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Three photos of Golden Retrievers: one sitting, one lying on his back and one looking at the camera

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Golden Retrievers dog breed profile

Golden Retrievers are traditionally good with kids, making them great family dogs.

Whether your dog is 100% Golden Retriever or a Golden Retriever mix, learning about their breed can explain a lot about your pet’s personality, habits and overall health.

Here’s everything you need to know before adding a Golden Retriever to your family.

What are the different types of Golden Retrievers?

Many may not know this, but there are three different types of Golden Retrievers: American, English and Canadian. Their coats can be golden, light golden and dark golden, and there are other subtle physical differences between the types as well, Dr. Carly Fox, senior veterinarian at Schwarzman Animal Medical Center in New York City, says. English Goldens commonly have the lightest hair that can be almost white in color. 

How big are Golden Retrievers?

Male Golden Retrievers typically weigh around 65 to 75 pounds while female Golden Retrievers are a bit smaller at 55 to 65 pounds. A Golden Retriever 's weight can also vary due to diet, exercise level and genetics.      

What are Golden Retrievers' personalities like?

Although there are different types and colors, all Golden Retrievers are typically smart, eager to please and extremely sociable. To use up all that energy, Golden Retrievers should have at least 2 hours of exercise and play per day. 

Dr. Fox says that although Golden Retrievers are not necessarily natural watchdogs, they do enjoy working when given the opportunity.

“They’re excellent family dogs who do well with children,” she says. As puppies, Golden Retrievers are typically sweet, smart and eager to learn. This breed is commonly trained to become service animals and search and rescue dogs. 

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What are common health issues for Golden Retrievers? 

Golden Retrievers typically live 10 to 12 years. Keeping Goldens active and healthy is important, especially since they're susceptible to certain diseases as they age. 

“It’s very important to keep Golden Retrievers lean, in good body condition and up-to-date on veterinary care to prevent disease development,” Dr. Fox says.

Talk to your veterinarian about how to prevent the following possible health issues from affecting your pup: 

  • Laryngeal paralysis
  • Neoplasia
  • Orthopedic disease

Do Golden Retrievers shed?

This breed does shed a moderate amount throughout the year, Dr. Fox says. And they shed excessively during the spring and fall when they turn over their coats.

“A healthy diet and regular grooming and brushing will help keep their shedding better controlled,” Dr. Fox says.   

Adopting a Golden Retriever    

As with any dog, when adopting Golden Retrievers, it’s important to give them a safe space. Often, this means crate training in a space large enough for them to turn around and lay comfortably, but not too large that they use half the space as a bathroom. 

“The crate should be a positive place for them, so feeding them and offering them treats in the crate is encouraged,” Dr. Fox says. When out of the crate, your new pup should be supervised to prevent accidents or the ingesting of a foreign object. If you have other pets in the home, it’s also important to introduce them slowly and always under direct supervision. 

“It’s also very important for puppies to stay inside until they’re fully vaccinated to prevent infectious disease transmission,” Dr. Fox adds. “As soon as you bring your new puppy home, they should see a local veterinarian for an exam, deworming and vaccinations.” 

Are you interested in adopting a Golden Retrievers, Golden Retrievers mix or any pet at all? We think every pet deserves a home and encourage you to check out our shelter partners

‍The Dig, Fetch by The Dodo’s expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too. Fetch provides the most comprehensive pet insurance and is the only provider recommended by the #1 animal brand in the world, The Dodo.

Photo by Anthony Persegol, Richard Burlton and Stephen Andrews on Unsplash

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