Golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs today. You’ve probably seen them in the park joyfully fetching a tennis ball. But what do you really know about this dog?
The Golden Retriever was developed during the 1800’s in Britain. The breeder, Lord Tweedmouth, wanted a dog that was loyal, kind, spirited, and energetic. He also wanted a dog with a love for water and the ability to retrieve. Golden Retrievers are the embodiment of beauty and brains.
Categorized as a sporting dog, the typical Golden Retriever male weighs between 65-75 lbs. and the female slightly smaller at 55-65 lbs. As adults Golden males stand 23-24 inches and females stand 21.5-22.5 inches. Goldens’ coats are various shades of gold.
The Golden Retriever has a water repellent and weather resistant double coat. The firm, resilient outer coat can be wavy or straight. The tail and legs are feathered with longer hair while the under coat is dense and soft in texture. The coat color varies in shades of cream to gold and is rich and lustrous. The Golden is a heavy shedder.
The Golden Retriever is a large, and energetic breed making them the world’s foremost family pet and companion. They are sturdy, well proportioned, and are well known for their hunting capabilities on land and in the water. The Golden is a perceptive and agile breed that trains quickly.
Golden Retrievers are loveable, polite, and highly intelligent. They are sweet, eager to please, and devoted family companions who are always gentle and patient with children. They exude charm and confidence however they do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time and may become mischievous and destructive.
They have a tendency to be overly exuberant and easily distracted. They are friendly with other pets. In fact, they are friendly with everyone. They tend to bark as a form of greeting. The Golden Retriever is not well suited for a two career family as they require an inordinate amount of human interaction and companionship.
The Golden Retriever is one of the easiest breeds to train. They excel in obedience and are popular therapy and service dogs. They have many talents including competitive obedience, narcotic detection, agility, and performing tricks.
Caring for a Golden Retriever can be time consuming. The heavy coat of Golden Retrievers requires daily and thorough brushing with a firm bristle brush. They should be dry shampooed regularly and bathed only when absolutely necessary with a mild shampoo to keep from drying out their skin. Also, they are prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts, and skin allergies so regular veterinarian check-ups are essential. They do have a tendency to gain weight so it is important not to over feed the Golden Retriever.
Golden’s will do okay in an apartment dwelling provided they are sufficiently exercised. The Golden Retriever requires daily exercise and they enjoy play sessions with their family, retrieving balls and other toys. Golden Retrievers are moderately active indoors and do best with a medium to large sized securely fenced yard.
Golden Retriever puppies should be purchased from reputable Golden Retriever breeders who should be able to provide documentation from the American Kennel Club or similar registry organization. Ideally, you should be able to view the parents. An alternative to purchasing a puppy is to adopt a Golden Retriever from a Golden Retriever rescue or other rescue organization like the Humane Society.
Now you know everything you ever wanted to know about Golden Retrievers. Remember that like any pet, owning a Golden Retriever is a long-term, significant commitment.