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Spotlight On A Very Good Boy: The Golden Retriever 

February 1, 2024

There are quite a few fun pet holidays in February, such as Doggy Date Night and Love Your Pet Day. One of America’s favorite dogs has a special day this month. Golden Retriever Day is February 3rd! These adorable pups are also extremely fun, loving, and loyal. A local  Jefferson, IA area  veterinarian discusses the Golden Retriever in this article.

Introducing The Golden Retriever

There are three types of Golden Retrievers: British, American, and Canadian. Each of them is equally adorable, as you can probably guess.

This medium-sized dog has a huge heart. Males can grow to about 24 inches tall and weigh up to 75 pounds. Females typically weigh about 65 pounds and grow to about 23 inches tall.

Fido usually lives about 10 to 12 years, but will always be a puppy at heart.

What Are The Pros And Cons Of Owning A Golden Retriever?

There aren’t many cons to go over here. Honestly, you couldn’t find a better dog. These amiable and smart canines delight in satisfying their owners and are ideal companions for families. They thrive in various dog-related tasks and have a generally cheerful and endearing nature.

There are a few potential drawbacks to selecting one of these exceptional dogs. One would be their tendency to shed heavily. They may also not be a good fit for renters. Despite being classified as medium-sized, Goldens may exceed size restrictions set by many landlords.

Are Golden Retrievers A Suitable Family Dog?

Golden Retrievers make excellent family pets. They are patient with children, and get along well with cats and other dogs. They are very eager to please, so they are usually easy to train. Because they need so much exercise, they prefer a home with a yard. (Fido would also like a pool.)

Why Does Golden Retriever Day Fall On February 3rd?

The date was chosen by Kristen Shroyer at iheartgoldenretrievers, in honor of her beloved pooch, Quincey. Quincey was born on February 3rd. The event is catching on. In fact, Golden, Colorado hosted a gathering of Goldens to celebrate the event. (This may be the cutest thing that has happened so far this year.)

What Kind Of Coat Do Goldens Have?

Fido has thick, beautiful fur that is gold in color. If Golden Retrievers have a downside, it may be the fact that they shed heavily. Fido will try to share his gorgeous coat with you, and will politely spread it all over the place. If you don’t want fur everywhere, you’ll have to brush him regularly. On a brighter note, you won’t need to bathe him too often. (Note: Dental care and nail trimming are also important as far as grooming needs go.)

Is There A Difference Between A Yellow Labrador Retriever And A Golden Retriever?

Fido bears a striking resemblance to one of his closest companions, the Yellow Lab. Their size, appearance, and temperament are so alike that it’s easy to confuse the two. However, their coats set them apart. Goldens have longer fur. Their ears and noses are slightly longer as well. Both breeds excel in various fields. However, they do generally opt for different careers, with Goldens being commonly employed as service or therapy dogs while Labs shine in search-and-rescue and police work. Additionally, Labs typically live slightly longer and have a bit more energy than Goldens.

Golden Retriever History: What Is It?

The Golden Retriever originated in Scotland. Thanks to the meticulous record-keeping of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, who played a key role in the breed’s development, we have extensive knowledge about its history. Those records were published in 1952, but date back to the 1860s. Majoribanks crossed a Flat-coated Retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle, whose breeding is recorded as “Ladykirk”. This pairing laid the foundation for his ongoing breeding program, which also incorporated breeds such as Red Setters, Labrador Retrievers, and Bloodhounds. Fido was officially recognized by the AKC in 1913.

Are Golden Retrievers Unhealthy?

In general, Goldens are quite healthy. However, some lines are prone to certain health problems, such as allergies, skin problems, and eye problems. This is due to shoddy breeding practices by a few bad players. Rather than adhering to quality standards, irresponsible breeders took advantage of Fido’s popularity to make a profit. As a matter of fact, there are some Goldens who don’t seem to be as happy as the rest of them are: this may be the reason why.

That said, Goldens are susceptible to some health issues, just as any breed is. Cancer is not uncommon. Joint problems are also fairly widespread. Approximately one in five of these dogs develop joint issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia. They are also at risk of developing subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), a potentially fatal heart disease. Additionally, Goldens may be susceptible to ear infections.  The shape of their floppy ears creates a warm, damp environment in which bacteria can thrive. They require regular ear cleanings, especially if they are swimming a lot, which they love to do.

You may want to consider getting Fido a wellness plan and a pet health insurance policy. We’d also suggest keeping up with the tests that are recommended by the National Breed Club. These include evaluations of the hips and elbows, eye and cardiac evaluations, and testing for Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis 5 (Golden Retriever) (NCL, NCL5). Ask your Jefferson, IA area veterinarian for more information.

Golden Retrievers: What Do They Love Most?

The Golden is that dog that loves life and wants to be everyone’s best buddy. What are Fido’s favorite things? Even though we can’t officially poll our furry patients, we have a pretty good idea of what would make that list.

In no particular order, here are the results:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner 
  • Snacks
  • Bacon
  • Belly Rubs
  • Playing Fetch
  • Swimming
  • Treats
  • Playing
  • Naps
  • Bacon
  • Car Rides
  • Squirrels

Go ahead and indulge your pup’s lust for life and treat him to some of his favorite things. Just don’t go overboard with the snacks!

What Are Golden Retrievers Skilled At?

Intelligent and obedient, Goldens excel in various canine sports and activities, including obedience, agility, and tracking. A skilled hunting dog, Fido also has a natural talent for swimming and playing Fetch. They may even have a knack for politics. A Golden named Maximus Mighty-Dog Mueller II was elected mayor of Idyllwild–Pine Cove, California. The town seemed to have gone to the dogs: Max quickly appointed his cousins, Mitzi and Mikey, as deputy mayors, and later passed on the title to another cousin, Max III. (This unique event was actually a fundraiser. Since the town does not have any official government, locals decided to elect a pet as their leader. Out of 14 dogs and two cats on the ballot, Max emerged victorious.)

There is one thing Goldens tend to be horrible at: being watchdogs. They’re so friendly that they’re likely to cheerfully greet a burglar and beg for attention. Have we mentioned how cute they are? 

In conclusion: The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the world. Friendly, obedient, and playful, Golden Retrievers may very well be the perfect pet.

Get in touch with us here at your local Jefferson, IA area pet hospital if you have questions about caring for a Golden. We are dedicated to offering top notch care!