Golden Retrievers are among America’s most popular dog breeds. Not only are they skilled hunters, they can also work as assistants for the blind, or as search-and-rescue dogs. Even as pets, they’re loyal, lovable, and great with kids.
If you plan on getting one for yourself, here are a few things you need to know about Golden Retrievers.
Golden Retrievers can trace their history as early as the 1800’s, where they initially bred as hunting dogs in Scotland. Though this was their primary role, they also excelled in search-and-rescue as well as guide work.
In 1908, they were displayed at a British dog show and later, the Kennel Club in England recognized them as a distinct breed in 1911. They were first known as “Yellow or Gold Retrievers” due to their yellow or golden fur color. This changed in the 1920’s when they were eventually reclassified as “Golden Retrievers”.
This breed was also introduced around the 1910s in the United States and Canada and later recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1932.
The signature gold coat color is what separates them from Labrador Retrievers, which are usually black in color. Some Labrador Retrievers can also have a pale white-yellow or even a chocolate-colored coat as well. Apart from the coat color, Labradors can also be slightly larger than their golden counterparts by a few inches and heavier by at least 5 pounds.
Is the Golden Retriever the right breed for you?
Since these dogs are bred as hunters, they require at least an hour of exercise daily. This means taking them out for walks or even playing fetch outdoors. You can also have them do mental challenges like treat dispenser puzzles, but these should not be treated as replacements for physical activities.
Not giving them enough time for exercise can result in these dogs doing things like digging or chewing at objects like furniture to relieve their stress. If your lifestyle doesn’t allow time for taking your dog out on walks at the very least, it might not be advisable for you to get one as a pet.
As puppies, they also require a fair amount of socialization to help them adjust to life in the city. The first 2 years of their lives require their owners to be outgoing and fairly active so that the Retriever can be comfortable taking walks and getting the needed exercise later on.
For city dwellers, Retrievers have a tendency to shed moderately. This means you may need to sweep or vacuum your house often to get rid of any fur that may be lying around. Brushing once a week can also help keep their coat looking well-groomed.
Common health issues
Golden Retrievers have a lifespan of at least 10 to 13 years, this means they may be prone to diseases in their later years and may require greater care and assistance on your part as pet owners. There are 3 common things to watch out for regarding their health as they grow older.
Cancers like Lymphoma are more likely to affect this breed, according to the Prestige Animal Hospital. This disease causes the dog’s body to form abnormal lymphocytes or white blood cells. Fortunately, this form of cancer is treatable with chemotherapy and can be detected early with regular blood tests.
Other things to watch out for are problems in the bones and joints. Since Retrievers are also classified as medium to large dog breeds, they may suffer from weakened joints in their later years. This means they can be less active or even suffer arthritis as they grow older. Large-breed dog foods with Glucosamine can help maintain healthy joints and minimize these risks.
Allergies are also a common issue for them. Pollen, mold, dust, or certain foods can make their skin itchy. Frequent scratching or licking can be signs of allergies to watch out for. If your dog suffers from severe meat allergies, then it might be a good option to give them plant-based proteins as an alternative.
Diet and nutrition
Golden Retrievers require high-quality protein in their diet. They would also benefit from a diet that’s enriched with Glucosamine and Chondroitin as these supplements support their mobility.
To keep your Golden Retriever healthy, feed them with Addiction MEGA. MEGA is a Complete and Balanced diet made with premium New Zealand Lamb and Beef, high-quality proteins to help medium to large breed dogs build and maintain muscles. It’s also enriched with Glucosamine and Chondroitin to keep their joints healthy. Best of all, it has large-size kibble that encourages thorough chewing and digestion. That way, your dog gets the most nutrition out of each serving.