This loveable golden breed is one of Britain's favourite family pets - so what makes the Golden Retriever so popular?
The Golden Retriever is widely seen as being in the top 5 dog breeds when ranked on intelligence - after the Border Collie and the German Shepherd. Their intelligence is one of the features most owners love about them, they love any kind of training and often excel at obedience and trick training.
The Golden Retriever was created in the 19th Century in Scotland by Baron Tweedmouth to create a dog that could retrieve on land and in water, by crossing land retrievers with water spaniels. This explains why most retrievers love water and why they're one of the dog breeds to have webbed feet.
The breed was officially recognised by the British Kennel Club in 1911. Since then, they have become one of the most popular family pets in Britain, being the most popular breed of dog in 2022.
A Great Family Dog
When looking at getting your first large breed dog, the Golden Retriever is a great option to consider. They have lots of energy when needed to go on long walks and adventures but also love to chill on the sofa with you and cuddle - the best of both worlds! These dogs are incredibly affectionate and patient, making them a great choice.
That being said, they're still a working dog and need to be trained correctly and given routine. We recommend Puppy Classes as a minimum but for those who want to take training further, retrievers love agility, gundog training and obedience work! (Perhaps check out our Online Programs for obedience training inspiration).
Golden Retrievers have an average life expectancy of between 10-13 years old and their adult weight can range from 25-32kg. Like many larger breeds, Retrievers are prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, so it is a good idea when buying a puppy to check that the parents have had the relevant health tests and screenings. It is also important to keep them at a healthy weight because they're prone to obesity which can lead to health issues later in life, such as arthritis. Given sufficient exercise and a suitable diet, these dogs make great, healthy exercise partners. For nutrition advice, get in touch!
Retrievers need brushing frequently, around 2-3 times a week is usually recommended to keep their hair free of knots and matts, especially if they like running through muddy puddles in the woods like many retrievers do! These dogs shed a lot of hair, too so it is a good idea to get a professional groom for them a few times a year to de-shed their coats and minimise moulting.