Golden Retrievers always make it into the top ten most popular dog breeds! In fact many would argue that they’re at the top of the list (with good reason). These majestic and elegant creatures are the perfect family dog and are a treat to have at home.
If you’re planning on buying a golden retriever, here is everything you need to know:
They are extremely clingy
All dogs are loving and deeply attached to their masters, but Golden Retrievers are on a whole other level! Stop petting them for one second and they’re throwing a tantrum clamoring for your attention. If you don’t mind keeping your hands on your dog 24/7 — we know we don’t — then a Golden Retriever is the perfect pup for you! Unlike German Shepherds or Belgian Malinois who only serve one master, Goldies are a friend to all. It doesn’t matter if you’re their owner or a complete stranger, they will stop you on the street for a cuddle.
Exercise is key to keeping their hyperactivity levels at bay
Like most large breeds, Golden Retrievers need plenty of exercise to keep them from chewing the couch or bumping into walls. They need to be walked twice a day, once in the morning and once at night for at least half an hour. If you live in a big house with a sprawling lawn then you can get away with walking them once a day, but if you live in an apartment you have no choice but to get up and go. You may find them toppling over the vases cute, but your mom won’t be too happy about it. They’re especially fond of running up and down hills playing fetch because it pays homage to what they were initially bred for, retrieving birds.
Not one aggressive bone in their bodies
Deep inside every animal are primal instincts that are waiting to be tapped into. All sense of “wildness” seems to have been flushed from a Golden Retriever’s DNA. Their owners can annoy them in any way possible and the Goldies would assume that they’re being played with. Try it for yourself; when your Golden Retriever is eating, mess with them. Lift their hind legs, tug on their tails, or even poke their mouths. They’ll look at you patiently, smile, and resume regular scheduled programming. No wonder they’re such a hit among young children. It’s because they have no personal boundaries and don’t respect yours either. In the best possible way, that is. Young children could do anything to startle or annoy them but the only thing that happens is they get spooked and lick your kids.
Grooming is a necessary expense
Two words, double coat. Yes, you can give your dog a bath at home and brush them everyday, but you’ll have to take them to the groomers for a good deep cleaning. Because their fur is so long and thick, they need a power wash every other week to ensure their skin is healthy and their hair is trimmed so it doesn’t get unruly. Male dogs especially. They have thicker coats and harder nails. It’s difficult to deal with it at home. If you want a Golden Retriever, you’ll have to set aside a monthly grooming budget if you want them to look their best. Pro tip: tell your groomers never to trim their hair on their torso or back. It gives them this strange looking mow hock, almost like a furry dinosaur. Let your Goldies hair grow out long enough for it to lie flat against their bodies so they look like one cohesive, gold unit of a dog.
Hide the food or they’ll rummage through the sack
Golden Retrievers have bottomless pits for stomachs, that’s why a lot of them are overweight. Ration their food properly because they have a tendency to overeat, and that’s on top of the high caloric intake they need on a daily basis. Like we’ve mentioned earlier, Golden Retrievers are hyperactive dogs, so they need the appropriate food to replenish all the expended energy. Try looking for high energy and high protein food. Not only will it fuel their day, the extra fat in the food makes their coats look and feel shiner and healthier.
Great listeners and a shoulder to cry on
We can’t deny the fact that we talk to our dogs when things go bad. Believe it or not, Golden Retrievers are great listeners. Maybe it’s their naturally empathetic personality or their loving eyes. Either way, they’ll always be there when you need a (furry) shoulder to cry on. They’re the perfect therapy dogs because their temperaments are naturally maternal — even the boys. They want to be there for you when things get rough and they won’t leave your side until you pull yourself together. Who are we kidding? Even when you’re okay, they’ll still be stuck to you. They’re clingy, remember?
They’re not as regal as you think they are
Do you remember how we said Golden Retrievers are majestic, elegant creatures? Well, for the most part they are. But that’s only if you don’t live with them. You’ll be surprised at how clumsy, clueless, and judgmental they can be. All Golden Retriever owners know that they can’t midnight snack without receiving disapproving looks from their dogs. True story. And they slip, A LOT. Their build and pelt give the illusion of being graceful, but these gentle giants are one klutzy mistake away from getting their heads stuck inside the shoe cabinet.
Potty training isn’t a problem
One of the biggest challenges we face as dog owners is house breaking our dogs. It takes what feels like an eternity to teach our dogs that the carpet isn’t the place to do their business and they need to go outside if they feel the call of the wild. But with Golden Retrievers? It’s as simple as setting them down on a patch of grass and letting them figure things out on their own. In some cases, it may take a few days to maybe a week at most, but after that you’re good to go!
Adventures get their blood pumping
Golden Retrievers are both homebodies and thrill seekers. They don’t mind a quiet night in, but they also enjoy exploring the great outdoors. They hop in the car any chance they get in hope that they’ll be able to explore a new trail or discover unfamiliar scents. You can take them to the beach, the woods, or even the mall and they’d be equally as happy. Plus, there’s the added bonus of meeting new people that will potentially pet them. Nothing makes a Golden Retriever’s heart race faster than the act of cuddles.
Goldies are natural born swimmers. You can bring them with you to the lake without the fear of them drowning or drifting away. They have a dense, water-repellent outer coat with a thick undercoat, which insulates them against the cold. While the upper layer coat is longer and lies flat, repelling water from their skin. These qualities give Golden Retrievers the upper hand at maritime activities. Also, it’s a great activity for Goldies who live in hotter climates. Swimming helps them cool down and lower their body temperature.
They love the cold
Guessing by their coat alone, you can tell that Golden Retrievers aren’t made for hot weather. Some of them have learned to adapt such as the ones living in tropical areas, their hair isn’t as dense or as long as the ones that live in the snow. On a hot and sunny day, it’s best that you keep them indoors with the air conditioner running. Make sure they always have a bowl of fresh, cold water because they get easily dehydrated in the heat. During the winter, indulge your Goldy by letting them play in the snow. As the seasons change so do their coats. In fact, they’re at their most adorable during the winter because their hair gets all fluffed and puffed up to insulate them from the cold.
A Golden Retriever will do anything to make you happy and if they feel like they haven’t fulfilled what you want, they’ll sit in a corner and mope. How adorable, right? When training your Goldies, always use positive reinforcement if you want them to be on a certain type of behavior. This is the most effective training method for them because they are motivated by physical touch and affection. Whenever your Goldy does something you like, give them a pat on the head. And if they did something wrong, acknowledge it with a firm no and fix the mistake while it’s still fresh.
Yes, it’s a thing. Look it up so you know we’re not lying. Golden Retrievers have a tendency to steal and hide things. They’re also great actors and they play innocent when you question them. All Goldies keep a stash around the house somewhere. If you’re missing a pair of socks or the tomatoes you just bought from the grocery, look through their stash. We can assure you that all your missing items are just there. But god forbid their stash is underground because some of them take pride in burying their loot and forgetting where they hid the treasure.
Loud and talkative
Most dogs bark, Golden Retrievers yell. Yes, you read that right. They yell. Why? Nobody knows! You’ll find countless videos of Golden Retrievers answering back to their owners after they were scolded or told off. And they have the loudest and weirdest yawns in the morning. It sounds like a cross between Chewbacca and cow calling its young. Also, you’ll often catch them talking to themselves. Sometimes even singing. Such strange but adorable creatures. We just can’t get enough of them.
Overall, we want you to know that Golden Retrievers are the perfect pet for anyone. They are lifelong companions who will love you until they’re no longer walking this earth. If you’re thinking of adopting a Golden Retriever, you need to know that they’re a large responsibility, but they have the biggest hearts. There’s no one in this world that wouldn’t want a Golden Retriever by their side.