Understand the Golden Retriever Facts before Buying
Are you planning to buy a cute little golden retriever puppy soon? Getting a new puppy is so much fun and exciting, especially the kids are the happiest in the house.
Well, a new member of the family means a lot of commitment, a lot of expense, and a lot of adjustments. There are quite a few things to know about golden retrievers and understand what you are getting into before you get your pooch.
Here’s is a comprehensive list of things that you should be aware of that will prepare you to face the challenges of bringing a new golden retriever puppy home.
Golden Retrievers Puppies grow Fast
Really FAST and before you know it, they are huge dogs fighting for space on your couch or bed. It is said that they achieve 90% of their weight in 11 months of age!
See below how fast Angel – our golden retriever – grew from 3 months to 7 months! By her first birthday, you couldn’t tell anymore that she is a puppy.
Golden Retrievers are expensive to keep
Being large dogs you need to budget for more good quality dog food. Being hairy dogs, you need to budget for their grooming regularly. Being genetically weak dogs, you need to budget for their health concerns. Overall, you need more money to keep a Golden. One of the major things to know about golden retrievers is the cost commitment that most pet parents ignore. So keep the budget in mind over its lifetime.
Read here about COMPLETE COST GUIDE TO OWNING GOLDEN RETRIEVER
Golden Retriever Puppies are Hyperactive
If you are a first-time golden parent, you will go crazy trying to match up with the puppy’s super-charged energy. They will demand for your attention – all the time they are awake.
Luckily, they sleep all day long, so there is a small window of “awake time” which you have be prepared for and save all your energy to play with your energetic puppy. Don’t blame me, you have been warned!
Golden Retriever Puppies Bite
This is one of the important things to know about golden retriever puppies for first-time pet owners. Pet parents are shocked and disappointed and frustrated after the initial “honeymoon” period with the cute puppy. All puppies bite, golden retrievers more so.
Why? Because they are bred to hold things and “retrieve” it back to their owner. All puppies explore the world around them by trying to bite and feel. It’s kinda holding something to see – just that puppies bite instead of holding. Their teeth are sharp, and it hurts.
Trust me, you will wish you didn’t buy the puppy when it bites – As it grows, it bites harder and harder until about 6 to 8 months and then it should reduce. Don’t worry, once grown Goldens are known to have the softest bites of all dogs – so much so that a Golden Retriever can hold an egg in its mouth without breaking it!
Golden Retrievers need People
They want to be with you – All the Time – and I mean it. They are genetically tuned to be with humans – by their side. More so than other breeds. This means that especially as a puppy, your golden needs you always. You must not leave the puppy at home alone. You must not lock up your golden retriever separately in a room or keep them outside the house. One of the things to know about golden retrievers that people need to realize is the time commitment.
Golden Retrievers need Exercise
This is kind of tricky because you need to time the exercise when the puppy is hyperactive. You can’t exercise a puppy when it is sleepy. This means that you need to devote your time and energy when the puppy is hyper – this could be at any time of the day – or night! But don’t worry, they will develop a pattern and you can predict the timing and adjust your lifestyle accordingly. After about 2 years of age, they sober down.
Golden Retrievers are Excitable
All their life! They never seem to calm down. They are excited about baby, to see owner, to meet people, for food, to see another dog or puppy, to see squirrels and rabbits – you name it and there’s a golden waiting to jump on something interesting. It takes a lot of efforts and dog training to get them to control their impulses to some extent. Nevertheless, they still retain their character their entire life.
Golden Retrievers are Friendly
Well, this means that they make for poor guard dogs. An alert golden may bark at a squirrel or a pussy cat that’s passing by your lane but that’s about it. In a golden’s eye, a friendly neighbor is the same as a burly burglar. Your ever-friendly pooch will welcome both with equal excitement.
Golden Retriever Shed Hair
And how! There seems to be an ever-lasting supply of hair on them. They shed and shed and shed some more – but this is seasonal – only about twice a year. You will come to expect the shedding season and will be ready for it. Be prepared to put in extra hours of grooming and extra cleaning the house. It goes without saying that this must be one of the important things to know about golden retriever before you get one.
Combing and brushing regularly will reduce the amount of loose hair flying all around in your house. That being said, a Golden’s house is never free of hair all year round. They shed continuously all the time little by little and then profusely about twice a year.
Golden Retrievers want to Play
The breed was meant to fetch the hunted fowl from the lake to their owner. This genetic tuning has now turned into an urge to play a game of fetch. A golden instinctively will bring back a dog toy to you – when it is as young as 4 or 5 months. This is one thing you don’t have to “train” your pooch. However, this also means, it will pester you to play whenever it feels like. A golden retriever will get you a toy and want you to play fetch with it silly until it is tired and exhausted.
Golden Retrievers want Food all the time
This is a major cause of concern especially in urban setting where dogs don’t get enough exercise of running and playing adequately. They seem to be hungry always. It’s a challenge to the pet parents to stop them from begging for food. It’s very easy for your dog to become overweight unless you control its food behaviour. Bear this in mind to prevent a lot of weight related health issues. Try Kong Dog Toy Bone or Kong classic dog toy large to control their urge for food and keep them busy.
My post about 50 things you can fill in a Kong Dog Toy for more info.
Golden Retrievers love Water
But they hate to bath. This is contrary but the fact is if you want to get your pooch into your bathroom for a bath, chances are that it will run away. Go to a nearby pond or lake or beach or a swimming pool, and he will happily take a dive and enjoy the cool waters. Come bath time, and you will be at your wit’s end to drag him for a refreshing shampoo shower.
Golden Retrievers Stink
This is a lesser known fact – a golden’s ear develops a lot of wax. Add to this, the anal gland secretions that stinks and how! You need to clean its ears regularly and express the anal glands and man, it’s a dirty job.
Golden Retrievers are Large Dogs
And they are not aware of it. Add to this they are super excited and hyperactive – and you know small children, especially toddlers are unsafe around them. A hyperactive golden retriever can easily knock down a young kid or an elderly person. It’s extremely important to be extra careful with kids and the elderly around, especially during the times when your golden retriever is hyperactive and running around the house mindlessly.
Golden Retrievers are Intelligent
It is said that they are the fourth most intelligent dog breed. This is good and bad. Good because you can train them easily – especially the basic commands. Bad because left on their own without training, they will find their own ways to do things that you may not want or things that could be dangerous for them.
Golden Retrievers have Health Problems
What are the most important things to know about golden retrievers as they age? With an average lifespan of 10-12 years, goldens have inherited many health challenges starting early with skin infections and ear infection during puppyhood to major diseases like cancer and bone problems later in life. It is hence recommended to buy a puppy with healthy parents from a good breeder.
YOU are Golden Retrievers’ Family
Would you still ask are golden retriever good family dogs? Well, there’s no doubt they are. You will miss your golden so much as you would your family when it passes. You would grieve for your beloved pooch after all the love and care and attention it has given to you, the loyalty and the trust it has imposed in you all its life. YOU were the only family for your golden – and you can’t deny that.