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Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Dog Breed

Aliases: Goldie, Goldens, Yellow Lab

Life Span: 10-13 years.
Litter Size: 8
Group: Sporting
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC
Color: The coat color of a Golden can range from a light cream color, into the yellows, or even into darker golden or copper shades.
Hair Length: Long
Size: Large
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 23-24 inches
Male Weight: 65-75 pounds
Female Height: 21.5-22.5 inches
Female Weight: 55-65 pounds
 General info courtesy of Additional information about this breed can be found on their website.

Thyroid Disease - High Risk

The Golden Retriever ranks #20 among all breeds for autoimmune thyroiditis prevalence. There is a high risk of obtaining a dog that will develop thyroid disease. For this reason you should make sure you, or your breeder, are testing all dogs before breeding.  It may even be a good idea to test dogs that you don't plan on breeding so that any instance of disease can be traced back to breeding pairs and eliminated.

 Rank Among Breeds  Number of Dogs Tested  Percent of Dogs With Disease
 #20  40,622  13.2%

You can download the full report (on all breeds) by the Michigan State University Diagnostic Center for Population and Animal Health. Here

Other Health Problems

Some of the most common health problems found in Golden Retrievers are:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Cataracts
  • Elbow Dysplasia.

Hip Dysplasia is a skeletal issue that leads to extreme discomfort, swelling, arthritis and even lameness. The high demand for this breed has often led to poor and unhealthy breeding practices, and a lot of the health issues a Golden Retriever may face can be genetic. Other health issues that can affect Goldens can include:

  • epilepsy
  • skin allergies
  • inherited heart disease.

Recent studies and surveys have indicated that cancer is rapidly becoming the most common cause of death for Goldens, the most common types being Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphosarcoma. While genetic factors also play a role in cancer illnesses in Golden Retrievers, environmental causes are also a big cause of different cancers.

It is imperative that you find a trustworthy vet in your area and be active in the health care of your dog. Keep up on the immunizations that are recommended, as well as any shots that are required by your community. Establish a strong relationship with your vet and good communication skills, and talk about changes that you can make in regards to care, lifestyle and diet that can help your dog live a long and happy life. Be informed as to warning signs of illness, as well as what steps you should take in case of an emergency with your Golden Retriever.