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Meet the Breeds: Golden Retriever

Meet the Breeds: Golden Retriever

Golden retrievers, one of the most popular dog breeds, are renowned for their positive temperament and agility. The friendly, loving personality of the breed makes them excellent family pets, and their intelligence makes them excellent working dogs.

These dogs make excellent support dogs and respond well to obedience training. They enjoy working, whether it's fetching their guardian's shoes or going bird hunting.

You shouldn't rely on golden retrievers to be reliable watch dogs, though, because they don't frequently bark and don't have guard instincts. Some golden retrievers, nevertheless, will alert you if a stranger approaches.

Key Traits of Golden Retriever

Key Traits of a Golden Retriever

 

One of the first things that draws someone's attention to a Golden Retriever is their appearance. Their athleticism is demonstrated by their broad, muscular bodies, and their confident strides give away their playful nature.

Height: An average adult Golden Retriever stands between 51 to 61 cm.

Weight: These sturdy, medium-sized Golden Retrievers grow to about 55–75 pounds.

Lifespan: Golden Retriever typically live for about 10–12 years.

Appearance: The Golden Retriever’s coloring ranges from light golden to cream, and dark golden to golden, and their physique can vary from broad and dense to leaner and more sporty. Their coat is free of markings, patterns or stripes.

Golden retrievers need to be brushed frequently because they shed a lot. Their outer coat is dense and water-resistant because they were bred in the Scottish Highlands as hunting and waterfowl retrieving dogs. Furthermore, they have a dense undercoat. Their coats might have wavy or straight texture. Their breast, the backs of their legs, and their tail all have thick coat.

Temperament: Most of the time, golden retrievers are kind, playful, and gentle. They are also committed, smart, and friendly. Goldens have a lot of energy and demand a lot of activity because they were bred to be working retrievers.

Where did the Golden Retriever Originate?

Where Did the Golden Retriever Originate

 

Around the mid-to-late 1800s, the first Lord of Tweedmouth, Dudley Marjoribanks developed the Golden Retriever dog breed. These dogs are Scottish in origin. He developed the breed by crossing his yellow colored retriever named "Nous" with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. Their litter was then crossed with an Irish Setter, a light-colored Bloodhound, a Newfoundland, and a Wavy-Coated Retriever. Marjoribanks bred these dogs as gun hounds for over 50 years. He wanted the dog to adjust to his area's rainy climate and have a friendly temperament as well. 

The first Golden was showed in Britain in 1908, which is around the same time that the breed arrived in Canada and then the U.S. It was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925 as the 78th breed. 

Physical Traits of a Golden Retriever

How to Spot a Golden Retriever

 

The Golden Retriever has many traits that make it easily distinguishable from other breeds.

Ears: Golden Retrievers' floppy ears hang down on the sides, covering their ear canals.

Mouth: They are known for having soft mouths when holding objects. All retrievers have mouths that are "soft" enough to pick up and hold anything without damaging it. They are famous to holding a raw egg in their mouth without breaking it.

Eyes: They have dark- to medium-brown eyes with a friendly and intelligent expression.

Head: A Golden's head should be neither too narrow nor too broad. In keeping with a dog who uses his mouth to retrieve game, his muzzle should be wide, with strong jaws.

Nose: Goldens typically have black or brown noses that may fade to a lighter shade.

Coat Length: A purebred Golden Retriever has a thick, protective undercoat underneath its beautiful outer coat. The tail and underbody also have an outer layer of long thick hair. These areas include the stomach, legs, chest, and tail.

Coat Color: Golden Retrievers come in the colors: cream, dark golden, light golden, red, and of course, the classic gold.

Tail: Their tails are hairy and fluffy and curved slightly.

Behavior and Training Tips for Golden Retriever Breeds 

A Smiling Golden Retriever on the Ground

Temperament

In general, golden retrievers are kind, playful, and gentle. They are also committed, smart, and friendly. They are perfect for playing with children in the backyard while they are young. Most golden retrievers mature into calm, placid dogs.

Behavior

Golden retrievers have an outgoing personality and are friendly and energetic. They are also breeds of very intelligent animals. Since they were developed to be Retrievers, they have a lot of energy and require a way to release it. Golden retrievers are the ideal family dog who can go on vacation with you. The ideal places for them to spend time are families with children who can play with them and keep them physically active. Because they adore their masters and wish to be with them constantly, they have problems when left alone. They enjoy playing catch with kids and getting the morning newspapers. The playful nature of golden retrievers does not make them good guard dogs. They can get along with other dogs, cats, and people with the right training.

Training

Early dog training will help your Golden Retriever puppy develop his brain. It will also ensure they develop good habits.

Training Golden Retrievers are simple. These dogs want to be the center of all the action. They are easy to train because they are eager to please their owners. 

Between the ages of 7 weeks to 4 months, you can introduce your retriever puppies to a variety of people and activities to help them become more adaptable as adults.

You can also start with basic dog commands as early as seven (7) weeks. Begin with potty training and teaching them to moderate their biting. Then move on to commands like sit and stay.

Golden Retrievers may be known as very playful and energetic, but this might be a problem when training. If you need an extra dog training boost, consider using an e-collar.

Exercise

A Golden Retriever Running Free

 

Golden retrievers are playful dogs who enjoy playing outside. They need an hour of high-intensity playtime each day to meet their need for exercise. This one hour can also be divided into smaller segments throughout the day. The athletic Golden Retriever enjoys lengthy runs, swimming, hiking, and even activities that require their agility. You can combine mental stimulation indoor games with such physical exercises.

A golden retriever would love a large fenced-in yard. If you don't have much outdoor space or you live in an apartment, make sure you take your golden retriever outside frequently. 

Caring and Management Tips for Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Enjoying a Bath on a Tub

 

If you are a first-time Golden Retriever owner or are considering adopting one, here's what you should know about caring for a Golden Retriever.

Grooming

Golden retrievers shed a lot in the spring and fall and have a double coat that repels water. As a Golden retriever’s owner, you shouldn't be surprised if you discover dog fur on your bed, clothes, or furniture.

Ideal grooming tools to have with you are:

  • Pin Brush
  • Comb
  • Nail Clipper

Fur Brushing

Its coat can be kept in good condition by giving it a daily brushing to keep its hair from getting matted. Additionally, brushing the coat will get rid of dead hair and keep it healthy.

Nail Trim

Golden retrievers will also need their nails trimmed about once or twice a month. A good indicator of when they need to be trimmed is when you can hear them clicking on the floor.

Bath

You can give your Golden Retriever a bath once every month. But before you begin brushing it after a bath, make sure that its coat is completely dry. 

Ear Check

Goldens have fold-over ears, which create an environment for bacteria and fungus to grow. Simply wipe out the outer ear with a cotton ball dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner to help prevent infections. 

General Health

Eye Care

Eyes should be clear, with no redness or discharge. Your careful weekly exam will help you spot potential health problems early.

Oral Care

Golden Retriever are susceptible to periodontal disorders, much like the majority of canines. The market is flooded with numerous varieties of dog toothbrushes. To maintain oral hygiene, you should brush your retriever's teeth twice or three times every week.

Diet & Nutrition

Keep your Golden in good shape by measuring his food and feeding him twice a day rather than leaving food out all the time. They have a tendency to become obese if the food consumption is not monitored. 

It is advisable to consult the vet regarding their diet. You should avoid feeding your Golden Retriever table scraps. But if you do, make sure you do not serve it cooked bones or high-fat foods. A bowl of fresh water should always be kept in an accessible range for your dog.

Recommended daily amount: 2 to 3 cups of high-quality dry food a day, divided into two meals.

Common Health Problems of Golden Retrievers

Golden Retriever Being Examined by the Vet

 

Golden Retrievers have a life expectancy of 10 to 12 years, but they’re also prone to some health issues. It’s good to know what those potential health problems are in advance, so you can keep them your pup healthy for longer. 

Cancer: The biggest health issues for Goldens is cancer. According to a study conducted by the Golden Retriever Club of America, cancer was identified as a cause of death in 61.4 percent of the Golden Retrievers studied. If your pup has cancer, your vet can help you determine the best course of action to treat your pup.

Ear Infections: Those adorable floppy ears? They can trap moisture and create a breeding ground for bacteria and yeast, making them prone to infections, although not to the degree you might see in a Cocker Spaniel or Basset Hound. Your vet can teach you how to clean those cute ears to prevent ear infections from developing.

Skin Infections: Their thick undercoats may help protect them from cold water but can also attract bacteria that cause skin infections. That’s why it’s so important to give them a bath or rinse them off with clean water after a swim. If your pup develops a skin infection, contact your veterinarian. They can show you the best way to treat the infection.

Joint Dysplasia: Even though they’re not as prone to hip dysplasia as giant breeds like Saint Bernards or Newfoundland dogs, roughly 8.5 percent of Goldens suffer hip dysplasia. Check with your veterinarian for the best treatment options if your Golden suffers from this condition.

Heart Conditions: They are also prone to certain heart conditions, like Subaortic stenosis. This can sometimes be detected as an audible murmur during a veterinarian exam, and your veterinarian will help you determine the best course for treatment.

What Type of Pet Owners Will Do Well with a Golden Retriever?

A Golden Retriever on a Leash Beside Its Owner

 

A golden retriever needs to live inside and near the people he loves most. They need to be treated as family since that is how they perceive themselves. Fortunately, Goldens are not bothered by activity, noise, or commotion, making them tolerant to kids.

Golden retrievers also take a "the more the merrier" approach to having other pets in the home. Goldens can be trusted around other dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals with the right introductions and training.

Is a Golden Retriever a Perfect Match for you?

You might consider getting a Golden Retriever if you want a dog that:

  • is medium to large size
  • is very friendly, playful and have an extroverted personality
  • loves people and social outings
  • has long and thick fur
  • is energetic and loves playing outside

However, if you prefer not to deal with…

  • Playfulness
  • Hunting birds or fetching slippers
  • Going outside to exercise and play
  • Grooming maintenance
  • High vet bills and maintenance costs

Then, sadly, a Golden Retriever may not be suitable for you.

FAQs About the Golden Retriever Breed 

Are Golden Retrievers hypoallergenic?

Golden Retrievers aren’t hypoallergenic. In fact, their frequent shedding might be hard on allergy sufferers.

Are Golden Retrievers aggressive?

Golden Retrievers aren’t typically aggressive. However, although Golden Retrievers are usually very friendly, there can be exceptions if they were poorly socialized or abused by a previous owner. Like any dog, they can be territorial over food or high-value toys.

Are Golden Retrievers good with children?

They are very good with children. Gentle, kind and very patient while loving the high energy and play that children can offer them.

Is it true that Golden Retrievers love to swim?

It’s certainly true that as a breed overall, Goldens love to swim and the majority will seek out even the smallest puddles to get a little wet when possible. But it’s not true of each one because they are individual with their own unique likes and dislikes.

How much do Golden Retrievers shed?

Golden Retrievers shed quite heavily. They shed some hairs here and there throughout the year, with the bulk of their shedding occurring twice a year, for three weeks in the spring as their winter coat switches over to a cooler summer coat, and three weeks in the fall as their summer coat switches over to a thicker winter coat.

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