We rescue hundreds of wonderful Golden Retrievers a year, and they come in all sorts of beautiful colors, shapes, and sizes! The Golden Retriever was first developed in England and Scotland in the 19th century, probably as a result of crossing the Newfoundland, Water Spaniel, Setter, and the Bloodhound. They were originally used to locate and retrieve game.
Golden Retrievers come in all different shades of red, tan, yellow and golden. They can weigh from 60 pounds to 120 pounds (although 80lbs is considered standard,) and stand 21 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. Golden Retrievers are notoriously sweet, affectionate, eager to please, and great with children. Due to their desire to please, intelligence, and capacity for love and learning, Golden Retrievers are often used as guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the disabled, therapy dogs, and search-and-rescue dogs.
living with a golden
Swimming – Golden Retrievers love to be in the water, in fact it can be difficult to keep them out of the water. You may need to buy an extra towel or two.
Shedding – Golden Retrievers shed all year around, and should be brushed regularly. All breeds with longer coats tend to knot when left un-groomed.
Fragile Items – Golden Retrievers are very happy, bubbly and full of energy. They wag their tails. They wag their tails a lot – and it is not uncommon for them to knock items off of tables. Fragile items may need to be stored above “tail-wagging” level.
Toys – Golden Retrievers LOVE toys and will grow quite fond of their things. They may also view personal items (shoes, socks, underwear, etc) as toys if they are left lying around.
Closeness – Golden Retrievers like to be involved in all family activities. They love human interaction and attention, even going to the point of being “lap” dogs. Very BIG lap dogs.
Visitors – Golden Retrievers are generally friendly to visitors, in fact they will shower them with the same affection and demand the same attention in return.
Exercise – Golden Retrievers love exercise, and need regular exercise to be happy, healthy dogs. Most are considered moderate to high energy dogs.
Food – Because they are high energy dogs, Goldens LOVE food. You may want to discuss your Goldens diet with your vet. Together you can pick the right formula, and the right amount.
Cats – Goldens usually get along just fine with cats. Be prepared for initial curiosity. Try to make sure that the dog cannot get at the cat’s litter – it can be extremely harmful to dogs. Goldens, like most dogs, LOVE cat food (particularly canned.) Be careful not to leave cat food out and about, as it won’t be there long – and is also very high in fat – and too much will probably cause your dog to gain weight.
Training – Golden Retrievers are very smart dogs, and often take to entertaining themselves, especially if they do not get enough attention or exercise. Our Foster Care providers have spent some time with our dogs and provided a degree of training. However, obedience training is always a good idea. Fortunately Goldens are very intelligent and very easy to work with. For basic obedience help, click here.
Children – Our policy is that we will not place Golden Retrievers under the age of 3 with families that have children that are 3 or less years of age. Young Golden Retrievers can be very excitable around young children, so we recommend older Goldens for families with very young children. Of course the rules vary case by case.