Have you recently adopted, or are getting ready to adopt your first Golden Retriever? The American Kennel Club ranks Golden Retrievers, also referred to as “Goldens”, as the third most popular breed of dog to adopt in 2023, and it’s a list they consistently appear in the top five of, so it’s no wonder you’ve decided this is the breed for you.
But just because a lot of people embrace them as family members, and you’re anxious to bring yours home, doesn’t mean you know everything there is to know. As a first-time Golden Retriever owner there are several tips and bits of information that can prove useful. Let’s take a look.
Get to Know Their Energy Level
The first thing you’ll want to learn is the energy level of Goldens. While they certainly have their moments and can be quite rambunctious, they aren’t the rowdiest in the bunch. With that said, they do need to stay active since they are working dogs. This means constant exercise and walks will be necessary to keep them physically and mentally fit.
The good news is that because they are so highly trainable, walking should be a pleasure for both you and your dog, making for a great bonding moment. It should also be noted that during the first year or so, they will have their puppy energy so expect them to need even more exercise during that time.
Learn How to Groom a Golden Retriever
One thing that people don’t always consider when they adopt a dog is the grooming that goes along with dog care. If you adopt a dog with short hair, the grooming will be very minimal, but thanks to the Golden Retriever’s longer and thick coat, grooming becomes more of a process.
Goldens are known for shedding large, thick chunks of hair at a time – this is because they have a water-repellent double coat. Regular brushing, bathing, and trimming will all need to be part of the routine.
Native Pet’s guide on how to groom a Golden Retriever can be incredibly useful to refer to. The guide gives in-depth tips on each of the grooming steps you’ll need to follow, which products to use, and the best techniques. Native Pet is a company that specializes in nutritionally balanced chews, toppers, and supplements for pets.
So, if you’re under the impression that your Golden will be maintenance-free, it’s time to think again.
Goldens Respond Incredibly Well to Training
If you were to rate dogs based on the difficulty level to train them, Goldens would rank near the bottom of the list. This breed is incredibly easy to train, which is great news for first-time dog owners that may feel a bit intimidated about where to get started.
They respond very well to training classes and courses, or you may even want to try them on your own using some training books or videos online. When you start the training process, make sure you begin with the basic and most important commands which are: sit, stay, and come. From there, you can start to build on other commands, which Goldens can handle with ease.
Expect a Very Affectionate Dog
You may not view Golden Retrievers as lap dogs, but they often think of themselves in that light. Goldens are known for being very loving, affectionate, and loyal toward their human family. They love to be with their “pack” so spending time with your dog will be necessary. Goldens are known for being especially protective and loving towards kids, so if you are looking for a family dog – this is the breed for you.
Goldens Need to Be Kept Busy
Another tip is to find ways to keep your dog busy. When you’re not home, such as at work or school, Goldens can get rather bored and not know what to do with themselves. It goes back to their working nature.
In these moments they can end up being destructive such as chewing on things they shouldn’t be, getting into things, eating stuff they shouldn’t, and so forth. Keeping them well-exercised will help as well as leaving safe toys meant to keep them entertained.
How About Nutrition?
The final tip for first-time Golden Retriever owners is to make sure you choose a healthy, well-balanced diet that fills all their nutritional needs. However, food is one of the biggest costs when it comes to owning a dog, especially if your dog needs a special diet or is a picky eater.
Fortunately, you may find the occasional Nutra Complete coupon, or a deal on your dog’s preferred brand of food, to help you save some money on their food – and who doesn’t like getting something for less than they usually would?
Also, you can’t forget to spoil them with treats whether it’s for daily use or creating private label pet treats for special occasions. Many of these products contain certain ingredients that are good for your pets, so always check the ingredients before purchasing any.
When it comes to food, quantity is also something that you should take into consideration with this breed. If allowed, Goldens would eat way more than necessary so you’ll need to practice portion control and pay attention to their daily caloric needs.
Your vet will be able to advise you on how much food they should get daily, which will be age and health-based. Brushing up on all there is to know about Golden Retrievers will ensure you’re ready to welcome this new fur baby into your family.
In conclusion, if you are considering owning a Golden Retriever, be sure to research the breed and understand the responsibilities that come with owning this type of dog. These six tips will help you get started. Goldens make great pets for families with children and other pets, but they do require a lot of exercise and attention. Thank you for reading!