Golden Retrievers are one of the most loveable breeds of dogs. Here are 9 reasons why Golden Retrievers are so popular. While Golden Retrievers are not perfect (for example, they do not make good guard dogs), there is much to like about the breed. Golden Retrievers are very loyal, compassionate, and easy to train.
Why are Golden Retrievers so popular?
People love Golden Retrievers for their ability to get along with other pets, loyalty, and intelligence. You can train them easily, and they calm down quickly, are fine with either heat or cold, and make good service dogs. They also love sports, are long-lived, and are very social dogs.
Golden Retrievers are an active breed, so they need to do things to stay happy. You can take them swimming, hiking, to a dog park, to an obstacle course, and more. While Golden Retrievers do have a higher chance of certain health problems, this is not enough of a reason to avoid the breed.
I have had my decade-old Golden Retriever since they were a puppy. Golden Retrievers make happy, fun, and loyal dogs as long as you take care of them properly.
1. Golden Retrievers Are Great With Other Pets
Golden Retrievers get along perfectly fine with other dogs, cats, and other pets. This is not true for every breed of dog. Some dogs have a lot more trouble getting along with other animals than others.
Herding dogs are often not a good choice if you have cats in the house. They will attempt to “herd” (as in chase) cats and smaller dogs. They might even chase after small children, although some people don’t have this problem with their herding dogs.
Hounds, beagles, collies, poodles, and labradors are all good with cats, as are Golden Retrievers.
Golden Retrievers Are Loyal to their Families
Golden Retrievers are very loyal and devoted to everyone in their families. They will learn to see other dogs and other animals in your home as family members that they need to get along with and care about. Golden Retrievers can be very affectionate with cats and rarely try to chase them around.
Golden Retrievers have too much empathy to be aggressive with cats or with smaller dogs. They understand compassion and don’t want to inflict harm or fear on any other creature. They are also playful, so you may see them playing with and befriending your other pets.
Golden Retrievers are also adaptable. Even if your Golden Retriever has trouble getting along with your other pets at first, you can train it to act better.
2. Golden Retrievers Make Great Exercise Buddies
Exercise, including light exercise, is great for your physical and mental health. During the spring, summer, and fall, you should spend enough time outside, especially if it gets cold in the winter in your area. Golden Retrievers love and even need exercise, so take your dog for a long walk regularly.
Golden Retrievers Require Exercise
A Golden Retriever needs to get enough exercise to be happy and healthy, especially as a full-grown adult. If you don’t have enough time to give your Golden Retriever enough exercise, you should choose a different breed.
Most Golden Retrievers are only pets, but they used to be working dogs. This makes the breed energetic, so they can’t sit still or only have a couple of very short walks each day. These dogs need anywhere from 40 minutes to two hours of exercise per day.
If your Golden Retriever doesn’t get enough exercise, its unused energy can lead to bad behavior. Golden Retrievers get bored if they don’t have at least an hour or two worth of activity each day.
Exercise for Young Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers need less and not more exercise when they are puppies. Something like five minutes per day for each month the dog has been alive is about right. Since dogs as well as humans might be hurt by over-exercise, talk to your vet if you want to do any unusually intense exercise with your dog.
- Take your puppy for a walk. This is the simplest way to make sure your dog gets some early-in-life exercise necessary for proper development.
- Take your growing Golden Retriever to a fenced dog park if you don’t have a suitable backyard. Let your Golden Retriever run around free.
- Swimming is a great exercise for many dogs, especially puppies. Golden Retrievers should be at least three months old before they learn to swim.
- Play fetch. Running and getting objects is what Golden Retrievers were trained to do. Golden Retrievers were originally hunting dogs, and some of them still are. Their job was to retrieve birds shot by hunters, including from the water.
Exercise With Adult Golden Retrievers
A brief walk each day won’t be enough to keep an adult Golden Retriever happy. It needs more exercise than that, and it might need different kinds of exercise on different days. Some great ideas for an adult Golden Retriever are:
- A hike is better than a simple walk. Occasionally, you could take your dog on a long hike. This can get great fun for both of you, and great exercise. Make sure your dog has enough to drink when you are out there and don’t strain your dog’s endurance too much.
- Take your dog to dog parks and let it socialize with other dogs. If you aren’t sure where the nearest dog parks are, an app can help you.
- Swimming is great for Golden Retrievers of all ages. Traditionally, hunters expected them to swim. Golden Retrievers dry off quickly. Make sure to keep your Golden Retriever clean – give it a bath to get the river water or chlorine out of its coat.
- You can also take your dog “dock diving,” where you throw an object into the water and have your dog swim out and get it. Take your dog home if it seems tired, as dock diving for too long can be exhausting.
- If you go hunting at all, take your Golden Retriever with you. Golden Retrievers make excellent hunting dogs.
- Get your dog to chase a laser pointer around the house. Cats and some dogs love chasing the bright dot a laser pointer creates.
- Take your dog to an obstacle course. Dogs love climbing over hurdles, running through tunnels, and overcoming other obstacles. You can meet people at the agility training classes you take your dog to.
3. Golden Retrievers Are Intelligent
Another reason why Golden Retrievers are so popular is their intelligence. You can train a Retriever to do anything, and quickly. Research has shown that Golden Retrievers are one of the quickest-learning dogs.
Their intelligence allows you to train them not to do things, and not only train them to do new tricks. You can easily train them not to chew your furniture, shoes, or clothes.
4. It is Easy to Calm Them Down
If a Golden Retriever becomes agitated and starts barking, acting aggressive, or acting scared, simply giving the dog a treat or a pat on the back is enough. Simply giving your dog some extra food or attention when it acts agitated is enough.
If your Golden Retriever is acting badly, this means something is wrong. For example, it might not be getting enough exercise. If they are kept reasonably happy and healthy, they are calm dogs.
5. Golden Retrievers Can Adapt to Different Environments
Some dogs won’t be happy in hot or cold environments. However, a Golden Retriever can get used to all different temperatures. A Retriever likes temperatures somewhere in the middle best, but they are not very sensitive to temperature.
A Golden Retriever has a thick, double-layered coat that protects it from the cold. The coat is also water-resistant, dries quickly, and even doesn’t get dirty easily. The Golden Retriever’s undercoat protects it from heat just as well as the outer coat protects it from cold.
This makes the Golden Retriever popular internationally. A Golden Retriever can get used to heat, cold, and water. You can also take it into the woods and expose it to dirt without it getting dirty as easily as most other dogs.
6. Golden Retrievers Are Great Service Dogs
Golden Retrievers’ usefulness as working dogs also guarantees their popularity. Golden Retrievers are not only good hunting dogs but help humans in many other occupations.
In particular, they make good service dogs, which means dogs that help people with challenges or disabilities. For example, guide dogs for the blind are service dogs.
Service dogs have many other roles, which the Golden Retriever can fulfill because of their intelligence, loyalty, empathy, and powerful sense of smell.
Helping the Blind
Golden Retrievers are great seeing-eye dogs for the blind because of their empathy and intelligence. After about four months of training, a Golden Retriever can help a blind person with their daily tasks.
Providing Emotional Support
A kind dog can provide support to someone going through a very rough time. For example, comfort dogs are sometimes brought to the scene of shootings.
Trained dogs can also help a specific person. If someone is depressed, nervous, or lonely, a dog can help them. The dog might be a trained dog and not an ordinary pet without special training.
Helping People With Impaired Hearing
If someone is deaf or has somewhat impaired hearing, they might not be able to hear something like a doorbell. A dog can be trained to hear the doorbell and alert the owner.
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular service dogs (along with german shepherds, labradors, and poodles) because they have the positive qualities that you want in a service dog.
7. Golden Retrievers Are Gentle
Golden Retrievers are one of the kindest and least aggressive dog breeds. In fact, they are not recommended as protective dogs because they are too gentle. Despite their size, they are too nice to reliably protect people.
If you don’t need your dog to protect you, you might want a friendly and kind dog. The Golden Retriever is a very friendly breed that won’t behave aggressively to people it hasn’t seen before or to other dogs.
8. Golden Retrievers Love Sports
Golden Retrievers not only love regular exercise but love competing in dog sports. A Golden Retriever can get very good at flyball and other sports a dog can play.
One of the most popular dog sports is agility, where a Golden Retriever runs through an obstacle course as fast as possible. As the owner, you will have to train your dog to jump over obstacles and improve their skills until they can complete a course. The dog will at least need to run through weave poles properly, jump over hurdles, and go through a tunnel.
Another popular dog sport is joring. Joring involves the dog pulling its owner while the owner rides a skateboard, bike, scooter, or skis. These activities are great if you want to participate in a sport with your Golden Retriever.
9. Golden Retrievers Are Very Social Dogs
Golden Retrievers want to be friendly with and cuddle with everyone. They are interested in other dogs, other pets, and humans. Golden Retrievers love attention and want to interact with many different people.
Do Golden Retrievers Have any Disadvantages?
While Golden Retrievers are great dogs, there is no perfect breed. Some dog owners will be much happier with a different breed instead. Again, Golden Retrievers need a lot of physical activity, which not everyone has time for.
Some other disadvantages of the breed are:
- Golden Retrievers are rather large dogs, so they take up a lot of space, cost a fair bit to feed, and take time to groom.
- Golden Retrievers shed a lot of hair, especially just before summer and just before winter.
- Golden Retrievers make poor guard dogs. This is because they are “too nice” and might not confront a burglar. If a burglar gives a Golden Retriever a treat, the Golden Retriever may treat them as a friend.
- Golden Retrievers don’t like being left alone for any length of time.
- Golden Retrievers should live in houses, not apartments. Apartments are too small, and they need to spend a lot of time outside. They may bark or damage your furniture if they spend too much time in a small space.
- Golden Retrievers can easily get certain health problems, including hip problems and eye problems. Your Golden Retriever might be perfectly healthy, but some other breeds are less vulnerable.
The Advantages of Golden Retrievers
Despite these drawbacks, Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds. They are loyal, loving, friendly, and affectionate. They become part of your family and will get along with you, your other pets, and your children.
All of these things make Golden Retrievers a popular breed:
- They are intelligent and easy to train
- They love to play, and will happily participate in all sorts of outdoor and indoor games
- They get along with cats, other dogs, and children
- They aren’t aggressive and don’t bark a lot
- They are great for people who haven’t owned a dog before