Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds of dog in the world. Known as one of the friendliest and kindest and user-friendly dogs in all dog family. Golden Retriever are generally sturdy muscular dogs with dense golden lustrous coat of fur. There friendly tolerant easy to learn makes them ideal for home living. They are highly intelligent and can easily read people’s minds. Thus, making them a great companion to humans. Also, a great companion and popular as disability assistance dog be it guide dog for blind or a hearing dog for the deaf. We have all seen how Golden retriever cheers up Joey in Friends season. They are also used as Therapy dogs or stress buster these days in many IT companies and hospitals.
Personality & Temperament
Golden Retrievers are playful, intelligent, kind, gentle with children and tend to get along well with other pets and strangers. This makes them great family dogs. But at the same time makes them poor guard dogs. They are sweet, loving and well mannered, reliable and trustworthy. Surprisingly Golden Retrievers were the first three dogs to obtain Obedience Trial championships because of their desire to please. Mentally these dogs remain puppy for up to two or three years of age, but generally attain weight and height by that time.
Well although the history of origin is unclear and haphazard its history can be traced to the work of one man, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (later the first Lord Tweedmouth) who actually wanted to breed a good hunting dog. He originally crossed a yellow colored retriever named ‘Nous’ with a “Belle” a Tweed Water Spaniel. This breed of dog was later bred with St John’s Water dog of Newfoundland. The coat textures varied greatly in the past and so did the color ranging from fox red to light cream. Over the years this was bred and developed after number of crosses to develop a good hunting dog with equally good skills in land and water. They were first registered as “Flat Coats-Golden” in the year 1903. And in 1911 in the United Kingdom they were recognized as separate breed, first called “Yellow or Golden Retrievers” but over the years Yellow has been dropped from their name. Initially they were supposed to be used for hunting in both land as well as marshy ponds and rivers. This breed of dog was originally bred in Scotland in mid-19th century. With time this later reached to other countries like the United States and Canada.
Health and Lifespan
All prospective dog buyers want a long and healthy life for their dogs. Each breed of dog has their own set of diseases which includes some common and some hereditary diseases and Golden retrievers are no such exception. However, with regular veterinary care we can stop and mitigate this unwanted risk. Here we list down some common disease of Golden Retrievers:
Hip Dysplasia: One of the most common and hereditary disease of this breed of dog in which there is abnormal formation of “ball and socket” hip joint. This is a very serious problem particularly for those dogs that are trained for strenuous and demanding activity. Signs of such disease is generally not detected in young puppies. Two years of age is the minimum age for accurate determination of Hip Dysplasia. Normal and regular X ray can be useful to detect this however often seem to have high pain thresholds and do not show any sign of pain. So regular moderate exercise along with weight control are necessary for this breed be it with or without symptoms. Also, regular checkup and veterinary visit is a must to keep your dog healthy.
Eye Disease: Eye diseases particularly cataracts are common among this breed, which is again a hereditary disease. Some carry genes for Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy (CPRA) which is progressive deterioration of retina and thus leading to complete blindness. Along with this glaucoma, distichiasis, entropion, corneal dystrophy and retinal dysplasia are also common eye diseases noticed in this breed. The best advice is to get a regular and thorough checkup of Golden at varying ages.
Heart Disease: Another not very common but prevalent hereditary disease is subvalvular aortic stenosis. This can be serious if not examined so dogs must be screened by certified Veterinary specialists. The usual screening process includes auscultation (listening to any murmur via stethoscope). Dogs with such diseases should generally be avoided to further bred.
Cancer: Golden Retrievers are more susceptible to Cancer than any other breed of dogs. And the rate is as high as 60 percent, one of the highest in the dog world. According to Veterinary Oncologist Dr. Cheryl London a lot of interbreeding was done over a period of time which created issues in genes. They generally develop four types of cancer – hemangiosarcoma, osteosarcoma, lymphoma and mast cell tumors. The risk for Cancer begins at the age of six and peaks at ages 10 to 12. So it is essential to keep a check and look for any lumps and have regular visit to veterinary hospital.
Allergies: Golden Retrievers also suffer from many skin diseases most prevalent being allergies. Common allergens include flea bite, dust, mold, pollen grains and to some foods. General symptoms include constant biting, licking and scratching. Allergies coupled with malfunction of thyroid gland can be characterized by obesity, lethargy and coat problems. Look for such early signs and take necessary precautions to have a good lifespan.
Well these were the few important ones. Not to mention the obesity and constant shedding which also needs to be taken care of. Proper checkup and healthy diet along with exercise are must to have a happy Golden with you.
Golden Retrievers need a lot of attention on their grooming, particularly because of their thick fur and hair. They profusely shed twice a year apart from normal shedding throughout the year. Brush your dog thoroughly with slicker brush once or twice a week will remove most of those unwanted fur. They should be bath regularly with good quality dog shampoo to avoid losing the undercoat. Make sure you dry them completely otherwise knots and hairs may get entangled. You can use hair dryer before setting it to low speed. Also, this is the best time to look for any skin diseases or allergies. Make sure to wipe your dogs’ eyes and clean his ears and eyes and also look for any ear infections. Don’t forget to trim you dog’s nails just like in any other dogs.
A high-quality dog food appropriate for dog’s age must contain all the necessary nutrients that the breed needs. They generally weigh around 55-75 pounds and reach their full height and weight by age of 12 to 18 months. An adult and active dog need around 1300 to 1700 calories a day but this greatly varies with age, activity level, weight and overall health problems. In general, avoid feeding him with raw meat, fish, chocolate, milk and dairy products and salty foods. Do consult your vet on proper diet and food habits.
One of the friendliest and adorable dogs they are considered to be one of the favorites for home living. They will never let you alone. High on energy they require lots of physical activity: running, fetching, jumping, swimming and plenty of playing. Golden Retrievers are very good and caring to young ones and babies. They easily make friendly even with strangers. Also, they do not bark a lot. They love human companionship and always eager to do anything for you. They are good lovers and will have no issue in snuggling up to you in bed. They munch on almost everything that is food sometimes even not food. They are intelligent and can read human minds and can sense when you are sick or unhappy and will do anything to comfort you.
Many a times we get cheated by false claims while claiming a Golden Retriever so one must be aware of the specifications of this breed. This breed has actually three colors – Golden, Light Golden and Dark Golden as well as three different types – English, Canadian and American. Buy dogs from a reputable breeder and a quality pedigree. Do ask for parents, grandparents and other ancestors if they possessed good health, temperament and ability who are most likely to pass on their traits to the pups. In general, they all are always loving, caring, affectionate, attention seeking and athletic.
No matter what Golden puppies are the cutest. And you will enjoy showing his picture to everyone so that they could marvel at his cuteness. They are fun and energetic and will always be your companions. Numerous movies starring Golden Retrievers have proved that. The Golden may have many shortcomings but they are wonderful to stay with. Who doesn’t a companion who can understand you and always there to cheer you as your best friend?