Intelligent, Friendly, Devoted, Reliable
- Height21.5-24 in
- Weight55-75 lbs
- Lifespan10-12 years
The Golden Retriever originated in the Scottish Highlands during the reign of Queen Victoria in the mid-19th century. The first Lord of Tweedmouth, Dudley Marjoribanks, wanted a versatile breed for waterfowl hunting. To create the ideal retriever, Tweedmouth crossbred a Tweed water spaniel (a now extinct breed) with a yellow-coloured retriever. The Golden Retriever was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925.
As part of the sporting group, Golden Retrievers would participate in hunting and other field activities. Sport hunters appreciated the breed's versatility, obedience and gentle temperament. Today, Goldens are still used for hunting and field trials and have become a popular choice of family dog in the Western world.
Create the perfect meal plan for your Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever Appearance
Golden Retrievers are sturdy, medium-sized dogs that grow to be 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 65 pounds. Golden Retrievers have a well-balanced body with a deep chest and a broad shaped head. Goldens also possess expressive eyes reflective of their kind nature, floppy ears and a wide, powerful muzzle.
Golden Retriever Temperament
Golden Retrievers have a friendly, eager-to-please temperament. These dogs are intelligent, gentle and very affectionate. Golden Retrievers tend to get along well with other dogs, children and strangers and are well-known for their companionship qualities.
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Grooming Your Golden Retriever
Purebred Golden Retrievers have a long, water-repellent outer coat and a thick, protective undercoat. A Golden Retriever’s coat can come in various shades of rich, lustrous gold. Goldens shed year-round but more profusely during the spring and fall. Weekly brushing is required to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Golden Retrievers also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.
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Training & Exercise for Your Golden Retriever
In order for your Golden Retriever to grow into a well-mannered, well-adjusted adult, puppy classes and early socialization is recommended. As a breed that wants nothing more than to please their human, training your Golden Retriever comes as an easy task. Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent and can master basic obedience commands such as sit, stay and fetch.
Like most sporting breeds, Golden Retrievers require an ample amount of exercise. Goldens love going on daily walks, long hikes and swimming! As an athletic breed, Golden Retrievers do best with active owners. Access to a big fenced-in yard to romp about is just what a Golden needs to stay happy and healthy.
Health Considerations for Golden Retrievers
With an average lifespan of 12-13 years, Golden Retrievers are a generally healthy breed. To ensure your Golden gets the most out of these years, it’s important to be aware of some of the common health issues Goldens are susceptible to.
Compared to other breeds, cancer is one of the biggest health concerns for Golden Retrievers. The two most common types of cancer in Golden Retrievers include hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.
Hemangiosarcoma is a highly malignant cancer arising from the lining of the blood vessels. This form of cancer can cause tumors in various parts of the body but most commonly affects the heart and spleen of Golden Retrievers. Symptoms to be aware of in your Golden Retriever include lethargy, anorexia, extreme weakness or pale gums. Surgery is the primary method of treatment for Goldens with hemangiosarcoma.
Lymphoma is a group of cancers that stem from the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that aid the immune system in fighting off infection. Some of the common symptoms to look out for in your Golden Retriever include swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, fever, weakness and dehydration. Chemotherapy is proven to be the most effective form of treatment for canine lymphoma.
A cataract is developed when the lens of the eye clouds, preventing light from reaching the retina. Signs to watch for in your Golden Retriever include changes in eye colour, cloudy pupils in one or both eyes, confusion and clumsiness. This condition can be treated with surgery, but if left untreated, can lead to blindness.
Goldens have an increased risk of contracting ear infections. Their adorable floppy ears tend to trap moisture, which creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Golden Retriever’s ears should be cleaned and checked weekly to prevent ear infections from developing. If your Golden contracts an ear infection, it's recommended that you consult with your veterinarian. They might prescribe you with an ear cleanser and a topical medication to use at home.
Elbow & Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket, which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. Medium-sized dogs like the Golden Retriever are commonly affected by this health condition. Elbow dysplasia occurs when a Golden's elbow does not fuse properly during their development.
Dysplasia is typically hereditary that can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise and improper weight and nutrition. While mild conditions can be managed with prescription medication and physical therapy, more severe cases could require surgery. To prevent or reduce the severity of elbow and hip dysplasia, it’s important to ensure your Golden Retriever gets a proper diet and the right amount of exercise.
Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS) is a congenital heart murmur found in Golden Retrievers. This condition occurs when abnormal tissue forms just below the aortic valve creating an obstruction, which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood. Goldens with SAS can appear asymptomatic; however, some symptoms to be aware of include lethargy, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance and fainting.
Without an adequate amount of exercise or a proper diet, Golden Retrievers can be prone to obesity. This condition is often caused by overfeeding your Golden Retriever to the point where they’re consuming more calories than they can expend. Obese and overweight Goldens have an increased risk of health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), occurs when the retina of a Golden Retriever’s eye starts to deteriorate. Some dogs may experience total blindness, while others remain unaffected but can be carriers of the gene. There is currently no treatment that can cure this disease; however, you can learn to spot the signs early to ensure your Golden continues to live a fulfilling life. Some common signs to look for include night blindness, bumping into objects and inability to follow hand signals/commands.
It’s important to monitor your Golden Retriever’s vision to detect these eye conditions early on, especially in the first years of their life. It’s recommended that you have your Golden’s eyes checked by your vet on a regular basis.
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What Makes a Golden Retriever Unique?
Golden Retrievers love the water
Golden Retrievers have a water repellent coat that lies flat against their body. This helps them stay dry and protected from dirt and debris. As a breed created to retrieve waterfowl from bodies of water, Goldens are excellent swimmers and have an instinctive love of water. Goldens also have webbed feet to help them swim more efficiently.
Golden retrievers make great therapy dogs
Golden Retrievers are commonly used as service and therapy dogs. Goldens are gentle, intelligent, easy to train and have a way of making people feel calm and comfortable.
Golden Retrievers are naturally mouthy
Golden Retrievers love to carry something around in their mouth everywhere they go. Whether that be a stick, toy or clothing, they always need to have something in their mouth. This is because Goldens were bred to retrieve birds with their mouths and gently carry them back to their owners.
Create a custom Golden Retriever Meal Plan
Why NutriCanine Is Great For Golden Retrievers
Best Dog Food for a Golden Retriever Puppy (1-4 years)
Golden Retriever puppies grow rapidly between the ages four and seven months. As a result, they need to be on low-calorie dog food to prevent them from growing too fast and developing bone disorders. When deciding the proper dog food for your puppy, it can help to evaluate the Golden Retriever’s health history. For example, this particular breed is prone to developing certain health conditions, such as elbow amd hip dysplasia, heart disease and obesity. With this in mind, it's important to consider a nutrient-rich dog food made with real, fresh ingredients such as meat, fruits and vegetables.
When choosing dog food for your Golden Retriever puppy, NutriCanine’s fresh dog food recipes are an ideal pick. Our fresh dog food recipes are made with fresh whole foods including chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and lamb. As you search for the right dog food for your Golden Retriever, animal protein should be at the top of the ingredient list. In the developing stages, Goldens need a high-quality, nutrient-dense diet that will work to support their accelerated growth rate and will help prevent the various health issues this breed is susceptible to.
NutriCanine offers a variety of dog food recipes designed to meet the nutritional needs of your Golden pup. Our raw dog food recipes will help to strengthen your Golden’s immune system while reducing any allergies and intolerances. But if you’ve got a picky eater, a pup with a sensitive stomach, or an immunocompromised family member at home, NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food is a great option as well. All NutriCanine dog food recipes are freshly prepared with real, human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Best Dog Food for an Adult Golden Retriever (5-7 years)
Golden Retrievers will typically reach their full adult size between 9 and 12 months old. For an active breed, Golden Retrievers need quality dog food with an adequate amount of protein. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes are a great solution as they contain rich animal proteins and natural ingredients, which will help support your Golden Retriever’s muscular build and thick double coat. NutriCanine’s raw dog food recipes provide your Golden with a variety of flavour options including chicken, salmon, turkey, beef and lamb. These raw dog food recipes are formulated to be complete and balanced and are specially designed to meet your Golden’s nutritional needs.
However, if you’ve got a picky eater, a pup with a sensitive stomach, or an immunocompromised family member at home, NutriCanine’s gently cooked dog food is a great option as well. All our dog food recipes are freshly prepared with real, human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives. Adult Golden Retrievers need a trusted dog food that can fully support their active lifestyle.
Best Dog Food for a Senior Golden Retriever
As your Golden Retriever transitions into their senior years, it’s important to ensure they are consuming well-balanced dog food for the best quality of life. With a life expectancy of 9-12 years choosing the right dog food will ensure your Golden receives the proper amount of nutrients as they age. As a result of the Golden Retriever’s highly active adult years, their risk of developing certain joint problems such as elbow and hip dysplasia is greater. Keeping an eye on their calorie intake is also crucial to avoid obesity, which if left unmanaged, can put further stress on the joints.
NutriCanine’s fresh dog food recipes are a great option for your senior Golden Retriever. Our raw dog food recipes are specially formulated to accommodate your senior dog’s nutritional needs; however, our gently cooked line might be easier for an older dog to transition to if they’re not accustomed to fresh dog food. Our fresh dog food comes in a variety of delicious recipes that your Golden will absolutely love, including high-quality proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, lamb, and chicken and salmon. NutriCanine’s fresh dog food contains human-edible proteins with a unique blend of highly digestible fruits and vegetables.
For your senior Golden, we recommend you try NutriCanine’s gently cooked beef recipe as it contains a healthy dose of antioxidant-rich berries and highly digestible rice, perfect for your senior Golden’s aging body. Finding dog food that allows your Golden Retriever to maintain a full and healthy life is the ultimate goal. NutriCanine’s meals are freshly prepared with real human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Best Dog Food for an Overweight Golden Retriever
Goldens love to eat! Since this breed is highly motivated by food, it can be easy to overfeed them. If your Golden Retriever is experiencing weight issues it’s important to take the necessary steps to get them back in shape. Proper exercise is important and dog food that’s low in calories. There are numerous health benefits when feeding your Golden a diet of real, fresh dog food. With complete and balanced nutrition from NutriCanine, you’ll start to see health benefits in your Golden, including improved digestion, fresher breath, more stable energy levels, reduction of allergies and intolerances, brighter eyes, fresher breath, cleaner and whiter teeth, a stronger immune system, a thicker and glossier coat, less flatulence, and firmer stools. NutriCanine dog food recipes also come pre-portioned, making it easy to track and control your Golden’s calorie intake.
Best Dog Food for a Golden Retriever with a Sensitive Stomach
If your Golden Retriever has a sensitive stomach, it’s important to take the necessary steps to ensure they lead a healthy lifestyle. The first step would be to consult your veterinarian to determine if there are any underlying health issues causing your Golden to have stomach sensitivity. This is also a good opportunity to consider the type of dog food your Golden Retriever is consuming.
Deciphering which dog food to feed your Golden with a sensitive stomach is made easy with NutriCanine. Our gently cooked dog food recipes are specially designed to meet your Golden’s nutritional needs. With a variety of protein-forward recipes to choose from, a great starting point is our gently cooked beef recipe as it would respond well to your Golden Retriever’s sensitive stomach. This unique blend contains antioxidant-rich berries and highly digestible rice, the perfect formula to strengthen your Golden’s immune system while reducing any allergies and intolerances. NutriCanine’s meals are freshly prepared with real human-edible, locally sourced ingredients. NutriCanine’s dog food is always free of hormones, antibiotics and preservatives.
Top 10 Facts About Golden Retrievers
Learn more about NutriCanine’s meal plans
NutriCanine raw recipes contain a unique blend of highly digestible fruits and vegetables. Our raw recipes offer complete and balanced nutrition, ideal for all dogs of all ages and sizes. The transition to raw tends to be easier for younger dogs and high energy dogs.Try NutriCanine raw recipes
NutriCanine gently cooked recipes are great for all dogs including picky eaters, sensitive stomachs, or senior dogs with brittle teeth. Our recipes are safe enough for humans to eat but specially designed to meet your dog's nutritional needs.Try NutriCanine gently cooked recipes