Celebrating Golden Retrievers

One of America’s favorite dogs has a special day this month. Golden Retriever Day is February 3rd! These pups are not only adorable, they’re also extremely fun, loving, and loyal. A local Southeast Denver, CO veterinarian discusses the Golden Retriever in this article. 


Why Is February 3rd Golden Retriever Day?


The day was chosen by Kristen Shroyer at iheartgoldenretrievers, in honor of her beloved pooch, Quincey, who was born on February 3rd. The event is catching on. In fact, nearby Golden, Co, celebrated by hosting a gathering of Goldens. (This may be one of the most adorable events of the year.) 


What Is A Golden Retriever? 

Golden Retrievers are medium-sized pooches with huge hearts. They are on the larger side: males can grow to about 24 inches tall, and can weigh 75 pounds. Females can get to be about 23 inches tall, and typically weigh up to 65 pounds. Fido usually lives about 10 to 12 years. However, even as a senior, he will often still be a puppy at heart. There are three types of Goldens: British, American, and Canadian. As you can probably guess, they are all equally adorable.

Is A Golden Retriever A Good Family Dog?


Golden Retrievers make excellent family pets. They’re very patient with children, and also do well with both cats and other dogs. They’re very eager to please, which makes them easy to train. That said, because they need so much exercise, they will do best in a place with a yard. (Fido would also prefer to have a pool, if possible.) 

What Type Of Coat Do Goldens Have? 

Golden Retrievers are certainly aptly named: they have thick, beautiful fur that is gold in color. There is a downside to that pretty coat: Fido will try to share it with you, and will politely distribute it, well, everywhere. You’ll need to brush your canine buddy regularly. On a brighter note, you won’t have to bathe your pooch very often. As far as grooming, dental care, ear cleaning, and nail trims are also important. Ask your Southeast Denver, CO veterinarian for more information. 

What Kind Of Temperament Do Golden Retrievers Have?

Fido is one of America’s most popular dogs, and it really isn’t hard to see why. These dogs have absolutely wonderful temperaments. They’re loyal, loving, and affectionate, and are also great with kids. In fact, the breed standard notes their cheerful demeanors. Early records often noted that their tails often move in a “merry fashion.”

What Is The Difference Between A Golden Retriever And A Yellow Labrador Retriever?

Fido looks quite a bit like his best buddy, the Yellow Labrador Retriever. It’s easy to get the two mixed up, as they are very similar in size, appearance, and temperament. The main difference is in the coats: Goldens have longer fur. They also have slightly longer ears and noses. And while they both excel in many areas, Goldens are more often found working as service dogs or therapy dogs, while Labs excel in search-and-rescue and police work. Labs also tend to have slightly longer lifespans, and are a bit more energetic overall.   

What Are Golden Retrievers Good At? 

Goldens are smart and very obedient, so it’s no surprise that they do well in many doggy sports and activities, such as obedience, agility, and tracking. The Golden is also a great hunting dog. As the name suggests, he is a natural at playing Fetch. In fact, Fido even dipped his paw into politics: a Golden named Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II was elected mayor of Idyllwild–Pine Cove, California. It’s safe to say that the town completely went to the dogs: Max quickly enlisted his cousins, Mitzi and Mikey, as deputy mayors, and was eventually succeeded by another cousin, Max III. (This was actually part of a fundraiser. The town doesn’t have any official government, so locals decided to elect a pet. 14 dogs and two cats made it to the ballot.)

The only thing these guys don’t naturally excel at is being a watchdog: they’re so friendly they’re more likely to cheerfully greet a burglar and beg for belly rubs than they are to drive them off. 

What Is The History Of The Golden Retriever? 


Fido was originally bred in Scotland. Because one of the breed’s early developers, Sir Dudley Majoribanks, kept detailed records, we have a lot of information about the Golden Retriever’s lineage. In fact, the records were published in 1952. Back in the 1860’s, Majoribanks aquired a Flat-coated Retriever named Nous. There is some debate as to where Nous came from: various rumors attest to him being bought from a Russian circus trainer, a cobbler, and a gypsy. What we do know is that Nous was bred to a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle, who is recorded as being of “Ladykirk” breeding. Their pups became the foundation for Majoribanks’ ongoing breeding program, which also incorporated the Red Setter, Labrador Retriever, and Bloodhound, and ultimately resulted in the cheerful, obedient Retrievers we know and love today. Fido was recognized by the AKC in 1913.

Are Golden Retrievers Healthy?

In general, Goldens are quite healthy. However, some lines are prone to certain health issues, such as allergies, skin problems, and eye problems. This is due to irresponsible breeders, who were more interested in taking advantage of Fido’s popularity to turn profits rather than adhering to quality standards. It’s worth noting that there is a small percentage of Goldens who aren’t as cheerful as the breed’s usual: this is likely why.

That said, like any breed, Goldens are susceptible to a few health issues. Hip and elbow dysplasia are very common. In fact, as many as one in five of these pooches will develop some sort of joint issue. Fido is also at risk of  subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), a heart condition which can be deadly. Cancer is also not uncommon. If you’re considering getting a Golden puppy, you may want to enroll your furry friend in pet health insurance.

The National Breed Club recommends getting the following tests:

  • Hip Evaluation
  • Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 5 (Golden Retriever) (NCL, NCL5) – DNA Test
  • Elbow Evaluation
  • Cardiac Exam
  • Ophthalmologist Evaluation

It’s also worth pointing out that Goldens need to have their ears cleaned regularly. The shape of those floppy ears creates a warm, damp environment, in which bacteria can thrive. Ask your Southeast Denver, CO vet for specific advice.

How Active Are Golden Retrievers?

Goldens are quite energetic, which is common among sporting breeds. You’ll need to make sure that Fido is getting lots of exercise and playtime. Otherwise, he may become obese. (His love of snacks doesn’t exactly help here, either.) You’ll need to check with your vet to get some specific recommendations on your canine buddy’s workout regime. Because Fido is at risk of hip dysplasia, you may be advised to avoid high-impact activities, and not encourage your pup to jump or stand. Your pooch may become a couch potato as he ages, so you’ll need to make sure he’s getting the activity he needs. 

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Having A Golden?

Honestly, you really couldn’t ask for a better dog. These friendly, intelligent pups love to please their humans, and make great family pets. They excel in many lines of doggy work, and are generally very cheerful and lovable. There are only a few possible downsides to choosing one of these wonderful dogs. One would be the fact that Fido is a heavy shedder. And while he’s technically considered medium-sized, the Golden is larger than many landlords allow. The only other possible con would be the health issues mentioned above. However, keep in mind that any dog can develop medical issues. 

What Do Golden Retrievers Love The Most? 

While we can’t officially poll our furry patients, we have a pretty good idea of what Fido would tell us if he were able to speak.  

The results, in no particular order: 

  • Bacon
  • Belly Rubs
  • Playing Fetch
  • Ear Scritches
  • Swimming
  • Treats
  • Playing
  • Naps
  • Dog Parks
  • Frisbees
  • Bacon
  • Car Rides
  • Squirrels
  • Bacon

By all means, indulge your pup’s lust for life, and treat him to some of his favorite things. Just don’t go overboard on the treats: these guys are prone to getting chubby. 

In conclusion: Golden Retrievers are absolutely wonderful dogs, and are extremely popular pets. Friendly, obedient, and playful, Goldens embody everything you could want in a dog. 

Do you have questions about caring for a Golden? Contact us, your local Southeast Denver, CO animal clinic, today!

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