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Hong Kong's Top 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds - The Retrievers (Goldens and Labradors)


DOG BREED #7 – The Retrievers (Goldens and Labradors)

Although two different breeds, Goldens and Labradors are tied for 7th place in our HK’s most popular dog breed list.

Retrievers were originally bred to assist hunters bring back small game such as birds without damaging them, and those instincts still show in their love for fetching a ball or having a good swim. They are also very intelligent, obedient, and eager to please their human companions. Retrievers are excellent family pets, as they are friendly, loyal, and playful… but they can be prone to putting on weight as they get older.

Five Fun Facts

Breed-Retrievers Retrievers have soft mouths, webbed paws, and water-resistant coats to help them wade through rivers and marshes collecting birds for hunters Retrievers are often employed as therapy dogs to soothe and calm people, and are known for their empathy and compassion.
Retrievers also have a keen sense of smell, and are often used by customs, rescue or law enforcement as working dogs. Retrievers are also excellent service dogs, and Labradors are the most common breed working as seeing eye-dogs. The world record for holding the most tennis balls in the mouth at once is held by a Golden Retriever from Dallas, USA, called Augie – and the record is 5 balls at once.

General Care

Retrievers love their food but are prone to putting on weight. It’s important to make sure they are fed the correct amount of an appropriate diet for large breed dogs, and often reduced calorie is the best. Don’t fall for those puppy dog eyes asking for a second helpings.

Retrievers are also highly athletic and love a good walk, but we need to be careful in Hong Kong with overheating, especially in the hot, humid summer months. Always take water for drinking and for pouring over them to cool if our walking is in the warmer weather. 

All of that exercise and play also means they can get quite dirty, so regular baths (generally at least weekly) are also important.

Training and Socialisation

Training a Retriever is a rewarding and fun experience. Retrievers are intelligent, obedient, and eager to please their owners, and will usually be fast learners. They need socialization, exercise, and positive reinforcement to learn new skills and behaviours. We suggest starting with basic commands such as sit, stay, come, and heel. And because they love their food and attention, they are highly motivated by a snack or a pat on the head. 

Retrievers are also generally highly social and love nothing more than playing with other dogs.

Health Considerations

Retriever’s two biggest health issues are obesity and joint problems. They do love their food and have a tendency to overeat, so do be careful about their food type and amount. Hip problems are unfortunately common in retrievers, and the best prevention is healthy body weight, regular but not excessive exercise, and good breeding and genetics. We would also recommend all Retrievers take Glucosamine or Green-lipped mussel powder, safe natural supplements that help maintain healthy and strong joints. 

The Bottom Line

Retrievers are some of the sweetest dogs on the planet and generally have hearts of gold and personalities to match. They’re a great family companion, love kids, and are protective yet gentle. There’s a reason they’re one of the world’s most popular breeds.


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