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Things to Know Before Getting a Golden Retriever

Everything You Need to Know Before Bringing Home a Golden Retriever

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Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds, and with good reason. These dogs are kind, loyal, and beautiful. They get along well with everyone in the family and are loyal to a fault. That doesn't mean, though, that you should buy or adopt one without doing your research. Yes, these dogs are smart, are very trainable, and will love you forever, but they also have tons of energy, shed a bunch, and will want to snuggle with you every night. (OK, that last one's not so bad, but still!) If you're considering getting a Golden Retriever of your own, keep reading to get the lowdown on the breed.

How Much Energy Do Golden Retrievers Have?

Goldens are very, very energetic and require regular exercise. "A bored Retriever left to their own devices can become mischievous looking for things to do to entertain themselves," said Dr. Jamie Richardson, DVM and medical chief of staff at Small Door Vet. "Oftentimes, this results in destructive behaviour around the home such as chewing on furniture." Yikes! If you live in a house with a yard, it's great to take them out to play at least once a day so they can run off some steam. If you don't have a yard, make sure you take them for daily walks or to the park to play.

Do Golden Retrievers Have Any Common Health Issues?

Golden Retrievers can experience some of the same health issues as any dog, but in general, they're a healthy breed. While adopting is usually the better option, if you're going to purchase your Golden Retriever from a breeder, Dr. Richardson advised that you make sure you're using a responsible breeder and ask if any of their dogs have had skin allergies, as that is one of the more common health concerns in the breed. If you're getting your golden from a shelter, be sure to ask if they've noticed any health issues before your bring your pup home.

These dogs, because they're a larger breed, can also experience joint issues when they get older, so it couldn't hurt to give them a joint-health supplement that you've decided on with your vet. This is why it's also important that these dogs eat a large-breed-formula food starting in puppyhood so they're getting the nutrients designed for dogs of this size.

How Do You Groom a Golden Retriever?

You're going to need to brush your Golden Retriever every day. Yes, every day. They have a lot of hair, and you want to keep their coat as silky looking as possible. Dr. Shelly Zacharias, DVM and vice president of medical affairs at Gallant, said, "They also have long tufts of hair that grow from between the bottom of their foot pads that should be trimmed regularly," so don't forget about that! You'll also need to clean their ears regularly and brush their teeth. Ask your vet if you need tips!

Do Golden Retrievers Get Along With Other Pets?

Golden Retrievers, though energetic, are also docile and generally get along with other pets in the house. You shouldn't have too much trouble with them sharing a home with other dogs and cats. Dr. Zacharias told POPSUGAR, though, to remember that they are a sporting breed (which means they were originally bred to help hunters find prey), and small animals loose in the house are probably not a good idea when you have a Golden Retriever. This includes rabbits, guinea pigs, etc. You don't want to run the risk of your pup attacking your small animal.

How Easy Is It to Train Golden Retrievers?

Golden Retrievers do well with taking socialisation classes as puppies, but they're definitely trainable! "They are relatively easy to train with their eager-to-please attitude toward life," Dr. Richardson said. Goldens are smart, though, and respond well in training and obedience classes. They're energetic puppies but are eager to learn!

Image Source: Getty / Ron Levine
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