Golden retrievers are the 3rd most popular dog in America for so many good reasons!
We all know that they’re smart, funny, and get along with just about everyone from cats to kids.
Did you know, though, that they were originally bred for aristocrats?
Or how about the reason behind those webbed toes?
Today, we’re going to check out some fun facts about America’s 3rd favorite dog that you probably didn’t know!
Let’s take a look!
Related: 100 Golden Retriever dog names
Fun Facts about Golden Retrievers
When you say dog, a prototypical image that comes to mind is of a goofy, smiling Golden Retriever.
This friendly, good-natured canine has been one of the favorite breeds among children and families.
What makes Goldies so adorable is their loving nature and ability to bond with almost any pet.
If you’re looking for a four-legged best buddy, a Golden Retriever is a perfect pick, due to their unconditional loyalty, sharp intelligence, and devoted companionship.
If you haven’t fallen in love yet with their sun-kissed fur, cuteness and just general happy-go-lucky attitude, you will after today’s post!
Here are 5 amazing facts about Golden Retriever dogs that show why these beautiful balls of golden fluff are among the favorite dog breeds in the world.
1. GOLDEN RETRIEVERS HAVE A LONG LIFESPAN
This large breed has an enviable lifespan that can go up to 15 years, 12-14 on average.
Golden Retrievers were first bred in Scotland in the mid 1800s, with the aim to retrieve fowl (hence the name “retriever”) and prey for aristocratic lords who enjoyed recreational hunting.
Even though it is difficult to confirm, many sources suggest that 1st Baron Tweedmouth, Dudley Marjoribanks played a major role in their creation.
The goal was to develop a breed with an outstanding sense of smell that would be more attentive to its hunting companions than either the setters of spaniels commonly being used at that time.
It also had to be a loyal, intelligent and friendly breed to be obedient at home.
Many of the same features that make Goldens such desirable hunting dogs also make them naturally athletic.
Their broad heads, powerful necks, and muscular bodies make them extremely strong and highly energetic.
They also have the stamina to spare. Their natural instinct is to chase and scavenge, thus keeping a Retriever means getting used to a lot of exercising, playing and moving around.
Their athletic built and energetic nature helps them live long and healthy lives.
It’s common to see Golden Retrievers grow up with their young owners and enrich their fellow human’s childhood with happy memories and lifelong companionship.
However, Goldies are prone to joint problems. The most common ailments they suffer from are hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, and cranial cruciate ligament disease.
These health issues are hereditary and you can improve your chances of getting a healthy puppy by getting one from parents who have no or very little history of joint problems.
2. A MULTI-SKILLED SUPER DOG
These pawsome pooches were originally made to excel in every aspect of dog duty.
They are smart, athletic, friendly and extremely likable. On top of that, their elegant posture and golden coat make them royal-looking and irresistible to love.
This is why they consistently rank among 3 most popular breeds in the US, based on their trainability, loyalty, love of people and sociable nature.
Furthermore, Golden Retrievers are very pack oriented, which makes them perfect family dogs.
If trained and cared for properly, you can definitely trust children with your Goldie.
He’ll gently snuggle around your kid and always be available for patting and stroking, something like a living stuffed toy.
They are very loving and simply adore human affection, so have no worries if your child starts pulling their ears or messing with their tail.
Golden Retrievers are gifted with fantastic skills. Due to their sharp sense of smell and tracking abilities, they are often used on search and rescue teams.
On top of that, their high trainability and obedience make them perfect therapy and service dogs.
Animal-assisted therapy requires quality performance of specific tasks to assist mentally and physically challenged patients.
Golden Retrievers are among top breeds to be chosen as assistance canines.
Beauty and elegance of Golden Retrievers is known in the world of dog competing and pageants.
Their long, wavy golden fur can range in color, from fair blonde to warm brown tones, evenly distributed from dark to light colors.
In fact, their fur darkens with their age, so don’t worry if your white puppy grows into a caramel-shade cutie, it’s perfectly normal.
3. WATER AND LAND – IT DOESN’T MATTER IF YOU HAVE A GOLDEN RETRIEVER
If you enjoy bringing your dog to different outdoor activities, a Golden Retriever can be your companion.
This breed instinctively loves to swim. They’re always up for a game of fetch in the water.
Their two-layer coat enables them to move smoothly in water, while still being swift on land.
Some types have the so-called webbed feet, a condition of joint toes with additional thin layer of skin, creating a web-like effect.
This makes their paws more suitable for swimming and easy moving while in the water.
Their topcoat is water-resistant and wavy, whilst the undercoat is soft and controls their body temperature throughout the seasons.
Despite its useful purpose, Retriever coat needs regular maintenance. Grooming and weekly brushing is necessary to keep their fur smooth and control excessive shedding.
There are a number of resources online, like Totally Goldens and more, that provide useful information on Golden Retrievers, differences in their type, the best way to take care of their fur, nutrition, personality, etc.
The best way to be a good Retriever owner is to truly understand their breed characteristics and needs.
4. GOLDIES ARE ALSO HUGE SMARTIES
No wonder Golden Retrievers make great police and military guards. Like other great characteristics, their intelligence is nothing less than outstanding.
They rank among top 4 smartest dog breeds, with just the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd beating them to the top spot.
Canine intelligence is hard to measure and is not clearly defined, but generally speaking, dog breeds can be evaluated in terms of obedience, instincts and ability to adapt.
Golden Retrievers adhere to all these criteria and make, what we would call a highly smart dog.
These goofy-looking dogs are very attached to their humans and extremely gentle with children, but at the same time extremely smart and great for house training.
They pick up commands very fast and understand what their owner wants. Since they were originally bred for retrieving prey in hunting, the breed has genetic predispositions for obedience, alertness and pleasing.
What’s more, their mild nature is perfect for playing around and with and teaching fun tricks.
5. A COMPANION FOR LIFE
Your buddy Retriever may sometimes creepily remind of a human. They are known for expressing strong emotions, sulking and kissing up to their owner.
They can get very attached to their human friend and suffer from separation anxiety at times.
This is not only bad for your precious pet, but it might also give your neighbors a headache.
Goldies are prone to barking if left alone for prolonged periods of time.
Another issue you might have to tackle because of separation anxiety is frequent renovation of your living quarters since it is not uncommon for Golden retrievers to become destructive and leave scratch markings on your windows or tear down their beds.
Try not to leave your Golden Retriever alone for a long period of time, if you really have to you can get a dog sitter.
Goldies are quick to make friends and even an inexperienced dog sitter will have a great time with your dog.
This is why they don’t make great security guards.
Their first reaction is loud barking at a safe distance, which makes them great watch dogs, but once they physically interact with a person, their attitude changes and suddenly they are trustful and cuddly.
Golden Retrievers get along very well with other pets.
For most dogs they become arch enemies, but for Golden Retrievers cats are usually fellow companions, even friends.
Who’d say a fluffy ball of fur can be so meaningful and profound to our lives. A Golden Retriever’s love is unconditional and infinite.
Their ability to bond quickly, to show unquestionable loyalty and affection and just be there all the time is what makes them so special.
In fact, introducing a dog to a child or baby’s life can help them socialize and develop communication skills later in life.
A trustworthy, devoted relationship helps children open up, gain self-esteem and fill the void or feelings of loneliness without judgment.
Caring for a live animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone.
Most dog owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail and soft friendly paws.
The most important thing about being a dog parent is understanding the responsibility and sacrifice that comes with taking care of another being.
Although it essentially doesn’t really matter what breed you’ll decide on when getting a dog, these great facts may help you understand why a Golden Retriever can make a great family companion, a sports dog, a therapy or service dog and even a competition winner.
Most importantly, a Golden Retriever is a dog to grow old with, a lifelong friend that holds a special place in your heart and keeps worries away.