What is cuter than a golden retriever? A golden retriever puppy! Golden retriever puppies are so adorably sweet, it’s no wonder they’re one of the top 3 most popular breeds in Canada. From cards to calendars, puppy golden retrievers are often centre stage. And while these golden guys and gals are gorgeous at every age and stage, a baby golden retriever is the ultimate in canine cuteness.
Goldens are known for their wonderful disposition and enjoy a great reputation as the ideal family dog. Other popular offshoots of the breed include the poodle and golden retriever mix, aka Goldendoodles or Goldy-poos. Those who wish to adopt a golden retriever can find a myriad of breeders and clubs across Canada, and of course, there’s always the option of saving a soul from a golden retriever rescue.
Golden retrievers started appearing with regularity in Canada in the 1920s, though they were found in the UK in the 1800s. Legend has it that a certain Lord Tweedmouth saw Russian sheepdogs at a circus and bought them all. They were then crossed with the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel (a yellow retriever), an Irish setter and a bloodhound. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Facts about Golden Retriever Puppies
There are three different varieties of golden retrievers: Canadian, American and English. Their temperaments are all similar, and even their differences, mostly physical, are quite small.
|Size||Golden retrievers weigh between 55 and 65 pounds (25 – 29 kg) for females and 65 to 75 pounds (29 – 34 kg) for males. They reach heights between 55-61cm the shoulder.|
|Breed Characteristics||Golden retrievers have a dense, water-repellent coat that lies flat against the body. Fur can be straight or wavy with heavier feathering at the neck and tail. They have somewhat floppy ears, a straight muzzle, and that feathery tail is often wagging. Coats can range in colour from golden to cream to red.|
|Temperament||Golden retrievers are a sporting breed that is playful and athletic. They love to play fetch, are natural swimmers, and will go after ducks, geese or loons if given the opportunity. Their puppy-like energy continues straight through to adulthood, making training and socialization a must. Luckily, they are fairly easy to train and make an excellent family pet.|
|Grooming and Health Needs||Golden retrievers are moderate but frequent shedders. Because of their water repellent coats, they only require the occasional bath. During heavier shedding periods, it’s best to brush them out daily. Golden retrievers are a generally healthy breed, but overbreeding can cause health issues so be sure to find a reputable breeder. Puppy parents should check their dog’s ears for any signs of infection, especially those pups who love to swim. Teeth should also be brushed regularly. The National Breed Club recommends testing of hips, elbows, and eyes as well as a cardiac exam.|
|Training||Your golden retriever puppy should be exposed to an assortment of people, places and other dogs to develop their social skills. These pups are people pleasers, so rewards-based training methods are highly effective. Treats, toys and playing fetch are great ways to train your golden retriever puppy to respond to cues.|
|Energy Level||Goldens need plenty of exercise. Hiking, biking and going for runs are all favourites for this sporting breed. If you’re a camping family or enjoy hunting trips, be sure to take your pup on a trial run or two before venturing out on longer adventures.|
|Life Span||On average, golden retrievers live 10-12 years.|
The Best Human Match for a Golden Retriever
Goldens are real people pups. They love their families and are truly a great fit for just about anyone. The key for a golden retriever is companionship. They want to be around their people and will do well with those willing and able to devote the time. They enjoy swimming, running, and playing fetch but mostly they enjoy their family, no matter the size.
Finding your Puppy
Choosing to adopt from a rescue or purchasing a pup through a breeder is a personal choice. If you’re overwhelmed with all the information out there, know that there are resources available to help. Be sure to know what you’re in for when choosing a golden retriever. Whether you shop or adopt, these puppies will be adding a lot of love – and energy – to your home.
Adopting Golden Retriever Puppies
Many purebred dogs are owner-surrendered for a variety of reasons. This means that there are a lot of dogs looking for their fur-ever homes. While there may not always be puppies to choose from, the dogs that are available from rescues are often microchipped, spayed/neutered and even housebroken. Golden Rescue is dedicated to re-homing unwanted and surrendered golden retrievers in Canada. The cost is often far less than buying from a breeder as well. In other words, you get a lot of bark – and bang – for your buck when adopting!
Finding a breeder
The key to finding a golden retriever puppy from a breeder is finding a reputable breeder! Puppy mills and on-line scams are rife, especially for a breed as popular as goldens. Check out golden retriever club recommendations and listings, and join in discussions and forums to find out more information.
When you’ve narrowed down your list of breeders, be sure to ask a lot of questions. Make arrangements to meet the puppy’s parents, if possible. Trust your gut – if something doesn’t feel right, look elsewhere. The CKC is the perfect resource for finding a reputable breeder as they have super strict guidelines for acceptance.
Golden Retriever Puppy resources
You’ve found the perfect puppy. Now what? Rover, the nation’s largest network of dog walkers and pet sitters, has loads of articles and resources to help you navigate the wonderful world of puppies, golden retriever or otherwise! Here are a few articles to get you started:
- Surviving the First 24 Hours with Your New Puppy
- How Long Can You Leave a Puppy Alone?
- Five Things all Puppy Parents Should Know
- The Essential New Puppy Checklist
- Puppy Training Resources
Featured image by Pixabay