Owing a golden Retriever

Owning a Golden Retriever

You are now the proud owner of a Golden Retriever puppy who will quickly adapt to your family’s routine. Owning a Golden brings responsibilities but you will be well rewarded with endless fun, affection and loyalty.


  As soon as you get your puppy home contact your Veterinary Surgeon who will advise you about the necessary inoculations that your puppy requires. Remember not to take your puppy to public areas until he is fully inoculated. Please be aware that adult dogs require an annual booster. Your Vet will also provide you with a worming preparation. Your breeder will have already wormed the puppy but he will require another dose at 8 weeks and repeated 2 weeks later. He should then be wormed every 2 months until he is six months old. Adult dogs should be wormed 3 or 4 times a year – your Vet will supply you with the appropriate preparation.


 A Golden Retriever puppy is usually easy to toilet train and much prefers to ‘go’ outside. Just bear in mind that he will want to relieve himself on waking and after meals. At these times take him outside and as soon as he has done his business praise him lavishly. It is unlikely that your puppy will be unable to last the full night so putting some newspaper on the floor will help with the clean up operation in the morning.

Be consistent when training and make sure that all family members set the same boundaries for the puppy as he will only become confused if faced with different sets of ‘rules.’  Do not allow children to disturb the puppy when he is sleeping and do not allow tug-of-war games with a very young puppy. Correct ‘play-biting’ if it gets too rough and do not let the puppy get over excited. Start grooming him straight away so as he gets used to being handled, this will also keep the coat clean and healthy. We also recommend that you take him to training classes, your Vet or local pet shop may be able to provide you with information on classes in your area. Socialize your new puppy by introducing him to people, places and situations. Although he cannot go out for a walk until his inoculations are complete try to take him in the car from an early age and if possible take him out in your arms as this will get him used to noise, people, music and so on.


 The Golden Retriever’s natural instinct is to retrieve, so expect to receive presents of shoes, socks and other household items! Goldens also love to garden so it is advisable to restrict access to your prize plants, otherwise these also may be presented lovingly to you by your faithful friend! Take any object from the puppy that may be of danger to him by gently opening the mouth and releasing the object.

Some Goldens like to greet you by ‘holding’ your arm, especially when they feel excited, to correct this gently open his mouth and use the command ‘NO’. If the puppy or older dog is behaving in a way that you consider inappropriate repeating ‘NO’ in a firm voice is usually all that is needed for him to get the message. When training remember to praise and make a fuss of him when he behaves correctly. Goldens are anxious to please and to get the best from your dog it is better to teach and praise rather than to scold.


 Your puppy should be fed four meals a day.   Your breeder will advise you on the puppy’s routine and the food he has been used to. Should you wish to change his diet do so gradually and in accordance with the food manufacturer’s instructions. Between the age of four and six months one of the feeds can be discontinued. By the time he is eight months his meals can be reduced to two per day. Gradually over the next few months introduce him to an adult feed. Your Golden Retriever should have a good covering of flesh but the skin should be loose – never let him get too fat. You should ensure that an adequate supply of fresh drinking water is available to him at all times.


 During the first few months the puppy will get all the exercise he needs in your garden and should not be taken for long walks. From about four months he can be taken for short walks on the lead. Gradually, as he gets older, increase the length and duration of these walks. He should not be allowed too much free running until about 12 months of age.


 If you do intend to breed you should contact the Club Secretary who will be happy to give you any help and advice that you may need.

 Members shall ensure that all breeding dogs & bitches in their ownership have current clear eye certificates & hips x-rayed & scored at the time of mating and shall only be mated to or by a dog with a current clear eye certificate and hips x-rayed & scored at time of mating under BVA and/or committee approved scheme. Information on these procedures can be had from the Secretary.

  •  Bitches to be a minimum of 18 months at the time of mating
  • Bitches to be a maximum of eight years when having her last litter
  • Maximum number of litters per bitch to be 5
  • Members should comply with the Irish Animal Welfare Act

Members failing to comply with the above code of ethics may be suspended or expelled and/or have their renewal of membership refused.


We have a lovely breed, which like most breeds has unfortunately some hereditary problems, but the risk of these being passed on will be greatly reduced if everyone follows these guidelines.


 Like humans dogs grow old and need extra care and attention.  With the right care many Goldens can live for twelve to fourteen years and a few beyond that. Your Veterinary Surgeon will be able to help and advise in this respect.


Time and effort spent in the early days will pay dividends and by the time your Golden is 12 to 18 months of age you should have a family pet that you are proud of and that is a pleasure to live with. Simple obedience training should, at this stage, have produced a well-mannered dog, a companion who is a joy to take on walks, car rides, family outings etc. and you will find that by now your Golden is a much valued family member who loves to join in all   activities.