Anglo-Saxon region as well as in German-speaking countries.


Breeding and health

The boom around the race unfortunately also brought with its side effects. Money-hungry “breeders,” whose goal was to make money quickly with cute puppies, mated dogs without planning and ignoring the nature or health of the animal. These actions resulted in a few breed-specific diseases that a few retrievers still suffer from. The risk of hereditary diseases can be reduced by careful breeding of dogs and strict licensing requirements. Nevertheless, the following diseases are, on average, the most common among golden retrievers:

  • Hip joint growth disorder (HD)
  • Elbow dysplasia (ED)
  • Epilepsy
  • Progressive retinal degeneration (PRA)
  • Cataracts (HC)

If you are interested in a golden retriever puppy, you need to make sure the breeder has done all the required health checks. Ask the breeder to look at the dog’s pedigree and make sure the puppy’s parents, grandparents, and siblings are in good health. Unfortunately, even today, some mass-produced breeders do not value the health of their dogs very much. So only get a puppy from approved breeders and choose the breeder carefully over time.

A puppy from a decent breeder costs about 1,200 euros. A dog that will bring you and your family joy for many years is worth this money. As a rule, a puppy raised in a controlled manner requires fewer veterinary visits and thus also incurs fewer costs later than a puppy coming from mass production. Gold retrievers from approved breeders have a relatively long life expectancy, up to 12-16 years. In these cases, you get to spend a happy time living with your dog for a long time.

The purpose of the original breeding was to make the Golden Retriever the one to retrieve the Shot Wild Birds. With a gentle grip, it brought a dead animal with its mouth to the hunter. Many golden retrievers had specialized in retrieving shot waterfowl, proving their current breeding commitment to the water. Even today, golden retrievers are generally good swimmers.



Of course, a genetically flawless puppy is just the beginning of everything. The long healthy and active life of a dog also depends crucially on whether the dog receives the right kind of care. Of course, care should also be taken of the huge golden fur. Twice a year, the Golden Retriever has an actual hair loss period, which leaves a lot of hair, but otherwise, it leaves a little hair evenly all year round. Because more or less hair leaves all the time, there is Turkeybrush and comb regularly. This is how you clean and clean your dog’s undercoat and comb out loose hair that would otherwise end up on your home floor, couch and pillows. Removing loose base wool by brushing makes it easier for your dog to feel even on hot summer days, as the Golden Retriever doesn’t like the heat too hot.


Necessary routine inspections

In addition to regular treatment , your dog’s ears, eyes, paws, and teeth need routine checkups. With the help of inspections, you will notice possible diseases in time, so that they can also be treated if necessary. In addition, routine inspections will help you avoid dangerous infections, as regular checkups will quickly detect any changes in your dog’s health. Regularity also gets your dog used to grooming procedures, allowing you to do routine checks in peace. Ideally, you will get your dog used to the necessary inspections and cleanings as a puppy.


The food of the Golden Retriever

The health of the golden retriever is significantly affected by the nutrition it receives. But then what is the right dog food for this dog breed? Should give dry food or wet food? Or should the food be prepared by yourself? What about raw feeding? In the online, grocery, and pet stores, the food selection is as diverse as opinions about the right kind of pick-up food.

Unfortunately, the best possible nutrition for a golden retriever cannot be universally named. Namely, the decision on proper nutrition depends on many factors, which are the dog’s age, size, weight, activity, and state of health. These factors affect a dog’s nutritional needs and should be considered when choosing a dog’s diet. Like humans, a younger and more agile dog with a great desire to move has a higher need for energy than an older, calm dog, which is more prone to being overweight.


Lots of meat, a little grain

The nutritional content of dog food gives the first hint as to whether the food is of high quality or not. Good dog food is based on a high meat content, which should be at least 70%. Vegetables, herbs, and fruits should fill the rest of the diet. Dogs should not be fed too much grain and if the food has a high grain content, it is a sign of poor quality dog ​​food. Dog food also does not include sweeteners such as sugar, fructose, glucose, or syrup. You can identify quality dog ​​food by researching the ingredients as well as the origin of the meat.

Wet food or dry food?

Dry food seems to be a more practical option for many dog ​​owners, but that doesn’t mean it would be the best option for a dog. Dry food lacks fluids and often also contains important nutrients in a form that makes it difficult for the dog to get the most out of it. Of course, dry food can also be used, but it is not recommended to feed your dog dry food alone. Dry and when weighing wet food, wet food is a better option for the dog. You will add more variety to your dog if you also feed it partly with raw meat (BARF feeding) or prepare the food yourself. Of course, by preparing the food yourself, you can best influence the quality and nutritional content of the food.


Keeping a dog

While attention should be paid to the proper nutrition and care of the Golden Retriever, don’t forget what your dog needs most; namely, your love and attention. The Golden Retriever is a particularly close-knit dog and needs a permanent place in the family. Temporary detentions are completely inappropriate for this sensitive nature. Let the Golden Retriever be an active part of your life and plan enough time together for your dog to engage in both physical and thought-provoking activities.

Like all Hunting Dogs, Golden Retrievers are very active. That’s why keeping this dog favors a very sport-intensive life. A monotonous daily walk is not enough for a golden retriever, as this smart retriever wants to be challenged not only physically but also intellectually. A simple option is to include small pick-up and search games in the walks. However, there are a wide variety of sports and training activities that will provide your dog with enough to do. Obedience training, retrieval training, tracking, or rescue training, for example, are well suited for a golden retriever. In addition to these, there are sports and games where the golden retriever can use his exact nose as well as his retrieval spell. This breed of dog loves water, which is why it is easy to make it happy when you take it to swim in a lake, river, or sea. If swimming opportunities are far away, your dog is sure to settle for a smaller pond or garden hose water.


Training a Golden Retriever

Before you get a golden retriever puppy, you should consider more carefully whether you have enough time for this exercise and playful dog. For employees who work full-time in the office, a golden retriever is certainly not the right option. For people who have the time and desire to tinker with the dog a lot, as well as a large enough house with its yards for the day, there is a golden retriever with an incredibly loyal and loving partner.

Golden Retriever training requires relatively little but does not mean that it should not be trained. Thanks to its obedience and ability to cooperate, training is a relatively uncomplicated and enjoyable endeavor. A certain kind of consistency is needed, as with every dog. The Golden Retriever easily captures its owner in his traps with his happy appearance, sweet look, and waving tail, but the dog should be purposefully taught the most important commands. Training should be consistent and take place with a firm but not harsh grip. On the contrary, training should be calm and friendly. Sensitive and people-oriented dogs need a leader who is as calm as the dog itself.


What kind of person the race is suitable for

The Golden Retriever is a versatile breed that is suitable for a wide range of activities. The most common hobbies are dog shows, breed tests, and obedience tests. It is also well suited for the small game hunter, the jogging buddy of an active person, and the pet of the whole family. However, due to its large size, it is not suitable for a child to go out alone without an adult.


Golden Retriever as a hunting dog

The Golden Retriever is from England, and there the breed is practically divided into two different breed types, show lines, and hunting lines. Show-line dogs are often lighter and more skeletally structured, while User-line golden ones are correspondingly dark golden in color and considerably lighter in structure. A heavy, thick-fur dog cannot move in difficult, reedy, and swampy duck terrain as efficiently as its lighter breedmate.

By nature, hunting lines are golden, softer, more pleasurable, and cooperative, and have a stronger game drive and motivation to work. However, these field trial dogs are not as social as their show-line breed mates. The golden ones in the exhibition line are sometimes more stubborn and independent and work more for their pleasure than for their master.

What do you think?

Written by Sammy

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