The Golden Retriever has graciously secured the spot as one of the most popular dogs worldwide throughout time and age. This golden beauty has its history rooted in Scotland, with a somewhat erroneous rumour about being bred from Russian circus dogs.
However, the records of Lord Tweedmouth of Inverness proved that there is little truth to the innuendo. And in fact, the golden retriever has been bred from its ancestor, Nous, a yellow retriever which serves to explain the honey-gold coat that catches our eyes and warms our hearts.
Apart from its golden charm, it is always one of the best choices for households and families, owing to its versatility. Initially bred for hunting waterfowl, their loyalty, and trustworthiness also made them excellent pets.
Therefore, though they are very active and sporty dogs, they still fulfill the family dog criteria. Golden Retriever is widely popular for this all-in-one package that they offer.
Table Of Content
The personality of Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever is known for its high-spirited, vibrant character that instantly draws people’s attention. This attention is sustained and turned into deep affection when people are familiar with the dogs’ allegiance and obedience.
Since they are readily obedient, that also makes them very easy to train. Along with being excellent family dogs, they also make good service dogs. For instance, the golden retriever often assists physically disabled or blind people due to its high intelligence and composed disposition.
Their happy, playful nature helps children in a family to bond well with them, which instils the value of sentiment and affection in kids. They have also been trained as therapy dogs as they help to alleviate stress and sadness. They have a lot of warmth, affinity, and love that they can spread quickly.
Some even suggest that their puppy-like attitude never wholly leaves them, making them even more lovable and dear. From crying babies to cranky elderly, they always know the way to one’s heart.
Additionally, since they do not pose threats and often embrace strangers with open arms, they are unsuitable for watchdogs. However, their low barking tendency makes them a preferable choice to have around. Dogs inclined towards barking are despised for the noise commotion they create.
Characteristics & Information of Golden Retriever
The origin of its name is hardly unknown to any, and it surely emerges from its dense, cream-gold coat of fur. A male golden retriever has a height of approximately 24 inches, while a female one has about 22 inches. Weight varies from around 65 to 75 pounds for males, and females fit in 55 to 65 pounds.
They tend to have affectionate eyes that have a hint of intelligence. They tend to have floppy ears, which serve as the characteristic attribute of golden retrievers. Another signifying attribute is their soft, straight muzzle. People say that they can easily hold a raw egg inside their soft mouth without damaging it.
Additionally, their furry cream coating holds a variation in texture, ranging from straight to wavy. The same goes for the range of colors they attain. They may come in various shades of gold and cream. Retriever usually has a thicker layer of fur on their chest, tail, and legs. With a good under-coat, its outer coat is water-repellent with a resilient texture. They have a sturdy, muscular built that makes them appropriate for swimming and other physical activities. Though characteristics can vary slightly, the attributes mentioned above are common in most Golden Retrievers.
They are also known to have a balanced gait. Golden Retriever has a longevity range consisting of 10 to 13 years. They have a low tendency to drool, dig, snore or bark. On the contrary, there’s a high tendency in them to crave social attention. This attention-seeking nature often leaves them with the title of people-pleaser. They are classified as sporting breed and usually bred for retrieving; hence, they are called golden retrievers.
Exercise & Training of Golden Retriever
Owing to the playful nature of the Golden Retriever, it requires about 40 minutes of exercise per day. They are often regarded as ‘bird dogs’ as they love to swim or fetch a ball.
Training is quite crucial for a Retriever as it is known to be an athletic dog. Training them becomes easy owing to their eager-to-please nature. Also, since they are known to be athletic dogs, a Retriever usually stands out in events and competitions. So, whether it is agility sport or dog diving, they shine bright in such competitions as they are highly obedient to their owners’ commands. Additionally, their high adaptability level enables them to adjust to any training or exercise.
Since they are initially bred for swimming and fetching waterfowl, they naturally adapt the instincts towards swimming and fieldwork. A Retriever is also known to make an excellent hunting dog, and with proper training, they fit into the role of search and rescue dogs. It is of utmost importance to start their training from the young age of seven weeks. Without a daily regimen of movement and exercise, they often lean towards undesirability by succumbing to laziness.
Health & Grooming of Golden Retriever
Generally, Golden Retriever is considered a healthy dog with minimal health issues. However, breeders must be careful to maintain health checkups for their dogs for various diseases. Regular screening is essential for ophthalmic diseases such as pigmentary uveitis, juvenile cataracts, and heart diseases like subvalvular aortic stenosis.
Other common health risks include elbow and hip dysplasia. Therefore, suggested health tests include hip and elbow evaluation, Cardiac exam, and ophthalmologic evaluation.
Other than that, it is recommended to examine their ears weekly for any signs of infection. And general cleanliness must be maintained by brushing their teeth often.
Golden Retriever is known to shed more often than other breeds. With the help of a slicker brush, breeders may brush their dogs once or twice a week before the dead hair makes a mess in the house by shedding on its own.
Moreover, brushing will help to distribute natural oils of their body for a healthier coating of fur. To avoid contracting dirt and germs, breeders must trim the nails of their dogs weekly. Another key trait of golden retrievers to be noted is that they are fond of chewing. Initially bred for bird retrieving skills, they naturally tend to hold things inside their muzzle.
Owners should supervise their dogs accordingly before they learn to give in to their instincts and start chewing slippers and furniture.
Nutrition requirements of your Golden Retriever
A Golden Retriever is a major food lover. Along with several other reasons, what makes them such desirable pets is that they are not fussy about their food. Any particular dog food will fulfill all the nutrients required by the dogs for a healthy disposition.
What’s important is to check their calorie consumption level to avoid making them obese. Owners must not be lenient when providing treats. Small treats here and there amount to a lot of calories if not carefully distributed.
Treats are an essential part of the training game, so they must be delivered in a certain amount each day. Breeders also must be familiar with what human foods are out of harm’s way for the dogs and which pose a risk. A proper diet based on the dog’s weight and height by consulting a vet is highly recommended.
It is of prime significance to ensure that the owners refrain from providing a poor-quality diet. A Retriever is vulnerable to skin diseases, which mostly arise from poor diet regimens. Any food containing animal digest is strictly prohibited for them.
Along with that, food containing chemical preservatives is a source of cancer for dogs. Therefore, chemical preservatives-filled food must be avoided for any golden retriever.
In addition to that, dog owners must steer clear of sugar-added or artificial flavoured foods. Food preserved with rosemary and herbs is encouraged to add to the diet.
It is also often said to feed dogs foods that are eligible for human consumption. Some dog foods contain meat products that are neither suitable for human consumption nor
animal. Often this is why dogs die from cancer and terrible diseases. Though a Golden Retriever usually has a lifespan of 10-13 years, they can live longer if simple diet rules are followed.
It’s always hard to decide which breed of dog might be suitable for one since tastes vary from individual to individual. However, when it comes to adopting a golden retriever, the answer is pretty clear.
Its loyalty and happy-go-lucky nature make it one of the best family dogs, while its active, energetic side makes it a great companion to individuals who are fitness enthusiasts. This particular breed contains the best of both worlds.
From their joyful nature to their respectful, well-mannered behaviour, they are easily the first choice of anyone. Not to mention, their impatient longing to see their owners when it’s time to come home has bound to be the highlight of the day for all dog parents.
A big jump of hug and warm welcome by their beloved Golden Retriever awaits all dog owners at the end of every day and no levels of stress from work can overpower that.