Golden Retrievers are amongst a group of breeds classed as ‘Category Two’ by The Kennel Club. These are breeds of dog that have been highlighted as having ‘points of concern’ – visible features which, if exaggerated, might potentially affect the breed in the future and cause health and welfare concerns.
Golden Retrievers are a member of the ‘Gundog’ breed group. Dogs in the Gundog group were originally trained to find live game and retrieve game that had been shot and wounded. The group is divided into four categories: Retrievers, Spaniels, Hunt/Point/Retrieve, Pointers and Setters.
Golden Retrievers, or ‘Goldies’ as they’re more affectionately known, are popular pets that will fit in well to family life given the right socialisation as a puppy. They are a very gentle breed that usually get on well with other pets and children making them an ideal family pet. They have a medium length coat that requires grooming 2 or 3 times a week to keep it in tip-top condition.
Breed-related health problems:
Owners are, understandably, upset when their dog develops a health problem linked to its breed. Often they wish they’d known what problems the breed was prone to have. The potential health problems that Golden Retrievers are prone to include:
- Hip dysplasia – hip joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Elbow dysplasia - elbow joint laxity as a result of poor development, which will eventually lead to arthritis.
- Atopy – hypersensitivity to certain allergens, causing itching and skin trauma.
- Heart disease
- Eyelid problems – such as entropion and ectropion – can occur due to excessive skin over the face and eyes. This skin causes the eyelids to droop either downwards, or in towards the eye, where the skin rubs and irritates the eye, causing problems.
- Hypothyroidism – a condition in which there’s a decrease in thyroid hormone production.
For some conditions, there are screening programmes available through the British Veterinary Association (BVA) and the Kennel Club. The Canine Health Schemes allow breeders to screen for a range of inherited diseases, so it’s a good idea to check the parents of any puppy you’re looking to rehome have been screened under these schemes. We’d also recommend discussing the medical history of your potential puppy’s parents and grandparents, and think very carefully before taking on a dog with any of the health conditions listed above evident in the family line.
You can find out more about the Canine Health Schemes on the BVA's website.
Golden Retrievers have high energy levels and will need plenty of exercise – ideally over 2 hours per day. They are very easy to train and because of this are suited to many working roles such as guide dog, drug and explosives detection and tracking. To learn more about reward-based training for your dog, visit our dog behaviour page where you can pick up plenty of tips to help you and your canine companion better understand each other.
Estimated lifetime cost:
The likely lifetime costs for a Golden Retriever are based on estimates calculated using current market prices and include:
- Initial costs of the purchase of the pet
- First vaccinations and booster vaccinations
- Pet insurance
- Flea treatments
The list above does not include veterinary costs if your pet becomes sick or injured, so these average lifetime costs could be even higher.
Insure your Golden Retriever with PDSA:
1 in 3 pets need vet treatment each year and vet bills can come to hundreds of pounds. PDSA Pet Insurance can give you peace of mind when your pet is poorly, especially for breeds like Golden Retrievers that are prone to certain conditions. PDSA Pet Insurance offers:
- 5 Star Pet Insurance* - from the vet experts
- 4 levels of cover to suit you
- Monthly payment at no extra cost
*Defaqto 5 Star rating applies to our Plus and Premier policies only. Defaqto’s Star Ratings provide an independent assessment of the quality of financial products.
By insuring your Golden Retriever with PDSA you’ll also be helping to provide vet care to some of the UK’s neediest pets.