Golden Retriever Puppies 101 - Types, Food, Temperament and More
Golden Retrievers are considered to be some of the most lovable and gentlest types of dogs in the world. Because of this, they are a popular breed for many homeowners to add to their family.
However, while these bundles of joy are a great addition to the family, they come with a few needs, especially if you plan to get Golden Retriever puppies. Below you’ll find more information all about Golden Retrievers and some important tips to keep in mind if you plan to add Golden Retriever puppy to your family.
History of the Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is believed to have originated in the 19th-century in Scotland, mainly due to Lord Tweedmouth’s documentation of them. It is believed that Tweedmouth bought a yellow-coated retriever from a litter of mainly black retrievers.
He then bred the retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel which eventually produced four yellow puppies. Eventually, the breed came to have the characteristic it is known for today, such as a bright yellow cup and long wavy coat.
How Big Do Golden Retriever Puppies Get?
Golden Retriever puppies will eventually grow to be very large dogs, although how big depends on their gender. Males will grow to be anywhere near 23 to 23 inches tall and weigh about 60 to 75 lbs. Females will grow to be about 22 inches tall and weigh about 55-60 lbs. Puppies will usually reach their full height and weight after a year.
Types of Golden Retrievers
Believe it or not, there are three different types of Golden Retrievers which range based on fur color and breed type. Fur can range from golden, light golden, and dark golden. The three types this breed comes in include American, Canadian, and English.
So, how do you tell the difference between the types? An American Golden Retriever will look like your average Golden Retriever with a thin body and golden to dark golden coat. On the other hand, a Canadian Golden Retriever will have a thinner coat compared to the American version, although they will usually have the same fur color. An English Golden Retriever is a bit stockier compared to the other two and their coat tends to be very light in color.
The Temperament of a Golden Retriever
The temperament of this breed of dog is one of the many reasons why it’s so popular.
They are Affectionate
These dogs are considered to be one of the most affectionate types in the world. They are very calm and enjoy sitting and being around people. They are also very patient and will gently play around with you because they want to be around you. These dogs also enjoy cuddling.
They are Eager to Please
Golden Retrievers want to be your best friend, and because of this, they will almost anything to please you. This can range from bringing you things to trying to be around you often. This makes them the perfect breed to consider if you want a faithful companion.
They are Gentle
While they might be big dogs, Golden Retrievers are very gentle, even when playing. Because of this, they are perfect to keep around children.
They are Playful
Golden Retrievers are very happy dogs and love to play. For those who want a dog to stay active with them, this breed is ideal to consider because of this.
However, despite being playful, they also know when to stop because they want to please you. When they see that you are upset or sense they are causing pain, they will stop and calm down. Keep in mind though that this might be a little harder for puppies to understand as they are happy to play. The older the dog gets, the more relaxed they become.
Food for Golden Retriever Puppies
Golden Retriever puppies have a strict diet that needs to be followed so they stay healthy and grow. While there are some pre-made food products you can buy for them, you can also add some other healthy food options like vegetables for dogs to their meals.
While carrots should be given in moderation due to their sugar content, they have many benefits. This includes keeping their teeth clean, improving their digestive system, and are high in Vitamin A which helps their immune system. When giving carrots to a puppy Golden Retriever, you should ideally grate them or cook them and mash them up.
Green beans can be given to dogs raw, cooked, or steamed. However, they need to be plain and without any type of seasonings. You’ll find they will provide your dog with plenty of calcium, iron, and fiber.
Dogs tend to love sweet potatoes which is good as they are filled with fiber and can help their digestive system stay healthy. They also contain beta-carotene which is a rich antioxidant which helps to improve their skin. Before giving your dog this vegetable, make sure to fully cook it so it’s soft.
Blueberries are packed with antioxidants and are considered a “superfood” for dogs due to their numerous health benefits. You can mash this small fruit up or give it to your dog whole.
Bananas contain Vitamin K and potassium which can help with skin issues your dog might be having. However, keep in mind that they should only be given occasionally as they are high in fiber which can result in diarrhea.
Pumpkins are a healthy sweet treat to give your retriever puppy thanks to its fiber content, high water content, and impressive levels of antioxidants. You’ll need to make sure to thoroughly cook the pumpkin though before giving it to your dog, or buy a pre-packaged pumpkin can.
For Those Who Plan to Buy Pre-Made Meals
Make Sure the Food Has Omega-3s
Omega-3s and fish oil for dogs will not only help to keep your puppy healthy, but ensure they stay active and their bones are strong.
This supplement can also help to reduce inflammation in their body and keep their coat shiny. Because of this, it’s important to check to make sure the food has Omega-3s in them. If they don’t, you can also add some into the meals yourself with special puppy fish oil supplements.
Check the Fillers
Many dog foods contain fillers, used to cut down production costs, like corn and rice flour. Some fillers are used to provide extra volume and vitamins.
This means that your dog might be getting some benefits from eating it, they are also eating fillers and other animal by-products which are generally not good for them. Fillers could also end up giving your dog allergies because their body isn’t designed to consume them by nature.
Look at the Calcium Level
Many large-breed dog foods contain calcium in them which is designed to help the puppy’s bones grow without problems.
This can help to prevent them from getting medical conditions such as arthritis. Because of this, it’s important to make sure your puppy’s food has enough calcium in it.
However, make sure to adjust the calcium levels depending on your puppy’s size and weight. While calcium is important, too much of it can also lead to problems like kidney disease and even some types of cancer.
How Much Do Golden Retriever Puppies Need to Eat Per Day?
Retriever puppies usually need to eat about three times per day to ensure they get enough vitamins and nutrients for their body. Each meal should feature about 1 ½ cups of food, although this can vary depending on the type of food you plan to give them.
Keep in mind that because these dogs love to eat, it could end up leading to obesity. This could end up causing health problems down the road, such as heart disease and painful joints. Because of this, it’s important to talk things over with your vet to ensure your puppy isn’t getting too much or too little food.
How to Train a Golden Retriever Puppy
There are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind when it comes to training a golden retriever puppy. Below are some important things to consider.
Start Right Away
As with any puppy you have, it’s important to start training your puppy as soon as possible. This way, they’ll start to learn at a young age what is and isn’t appropriate.
By doing so, it can make your training a bit easier. Some things to start teaching your puppy are potty training, basic commands (like sit), and stopping leash tugging.
Work on Basic Commands
As mentioned above, it’s very important to start training golden puppies with basic commands as soon as possible. Basic commands include sit, down, stay, and don’t touch.
These might take some time to do, but they are very simple. For instance, to teach your puppy to sit, you’ll just need a handful of treats. Once you have your puppy’s attention walk toward them with the treats. After doing so, let them sniff the treat and then bring the treat up over their head.
This will cause them to sit down. Once they do, say “sit” and then give them the treat. Keep doing this process until your puppy is able to do it without needing the treat.
Reward Good Behavior
One of the best ways to help show your dog what they should and shouldn’t do is to reward their good behavior. When they don’t tug on their leash, give them a treat and speak happily with them.
When they indicate they need to go outside to use the bathroom, reward them. Eventually, they will learn the right behavior to use because of this.
Make Sure to Stop Leash Tugging
Most Golden Retriever puppies do not like leashes and will tend to pull in their leash to try to get out of them. If not stopped, this can lead to it making it difficult for you to walk your dog down the road. Because of this, it’s important to stop leash tugging as soon as possible.
To help with this, you can use a harness and fixed-length leash. The harness will wrap around the front section of their body which will let them walk around, but help you to maintain control over where they go.
A fixed-length leash will also help to keep your puppy in one place as it will only give them a certain distance they can go. When they start to pull on the leash, they will only be able to go as far as you have set the length to be.
Eventually, they will get tired of the strain on their body when trying to pull away which can stop leash tugging.
Many dog trainers also recommend tiring your dog out before they walk. This can include letting them play and run around for a few minutes. This can help them to stay calm when walking which can result in less leash tugging.
Owning a Golden Retriever: Other Needs of a Golden Retriever Puppy
Keep Them Active
Always make sure that your puppy has plenty of time for exercising. Golden Retrievers are considered bird dogs, so they need to move around and stay active to get their energy out and to stay happy.
You can let them run around in a dog park or take them for a swim, something which they tend to love doing.
Make Sure to Give Them Baths Often
Because of their long coat, Golden Retrievers need to be given baths often. This can help to keep their coat smooth and healthy while removing any dirt or particles from their fur. >
You’ll find plenty of shampoos and other grooming tools you can use on your dog which are designed especially for large breeds.
On the other hand, you could also take your puppy to a groomer who will bathe your dog and give them a haircut. However, this might be a little expensive.
Be Sure to Brush Them
In addition to giving them baths and haircuts, you also need to make sure to brush them daily. This will help to remove excess fur and any other particles that might be in their coat.
Otherwise, they will get very itchy and could end up shedding even more on furniture and floors.
Carefully Consider Spaying and Neutering Your Puppy
Golden Retrievers will have a little more issues when it comes to spaying and neutering. In fact, some vets have found that neutering Golden Retrievers could end up causing them to have joint pain or even cancer down the road.
Because of this, some vets recommend that you consider using other means of preventing breeding.
Make Sure to Hide Valuable or Dangerous Items
These pups are very curious about things, which can cause them to get into places they shouldn’t be in. Because of this, they could end up chewing electrical cords, getting caught in window cords, or sniff household cleaners which could contain harmful chemicals.
To help protect your puppy, make sure to puppy-proof your home or block off areas that you don’t want them to go into.
Give Them Things to Chew
These dogs love to chew, something which many pet owners are surprised to find. If they don’t have anything to chew on, they could end up doing do on your shoes or walls. Due to this, it’s vital that you always have something for them to chew on, whether that be a bone or toy.
You could also consider giving them a puzzle toy which can help to keep their brain active and healthy.
Where to Get a Golden Retriever Puppy
You’ll usually find Golden Retriever puppies at special Golden Retriever breeders. However, how do you know which breeder is best to buy from? You can tell by keeping a few things in mind.
One to look for is a contract that they will write up. This will tell of important things both the breeder and the buyer need to know. This way, you can tell that they are serious about the work and intend to provide you with healthy puppies.
You should also make sure that the breeder has health certifications. This will help to ensure your puppy doesn’t have certain health problems or heritable medical issues.
Another thing to consider is the history of the breeder. Do many recommend them? Do they have years of experience? By considering this, you’ll be able to tell whether or not your breeder is reliable and trustworthy.
You should also consider looking at Golden Retriever puppies for adoption who might be at your local animal shelter.
This option is ideal for those who don’t want to invest a lot in a breeder or who might not have a breeder located nearby. Adoption can also help to provide these puppies with a happy home rather than have to stay in a depressing kennel.
Golden Retriever puppies are great dogs to have, but they have certain needs that need to be followed.
For instance, they require plenty of exercise and a healthy diet. However, this will help them to stay healthy and give you many years together of fun adventures.
Dr. Ivana Vukasinovic
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, University of Belgrade
Ivana Vukasinovic grew up in Serbia and attended the University of Belgrade where she received a degree in Veterinary medicine in 2012 and later completed surgical residency working mostly with livestock. Her first year of practice was split between busy small animal practice and emergency clinic, and after two more years of treating many different species of animals, she opened her own veterinary pharmacy where an interest in canine and feline nutrition emerged with an accent on fighting animal obesity. In her free time, she acts as a foster parent for stray animals before their adoption, likes to read SF books and making salted caramel cookies.
Thanks for stopping by!
P.S. We Love You!
The Innovet Team
Please do not ask for emergency or specific medical questions about your pets in the comments. Innovet Pet Products is unable to provide you with specific medical advice or counseling. A detailed physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinarian are required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet requires emergency attention or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic health conditions, please contact or visit your local/preferred veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.
Please share your experiences and stories, your opinions and feedback about this blog, or what you've learned that you'd like to share with others.