Golden Retriever Guide

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Golden Retrievers make great family pets

When it comes to dogs that are warm and friendly, golden retrievers are hard to beat. Thanks to their use as guide dogs, they’re socially accepted in public places. Although they like their alone time, golden retrievers are sociable enough for use as a family pet.

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Golden retriever stats

  • Life Span: 10 to 11 years
  • Colour: Golden
  • Size: Medium to large, 25 to 36 KG
  • Training: Fairly easy to train and tend to do well in competitions
  • Coat: Medium-haired double coat that’s easy to groom
  • Shedding: Average
  • Exercise requirements: Moderate to high, at least twice a day when adult

Choosing the right golden retriever pup and exercising them

Although many consider golden retriever dogs to be friendlier than golden retriever bitches, they do require more exercise and have a tendency to wander off. In both instances, a golden retriever is loyal and gentle with children. It’s worth considering that a golden retriever bitch will have seasons every 6 months that require them to be kept away from dogs for three weeks, unless you intend on breeding.

Initially, a golden retriever pup will get all the exercise it needs from playing. From six months you need to begin exercising it on its lead and gradually build up the amount of time it spends exercising until it reaches 18 months. From then, it needs exercise at least twice a day, but shouldn’t be over exercised.

What type of households do golden retrievers suit?

Golden retrievers are incredibly friendly, which means they love to socialize and are ideal for use as a family pet. However, they also like their alone time, which means children should be made aware not to harass them too much. This means they may not always be suitable for households with a lot of very young children, although that does depend on whether the parents can establish a way for them to have time apart. As they love exercise and rely on playtime as their early form of exercise, a decent sized garden is essential.

Where to buy your golden retriever

As always, purchasing a golden retriever from a reputable breeder is necessary. Source one locally with a good reputation, or go to a dog show. Avoid using farms that breed puppies, as they may not perform all the necessary checks for hereditary diseases. (Breeders – please contact us to list your website here!)

Golden retriever health demographics and disease profiles

Golden retriever dogs usually reach 22 to 24 inches, whereas bitches reach 20 to 22 inches. In both instances, they’re fairly heavy and robust, with the dogs being slightly heavier.

These dogs tend to gain weight easily, so avoid over feeding them. In addition, while they’re a healthy breed, they’re also prone to the following diseases:

  • Mast cell tumours: A form of blood cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Congenital eye defects
  • Hip dysplasia: Hip malformation that can cause pain and problems with walking comfortably
  • Von Willebrand disease: The blood does not clot properly, causing heavy bleeding and bruising following injuries


Golden retrievers are relatively easy to train and remain loyal as dogs for a long time, hence their use as guide dogs. Compared to many other breeds, they’re friendly in public and don’t tend to cause alarm. Training from the pup stage is highly recommended, especially if you expect them to be well toilet trained and careful around the home.

If you are looking for a family pet that’s sociable and friendly, consider a golden retriever. Although they may do okay in an apartment when well exercised, it’s better if you have a decent sized yard.

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