If you have a Golden Retriever that you have owned since it was a puppy, you have probably seen a lot of changes happening in your pet during the last year. The Golden Retriever starts to reach full maturity at this age, and you will probably have noticed that your dog is starting to look and act more like a grown-up now.
The 2-year-old year can be a really fun time in the experience of owning a Golden Retriever, and you will love having access to a dog that is more mature and ready to tackle more training as well as increased athletic pursuits. For those who do not compete with their dogs, the second year of a Golden Retriever’s life is still a great time to connect with your dog in a whole new way as they start to make the transition into an adult dog.
While you might miss the adorable, floppy, silly puppy antics, you are probably ready to plan for this new phase of your dog’s life.
This article will cover:
- What to expect from a 2-year-old Golden Retriever
- What does a 2-year-old Golden Retriever look like?
- How much to feed a 2-year-old Golden Retriever
- How much exercise a 2-year-old Golden Retriever needs and what kind of activities you can do with your dog.
- How Much Should a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Sleep?
- Are there any potential health issues that can happen with your 2-year-old Golden Retriever?
- Can a 2-year-old Golden Retriever Be Aggressive?
- Is it easy to train a 2-year-old Golden Retriever?
- 2-year-old Golden Retriever Grooming
Golden Retriever Energy at 2 Years of Age
Many people who have a Golden Retriever at this age are still wondering if their dog is ever going to stop being so playful. It can be hard to keep up with an adolescent Golden Retriever because they seem to sleep a few minutes, then pop up and get right back to being energetic. The nice thing about this phase of their lives, however, is that they are more physically capable, so they can play harder without fear of injury.
You will find that your 2-year-old Golden Retriever is ready to head out on longer runs with you and that they can hike longer and keep up when playing hard as well. You can safely exercise your energetic young dog more than you did when they were only a year old. This can help to offset the high energy that you should expect at this time in your dog’s life.
If you have been following traditional puppy training processes, you will likely have already taught your puppy to sit, stay, lead on a leash, and more. Now is the time to consider adding in some games of fetch that include more complex skills like waiting before fetching and laying down with the item before coming back to you. Some people also start doing agility training with their young and energetic Golden Retriever.
There are many benefits to your dog’s age keeping pace with its energy level increase. Your older juvenile dog will be ready to play harder and without any risk of injury.
What Does a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Look Like?
You might be wondering, is your Golden Retriever full-grown? Your dog will be nearly full grown at 2 and will just have some filling out to do. Your 2-year-old dog will also look less lanky than before, and they will be starting to fill out in their body a little more. You will see this more in males than females, but the shape of their heads should be changing, and their bodies should look less lean. The feeding program that your dog is on can change some of the ways that they look during this time, but well-fed dogs should look like they are heading toward peak physical condition.
You will probably see a change in musculature at this time as well, and your dog will look less lanky and more like they have a heavier body overall. When you work hard with your dog on training that includes a lot of activity, this can speed up the process of your dog gaining muscle mass and looking more mature. These are working dogs, so they tend toward being lean, which is perfectly normal.
If your 2-year-old dog is still lanky and lean, don’t worry! Some dogs mature more slowly, and this is completely normal. Not every dog will look like a full-grown adult at this age, and that is fine.
What is an ideal weight for a 2-year-old Golden Retriever? A healthy Golden Retriever of this age that is male should weigh about 65-80 lbs. A female dog should weigh about 55-80 lbs. There can be some variation in these numbers depending on the height of your dog and its build. Field Retrievers are shorter and leaner, so they might not weigh this much. Some variation in the weight of your dog when compared to the average weights for this age dog is okay.
However, if your dog is a lot heavier or a lot lighter than this average, this can be cause for concern. This can be related to health conditions and concerns or problems with development. You will want to check in with your vet if your 2-year-old Golden Retriever is very underweight or very overweight.
How Much Should Your 2-year-old Golden Retriever Eat?
The answer to this can vary depending on the kind of food that you are feeding them and their activity level. Most dog food brands will have a feeding guide on every bag of their food, but this can cause you to feed your dog too much. Make sure that you check out this post if you have questions about how much your dog should eat.
Making sure not to overfeed your young dog is important to avoid issues with hip and back health. Overweight dogs can also be more prone to cancer and to other health risks related to their heart and lungs. You will want to be sure that you are not feeding your dog too much food for their needs but that you are balancing their exercise needs with enough food. Most dogs will ask to be fed more often than is necessary, so you will not be able to use your dog’s behavior as a reliable guide for their feeding needs.
How to Feed a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever
Your 2-year-old Golden Retriever is now turning into a large dog. You might need to up your dog’s food some to keep pace with their increasing size and increasing energy level. If you are not sure about the feeding requirements for your Golden Retriever dog at this age, you can check with your vet to make sure that you are on track with your feeding program. When you are feeding any large dog, you will want to be sure that you are not overfeeding them. Large dogs can be prone to hip issues, and this can be avoided in part by keeping your dog at a proper weight.
You should also already be feeding your dog an adult dog food. The transition from puppy food happens at around 1 year of age for most dogs. It can actually be bad or dogs to eat puppy kibble as an adult since their nutritional needs are entirely different. You will want to be sure that you are feeding an adult dog food that is of the best quality to avoid issues with bones and joints, as well as digestive health.
As always, if your dog does not look as healthy as you think it should at this age, you need to visit the vet. There are some conditions that can impact younger dogs and lead to them looking less than ideal, and your dog’s poor condition can mean that something is not right with their overall health. Dogs at this age should be very easy to keep in good weight and to keep healthy and fit. If this is not the case for your dog, you will need to head to the vet.
Training For a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever
The training that you decide to give your dog can depend on the things that you want to do with them. If you want to show your dog, you will need to make sure that they are prepared for the show ring and train them accordingly. Dogs that are going to be used for competition or for hunting will also need specified training. If you want to do agility or some other kind of fun activity with your dog, there is a specified training process for this need as well.
If you have a dog that you are just training to be a pet, you will need to be sure that they can sit, stay, and wait for you. The more that your dog knows, the happier and more confident they will be. Golden Retrievers love to learn new things and your dog will have lots of fun bonding with you while you are teaching them tricks and new skills. Make sure that you are being positive and patient with your dog as you train them and you and your pet will have lots of fun with this process.
Can a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Be Aggressive?
Golden Retrievers are a very kind and gentle breed and it is not common for your Golden Retriever to be aggressive at any age. A 2-year-old dog could show some dominance as a means of trying to establish a pecking order in your home if there are older dogs or younger puppies that might be causing them to feel threatened. Usually, these problems are easily resolved by making sure that all the pets in the home have their own spaces to feel safe and making sure that there is room for all the animals in the home to eat without fighting.
Golden Retriever aggression might also be linked to fear or to interacting with males who can display this behavior due to hormones. You should always consider it a good idea to reach out to your vet or a dog trainer if your dog is showing aggression. This is not a common way for Golden Retrievers to behave and you should be worried about this issue as a sign of anxiety or poor health.
Health Issues That Can Happen With a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is very healthy overall, but there are some common health conditions that can happen to this breed. Even if you get a certified dog from a breeder, you might run into issues that are common to the breed. You need to be prepared for this part of owning a Golden Retriever because it is a reality that cannot be changed.
Golden Retrievers are very prone to hip and elbow dysplasia, which can be very serious in some cases. This condition does not respond well to surgery or treatment, and it can lead to the breakdown of your dog’s joints as well as back and neck issues. You will want to be sure that you take your dog to the vet right away if they start to show issues with lack of coordination or if they have been falling down or stumbling a lot.
Golden Retrievers are also very prone to cancer. This is an unfortunate reality of choosing this breed, and even young dogs can be diagnosed with cancer. You will need to be prepared for the chance that your dog could get cancer early in its life. While you can get a dog from a breeder that certifies their dogs for being cancer-free, this is a breed that is very prone to this condition.
How Much Exercise Does a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Need?
Golden Retrievers are a very high-energy breed at this age, so you will need to plan to play with or exercise your dog at least twice a day. This might mean that you give them a walk in the morning and then play fetch with them at night, or maybe you just take them running once a day and play with them in the morning for a bit before you go to work. No matter what kind of activity you do with your Golden Retriever, you will need to be sure that you give them this kind of attention at least once a day.
The average 2-year-old Golden Retriever will need to be given things to do on a daily basis in order to be happy and healthy. You cannot expect a working dog breed to be okay with just a few chances to play each week.
You might be wondering what kinds of exercise your 2-year-old Golden Retriever needs. You don’t have to be as cautious about your dog playing hard at this age, but you do need to be careful that you are not harming your dog’s body or causing long-term injuries. You will also need to be sure that you always check the temperature outside before you start playing with or training your dog. When the temperature is above eighty, you will need to wait for a cooler time of day to exercise or work with your dog.
There are various kinds of activities that your 2-year-old Golden Retriever might enjoy. You can pick and choose from a variety of different activities since this is a very smart breed that needs to be kept busy.
This is one of the best games to play with your 2-year-old Golden Retriever because it can be done in even a small yard, and you will not have to do all the work. Golden Retrievers love to fetch due to their breeding, and the process of getting things and bringing them back to their person is really natural for this breed.
Make sure that you are not exercising your dog by playing fetch when it is too hot and that you do not spend more than a half-hour fetching with your dog. While your dog might think it can fetch for hours, you should not indulge in this behavior for much longer than a half-hour to prevent injury.
- Obedience Training
While obedience work does not replace actual physical energy-burning, the mental engagement of this process is very good for dogs. You will want to spend at least ten minutes on obedience work each day with your 2-year-old dog. You will find that this establishes good behavior patterns and also helps your dog to be more focused when they are engaged in other activities with you.
Walks are a great way to burn off your dog’s energy, and your pet will appreciate morning and evening walks if they are 2 years of age. You can also replace one of these exercise outings with a run but make sure that you do not run for longer than a half-hour with a dog of this age. Most dogs should not run for more than half an hour at a time unless you are going at a very slow pace. If you do take your Golden Retriever running with you, make sure to take walk breaks so that they can recover.
- Playing in the Water
Golden Retrievers love the water, so if you can brave a little extra grooming, taking your dog to a safe pond or river to play in the water with you can be great exercise for them. You will find that most cities have a dog park with a body of safe water to exercise your dog in, and this can be your go-to location for this need.
Golden Retrievers love to be included in adventures, and hiking can be a great way to get you and your dog out of the house to have some fun and see some nature. Make sure that you have a leash that is in good repair and that your dog has a good collar. You do not want to lose your dog in the wood or on the side of a mountain. Also, be sure that the weather is not forecasted to be too hot to head out on this kind of adventure. You will need to bring a collapsible bowl with you and some water that is just for your dog as well. Not every public park or hiking location will have a dog watering station.
- Visit the Dog Park
Golden Retrievers are naturally very social, and they love meeting new friends. The dog park can be a great place for your dog to get some socialization in and to burn off steam playing with friends. Be sure that your dog has been socialized before you bring them into a dog park, and you should have a great time with your canine friend at these locations.
How Much Should a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Sleep?
Golden Retrievers are this age are very busy and active but they can also sleep for hours at a time. You should not have to worry about your 2-year-old Golden Retriever sleeping through the night and they might sleep on and off throughout the day. This is perfectly normal and is nothing at all to worry about. You should only be concerned if your Golden Retriever is sleeping and is hard to wake up or if they seem listless and like they are not feeling very well.
You will want to be sure that you take your dog to the vet if they are sleepy all the time and are not interested in playing or interacting with you or other animals in the house. Your Golden Retriever might want to sleep a lot at this age, but they should also wake up right away when offered the chance to play, eat, or go somewhere with you.
Grooming for the 2-Year- Old Golden Retriever
You have probably already gotten into a regular routine with regard to grooming your Golden Retriever. You will not see much difference in the needs of your dog at this age for coat care since their long, adult coat has probably already been in place for some time. Make sure that you do not slack off in your grooming as your dog gets older since you will probably be keeping them busier than before. When your dog is outside a lot or goes to a lot of places with you, they can get burrs or other items in their coat than can lead to mats and other issues.
Make sure that you do not try to cut anything out of your dog’s coat on your own unless you are very comfortable with this process. You should also make sure that you never shave your dog as this can ruin their coat for many seasons and make them uncomfortable when the weather is warm or cold. You will want to continue with the grooming plans that you already have in place but make sure to address issues with hair coat health or cleanliness as they crop up.
Golden Retrievers Are a Lot of Fun as 2-Year-Old
This is a very enjoyable breed, and they are a lot of fun when they are at this formative age. 2-year-old Golden Retrievers still act like puppies, but they have more physical capacity for exercise and more patience for learning. This means that you can start to teach your dog about all kinds of new things without worrying about confusing them or pushing them too hard. Two is a very good age for this breed, and you will start to see a future where your dog is not so relentlessly energetic when your dog turns two.
This is the beginning of your dog’s adult life, so this is a time where the work that you do for training and care can matter most. Make sure that you are ready to work on necessary behavioral skills and that you take the time to adjust your dog’s diet and grooming plans as needed.
Here’s the rest of this series in case you missed it:
- The 5 Stages of Golden Retriever Puppy Growth
- 6-Week-Old Golden Retriever: Developmental Milestones to Expect and Mistakes to Avoid
- 8-Week-Old Golden Retriever: Growth, Developmental and Behavioral Expectations
- 3-Month-Old Golden Retriever: Training, Feeding, Sleeping
- 4-Month-Old Golden Retriever: Training, Feeding, and Behaviors
- 5-Month-Old Golden Retriever: Behaviors, Feeding, and Training
- 6-Month-Old Golden Retriever: What to Expect from Canine Adolescence
- 7-Month-Old Golden Retriever: Full-Blown Adolescence And You
- 8-Month-Old Golden Retriever: Behavior, Training, and Development
- 1-year-old Golden Retriever: A Journey into Adulthood
- Senior Golden Retriever: Signs of Aging and How to Care for Your Old Dog
- Golden Retriever Energy at 2 Years of Age
- What Does a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Look Like?
- How Much Should Your 2-year-old Golden Retriever Eat?
- How to Feed a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever
- Training For a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever
- Can a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Be Aggressive?
- Health Issues That Can Happen With a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever
- How Much Exercise Does a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Need?
- How Much Should a 2-Year-Old Golden Retriever Sleep?
- Grooming for the 2-Year- Old Golden Retriever
- Golden Retrievers Are a Lot of Fun as 2-Year-Old