Golden Retrievers are smart hunters, impeccable family men, and reliable friends, responsive to affection and kindness to themselves. A properly brought up Golden will willingly fulfill any master’s assignment and at the same time will not behave as if he had accomplished the greatest feat in the world. The only reward that the representatives of this breed expect for their own helpfulness is simple human attention, which for Retrievers is much more valuable than the most exquisite.
- Breed name: Golden Retriever
- Country of origin: United Kingdom
- Time of origin of the breed: XIX century
- Weight: males 26-41 kg, females 25-37 kg
- Height (height at withers): Males 56-61 cm, females 51-56 cm
- Life span: 12-15 years
There are three types of Golden Retrievers:
- Ideal hosts for the Golden Retriever are families with children, as well as active people who love walks and long walks. For adherents of a calm lifestyle, the dog will bring more inconvenience than positive emotions.
- Representatives of this breed are quite silent and patient. They do not raise a fuss over trifles and do not annoy with loud barking.
- Dogs are smart and quick-witted. Ranked 4th in the list of the most intellectually developed breeds according to Stanley Coren.
- Among hunters, Golden Retrievers have a reputation for being the best game carriers, capable of wading in search of prey even through difficult thickets.
- Due to the abundant spontaneous molting, the breed is not suitable for fans of sterile cleanliness and allergy sufferers.
- Golden Retrievers are capable learners, grasping even the most difficult material with ease. With a timely completion of the training course, they become excellent guides, rescuers, and search engines.
- Despite their friendly and sociable nature, Retrievers need nurturing and a firm hand. A dog that does not recognize the master’s authority becomes uncontrollable and can create a lot of problems.
- Golden Retrievers have a real passion for water and enjoy bathing in any open body of water, and if overlooked, in puddles.
History of the Breed
The main prerequisite for the emergence of the breed was the eternal passion of English aristocrats for hunting. In the 19th century, the main entertainment of British and Scottish Esquires was hunting game and shooting ducks. The venerable peers disappeared for days in the forests and swamps, boasting to each other with their trophies, guns, and, of course, dogs. However, if the gentlemen had complete order with the hounds, then four-footed hunters who could find a shot quail in the heather thickets or swim after a duck that fell into the lake were in great shortage. Commercial demand generated supply, and soon shaggy dogs with an unusual golden coat began to dissect through the valleys of Scotland.
The emergence of Golden Retrievers, as an independent breed, is usually associated with the name of Dudley Marjoribanks, a Scottish lord and part-time breeder-amateur.
It was he who showed the world a completely new variety of the hunter dog, who was not afraid of water and who skillfully imported a padded bird. For a long time, it remained a mystery, whose blood flows in the wards of the lord, until in the middle of the 20th century the secret records of his studbooks were made public. As it turned out, the Water Tweed Spaniel, Labrador, Bloodhound, and Flatcoated Retriever donated their genes to the Goldens. At the same time, the first offspring was obtained as a result of mating Tweed-Water Spaniel and Flat-Coated Retriever, which had a yellowish coat.
By the 20s of the last century, the breed was already quite popular not only in Europe but also among breeders of the New World. In addition, the USA and Canada have formed their own standards for the appearance of Golden Retrievers.
Golden Retrievers are moderately pumped up handsome men with heartfelt eyes and luxurious iridescent hair. The Goldens owe their recognition not so much to their own charm as to the efforts of marketers. The breed was especially actively promoted by American cinema. It is enough to watch a couple of comedy melodramas produced in the USA to understand: if an American family ever decides to have a dog, then in 9 cases out of 10 it will be a Golden Retriever.
The growth of an average boy ranges from 56-60 cm, and his weight can reach 41 kg. Girls are much lighter (average weight – 25-37 kg) and smaller than males (height – 51-56 cm).
Coat and Сolor of Golden Retrievers
The coat of the Golden Retriever is very hard and water-repellent. The hair is quite thick and fits snugly to the body, hiding an abundant undercoat underneath. The structure of the coat can be straight or have a light wave, and its length varies depending on the part of the body. The longest coat is found on the chest, ears, body, back of all four legs, and the lower part of the tail. Areas of the body with short hair are the head, feet, and front of the limbs.
In the color of the dog, all shades of gold are considered reference, up to the transition to cream color. Lighter colors are acceptable for paws and tails.
In terms of the number of enthusiastic reviews from owners, Golden Retrievers are almost ahead of all breeds. Indeed, only a convinced dog hater can find flaws in these good-natured intellectuals. As for ordinary animal lovers, their Goldens literally captivate with their softness and phenomenal facial memory. If someone from your acquaintances treated your pet to a treat or entertained him with a simple game, you can be sure that the Retriever will not forget this.
They are not at all conflicting and are ready to get along with any four-legged creature that does not show open aggression. Even in the tensest moments, the Goldens prefer to settle matters peacefully. The Golden Retriever, snarling and gripping the enemy with a death grip, is something of a fantasy.
Golden Retrievers are primarily human-oriented. It is with him that they want to go for walks, share their joys and sorrows. For this reason, Goldens are often recruited into active Canis therapy. Shaggy “antidepressants” are happy to contact patients who are in a state of prolonged depression, charging them with bright emotions and gradually returning them the joy of existence.
The nature of Golden Retrievers is not deprived of intelligence and memory, so any lessons the dogs grab on the fly. The first thing that begins with training a Golden Retriever puppy is obedience: the animal must understand what is permissible for him and what is not. Resist the urge to remove all the inhibitions and pamper your baby, so to speak, as an exception. Puppy pranks will quickly cease to seem touchingly funny after a 40-kilogram dog begins to practice them.
Those who see a future hunter in the Golden Retriever will have to go outdoors more often. The dog will be able to learn how to find and bring a hit bird only when he sees it live. At first, the skill is practiced on rags and dummies: a homemade scarecrow is thrown at a puppy to make him want to grab an unfamiliar thing and show it to its owner. Then they smoothly move on to retrieving and participating in the hunt.
Conditions of Detention and Care
Despite the fact that the main specialization of Golden Retrievers has always been hunting, taking on a gun for today’s owners of these shaggy “campaigners” is completely optional. Tedious races through forests and swamps can be easily replaced by long walks in parks and meadows. It’s great if you take your dog to a country house, away from the freeway, where he can run freely. Just do not try to turn your pet into a mongrel and settle him in a booth: the Retriever will not appreciate your impulse and will become despondent, so take the dog into the house and do not deprive her of her own company.
Keeping the Golden Retriever in an apartment is a kind of test of the owner for responsibility and hard work since the animal will have to compensate for the lack of free space, physical activity, and impressions with regular promenades combined with physical activity. Due to their outgoing nature, Golden Retrievers do not deal well with loneliness. Animals throw out their insecurity and fear of the surrounding objects: they gnaw furniture and wires, spoil shoes.
The worst punishment the owner can think of for Golden is to lock him in four walls and calmly leave for work. For careerists, workaholics, travelers, and other busy individuals, the Golden Retriever as a pet is an unacceptable option.
What not to do about a Golden Retriever:
- allow children to sit on a grown dog since the pressure created by the child’s body can cause the animal’s back to bend;
- stroking the puppy on the head and putting the collar over his head, which leads to the incorrect formation of the set of the ears;
- pull the baby by the paws or try to lift him, fixing his hand under the chest.
The main problem for the owner of the Golden Retriever is the coat of his pet. During the molting period, Golden leaves fluffy marks wherever possible, and daily brushing is of little help here. There are only two ways out of this situation: do not buy the Golden Retriever in general, or to put up with this feature of the dog and purchase a powerful vacuum cleaner in order to clean up shreds after it from time to time.
The shedding Retriever is combed out twice a day using a hairbrush and mitt. Between sheds, your dog’s coat doesn’t require as much grooming, but you’ll still need to comb your dog’s coat with a comb a couple of times a week. They bathe Golden once a month, and that’s enough. By purchasing a pet, you can shorten the coat a little. The hair is cut from the bottom up, starting from the neck. It is not forbidden to walk with scissors on the feathers on the paws and “pants” of the dog. Hair that grows between the toes and at the base of the tail should also be trimmed regularly.
Most Golden Retrievers have no problems with eyes and ears, so a standard weekly check-up is sufficient. If dirt has accumulated in the ear funnel, it can be removed with a napkin and boiled water. Chilled tea leaves can be used to treat the eyes. Brushing Golden’s teeth is a laborious but necessary process. If you cannot clean the oral cavity in a classical way, you can entrust this matter to dry food or special delicacies, whose solid particles function as abrasives that “erase” plaque.
Golden Retrievers can be fed with natural products or dried. In the first case, about 50% of the diet should come from animal protein, that is, meat. The daily norm of the product is calculated as follows: 10-20 grams of meat per kilogram of dog weight. The remaining half of the Retriever’s daily “menu” is made up of cereals and vegetables.
The meat for the dog is selected low-fat, with a large number of veins and cartilage. Beef, lamb, rabbit, and turkey are ideal. By-products are also not prohibited, but due to the digestive upset that they can provoke, they are introduced into the diet gradually and little by little. Golden Retrievers are fed after a walk, not before.
Golden Retrievers are walked for at least two hours a day. In this case, it is not at all necessary to observe the same duration of walks. For example, the morning promenade can be shortened to 30 minutes, and the evening one, on the contrary, can be increased to one and a half hours. If the animal lives in an apartment, then up to four months it should not be allowed to go down and up the stairs on its own. Take the puppy for a walk in your arms and in the same way, bring him into the apartment.
Golden Retrievers and Water
Golden Retrievers love water treatments, so while walking, the puppy will certainly try to measure the depth of the first puddle that comes across. Accordingly, if you notice a pit filled with water on the way, it is better to prevent the animal’s impulse by taking it by the collar and strengthening the prohibition with the command “No!”. But you should not give up swimming in open reservoirs. Swimming in a pond, river, or lake for a dog is gymnastics and psychotherapy in one bottle, so when you go for a weekend in nature, feel free to take Golden with you.
Health and Disease
Goldens are one of the most “profitable” pets for veterinary clinics, and their owners are one of the most frequent visitors. The main diseases of the Golden Retriever, mentioned in almost every reference book, are retinal degeneration and hip dysplasia. However, in fact, about a dozen different ailments are listed behind the breed. For example, dogs are often diagnosed with cancer and heart disease, hypothyroidism, atopic dermatitis, von Willebrand disease, and other dangerous ailments.
In addition, Golden Retrievers are prone to obesity. Against the background of more serious diseases, the excessive weight seems to be a harmless trifle, although, in reality, everything is not so rosy. Animals that have gained extra pounds live less, and individuals with excess body weight suffer more from the constant companion of all elderly dogs – arthritis. A serious danger is concealed in themselves and sick teeth of the animal. An ordinary abscess on the gum or an inflamed tooth can “spread” the infection to all organs of the Retriever, eventually dropping it to dog paradise.
How to Choose a Puppy
- Going to the kennel, arm yourself with a printout of the breed standard, or better take with you a specialist who will help you with choosing a puppy. If this is not possible, contact any of the kennel clubs where a reliable breeder will be recommended to you.
- Puppies inherit from their parents not only the appearance and hunting qualities but also the type of temperament, therefore, in a conversation with the seller, insist on getting to know the mother and father of the babies. If such favor is denied to a buyer, there is a high probability that the pedigree of the dogs is so-so.
- To those who see in the Golden R
Retriever is a future family friend, it is better to acquire
girls who are more agreeable and affectionate. Golden males are distinguished by their bright charisma, but their character is more serious and firm. Besides, boys are much smarter when it comes to hunting.
- The temperaments of American and European Retrievers differ significantly – consider this fact when buying a puppy. Goldens from the USA is more energetic and emotional. Indigenous “Europeans” are noticeably more phlegmatic and do not sin with hyperactivity.
- Responsible breeders who value their own name have puppies well-groomed, vaccinated, and treated with anthelmintic agents.