Golden Retrievers are an exceptional dog breed as companions and family pets. They are big, diverse, playful, and smart, with many beautiful qualities. At three years of age, their growth has completed its cycle in all areas of life, and now it’s a maintenance phase.
The food, exercise, and lifestyle habits they keep will even out in adulthood, but their playfulness will be lifelong. If you want to continue to help your 3-year-old Golden Retriever thrive, keep reading!
3 year old Golden Retriever Guide
By the age of 3 years old, a Golden Retriever is long since grown. Their emotional, mental, and physical development has since been completed, and now a parent is left with a fully grown, mature Golden Retriever.
At this point, life may or may not have calmed down from the puppy phase depending on the Golden Retrievers’ life thus far. The experiences that the Golden Retriever has had and the environment they’ve lived in has shaped their life until this point.
During every phase of their puppy and adult life, they have undergone many challenges and changes. The Golden Retriever and its parents should be commended for positively making it through a sometimes-difficult phase of their life.
Now at age 3, life is over for the Golden Retriever, and there is much to endure and enjoy. Read on to find out.
Diet and Nutrition for a 3-year-old Golden Retriever
The foundation of your dog’s life includes many things, nutrition being the most important. At this point in your dog’s life, its dietary needs have since balanced out, and they are enjoying a healthy, adult dog life.
As an adult dog, you will want to continue feeding them a nutritious diet focusing on protein. Protein should always be the first ingredient on the list for their dog food and treats, and the ingredients list should be free of additives, chemicals, and other unnecessary things. Fillers and preservatives should also be left out of your dog’s diet.
Whether they receive wet, dry, or a combination of both, the Golden Retriever should receive three to five cups of food per day. Their veterinarian can help you determine the amount that is right for them. The amount will be based on the 3-year-old Golden Retrievers’ weight and lifestyle.
The idea is to provide nutrition to fuel their day while maintaining weight. Since they are fully grown, there is no need to amp up their diet for weight gain. Their veterinarian will determine the exact amount of food, and it’s not set in stone.
Activity in the Golden Retriever’s day will require them to get more food to keep them fueled, which can also be little treats. A day of lazing around on the couch or sleeping will require less food.
Training your 3-year-old Golden Retriever
At this point, it is hoped that the 3-year-old Golden Retriever is already trained. Training can be basic training, such as house training and obedience training. During this phase, a dog may still need to be reminded of things they’ve learned up till now.
The 3-year-old Golden Retriever might need a refresher course in things they might still forget occasionally. Behaviors like staying in the yard, if it’s not fenced and not barking all the time at the object of their desire, the little poodle across the street may need to be repeated.
If, for some reason, you’ve adopted a Golden Retriever from rescue and haven’t yet trained them, now is the best time to do it. Training will be based on the same principles and followed through with the same persistent patience that doesn’t leave room for failure or quitting.
Golden Retrievers are very smart and love to please, so they shouldn’t have too much trouble with training, even if they came from a rescue. Unless something in their past was extremely traumatic, in that case, the parent would need to make any training slower and more manageable for the emotions and behaviors of a traumatized Golden Retriever.
Exercise for a 3-year-old Golden Retriever
At this point in your Golden Retrievers’ life, they will need about two hours of exercise daily. As a sporting dog with boundless energy, it will be a requirement that they get tuckered out to be calm and content. The daily exercise should be broken up throughout the day.
3-year-old Golden Retrievers will enjoy this exercise if it’s broken up into smaller segments and if the activities are different. A trip to a dog park, some work in the yard, going on a treasure hunt, and a walk through the neighborhood are some ways to change things up a bit.
Different tasks engage the Golden Retrievers’ minds and intelligence. They will enjoy this a lot more as it fits nicely into their breeding as working dogs. Give the Golden Retriever something to do, and they will thrive. They were originally bred to be a retriever, a dog that works with their hunting companion to retrieve the bird game during the hunt. Anything that allows them to practice these skills will be perfect for them.
Veterinary Visits for a 3-year-old Golden Retriever
At this point, the Golden Retriever doesn’t need to make weekly and monthly vet visits like when they were a pup. Their need for veterinary care is for a once-a-year checkup and during emergencies. If they eat something unidentifiable on a hiking trip or have a swollen paw, these would be reasons to contact their veterinarian.
At their three-year and four-year checkup, the veterinarian can evaluate the Golden Retrievers’ overall health. Depending on what they discover, more tests or procedures may be needed. Most of the time, this isn’t the case for the Golden Retriever, but it’s always possible.
The veterinarian may or may not take a blood sample. If you are able, bringing a stool sample is good to do. You will also want a list of anything that might be going on since their last visit. If they have been licking their skin a lot or refusing to listen despite being highly trained, it’s a good idea to discuss these things now.
The veterinarian may do vaccinations and anything else the 3-year-old Golden Retriever might need. At this point, a Golden Retriever should still be healthy, but illnesses crop up sooner than thought.
Such issues as hypothyroidism and atopic dermatitis can sometimes appear, as can other less common but more challenging problems like cancer and vascular stenosis. These problems can be more common in certain dog breeds like the Golden Retriever and certain dogs from particular breeding lines.
Veterinary visits on an annual basis help keep their health in check, so if issues arise, they are addressed as quickly as possible, just like humans.
Personality/Character of a 3-year-old Golden Retriever
The personality, character, and temperament of the Golden Retriever are sweet, endearing to those who love them, and calm yet playful. The qualities that make your Golden Retriever who they are as a dog and as a Golden Retriever will be set. The quirkiness and lovable personality will have been shaped during the very important puppy years and how they have been treated and cared for until now.
Behaviors are not set in stone, but they can be harder to break at this point if training hasn’t addressed them until now. While they are out of the puppy stage, there might be moments where they get excited to see new friends and still jump on them.
This breed loves to have things in their mouth, carry things around and find or deliver them. This behavior is linked to their breeding as hunting companions and sporting dogs that retrieved the bird game. Hopefully, they have stopped doing this most of the time.
Since this trait is breed specific and ingrained in their DNA as a Golden Retriever, it will never completely go away. Channeling the behavior into a chew toy can be helpful. They also love attention, and hopefully, they feel content with the attention and affection they get every day, but sometimes it may not be enough.
If the parent hasn’t set healthy boundaries at this point, it is important to remedy this issue throughout their dog’s life. The Golden Retrievers are hyperactive at times, and if their need for exercise, as noted above, is not channeled into a healthy activity, they can act up.
Training and social skills should be good. There should be healthy boundaries and a loving home that helps them continue to be the best dog they can be at this point. Playful moments should be engaged and fostered while they continue to grow and change with the family.
Golden Retrievers are sensitive, loveable, people-pleasing dogs that are playful with an adorable puppy-like personality that carries through their whole life. It may have evened out at this stage of their adult life, but the abundant energy will continue until the end.
Occupations for a 3-year-old Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a working and sporting dog. They thrive in occupations that bring them close to people, helping them complete tasks. Many are used to assist as therapy dogs and hunting companions. If you wish your dog to have such an occupation, hopefully, the process has begun earlier in life with training for that.
If that isn’t the case, you can still give them formal and professional training to be of service to you and your family or others in the community. Since they are highly intelligent dogs that are people pleasers, their ability to learn, at this point, quickly is still possible.