Golden Retriever – Friendly, Great Nature, Intelligent and Loving

07.10.2022 - Reading time: 7 minutes

Ein Golden Retriever steht im Park

Are you looking for a dog with a friendly character, who is both obedient and trusting and with whom you can pursue sporting activities? The Golden Retriever is the right choice: the retriever has become one of the most popular purebred dogs in the country. And rightly so – in a Golden Retriever you will find a companion who is as intelligent as he is lovable.


Newsletter Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever
Great Britain
Retrieving dogs
Males 56 to 61 cm at shoulder height – females 51 to 56 cm at shoulder height
Males 30 to 40 kg – females 25 to 35 kg
harmonious and well proportioned, strong bones
dark, loving expression
medium size, set at eye level and falling
Coat and colour
weatherproof coat, flat or wavy with dense undercoat and feathering on legs and tail; golden tones.
Special features
loves water, sheds slightly all year round
loving, trusting, willing to work
Brush weekly, daily when moulting
Tendency to obesity, arthritis, susceptible to epilepsy due to breeding, hypothyroidism and food allergies

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Bull's eye: from retriever to agility fan

With the development of firearms, hunters were able to shoot game at long distances. This changed the demands on their dogs – the animals had to retrieve the shot prey safely and over longer distances. This was the hour of the Golden Retriever, which we owe to the breeding efforts of the Scottish Baron Tweedmouth from 1864 onwards. The nobleman crossed the Wavy-Coated Retriever, the Tweed Water Spaniel and the Irish Setter. The Golden Retriever owes its talent for retrieving to these ancestors. The Golden Retriever has been an officially recognised breed since 1913. It belongs to the FCI group 8, section 1 of retrieving dogs. Its eagerness to work and its intelligence make it a sought-after colleague of the police, the rescue services and drug investigators. Thanks to its friendly, people-oriented character, it is also a wonderful therapy dog and companion dog in work with the disabled. But the Golden Retriever also finds its niche as a loyal and loving family dog and is equally devoted to every member of the family.

Character and nature of the Golden Retriever

As a rule, the Golden Retriever does not show aggression or fear: it is characterised by openness and kindness. The dog is also very compatible with other dogs of the same species. In addition, they have a strong will to please their owners. The Golden Retriever achieves this not only through its friendly nature, but also through its willingness to work and its readiness to obey. Beginners can therefore also get along well with this dog. However, the Golden Retriever is not suitable as a guard dog due to its lack of aggression. A small weakness in its character is its greediness. Thanks to its well-balanced nature, the Golden Retriever rarely reacts hectically or nervously. It is precisely these qualities that enable it to concentrate on its tasks with precision. In addition, it has a very good learning ability. As a therapy dog, guide dog for the blind or as a sniffer dog for the police, it is able to express its intelligence and obedient nature in the best possible way. Within the family, you get a happy and trusting dog that is not easily upset. When well trained, the Golden Retriever does not exhibit dominance or hierarchy conflicts. Its patient and playful nature makes it an ideal family dog. Nevertheless, a dog is not a toy or a babysitter on four paws. Every animal has its own needs, and children should learn to take these into account from the beginning.

Training and care of the Golden Retriever

The size of the Golden Retriever varies, depending on gender, and ranges between 51 and 61 centimetres shoulder height with a weight of 25 to 35 kilograms. It is therefore a medium-sized dog that demands a lot of space. Extensive daily walks and exercise are obligatory to maintain the Golden Retriever’s loving and balanced character. In addition, it is ideal if your Golden Retriever has free access to the garden or property, is not left alone for long periods of time and can build up a close bond with its humans. If you see this dog as a guard dog for house and yard, you have unfortunately chosen the wrong breed. It meets strangers with the same positive open-mindedness as its fellow dogs and other animals. It is therefore not at all suitable for kennels.

Training a Golden Retriever needs loving consistency in order to steer the dog’s hunting instinct in the right direction. Its natural talents come to the fore during training with extensive retrieving games and agility sports. In order to stimulate the dog’s intelligence and to satisfy his play instinct, you need a varied assortment of retrieving and action toys. Search and tracking games are also a welcome change. When out and about, it is advisable to carry a towel – the Golden Retriever is a real water rat and when he sees water, he has to jump in. After all, this breed was used in the 19th century for hunting ducks and poultry in particular. Jumping into cool water was unavoidable at any time of the year to retrieve the shot birds from the waters.

Ein Golden Retriever rennt über eine Wiese

Nutrition of the Golden Retriever

Despite its athletic and active character, the Golden Retriever is prone to overweight and obesity. Since obesity is known to be poison for the joints and health, you should pay attention to a balanced diet for your dog. As this breed is considered to be particularly greedy, you must make it clear to your puppy that begging and unwanted foraging in the fields are absolutely taboo. Training snacks and treats should always be deducted from the daily ration.

Care of the Golden Retriever

Grooming a Golden Retriever is simple. Brush your dog once a week, and daily during when it is moulting. Ears and teeth should also be carefully checked to prevent inflammation. The dog’s undercoat makes it quite resistant to cold, but summer heat can be exhausting for it. Golden Retrievers have a healthy appetite and tend to be overweight, which can lead to arthritis. In recent years, the Golden Retriever has become a fashionable dog. Unfortunately, due to the increased demand, there are more and more negligent breeders. Therefore, be sure to choose a breeder who is reputable. The life expectancy of a healthy Golden Retriever is on average eleven years.

What you must consider before buying

Given the Golden Retriever’s friendly appearance, great character traits, intelligence and loving nature, it is hardly surprising that it has become a fashionable dog. However, when demand is high, the number of careless and dubious breeders increases in order to sell the popular breed as quickly and profitably as possible. A good breeder, on the other hand, shows responsibility and genuine interest in the new owners for his charges. So do not be surprised if he asks you a few questions. After all, he only wants to make sure that his puppies will do well later on. The mating of only healthy parents, a sales contract and a health check with vaccinations are standard. Visit the puppy a few times before you finally take it home, let the breeder show you the parents and ask him all the questions you have. Also get a good picture of the kennels and the socialisation of the animals. The vacuum cleaner, a collar, children, strangers and car rides should no longer be anything new for the puppy.

And there is something else to consider. As with the Labrador Retriever, the Border Collie, the Australian Shepherd and many other working dog breeds, the Golden Retriever is divided into two breeding lines. The lighter and sportier working line focuses on the performance of the animals and is particularly suitable for hunting and extensive dog sports. The show line is calmer in temperament, more balanced and more compact as well as heavier in build. The breeders of this line do not only focus on show success, but also on the character traits of a loyal and loving family companion without a pronounced retrieving or hunting instinct.

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