Golden Retriever Dog Breed
Aliases: Goldie, Goldens
Life Span: 10-13 years.
Litter Size: 8 (average)
Recognized By: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, ANKC
Color: The coat color of a Golden can range from a light cream color, into the yellows, or even into darker golden or copper shades.
Hair Length: Long
Shedding: Moderate Shed
Male Height: 23-24 inches
Male Weight: 65-75 pounds
Female Height: 21.5-22.5 inches
Female Weight: 55-65 pounds
The Golden Retriever does well in different living situations as long as their family takes the time to make sure they are well exercised. While a large fenced yard or a secure area that provides room to run and play is ideal, a Golden Retriever can also thrive in an apartment environment. In this situation, it is important to check with local parks and public areas to determine what their rules are in regards to dogs and other pets, and see what would be most suitable for taking your dog to for play and exercise time.
The Golden Retriever is divided into two groups, primarily based on their appearance. The first group is the English, and they are shorter, bigger-boned, and tend to have longer coats that are lighter in color. The American group tends to be lanky with longer limbs, and have characteristics that are more similar to the origins of their breed.
Their broad heads are connected to wide muzzles. They have brown expressive eyes and a black nose, and as they mature, their chests become broad and their bodies become muscular, and their tails are always wagging.
Generally, a Golden Retriever is filled with confidence and that comes through by the way they carry themselves. They appear strong and athletic, and their body is symmetrical. Their peaceful attitude and affectionate personalities are apparent in their posture and in the way they interact with their humans.
The Golden Retriever has a double coat. The outer coat is soft, feathery, and can be straight or wavy. The undercoat allows the Golden to repel water and stay warm in extreme cold, and then will shed throughout the year, but more in the spring. This gives the Golden Retriever coat a versatile quality, since the coat allows for the Golden to be comfortable in virtually any season of the year. Shedding can be managed by putting some time aside throughout the week to keep up on grooming, and if your dog is likely to spend the majority of it\'s time indoors, it may be a good idea to invest in a good vacuum cleaner to clean up any hair missed in your grooming routine.
This highly intelligent and social dog has a history that traces back to the late 1800's, where written records indicate that Lord Tweedmouth of developed them. His desire was to produce a dog that was skillful in hunting and tracking, as well as retrieving waterfowl. In addition, he wanted a hunting partner that was beautiful to watch work. It is believed that the breed began by crossing a yellow dog with the now-extinct water spaniel, and through the years, the breed has evolved into a dog with popularity that has stood the test of time.
Golden Retrievers are not believed to have been brought to the United States until the 1890's, and they were not presented in dog shows until the 1920's
Outgoing and social, the Golden Retriever makes a loyal family pet. Their sweet dispositions make them patient and gentle with children and they are generally tolerant of other pets. It is important to remember that they are excitable as pups, and can accidentally knock children over while playing. Aggressiveness in well-bred Golden Retrievers is not common, but improper breeding can raise the chances of aggression issues. Instead, these dogs are people lovers who prefer to have as much human contact as possible, and can tend to get themselves into trouble if they are frequently left alone. Being forced from their family members for long periods can result in a very unhappy Golden Retriever that could suffer from separation anxiety. Golden Retrievers do not make the best of guard dogs. They will bark at strangers, but seem to be more interested in meeting and making friends with them than they are defending their family against them. They are affectionate, loving and loyal, and try hard to please their people.
Golden Retrievers have a high energy level. These fun loving dogs enjoy nothing more than to play fetch or retrieve a stick during play, and their love for water makes for not only interesting play, but also plays a part in their strong hunting skills.
Their high level of intelligence enables them to excel in obedience training. They are often trained and used as service dogs to the blind and disabled. Their friendly and affectionate personalities also make them ideal visitors for retirement homes and allow them to be effective therapy dogs.
Some of the most common health problems found in Golden Retrievers are:
Hip Dysplasia is a skeletal issue that leads to extreme discomfort, swelling, arthritis and even lameness. The high demand for this breed has often led to poor and unhealthy breeding practices, and a lot of the health issues a Golden Retriever may face can be genetic. Other health issues that can affect Goldens can include:
inherited heart disease.
Recent studies and surveys have indicated that cancer is rapidly becoming the most common cause of death for Goldens, the most common types being Hemangiosarcoma and Lymphosarcoma. While genetic factors also play a role in cancer illnesses in Golden Retrievers, environmental causes are also a big cause of different cancers.
It is imperative that you find a trustworthy vet in your area and be active in the health care of your dog. Keep up on the immunizations that are recommended, as well as any shots that are required by your community. Establish a strong relationship with your vet and good communication skills, and talk about changes that you can make in regards to care, lifestyle and diet that can help your dog live a long and happy life. Be informed as to warning signs of illness, as well as what steps you should take in case of an emergency with your Golden Retriever.
The Golden Retriever\'s double coat is important to brush on a daily basis. Many Golden owners complain about how much their dogs shed, particularly in the spring months. A strong brush will be your most prized tool when combating dog hair on your furniture, clothes and carpeting. Trimming can be done on occasion.
Their nails should be trimmed on a regular basis. Long nails can be very uncomfortable for the dog, and painful if your dog happens to jump on someone. In addition, regular nail care can prevent uncomfortable issues with the shape of their feet. Sometimes a dog owner is lucky and has a dog with clear nails, making it easy to determine where the quick is. The quick helps you know how short the nail should be cut. If you are one of the many pet owners that have dogs with dark nails, the rule of thumb is to cut the nail even with the pad of the foot, and it is never a bad idea to make sure you have styptic in your first aid kit, just in case there is bleeding. If you are intimidated by nail trimming, make sure you ask your vet to do it for you.
Golden Retrievers have floppy ears that fold over. This as well as the activity level of the dog can allow it to be susceptible to yeast and bacterial ear infections. Because of this, it is important to be on the watch for any signs indicating an infection, such as head shaking or scratching, and know how to clean their ears carefully. Be prepared to visit your vet for a diagnosis when an infection is suspected as this can be an uncomfortable condition that, if untreated, could cause long term issues with the ears or the hearing.
Shampooing with a mild shampoo is a great way to combat "doggy" odor. If you have a Golden with sensitive skin or allergies, chances are, your vet can recommend a shampoo that can clean effectively yet prevent your dog's skin from being irritated. In fact, it is possible that there are shampoos available that can improve allergy discomfort!
While a youthful Golden Retriever is not as prone to weight issues as other breeds, it can still be a concern for older dogs as they become less active. They are an extremely active breed, and exercise is an important part of their daily care. They must be provided adequate room and time to play, beyond their outdoor potty breaks. Allowing them to retrieve balls, throwing sticks or Frisbees for them, giving them opportunities to play and socialize with dogs as well as a nice walk are all wonderful ways to ensure your Golden Retriever is well exercised. Some other activities your Golden may enjoy include swimming, hiking, jogging or biking. Mental exercise is also important. These dogs are eager to please, and enjoy having jobs to keep them busy and gain approval. Creating fun games or interesting things for your dog to do will keep them entertained and prevent them from becoming bored.
Golden Retrievers are known for being an easy breed to train. They are excited to learn, eager to please, and their high intelligence allows them to learn behaviors and tricks quickly. Most dogs from this size benefit from obedience training, and a good program that allows them to socialize with other dogs is an added bonus.
Goldens Retrievers are easy to train to do jobs. Golden Retrievers have been trained to work with Police to locate drugs, excel in agility training and enjoy learning how to perform tricks.
Golden Retrievers are popular candidates for training to become aid dogs. Their quick minds make them ideal for guiding the blind, and the training for this job begins when they are puppies. They are also trained to do other wonderful things for people such as uplifting the sick, and entertaining the aging.
It is important to begin teaching basic commands such as sit, come, stay and heel. The sooner these basic commands are mastered, the easier it will be to manage your dog as it grows and as you are training progresses.