Attributes of a Golden Retriever
Learn the history and overview of Golden Retrievers. The Golden Retriever is a thick muscular dog of medium-large size weighing 50-75 lbs. They should have a dense, lustrous coat of any shade of gold. Their head is broad, eyes are friendly, short dropped ears, thick muzzle and Goldens have a kind expression. At a trot, Goldens move with a smooth, powerful gait, and the feathery tail is carried with a “merry action.”
Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please family dogs. Most are incredibly easy to train with their “What can I do to please you” attitude. Goldens take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behavior into adulthood. These energetic, powerful gundogs enjoy outdoor play. For a breed built to retrieve waterfowl for hours on end, swimming and fetching are natural pastimes.
Golden Retrievers History
Golden Retrievers originated in the 1860s in Great Britain from foundation stock developed at the Scottish country estate of Lord Tweedmouth. The most complete records of the development of the Golden Retriever are included in the record books that were kept from 1835 until about 1890 by the gamekeepers at the Guisachan (pronounced Gooeesicun) estate of Lord Tweedmouth at Inverness-Shire, Scotland. These records were released to public notice in Country Life in 1952, when Lord Tweedmouth’s great-nephew, the sixth Earl of Ilchester, historian and sportsman, published material that had been left by his ancestor. They provided factual confirmation to the stories that had been handed down through generations.
To develop this new breed, Lord Tweedmouth bred a yellow wavy-coated retriever–the only yellow in a litter of blacks–to a Tweed Water Spaniel (this breed is now extinct). This produced a litter four females that he bred to start his new breed. These 4 mother dogs produced the foundation line of dogs that all Golden Retrievers descend from. Goldens were first brought to North America in the late 1890s and were later recognised the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925.
Why were Golden Retrievers invented?
Golden Retrievers were originally bred to hunt by retrieving both upland game and waterfowl. Their basic hunting instincts are still strong in many lines. The Golden is equally favored as a companion for children, a hunting dog, a guide dog for the blind, an assistant for the handicapped, an obedience competitor or a show dog. Golden Retrievers are noted for their gentle, loving dispositions and are an excellent breed for families with children. The Golden’s desire to please humans is legendary—making him a top obedience competitor and a top rate companion dog.
Life expectancy and care
While Goldens can adapt to virtually any living situation, they need considerable daily exercise. We suggest 15-60 minutes of running 3-6 times a day for young Goldens. Goldens are obsessed with being with their pack of people or dogs. They are incredibly social and hate to be alone. Without the companionship of people and adequate exercise, your Golden may display naughty and destructive behavior.
With proper nutrition, routine veterinary care, and regular exercise and grooming, your Golden Retriever should live from ten to thirteen years.
Should I get a Golden Retriever?
Golden Retrievers are known for their zest for life! Every day is a party in the life of a Golden. They view every person as a friend. They believe every interaction with the world is cause for excitement. This outlook is contagious and many owners of Goldens are much happier with their daily reminder to love life.
Training your Golden Retriever
We believe that the best Goldens are those with owners who properly exercise and obedience train their dogs. Basic obedience training is an essential part of responsible dog ownership. It will make your dog a better companion and will help establish a stronger bond between the two of you. Your Golden wants nothing more from life than to please you. Therefore, it is your responsibility to train this faithful companion to do as you say.
Dog training classes—ranging from “puppy kindergarten” to advanced obedience training and competition—are available in most areas, often as a service of a local kennel club. We suggest you obedience train your Golden to be able to walk on a leash without pulling, not jump up on people, come when called and respect the word “No!”. To accomplish this, 6-12 weeks of obedience group classes are necessary. Finding a dog trainer to do private lessons with you is also a great way to get your dog trained. We highly suggest you do the majority of the obedience training yourself. If you find you are limited on time, then using a professional dog trainer for a Boot Camp school is an option. Your dog will spend weeks in the home/kennel of the trainer to learn his commands.
Golden Retrievers have the most luxurious and soft fur. Their hair grows year round and sheds. The worst shedding is in late spring when the weather warms up. For 1-2 months Goldens “blow” their coat each Spring. This means a lot of hair is shedding out so the dog has a thinner coat for the warm weather ahead. The remainder of the year Goldens are considered “constant shedders”. With regular brushing and baths this shedding can be kept to a minimum. If you have allergies to dogs, Goldens are not a good choice for your home. Goldens must be indoor pets and not made to stay outside. If you have allergies to dogs we suggest you consider a dog who does not shed.