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Golden Retriever Dog

Interview with a Golden Retriever Dog Owner

A big thanks to Sean Smith  (Ohio, USA)

for sharing his insight into living with his Golden Retriever , Lilly

Can you tell me about your golden retriever dog?

Golden Retriever DogLilly, the Golden Retriever Dog

Lilly is a four-year-old, spayed, purebred golden retriever. She was born on December 31st, 2011, out of a litter of eleven puppies.

We got her on February 18th from one of my mother’s coworkers who had been breeding one of her Golden Retriever Dogs.

She is a very social and well-spirited dog who loves to play and go on walks.  Lilly has a beautiful, thick coat made up of various shades of red, gold, blonde and brown.

She is a nice dog and my favorite out of all the dogs my family owns.

Golden Retriever Dog owner interview

How easy was she to train?

Golden Retriever dog

Lilly was relatively easy to train. We had the most difficulty with potty training, but the rest went well.

My mother brought her to obedience classes at Petco.

These classes taught her the basic commands like sit, stay, and lay down.

We were not training her to be a show dog, so her behavior is just fine for a domestic pet.

We already had an electric fence installed for our other dog, but had we not I do not think Lilly would have given us much trouble, as she is a very loyal dog.

Lilly can be taken on walks without a leash, but we keep her on one so she doesn’t run off to harass some squirrel. Overall I’d say she was the easiest of all our dogs to train.

How much exercise does she need?

The Golden Retriever Dog needs a lot of exercise, and this is something that my family has admittedly fallen short with. Golden Retrievers were originally duck hunting dogs, so they’re supposed to be moving very frequently.

With my family’s busy schedule, it is difficult for Lilly to get the kind of exercise she needs. A golden retriever dog needs to be walked and played with daily for it to have a long, healthy life.

Golden retrievers are also prone to hip dysplasia, so extra weight can make this condition worse. If you want to get a golden retriever dog, you must be willing to put forward the necessary time and effort to keep it healthy and happy.

Does she have a particular doggy smell?

Lilly, as with most golden retrievers, has a very thick, oily coat. They have this extra oil to wick off the water because while hunting ducks golden retrievers would have to use their webbed feet to swim out and retrieve killed ducks in water.

This oil does not have a bad smell, but it will stay on your hand after petting her. It goes away just by washing your hands with soap and water, though, as you should after petting any dog.

She needs to be regularly bathed as with all dogs, but sometimes more frequently, as mud and anything else she rolls in out in our yard will stick with her coat.

Does she shed?

The better question is: does she ever stop shedding? I’m not quite sure. The vacuum cleaner gets a real work out at my house. 

It runs year-round, picking up her hair as the multiple layers of fur are continuously being replaced. If you do not want to frequently clean up after shed hair, I would not recommend getting a golden retriever.

However, I find her company and playfulness is well worth the time sacrificed cleaning up.

Does she bark much?

Lilly barks the same as any average dog, so whenever somebody walks by the house, you know.

She will bark to get your attention as well, which can get annoying at times. Her barking is how she communicates.

Lilly’s barking can only mean one of four things: she wants food, she wants a treat, she want to go out, or she wants to be pet. I believe her barking to communicate shows off how she really does have her own personality.

What is she like with other dogs?

Lilly is for the most part very friendly and playful with other dogs. My family currently has two other Shih Tzu’s and we’ve never had any serious problems between them, despite the size difference.

They play together just fine. However, Lilly will sometimes snap at them if she is chewing on a bone or a treat.

Lilly also treats strangers’ dogs well, and will hardly bark at them while on walks. So overall I’d say Lilly is good with other dogs.

Do you have any other pets besides dogs?

Golden Retriever dog

I do, my family also owns a small black cat named Salem that we got the same year we got Lilly.

Their relationship is beautiful for a cat and dog. They can often be seen playing together, as we let our cat outside with the dogs.

You can also sometimes see Salem and Lilly sleeping next to each other. Salem is the only other pet we have besides our dogs, and they get along just fine.

How is she around children?

Lilly likes meeting new people, and can get very excited when there's a new face in the house. I have siblings of multiple ages so there are often other kids in the house.

She hardly ever jumps on them and never bites. Lilly will mostly just want to be pet by them, so guests love her.

Some golden retriever dogs can be aggressive but with Lilly this is not the case. She is for the most part fine around children.

Would you consider her a fussy eater?

Lilly is anything but a fussy eater, she might eat any food you put in front of her. This is not usually a problem, as my family has catered to this by not leaving food unattended on any low lying surfaces.

As she was growing, she often tore up any paper towels, tissues, or toilet paper left in any place she could reach it. This is because golden retrievers have softer gums.

This trait can be traced back to golden retrievers being bred to be hunting dogs. Their more delicate gums were perfect for picking up the fallen game without damaging them further.

This has become less of a problem for her now that she is an adult dog, and usually sticks to her dog food or treats when she eats.

How much time does it take to groom her?

A couple times a week we brush Lilly with a unique brush we bought that is made for dogs with a lot of fur called “The FURminator”, and it cost around $30. This usually takes maybe fifteen minutes, and we just toss out the fur that comes off with the brush.

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Lilly enjoys this though and stays still through the whole ordeal. It’s important to brush golden retrievers because they have such thick and long fur. The brushing is also important to show off her feathering, which is a light, fluffy blonde compared to her coarser, more red coat.

We also bring all our pets to be groomed once or twice a month at some local pet stores.

  • Reduces shedding by up to 90%
  • Stainless steel deShedding edge
  • Remove loose hair from tool easily
  • Ergonomic handle

Any special personality quirks?

Lilly’s personality quirk is how much of a personality she has. She’s very loyal, friendly and playful.

She has her own funny ways of communication that actually make her seem like a person. She likes to stretch out and sleep under blankets, which also adds to this. It's Lilly’s funny and playful personality that make her such a fun dog to have.

Quick Facts about the Golden Retriever Dog

Golden Retriever dog

Country of Origin:  Great Britain

Height:  Males:  22-24 inches (56-61 cm) 

               Females:  20-22 inches (51-56)

Weight:  60  to 80 pounds and up  (27-36kg)

Colors:  Dark red to Light Cream

Health Concerns:  Heart Disease, Epilepsy, Skin Disorders, Hip Dysplasia

Average Lifespan:  12-13 years

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