13 Incredible & Interesting Golden Retriever Facts


Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are only of the most popular dogs in the USA. However, the average person doesn’t know much about them. Plus, there are a lot of misconceptions out there about these popular dogs. To help you learn more about these dogs, we outlined some of the most telling facts and statistics about them.

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The 13 Golden Retriever Facts

  1. Golden Retrievers are not that prone to hip dysplasia.
  2. Neutering and spaying increase the likelihood of joint problems and cancers in Golden Retrievers.
  3. Golden Retrievers have an average lifespan of around 12 to 13 years.
  4. Golden Retrievers are somewhat prone to DCM, but many factors play a role.
  5. Golden Retrievers often carry a genetic component that makes them more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.
  6. All Golden Retrievers are between 20 and 24 inches tall.
  7. All Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds.
  8. 85.6% of Golden Retrievers pass the AATS temperament test.
  9. Slightly more Golden Retrievers pass the ATTS temperament test than average.
  10. The Golden Retriever matures slowly compared to similar breeds.
  11. The Golden Retriever is in the top ten most popular dog breeds in many different areas around the world.
  12. The Golden Retriever is not very popular amongst sportsmen.
  13. The Golden Retriever currently ranks third in popularity in the United States.

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Health Facts

1. Golden Retrievers are not that prone to hip dysplasia.

A happy Golden Retriever adult male dog relaxing in a park
Image Credit: Neelsky, Shutterstock

(Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association)

Hip dysplasia is an extremely serious illness in many large dogs. However, some people mistakenly believe that all large dogs are prone to hip dysplasia for this reason. While all larger dogs may develop this condition, there are many factors involved. For instance, genetics play a huge role. Therefore, you can lower your dog’s chance by choosing a high-quality breeder.

With that said, studies have found that a Golden Retriever’s risk for hip dysplasia is much lower than that of other dogs like German Shepherds.


2. Neutering and spaying increase the likelihood of joint problems and cancers in Golden Retrievers.

(Plos one)

For many years, it has been the norm to spay or neuter your dog—and for a good reason. There is an overflow of puppies in many areas, and breeding without the proper genetic tests done first can increase medical problems within the breed. There are many puppies in need of homes, and we generally don’t need more dogs in shelters.

However, studies have found that spaying and neutering Golden Retrievers can increase their chance of cancer and joint problems. Therefore, you may want to talk to your vet about whether this elective surgery is right for your dog.


3. Golden Retrievers have an average lifespan of around 12 to 13 years.

golden retriever lying on the floor
Image Credit: StockSnap, Pixabay

(Encyclopedia of the Dog)

For a larger dog, this is pretty long. Their longer lifespan is largely due to their health as a breed. Unlike other dogs, they are not heavily prone to hip dysplasia and other common problems, as we have stated. However, your dog’s lifestyle does have a large effect on their health.

Therefore, if you want your dog to live a long time, it is vital that you take care of them. A proper diet and exercise regime are vital for their health.


4. Golden Retrievers are somewhat prone to DCM, but many factors play a role.

Using-a-stetoscope-on-a-golden-retriever_Tatyana-Vic_Shutterstock
Image Credit: Tatyana Vic, Shutterstock

(Plos One)

Golden Retrievers are often considered to be very prone to dilute cardiomyopathy, which is a serious heart condition. While this condition is often treatable, it usually isn’t identified until the later stages. Often, it leads to heart failure and other issues.

With that said, there are many factors that play a role. For instance, nearly 99% of dogs diagnosed with DCM eat a diet that is grain-free and legume-rich. Therefore, feeding your dog a grain-inclusive diet can prevent this problem. This is different from what most pet parents think is best for their dog.


5. Golden Retrievers often carry a genetic component that makes them more likely to develop atopic dermatitis.

(Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association)

Golden Retrievers are more prone to atopic dermatitis, which has a genetic factor. Studies have found that this condition is hereditary to some extent. Therefore, it is vital that you select your dog from a qualified breeder that checks for these conditions.


Appearance and Temperament

6. All Golden Retrievers are between 20 and 24 inches tall.

Golden Labrador Retriever
Image Credit: Glass_Burin P, Shutterstock

(Kennel Club)

According to the breed standard, all Golden Retrievers will fall between these two measurements when measured at the shoulder. Females are slightly smaller than males at 20” to 22”. However, males are larger at 22” to 24”. If a dog measures outside of these ranges, it wouldn’t meet the breed standards.


7. All Golden Retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds.

Golden Retriever Pregnant
Image Credit: PorChonlawit, Shutterstock

(Kennel Club)

While there isn’t a gender distinction in the weight category (necessarily), it is assumed that females will be smaller than males. Of course, dogs can weigh more than this or less than this if they are not a healthy weight.

Like many dogs, Golden Retrievers can become obese if they eat too much and exercise too little. Therefore, it is vital that you keep them on a proper diet and feeding regimen. Otherwise, they may become unhealthy.

Just because your dog falls within this category doesn’t mean that they are the proper weight for them. It should be based on their height and body condition. Your vet can help you determine if your dog is the proper weight or not.


8. 6% of Golden Retrievers pass the AATS temperament test.

Woman in brown hugging a golden retriever_Helena Lopes_Unsplash
Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Unsplash

(ATTS)

This test measures a dog’s likelihood to be aggressive. It involves a series of tests, such as introducing the dog to a new person, another dog, and unusual objects (an umbrella). In this way, the test determines how likely the dog is to be reactive.

Of the dogs in the report, 117 failed the test out of the 813 that were tested. Therefore, 696 passed the test with flying colors.


9. Slightly more Golden Retrievers pass the ATTS temperament test than average.

Golden retriever leisure time_ToNic_Pics_Shutterstock
Image Credit: ToNic-Pics, Pixabay

(ATTS)

The average pass rate for the ATTS test is 81.71% Therefore, slightly more Golden Retrievers passed this test than average. Therefore, it appears that Golden Retrievers are slightly less likely to be reactive or aggressive.

However, this doesn’t mean that no Golden Retrievers are aggressive. Some do fail the test, which is likely due to their upbringing. However, a dog’s traits and genetics can also play a role.


10. The Golden Retriever matures slowly compared to similar breeds.

Two golden retrievers playing_congerdesign_Pixabay
Image Credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

(Encyclopedia of the Dog)

Overall, this breed reaches sexual maturity slower and losses its “puppy” characteristics slower than other breeds. Therefore, owners can expect them to act like puppies for much longer than other breeds out there. Furthermore, they also require puppy food for longer since they take a bit longer to grow.


Popularity

11. The Golden Retriever is in the top ten most popular dog breeds in many different areas around the world.

(Kennel Club)

Many canine registries rank the Golden Retriever pretty high in popularity, which is measured by the number of dogs registered to that kennel club. Therefore, based on this information, the Golden Retriever appears to be one of the most popular breeds around the world.

Of course, not all dogs in an area are registered to that place’s kennel club. Therefore, the number can be somewhat skewed. Mixed breeds dogs often cannot be registered, either. For this reason, it is probably more accurate to say that the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular purebred dogs.


12. The Golden Retriever is not very popular amongst sportsmen.

(Encyclopedia of Dog)

Generally, sportsmen are more likely to utilize the Labrador Retriever than the Golden Retriever. There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, the Golden Retriever takes much longer to mature. Therefore, they take longer to train and get in the field. Secondly, Golden Retrievers are not actually that good at swimming due to their long coat.

If someone wants a retrieving dog that can swim, they’re much more likely to go with a Labrador Retriever.

Separate Golden Retriever lines have developed for sporting, companion animals, and show dogs. Show dogs and companion animals are rarely suitable for hunting purposes. If a sportsman does decide to get a Golden Retriever, they need to purchase them directly from a breeder of gundogs.


13. The Golden Retriever currently ranks third in popularity in the United States.

(American Kennel Club)

According to the American Kennel Club, the Golden Retriever currently ranks #3 in popularity. It has hovered around #3 for quite a few years now. However, we have seen the ranks get shaken up very quickly in the past. Therefore, we would not be surprised if they made a big jump up or down in the next few years.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Golden Retrievers

Is a Golden Retriever a Good House Pet?

Often, Golden Retrievers do make very good house dogs. They are easy to train and very human-centric. Therefore, they love to be around their people and will often learn to behave easily. They don’t get distracted easily, which helps them keep their composure inside. While they are active, they often tone this down inside.

However, it is vital that you provide them with the proper amount of exercise.

With that said, these dogs often exhibit puppy-like traits for longer than other breeds. For this reason, you will have to deal with teething and similar puppy-like traits for longer.

What Are the Disadvantages of Owning a Golden Retriever?

There are several disadvantages of owning a Golden Retriever. Firstly, these dogs are quite large and they take up a lot more space and eat more. Everything is just a little bit more expensive. For instance, larger dog beds are often more expensive than smaller ones. Expect to pay more simply because they are bigger.

Similarly, they also need a lot of exercise. Because they’re larger dogs, this must take place outside in a decently large area. They work best for active owners.

These dogs also shed a lot. This may or may not be a problem for you, depending on your preferences. Golden Retrievers are prone to certain health problems, as we’ve discussed. However, they are generally pretty healthy. They are human-centric, though. While this is a good thing in most circumstances, it does mean that they don’t do well when left alone for extended periods.

Are Golden Retrievers Lazy?

Golden Retrievers are not lazy. In fact, these dogs were built to work and have quite a bit of energy. They require at least an hour of exercise a day, which usually means that you’ll be outside exercising for at least an hour a day, as well. For this reason, we highly recommend that you only adopt one of these dogs if you are active yourself.

What are the 3 Types of Golden Retrievers?

There are three main types of Golden Retrievers. While many people believe “types” refers to color, this isn’t actually the case. Instead, the types of English, Canadian, and American, depending on what line the dog is from.

Technically, each type is still in the same breed. However, there are some slight differences between them.

Do Golden Retrievers Bark a Lot?

Golden Retrievers are not known to be excessive barkers. However, there are individual differences that you may want to keep in mind. While most of these dogs are not excessive barkers, some of them can be (especially if they are not exercised properly). Anxious dogs tend to bark more. Therefore, if your Golden Retriever barks a lot, it likely has something to do with their stress level.

With that said, these dogs were not bred as alert dogs. Therefore, they do not have an innate instinct to bark excessively like some other breeds.

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Conclusion

Golden Retrievers may be one of the most popular dogs around the world. However, there is a lot that the average dog owner doesn’t know about them. For instance, these dogs are slower to develop than other breeds out there, and dog owners must be prepared to deal with puppy-like traits for longer.

Despite some misconceptions, they are not prone to hip dysplasia much. However, the dog’s genetics do play a role. Similarly, they are prone to DCM. However, most dogs diagnosed with this condition are eating grain-free diets.


Featured Image Credit: rodnae-productions, Pexels

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