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Ivan the Golden retriever

Choosing a Golden Retriever In Syracuse

Golden Retrievers are one of the most common dogs in the Syracuse area.  When considering a golden retriever, you should consider several things to determine if they are the right dog for you.

Traits of the Golden Retriever

Zoey with magnolia tree
Zoey with magnolia tree

According to the American Kennel Club ( AKC) a Golden Retriever ranks in the top 3 of dog breeds and their temperment tends to be friendly, intelligent and devoted which can make them great family dogs. They generally live about 10-12 years and can reach about 75 pounds.  The coat can range from a creamy color to a deeper golden red.

That Golden Fur

They have a heavy coat which is called a double coat. This indicates that he has an upper and under coat which helps keep him warm in winter and cool in summer. The coat should be brushed at least once a week to keep tangle free to enable the coat to provide the proper insulation. Golden retrievers tend to shed heavily twice a year, but continue to lose some deadened hairs throughout the whole year, therefore you should be prepared to find dog hair on your business suit when you arrive at the office. This coat will be a benefit in the cold Syracuse winter and the coat is water repellant as well.

Activity level of a retriever

Golden retrievers are considered sports dogs which means they are active. They like to work. If you don’t give them plenty of daily exercise, they may find some way to keep themselves busy by getting into mischief at the house. They love to run alongside owners as they run or ride a bike. They also love agility training and swimming. …and they are retrievers after all, they love to fetch. One thing to consider though is that golden retrievers can be prone to hip dysplasia. If you plan on strenuous activity with your dog, you should ensure that the vet has looked at his hips for any concerns.

Golden retriever enjoying the water at Jamesville Beach dog Park
Golden retriever enjoying the water

Where to find your dog

If you are looking for a purebred Golden retriever puppy, you can find some listed on AKC’s marketplace. They also provide you with tips in finding a responsible breeder. In working with rescues though, I have found several popular breeds, including golden retrievers can be found in rescues. If you are focused on a golden retriever and your local shelter does not have one, you can check with these national rescues for goldens. There is a local golden retriever rescue here in Syracuse.

Choosing the right Golden Retriever for you

Although the Golden’s generally have the characteristics as listed above, each dog has his own personality just as our children do. Once you determine where you will be looking for your dog- the next step is to choose the right one for you. Talk to the Breeder/rescue to find out what they know about the dog. While these tips are geared toward puppies, you can consider them for rescues as well. Just beware that rescues are in an unfamiliar environment with a sometimes unknown past and may not act in way they would act in a different environment.

goldens from same breeder for playdate at Jamesville beach dog area
goldens from same breeder for playdate
  1. Does he tend to be shy, boisterous, does he bark alot. Be aware of the environment he is in also, as these may be factors in his current behavior ( loud, noisy)
  2. How does he act with his littermates, is he dominant or submissive?
  3. Does he allow you to touch his paws, ears tail?
  4. Does he appear to guard his toys or food?
  5. Cradle the puppy and see how he reacts. Does he struggle or is he calm.

For shelter dogs, stand by the kennel sideways as to not pose as a threat. If you are in a greeting area, don’t rush the dog, let him come to you as he gets curious. Ask the staff if they know anything about where the dog came from, his behaviors and medical issues if known. Also question if it’s known if he gets along with children or other animals. The whole family should meet the dog (including pets) to see how they interact with each other.

Getting a dog is not a decision to take lightly. A Golden retriever will be in your home for the next 12+ years, so consider what your life is like and where you see it in the future. Will you have time to exercise and train a dog. is your home big enough? Do you have children or anticipate children coming into the family? How will this change your lifestyle and time to care for a dog?

If you thought of all these questions and determined that you have found the right dog for you…go Play Ball.

Ivan the Golden retriever
Ivan the Golden retriever

This post is part of circular blog with other Professional Pet Photographers. Our goal is to focus on a particular topic/assignment each week and put our own spin on it. There are photographers from all over the world participating.  Follow the next link to view how the next amazing photographer tackles this weeks challenge.  Follow each link at the end of each blog until you return to me. Then you have successfully completed our blog circle. Enjoy!

+++++ NOW head over to:

Angela and Bella of Big White Dog Photography, hanging out with their bestie Desi and a few other golden retrievers of Spokane

Come and find your Best Friend!
Second Chance has a unique program near Syracuse N.Y. where inmates train the rescued dogs. This program gives both the dogs and the inmates a second chance in life.  Appointments currently required related to Covid-19 protocols.


Cooper is looking for his forever home

Please contact Friends of Second Chance.

Friends of Second Chance Canine Adoption Shelter
6660 E. Seneca Turnpike
Jamesville, NY 13078

Capture your journey with your pet. Nancy Kieffer is a pet and nature photographer serving  Central New York, the Adirondacks and Beyond.  Capture how you share your life with your pet! It may be a vacation adventure or curled up on the couch. Travel assignments welcomed.

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. Linda Perdue

    Looks like the Golden retrievers are popular! In Florida, I always thought the heat of our summers which seem to be more than 1/2 the year would be bad with all that fur. Maybe the 2 coats would help them – and brushing…..lot of fur!

    1. N Kieffer

      It does get hot down there but between the insulated fur and swimming, I think they would do great

  2. Elaine

    Looks like Goldens are a popular blog post subject this week, and just goes to show how loved the breed is across many different areas!

    1. N Kieffer

      They are definitely popular in this area.

  3. Danyel Rogers

    I really wish my pups were water dogs. Maybe one day I’ll have a pup that loves water as many golden’s do.

    1. N Kieffer

      I have had labs which love the water too…except my current one. He has hound in him too and does not like it.

  4. Nicole

    Such good information!

  5. jemma Martin

    What a beautiful bunch of Goldies you’ve captured. Great tips!

    1. N Kieffer

      Thanks. They were fun to photograph.

  6. Kim Hollis

    I love golden retrievers. They are very popular in Charlotte NC too! I get to meet and photograph a lot of them.

    1. N Kieffer

      Yes, they seem to be a very popular one everywhere.

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