Golden Retrievers: Temperament & Traits
Golden Retrievers At-A-Glance
- Golden retrievers are loyal pets that are the best dog breeds for families.
- The dog is an active, sporting breed that is friendly with children, but they need to go out for long walks daily.
- These dogs are typically calm and confident, but they still need proper obedience training to avoid neurotic behavior.
- Golden retrievers shed much of their long coat, so they need to be brushed and bathed often.
- The breed is prone to illness, but they have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years.
If your children are familiar with the Air Bud movie franchise, then chances are they’re already in love with golden retrievers. And while we are unaware of any dogs that can actually play basketball, there are many reasons why these pets are one of the best breeds for families. They are smart, loyal, patient, and easy to please. These gentle creatures are perfect for children of all ages because of their gentle demeanor and boundless energy.
There are some disadvantages to owning a golden retriever. If you or anyone in your household is highly allergic to pet hair, then the breed might not be the best for your family. These dogs have a double coat: a fuzzy undercoat and an outer coat to protect them, so there’s lots of hair for them to shed. And golden retrievers love being on the furniture, so be prepared to clean your couch often.
This breed also needs a lot of attention. If these dogs don’t get the stimulus they need, they can become neurotic. You may come home to some torn pillow cushions and chewed up shoes if golden retrievers don’t get quality time with their owner.
Golden retrievers are also prone to health problems, including cancer, dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy, hypothyroidism, and heart disease, which means you could have some potentially high veterinarian bills down the road. If you purchase a purebred retriever, be sure to ask the breeder for the parent’s health clearances to know if they’ve been tested and cleared for conditions.
What is the perfect home for a golden retriever?
Golden retrievers can feel cramped inside small apartments, but if they have a huge yard to run around in, they will thrive. If you have an active household, then retrievers are one of the best dog breeds for families. They’re the perfect partner for hikes and runs, but keep this in mind if you live a busy lifestyle. If you don’t have the time to take your retriever out for long walks or runs once daily, your furniture is at risk.
Feeding your golden retriever
Because golden retrievers are so energetic, they have huge appetites. But it’s important to know how much to feed them. The breed is prone to obesity and joint problems, which can become worse if they are overfed. You’ll have to create a feeding plan with your dog’s age, fitness level, and weight in mind.
How much you feed your dog also depends on the kind of food you give it. Using cheaper food filled with fillers means your feeding your dog fewer calories and nutrients, which puts it at risk of being underfed.
If you want to know exactly what you’re feeding your dog, consider giving him a raw food diet. It will give your dog a shinier coat, bolster its immune system, and help keep its weight in check.
Living in Arizona
In addition to the array of illnesses previously mentioned that plague golden retrievers, one disease to look out for in Arizona is Coccidioidomycosis, better known as Valley Fever. It’s caused by breathing in soil-dwelling spores. Because dogs walk close to the ground, they are at high risk for contracting the disease, which causes lung inflammation. Most of the time, Valley Fever will go away on its own, but if you have a puppy or a dog with a compromised immune system, the symptoms can be more severe.
The lifecycle of a golden retriever
Speaking of puppies, if you adopt a young golden retriever, please keep in mind that it does take a while for the breed to outgrow its childlike behavior. They will chew on anything they can get their paws on, so make sure you dog-proof your home and provide plenty of toys that they can sink their teeth into. You’ll want to start training your puppy after it’s around two months old. Just make sure it has been given its first round of immunizations a week before they begin.
Expect the dog to keep up its playful and slightly mischievous personality for a couple of years. While there is no particular age for the breed to calm down, they relax a little more around four-years-old. Owners need to let the dog release its energy with plenty of intense outdoor activity to allow it to tire naturally and continue training to avoid any possible behavioral issues.
As they approach middle-aged, your dog may develop aggressive behaviors due to fear or stress. When they become seniors, golden retrievers will still need walks and social time with other pets, but they’ll start to develop health conditions such as bad breath, lethargy, skin conditions, and seizures. Be sure to speak with a professional if you notice odd actions from your furry friend.
If your active household is looking for a loyal friend who wants to please you, then a golden retriever is one of the best dog breeds for your family. You’ll need to be able to give them the attention it needs. If your family is often away from home, golden retrievers might not be the breed for you. Training the breed can be easy. Just make sure you have treats at the ready. If you reward your dog for good behavior, then training can be an energetic and fun affair.
To ensure that your furniture and sanity remain intact, the experienced staff at Desert Sky K9 can help strengthen the bond between you and your family’s new friend. Our licensed and certified trainer Mark Govoni has over 27 years of experience and can assist you with your training needs. Please feel free to call us at 602-510-5877 or schedule a complimentary consultation so we can learn more about your needs.