A golden retriever is the quintessential family dog. Generally, golden retrievers are smart, obedient dogs that go along well with kids and other pets.
With a sunny disposition, a striking coat, and unmatched playfulness, golden retrievers are one of the most popular of all dog breeds. This dog breed was used as a hunting dog because the animal instinctively “retrieves” shot games undamaged. These days, golden retrievers are prized for their companionship. If you’re getting this dog breed as a pet, consider these tips:
Check the Breeder
Although you can get a golden retriever from a pet store, we strongly recommend getting a puppy straight from a breeder. Why? Golden retrievers must be socialized at very young age. A pet store is not conducive for animal socialization. In addition, pet stores can’t show you the parents of the pups and it’s important to check the parents of the pups before making a purchase.
It’s a must to work with a reputable breeder especially if you’re getting a pet for the first time. We recommend going online to check forums and messenger boards. From here, you can browse through recommendations and comments from former clients.
A sit down with the breeder should include a guarantee that the puppies are healthy with no health defects whatsoever. The breeder should provide you with all the information you need about the mother and the litter. He must provide the animal’s health records, complete with shots given to the pups.
Gender and Temperament
One of the first things to consider when getting a pet is the animal’s gender. Should you get a male or a female golden retriever? Males and female golden retriever vary in temperament but only slightly. Both sexes are equally loving, loyal and intelligent. But male golden retrievers are larger, more assertive than female golden. Male dogs are less affected by sexual urges but are prone to marking their territory with urine.
On the other hand, female golden retrievers are smaller in size and have a sweeter temperament. But watch out during mating season, a non-spayed golden retriever will cause quite a ruckus! We recommend neutering and spaying male and female dogs, respectively to avoid accidental pregnancies. Essentially, choosing a male or a female golden is a matter of personal preference. However, if you plan to breed a golden, then we recommend getting a female dog. You need to get breeding rights and register the puppies if you want to become a breeder.
Golden retrievers come in varying hues of blond to gold but pups will develop their adult color over time. To check the pup’s adult color, inspect the ears. The fur color of the pup’s ears is indicative of its mature color.
Health and Personality
The last thing you want is to mistakenly buying a sickly pup. A reputable breeder must provide pup’s eyes, heart, and hips certifications. He must provide the pup and the parents’ health clearances too. Golden retrievers are sensitive to hot spots and skin problems. Ask back two generations when considering a puppy.
When inspecting the pup, watch out for rheumy eyes, eye or nose discharge and fleas. Check if there are scabs on the coat or if the puppy is lumpy. A round stomach may be a sign of worms.
As for personality, golden retrievers are naturally excitable dog breed that love to greet people. However, the energy level will vary from pup to pup. If you’re getting a golden as a pet, you want a puppy that’s gentle and not aggressive at all.
But if you’re getting a golden for hunting, you have to test the pups out first before getting them. See if they are responsive to duck tail. Get the one that’s most excited or responsive.