Categories: Dogs

Man’s Best Friend: Are Golden Retrievers the Best of the Best?

If you are looking for a faithful companion dog or family pet, a golden retriever may be the perfect dog for you.

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) registration statistics, the golden retriever, listed as one of the top 5 most popular breeds, is one of the most well-liked and preferred dog breeds in the US because of their eager to please and intelligent nature. Well-mannered, patient, friendly, and easily trained, golden retrievers make an excellent choice for a family pet; and also adapt well to different living situations.

As the name implies, a golden retriever loves retrieving and carrying things in their mouth. They enjoy sporting activities, and spending time outdoors. Golden retrievers love swimming and performing tricks. Their powerful physique and active nature are complemented by their obedient and devoted character. Golden retrievers are very energetic and enthusiastic about everything, usually causing disruptions in training; at the same time, they are intelligent, and always eager to learn and please their owner.

A golden retriever needs regular physical and mental exercise; lack of activity can make them highly-strung, overly boisterous, and even destructive. You should take time to give your pet challenging obedience lessons, and to engage in games that involve retrieving to exercise both their body and mind. Taking them out for a long brisk walk or a slow jog everyday should be enough to avoid hyperactivity. To avoid behavioral problems, it is important to demonstrate a firm, confident, and calm leadership, establishing yourself as the pack Leader early on in the relationship.

Grooming a Golden Retriever

The golden retriever’s dense coat varies between a creamy and a rich golden color, and is water-resistant. The outer layer can be either straight or wavy; the underbelly, front of the neck, back of the legs, and underside of the tail have an untrimmed feathering. They have dark brown, medium- to large-sized eyes; short, hanging ears; and a brownish black or black nose. The size varies from medium to large. Grooming is easy and only requires regular combing or brushing of the coat, especially the undercoat, and regular wet or dry shampooing. A Furminator deshedding tool is recommended to remove any loose hairs and prevent shedding hair on your furniture.

Golden Retrievers: Things to Consider

Before deciding to get a golden retriever as a pet, you should also consider the disadvantages of owning such a highly energetic dog. Their large size together with an active nature can be troublesome at times, especially when you don’t have a lot of space at home for a dog to romp, or lack the time to take them out for a walk. If you’re obsessive about keeping the house clean, a golden retriever may not be the right dog for you, as they tend to shed a lot. However, this can be overcome by regularly grooming with a Furminator deshedding tool. They are also prone to skin problems, as well as eye defects and hip dysplasia. You need to consider additional expenses of veterinary care and other expenses that are typically associated with owning a dog. While they are alert and can be really good watchdogs, they tend to only bark or growl at strangers, which makes them rather ineffective as guard dogs. However, this trait makes them safe around children and consequently they make excellent family pets.

Originally bred for hunting, the golden retriever’s physical capabilities and tracking instincts make them an ideal dog for search and rescue operations, and narcotics detection. They are also excellent in guiding and assisting people, especially people that have disabilities.

Being a very social breed, golden retriever’s crave constant human interaction and are rarely aggressive. If these are traits you are looking for in a dog, then you may want to start looking for a golden retriever puppy or an older dog that is up for adoption at a golden retriever rescue center, as a golden retriever would be the perfect companion for you.

Jenny Griffin

is the Owner/Founder of Ecologix Environmental Media Services, Ecology Matters, and Stuff4Petz. Jenny is a freelance writer specializing in topics related to pet care, animal welfare, and environmental issues. She has published a series of Pet Owners Guides - view her Amazon author profile. Jenny has worked with animals all her life, having owned her own pet shop, dog grooming parlor, and educational mobile petting zoo; and has also worked in the fields of marine science and environmental education. Jenny resides on a smallholding with her extensive menagerie of rescued animals, which is in itself a full time job. When she is not writing or caring for her animals, she can be found surfing the waves at her local beach, or spending time with her horses.

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