The Golden Retriever is also known as the Yellow Retriever and it is one of the most intelligent, friendly and popular breeds in the world. The golden retriever was originally developed by Lord Tweedmouth in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800s. The golden retriever was basically bred as a hunting dog that would retrieve game and waterfowl to their owners without damage. The modern Golden retriever retains the characteristics for which it was originally developed for as evidenced from its love of water and soft mouth. The golden retriever’s mild manner and devotion to the family make it an ideal family dog.
A male Golden Retriever can weigh 27-36 kg (60-80 pounds) while females are usually 25-32 kg (55-70 pounds). The males are also taller the females with an average height of 22-24 inches while female retrievers stand at around 20-22 inches.
There three further types of golden retrievers, i.e. British type, the American type and the relatively new Canadian type. The British type is usually found in Europe and Australia while the American and Canadian types are prevalent in North America. The British type of Golden Retriever is usually heavier then their American and Canadian counterparts. Although slight differences exist between the three types, the incidence of Cancer in British Golden Retrievers is lower then the American blood lines.
The Golden Retriever comes in a variety of coat colors in various shades of Golden. Pure white and red colors are also found in this breed however such dogs cannot be entered into competitions. This breed has a dense water repellent coat that aides it in swimming.
A Golden Retriever’s temperament is one of the most distinguishing features of this breed. It is a naturally confident, friendly dog and they have very trusting natures. This includes people they know and strangers which make them a bad choice as guard dogs. They get on well with other pets and are very patient with children. They are noted for their patience and the ability to focus on the task at hand.
Due to high the high trainability of this breed they are fast learners making harsh training methods unnecessary. This breed was rated 4th by Stanley Coren for obedience command trainability in his book The Intelligence of Dogs.
3. Exercise requirements
Golden Retriever’s are a lively and energetic breed that needs plenty of physical and mental stimulation. A Golden Retriever needs to be jogged or taken on long brisk walks on a daily basis. Throwing balls to retrieve in open spaces or taking them to a lake for a swim is also a great way to let them burn energy. Hyper activity can become an issue when not exercised properly and this breed is not for couch potatoes!
4. Use as work dogs
Due to their sociable natures and willingness to learn, Golden Retrievers are popular as mobility assistance and as guide dogs. This breed is also commonly used as a search and rescue dogs. Golden Retrievers are particularly suitable for hunting and tracking, not only on land but also in the water.
This breed is a moderate shedder and with a medium haired smooth double coat they are easy to groom. It is recommended that the bottom hair of a Golden Retriever be cut short for hygienic reasons. This breed should be dry shampooed regularly however bathing is recommended only when necessary.
6. General Health
The average life expectancy of a Golden Retriever is 10 to 12 years. Although this breed does not have too many health issues, there are some inherent health problems. Some common ailments are,
- elbow and hip dysplasia
- Cancer is biggest cause of death in this breed. 61% of American Golden Retrievers died from cancer according to a 1998 heath study.
- the most common eye disease in Golden Retrievers is cataracts. Progressive retinal atrophy, corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, retinal dysplasia are also common.
- Joint diseases
7. Recommended for
Golden Retrievers are a versatile breed make great family pets as well as working dogs. This is breed is not recommended as guard dogs or those who cannot exercise them properly.