Due to its friendly appearance, intelligence, obedience and attachment to humans, the Golden Retriever is one of the top 3 most popular breeds in the United States. Predominantly kept as a family dog – the breed gets along very well with kids – the Goldens are also used as hunting dogs, search and rescue dogs, guide dogs for the blind and detection dogs, to mention only a few of many uses.
History of Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever was recognized as a breed by the Kennel Club of England in 1911, while the American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1925. The first Golden Retrievers were developed on the estate of Dudley Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth (1820 – 1894) in Scotland in the mid-19th century. The legend has it that the breed originates from a Russian tracker dog breed that was acquired by Tweedmouth from a circus. However, this was later shown to be a myth. Instead, the Golden was developed by careful inbreeding of Wavy- and Flat-Coated Retrievers, Water Spaniels and Irish Setter with an aim to develop a breed capable of retrieving game from both land and water.
Golden Retriever Appearance and Physical Characteristics
The Golden Retriever is a large-sized breed, reaching 21 to 24 inches in height and weighing 55 to 75 pounds. The golden coat (albeit there are several different shades) is thick, soft and shiny, while the hair is straight or wavy but not curly. The hair is long on the ears, chest, under stomach, back, hind legs and tail, and short on the head, front of legs and paws. Shedding is quite heavy, especially during the seasons change.
Golden Retriever Personality and Temperament
The breed is known for its friendly personality, calm character, intelligence, obedience and loyalty. And as mentioned above, the Goldens are also great with children which makes them excellent family dogs. Just like other dogs, however, it is crucial for them to receive early socialization and training.
Golden Retriever Grooming and Care
Golden Retrievers don’t need any special care. To keep their golden hair soft and shiny, they should be brushed twice a week and given a bath every now and then. Equally important is to keep their nails short, regularly clean their ears, brush their teeth – if possible, on a daily basis – and make sure that they receive all the necessary vaccines and protection against fleas, ticks and other parasites.
Golden Retriever Diet and Exercise
Healthy, nutritionally balanced diet plays the key role in every dog’s health and longevity. And Golden Retrievers are no exception. If you need advice or guidance in choosing the best diet for your dog, please consult your vet who will also help you determine your dog’s nutritional needs based on his age and overall health.
Golden Retrievers are a sporting breed and therefore, they need a lot of exercise. They also love to play with their human masters.
Golden Retriever Health
The Goldens can be develop the same health problems as other breeds although they are also prone to some hereditary conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia. Other common health problems in Golden Retrievers involve the eyes and cardiovascular system. You are recommended to choose a reputable breeder and follow your vet’s recommendations on how to keep your dog happy and healthy.
Things You May Not Know About Golden Retrievers
– Two U.S. Presidents owned a Golden Retriever while in office: Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan
– They are very friendly to strangers which makes them bad guard dogs
– Their topcoat is water-repellent
– When they get older, the color of the hair gets grayer or whiter