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Golden Retriever

Quick facts

Golden Retriever AKC Group: Sporting
Height: Male: 22 - 24 inches, Female: 20 - 22 inches
Weight: Male: 60 - 80 pounds, Female: 55 - 70 pounds
Colors: single color, varying from very pale to very dark golden but ideally in between
AKC recognized in: 1925

Suiting its name, the golden retriever is a brilliant choice of dog breed. With its undeniable celebrity status in the world of canines, it is easily one of the most popular and most sought after. As such, it is recorded in the United States as the fourth most popular breed and ranks fifth in Australia.

Famed for its luxurious golden coat which is perhaps its most distinguished feature in terms of appearance, the golden retriever makes a very good show dog. And although 'golden' is the widely accepted fur color, it actually ranges from very light to very dark in hue.

But as much of a show dog the Golden is for its famed beauty, it is actually built and bred to perform a more serious task. Like other dogs in the retriever family, the Golden is primarily meant as a hunting dog.

Bred to work in the wilderness with a hunter, its breeders aimed for water-resistant body fur and succeeded. As such, the Golden is rarely the dog to hesitate jumping for a swim. If the situation calls, or even just for fun, it will take on the water.

And because it was also bred to retrieve things to its master as all retrieve dogs are, the Golden is also designed to have a soft mouth. This keeps it from damaging whatever it retrieves.

Golden retrievers were initially bred in Scotland by a man named Dudley Tweedmouth. Lord Tweedmouth, who always tended to prefer yellow dogs, set about breeding a dog that would be a great retriever and survive the terrain in Scotland. He started by mating a yellow retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel (which is now extinct). Further breeding using Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and back to the Tweed Water Spaniel, Lord Tweedmouth kept only the yellow puppies, giving away all others. What resulted is the Golden Retriever of today.

Temperament

Golden Retriever Summary
Affection five paws
Cold Tolerance four paws
Ease of Training five paws
Energy level five paws
Exercise Requirements five paws
Friendliness : Children five paws
Friendliness: Other Animals five paws
Friendliness: Other Pets five paws
Grooming Requirements one paw
Heat Tolerance four paws
Playfulness five paws
Protection Ability two paws
Watchdog Ability one paw

Apparently, the moniker 'golden' does not just apply to this breed's unique fur color. Attitude-wise, it also passes with brimming golden colors.

Widely known for their loving and affectionate nature, golden retrievers are hardly the aggressive type. In fact, they are perhaps too friendly. They are eager to meet new people and will be excited to see new faces.

As such, Golden retrievers are easier to keep in a group. They are peaceful around children and they go along even with other dog breeds.

However, this eager-to-please attitude sometimes gets ahead of the Golden. Oftentimes, they find it hard to resist coming onto people and other animals. Of course, this can result in obvious problems.

Therefore, it is important to teach a Golden to hold its excitement when in public areas. With the right training, their playful and hyperactive nature can be managed properly.

On the other hand, this playfulness and active temperament of this breed goes perfectly well with its above average intelligence level. The Golden retriever is smart which makes it very adaptable to training.

Health and Exercise

The Golden Retriever has a life span of between 10 and 12 years.

While the Golden Retriever is generally a healthy dog, they are susceptable to certain health problems, Many because of the indiscriminate breeding by some people. These problems include:

  • Hip Dysplasia - Where the thigh bone does not fit snugly into the hip joint. This can lead to severe lameness or arthritis. A dog diagnosed with hip dysplasia should never be bred, as this is an inherited condition.
  • Gastric dilation-volvulus, or bloat - this is a life-threatening condition where the stomach becomes distended with gas or air, and then twists. This can happen with all deep chested dogs, especially if they eat their meal rapidly or drink large volumns of water. If this happens, it is extremely important that you get your Golden Retriever to a vet immediately.
  • Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis - This is a narrowing in the connection between the Aorta and the left ventricle. Mild cases can cause fainting, but this condition can also cause death
  • Hypothyroidism - A disorder of the thyroid that can result in obesity, lethargy, or epilepsy.

As common to medium to long haired dogs, owners of Golden will sometimes face the problem of shedding. This becomes most prominent during spring seasons. However, a quick brushing and combing session done at least every day will significantly minimize shedding.

Golden retrievers love the outdoors, and a large yard will be a great playground. They should be given 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise twice a day to get rid of the pent up energy. Failure to do this could result in behavior issues down the road.

Visitor Comments

This is your chance to add your feedback. Do you have a Golden Retriever in your family, or know one in someone elses? Do you have a story to tell related to that Golden Retriever? Or maybe you have more questions that either DogNation.net or another of our visitors might be able to help you with? Feel free to add your comment or question below.


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