Golden Retriever

A Quick Look at the Golden Retriever...

The Golden Retriever dog breed got its start in Scotland, having been bread to be the ideal hunting dog in water or marshy conditions. Today, Golden Retrievers are recognized as spectacular pets that are highly loving, enthusiastic, and gentle. This fact makes them among the most popular dog breeds in North America.

Here are some fast facts about the Golden Retriever:

Dog Group:
Gun Dog, AKC Sporting
Recognized By:
Dogs – 66-75 lbs. (30-34 kg)
Bitches – 60-71 lbs. (27-32 kg)
Dogs - 22-24 in. (56-61 cm)
Bitches – 20-22 in. (51-56 cm)
Average litter size:
Life expectancy:
9-15 years (average of 12)
Health problems:
Coat care:
Exercise needs:
Suitable for children:
Pet compatibility:
Barking frequency:

Brief History

The Golden Retriever was first developed in the Nineteenth Century in Scotland. To create the breed, Lord Tweedmouth bred several water dogs such as the Tweed Water Spanial, the Irish Setter, a small Newfoundland dog, and other similar breeds.

Lord Tweedmouth created the Golden Retriever breed on his own Tweed River estate in Scotland near Inverness.

He used the new breed to help him to hunt and then retrieve waterfowl. The Golden Retriever made its way to the United States at the very end of the Nineteenth Century, originally for hunting, but eventually it made its way to the show ring as well. It didn’t take long for people to discover what a wonderful companion and family pet the Golden Retriever could be.

Golden Retriever Breed Appearance and Characteristics

General Appearance - The defining feature of the Golden Retriever is its gorgeous shining golden medium-length coat. It is a bright eyed, intelligent-looking, well proportioned dog with a grace and ease of movement that appears happy, confident and elegant.

Typical Temperament - The Golden Retriever is eager to be loved and praised by his or her owner, enjoying games and obedience training that give the dog the opportunity to gain attention from the owner - the breed’s favorite thing. These dogs are immensely accepting with both people and pets both canine and otherwise.

Though they make terrible guard dogs, they can be very effective watchdogs, barking to alert when a stranger is near. With or without strangers, the Golden Retriever is happiest when the entire family is around him or her.

It is important to note that this bright and energetic dog needs exercise both mentally and physically, and without it, he or she can become nervous, mischievous, bored, and destructive. Owners must show leadership and dominance for ideal positive reinforcement training and to create a calm, confident adult dog.

Basic Golden Retriever Care Requirements

Grooming - The Golden Retriever needs a good daily brushing in order to keep his or her coat shiny and clean and keep the skin healthy. With regular brushing, the feathering and undercoat will not have enough time to become matted or snarled. Many owners also trim the feathering on the back of the legs as well as the fur between the toes of the feet and between the pads under the paws. The tail may be trimmed or left natural, depending on the desired appearance. A crescent shape is the desirable feathering shape on the tail.

Exercise - Adult Golden Retrievers thrive on lots of regular exercise. Two daily walks or jogs are perfect for keeping energy levels under control and the mind active. Puppies grow extremely fast - so much so that their bone growth often cannot keep up with their weight. For this reason, it’s important to carefully manage the activity levels of the dog during puppyhood, so that bone development problems will not occur.

Approximate Food Cost - In a typical month, a Golden Retriever should eat around $30 worth of an average quality dry dog food. This figure is assuming that the dog is a healthy, active adult that will eat between 3 and 4 cups of the food.

General Health Information

As wonderful as this breed may be, the Golden Retriever is unfortunately highly prone to hereditary disorders and several kinds of cancer. According to the Golden Retriever Club of America, cancer is the cause of death for at least sixty percent of all Golden Retrievers.

This breed is also increasingly subject to different kinds of allergies and are prone to fleas. Regular brushing helps to minimize both problems.

Common Illnesses include: skin allergies, congenital eye defects, hip dysplasia, cancers.

Are You the Right Golden Retriever Owner?

Living conditions - The Golden Retriever can live happily in just about any kind of home, even an apartment, as long as he or she receives adequate exercise every day, including walks outside and some indoor playtime as well. That being said, the Golden Retriever appreciates a nice sized yard in which to romp and run.

Golden Retriever Training - It is important to start early with socialization training in order to create the ideal adult dog personality. It helps the Golden Retriever’s natural friendliness to bloom while keeping the excitement level under control when meeting new people. Training is best accomplished using a gentle, consistent, and firm positive reinforcement technique.

Common Problems - Golden Retrievers need a large amount of exercise on a mental and physical level. A couple of walks every day, or a walk and some good play time will usually be all the dog needs to take up the extra energy or he or she could become destructive, unhappy, nervous, and mischievous.

The bottom line...

The Golden Retriever is a well intended, gentle dog overall with a special appeal and charisma. They are very open to obedience training and are both patient and intelligent.

They are loyal, fun-loving, and keen to please their family, with whom they wish to spend the majority of their time. This is a perfect breed for families with or without children and other pets.

It is important to keep a close eye on the health of the Golden Retriever as they are prone to a large number of hereditary illnesses as well as a series of different kinds of cancers. Regular vet checkups, routine check-overs by the owner, and careful observation of the dog’s condition and behavior are key to keeping a healthy Golden Retriever and catching any problems early, while they can still be easily treated.

Golden Retrievers do benefit from good socialization and obedience training, starting from an early age, as this encourages the development of the Golden Retriever’s gentle, patient, and friendly nature.

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