Golden Retrievers in Orange County

Complete Head to Tail Golden Retriever Care and Dog Breed Recommendations.
Golden Retrievers In Orange County
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Golden Retrievers and Newport Harbor Animal Hospital

The doctors and staff at NHAH love Golden Retrievers. They are one of our most popular breeds here in Costa Mesa and the surrounding areas of Orange County.

They are one of Dr. Ashbran's favorite patients. Kevin grew up with a Golden Retriever and rescued one while in Veterinary School. Golden Retrievers love to swim and play with the kids, and are eager to accompany the adults on hikes. Energetic and playful, they often act like kids themselves well into their senior years. As an avid hiker, Dr. Ashbran runs across happy parents of Golden Retrievers frequently. It is always amazing how difficult it is to guess the age on these youthful athletes.

The information that follows will be interesting and a great resource for you and your Golden Retriever.


Originating in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800s, the Golden Retriever was developed by Lord Tweedmouth, who wished to create a loving companion with whom to hunt waterfowl and other small game. He achieved this by first crossing the yellow Flat-Coated Retriever to the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, then by crossing in the bloodhound and Irish Setter, to produce the breed we know and love today.


Golden Retrievers make fantastic companions. They are enthusiastic learners and very patient with children, making them great family pets. Despite their enthusiasm they are easy to train. Their intelligence makes them capable of excelling in field competitions, becoming great service dogs or watchdogs (especially as they are highly unlikely to attack people unexpectedly, due to their exceptionally friendly disposition).

Golden Retrievers are eager to please their human companions and are typically very obedient. To reach their full potential, of course, they need to be around people who display leadership and who are willing to stimulate them mentally as well as physically. It is important to provide this breed with daily exercise, such as swimming, retrieving toys, and other agility drills to prevent them from becoming over-excited or distracted. They love to be workout companions alongside of their owners, no matter what the activity!

Physical Characteristics of Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers have medium length hair coats, with a double-layer coat in colors ranging from very light cream to a rich golden color. The outer coat can be firm, straight, or wavy, while the inner coat is water resistant.

Golden Retrievers are medium to large dogs, about 20-24 inches in height, and can range from 50-80 pounds, the females typically being smaller than the males.

Finally, their large, expressive, deep brown eyes give this breed yet another endearing quality!

Health and Beauty

The Golden Retriever's smooth, double-coat is easy to groom with a comb and brush. They do well with dry shampoos and an occasional bath (if they don't have an opportunity to swim - or if they do).

Golden Retrievers can suffer from skin allergies that can be attributed to their diet, the environment in which they live or a combination of the two. Use of a special diet as recommended by your veterinarian at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital or allergy testing and treatment may be necessary to keep allergic Golden Retrievers comfortable.

Golden Retrievers and Hip Dysplasia

Golden Retrievers, as with many other medium-large breed dogs, are prone to hip dysplasia. This condition stems from an abnormal formation of the hip socket that, over time, can lead to arthritis pain and lameness. Dogs with hip dysplasia have more shallow sockets than typical, as a diagnosis of hip dysplasia can be made by taking special x-rays of the hips. Typically, this is done when an animal has stopped growing, but can be preformed sooner if necessary based on conformation, breeding decisions or signs of lameness.


Arthritis is a common result of hip dysplasia as above, but Golden Retrievers may be affected with arthritis in other joints as well, especially the elbows. Arthritis is an inflammatory process in joints which leads to cartilage wear and damage, and can be a source of pain for animals severely affected. Treatment for arthritis in Golden Retrievers aims to decrease the inflammatory process and repair any cartilage damage that might have been done. Often Dr Ashbran and our amazing group of doctors will use multi-modal therapy which combines medications and other therapies to help keep afflicted Golden Retrievers comfortable and active. All seven of our Newport Harbor doctors can help you plan a treatment regimen for your Golden. Weight control is a must for all Golden Retrievers! Weight control is known to have the single greatest effect on the comfort level of any arthritic patient.


Golden Retrievers are also prone to gastric bloat, a condition where the stomach undergoes a torsion or twist, fills and becomes overstretched with air or ingesta. The exact cause of bloat is unknown; however, breeds, such as retrievers, with large barrel chests seem to have a predisposition. Feeding smaller meals more frequently may help decrease the risk of bloat in dogs of all breeds. Additionally, restricting large amounts of water and food immediately after intense exercise may also be of benefit.


Golden Retrievers are a breed that has been known to develop certain types of cancers. Frequent examinations (twice yearly or as directed by our doctors) will help to screen your precious pal and if there are any issues, early detection is always best.

Newport Harbor Animal Hospital is dedicated to providing the best possible care for you and your Golden Retriever! If you have any question, don't hesitate to call our American Animal Hospital Association accredited hospital. We are here to help.

Our Pet Health Mission

Our mission at Newport Harbor Animal Hospital is: "To provide the highest quality veterinary care for our patients and the best service for our clients. Our goal in every case is a healthy pet and a happy client."