Golden Retriever - Dog Breed Information
Golden Retriever is a friendly, devoted and very intelligent dog breed and is one of the most famous dogs around the world. They will make you fall in love at first sight. Because of their friendliness, tolerant attitude and gentle character no wonder they are one of the most lovable dog breeds that are perfect for any family. The Golden Retriever was originally bred for hunting. It was used for bringing birds to the hunter. The word retriever refers to the breeds' ability to retrieve undamaged birds in their soft mouth. If you are looking to buy this dog, before searching for Goldern Retriever breeders make sure to take your time and learn everything there is about this dog breed. Because of their popularity, many „bad“ breeders will do anything to sell their puppies so you must be extremely careful when searching for this dog. Golden Retrievers are known for their good demeanor, intelligence, and charm. They are very calm, patient and easy to train dogs. Goldens love children and also other dogs. If there is a need they will warn their owner that something unknown is nearby but they will not act aggressively. Goldens are a loyal and confident dog breed that will enjoy all family activities.
FUN FACT: Two American presidents owned Golden Retriever – Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan.
The history of these dogs started in the Scottish Highlands. Dudley Marjoribanks was the first Lord Tweedmouth and he is the most important person responsible for the development of this dog breed. In the period from 1840 and 1890 Lord was trying to create an ideal gundog which he could use at Guisachan estate in the Highlands. Because he wanted dog breed that would be suited for rain and rugged terrain, he started crossing his Yellow Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) and later the blood of Irish setter and Bloodhound was also added to the mix.
After a few generations of breeding Tweedmouth finally managed to create a consistent line or working retrievers that were exceptional.
At the British dog show held in 1908, this dog was first seen and from that point, good specimens of this breed began to arrive in America, which was followed by Canada. Everyone was admiring this dog because of his beauty and their sweet and sensible temperament. The Kennel Club officially recognized this dog breed in 1911 and at that time they were classified as „Retriever – Yellow or Golden“ and that changed in 1920 when they selected official name – Golden Retriever.
FUN FACT: At the first AKC obedience champion title from 1977 first three places all went to Golden Retrievers.
Dog breed characteristics
They are strongly built dogs with a water repellant coat. Their muzzle is strong and wide, and their nose is black. Their eyes are dark brown, medium in size. They usually reach full height when they are one year old and their adult weight when they are two years old.
FUN FACT: Like Labradors, these dogs are particularly fond of water, swimming and anything else that can be associated with water. They enjoy jumping in the water, bathing and even sitting in the water.
By this standard, these dogs belong to group 8 (Retrievers, Flushing Dogs, Water Dogs) – section 1 (Retrievers). Male dogs can reach a height at the withers 56-61 centimeters (22-24 inches) while the females can be 51-56 centimeters (20-22 inches) tall. FCI officially recognized this dog breed on a definitive basis in 1954.
These dogs belong to the Sporting Group. Males can reach 58-61 centimeters (23-24 inches) and they can weigh 29-34 kilograms (65-75 pounds). Female Golden Retrievers can reach 54-57 centimeters (21.5-22.5 inches) and they can weigh 25-29 kilograms (55-65 pounds). AKC officially recognized this dog breed in 1925.
Grooming and care
They have a dense outer coat with a thick undercoat. Some dogs can have wavy and some can have straight hair. Goldens comes in all shades of gold, from light to dark. Once or twice a year these dogs will shed heavily their thick double coat. During the whole year they shed, a little more than other dogs, but most of the time if you brush your dog once or twice a week it will be enough to keep the hair under control. During the heavy shedding period, it is advised that you brush your dog daily to reduce the hair around the house. Bath may help you lose the dead hair but be careful when you decide to brush your dog after bathing because the dog must be completely dry before you start to brush. To keep him good looking, bath him regularly. His teeth need to be brushed regularly to remove tartar build-up and to prevent bacteria development. Regular teeth brushing will also prevent gum diseases and bad breath. Their nails should be trimmed as needed (if your dog doesn't wear them down naturally).
Because this dog loves water, you need to regularly check their ears. Folded ears are a great environment for bacteria and fungus development. Check your dogs' ears regularly for redness, bad odor or any other sign of infections. Especially you need to wipe their ears after they get wet. When checking their ears you can wipe them with a cotton ball dipped into an ear cleaner which will help prevent any infection.
If you want that your dog is cooperating during brushing and bathing session you will need to start with them while they are puppies. If you make a positive experience out of these things with full of praises and rewards you can be sure that your dog will enjoy them when he grows up.
Because Goldens are very active dogs they require a lot of daily exercises. The dog who doesn't get enough daily activities will develop undesirable behavior. They can be a great companion for long runs, bike rides, hiking although you must be careful not to over-exercise your young dog because their bones and joints are still developing. The best thing you can do is to seek advice from a veterinarian so you won't cause the development of some health problems for your dog. If you want this dog to be extremely happy take him to hunting trips to exercise or even to some canine sports such as obedience, agility, and tracking. Like any other dog breed that was bred for working purposes, they need a job to do in order to be happy. Provide them with enough physical and mental exercise and also you will need to include them in all family activities.
FUN FACT: Goldens are often featured in many movies and television shows because of their cute looks.
Like any other retriever dog, they are the happiest when they have something to carry in their mouth. Always have a ball, toy or even newspapers for your dog to carry.
Training and socialization
Although these dogs are so good, gentle and popular you will still have to train and socialize them to be sure that your dog will develop into a well-rounded dog. Because these dogs are eager to please you can easily train your Golden Retriever. They are very intelligent dogs so they will pick up fast what you are asking them to do. They are also very patient to learn everything you want them to. The best training method is with positive reinforcements because they will not respond well to harsh training. With the training session, you will create a special bond with your dog.
Start with the socialization while they are puppies and by exposing your dog to a variety of people, sights, and sounds your puppy will get used to many different situations and will become a well behaved dog.
FUN FACT: These dogs are usually used in field trials, obedience hunting and as guide dogs for the blind.
Golden and kids
Golden Retrievers loves kids. They will enjoy playing and spending time with them. Although they are good with kids that doesn't mean that you shouldn't teach your kids how to properly play with the dog. If they learn how to respect the dog and how to properly interact with him you will have no problems when letting them play. The only thing you should watch during playtime is that your Golden doesn't accidentally bump into kid because of his size.
Golden Retriever and other animals
They can get along well with other animals. They are not aggressive dog breed but for you to be sure that your dog will love other dogs and animals, socialization is essential. From the puppy age take your dog to the dog park so he can experience new things and so he can get used to strange dogs. With dogs and other animals in the household, they will get along excellent.
FUN FACT: These dogs are not good watchdogs, they might bark at strangers, but don't count on it. Most likely they will wag their tail and put that Golden smile on their face.
The life expectancy of Golden retrievers is 10-12 years. These dogs are prone to some health condition, and not all Goldens will get them, but it important that every owner or future owner is aware of them. The best thing you can do to minimize a chance that your dog will be diagnosed with some serious health problems is to find a good and responsible breeder who regularly tests his breeding dogs. Responsible breeders will take care of his dogs and they will not breed dogs if there is a chance that puppies can end up with some inherited diseases.
Health problems that can occur on these dogs are hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts (cloudy spots on the eye lens that will grow over time), subvalvular aortic stenosis (a heart problem that is caused by the narrow connection between the left ventricle and the aorta), progressive retinal atrophy, allergies, bloat, epilepsy (a brain disorder that will cause periodic seizures), hypothyroidism, osteosarcoma (malignant bone cancer), etc.
To be sure that your dog is healthy you can perform various tests including hip and elbow evaluation, cardiac exam and ophthalmologists evaluation.
Some Golden Retrievers can become overweight very easily. Because they are active dog breed and they require constant exercise and training if you do not provide them with enough movement they can become obese. You should always watch his calorie consumption. During training, treats are allowed but you should also watch out that you don't give them too many. If you have any questions and you would like to know what is the right food for your dog you can check with your veterinarian who will be able to explain to you the best what your dog needs.
If you choose this dog breed for your pet surely you will not make a mistake. They are smart, fun and they will be full of love for you and your family. Because this dog breed is so popular across the world you will need to be extremely careful when searching Golden breeders. Because of their popularity, many bad and unofficial breeders are breeding dogs without worrying about puppy health, temperament and well being. They are only interested in earning some money. Their dogs and puppies are living in terrible conditions and if you purchase a dog from such a breeder not only that you will end up with a dog that will most likely develop some serious health problems later in life but also you are encouraging puppy mill breeding. That is why we suggest that you search Golden Retriever breeders only on the World Dog Finder website or at national cynological associations of your country. If you search on these places you can be sure that you will be talking to official and responsible dog breeders. If you find a perfect puppy for you always ask the breeder to see him in person. You also need to know that pedigree dogs will cost you a lot more compared to a puppy mill dog, but you can be sure that it will be worth it.
Golden Retrievers are great family dogs with whom you will enjoy every second of the day. They are very devoted, eager to please and intelligent so you can teach them anything you want to. With proper training and socialization from the puppyhood, you will end up with an excellent companion for life.
World Dog Finder team