The Golden Retriever is a large-sized dog breed that was originally bred as a gun dog to retrieve downed waterfowl during hunting expeditions. Today, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular family dogs in the United States and Canada due to its friendly personality, gentle demeanor, and high intelligence. Goldens make excellent service dogs and are often used for search and rescue missions.
History of Golden Retrievers:
In the mid-1800s, a yellow wavy-coated retriever from Scotland named “Cowslip,” bred to an English black retriever, gave rise to a dog known as the Scottish golden or “Yellow Retriever.” In 1894, Lord Tweedmouth mated a Wavy-Coated Retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel that produced four yellow puppies. These dogs were bred to create the Golden Retriever breed that we know today.
Goldens are not only popular family companions but also excel in a variety of dog sports including showmanship, obedience, and agility competitions. Goldens with naturally leaner builds and distinct wavy coats have been preferred by conformation show breeders, while those with heavier bone structure and plush coats are more likely to participate in canine performance events.
Origin of Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers originated from Scotland. The breed was developed over 100 years ago by Lord Tweedmouth who crossed a wavy-coated retriever with an Irish setter. Other golden retrievers are the result of more recent crossings between English, American, Canadian, and Brazilian golden retrievers.
The appearance of Golden Retrievers:
The Golden Retriever is a large, strong dog. The wavy or flat coat may be various shades of light gold with moderate feathering on the chest, back of the legs and tail. Some Goldens have “facial” flecking or markings around the eyes, an area known as “points.”
The Golden Retriever is a large, strong, muscular dog with an average weight range between 55-75 pounds (25-34 kg) and height at withers between 21-24 inches (53–61 cm). The skull is wide and the stop moderate. The forelegs are straight with round, arched toes. The tail is a little thicker at the base and tapering into a point. It should be long enough to reach well up the back when pulled downward.
Ears are medium in size and hanging. The eyes are brown, medium in size with dark eyelids. Nose is well developed and black.
The temperament of Golden Retrievers:
Golden Retrievers are gentle, loving family dogs that are popular with families with children. They excel in therapy work and love to meet new people. Goldens can be very quiet but also enjoy barking when they hear their owners return home or when there is a disturbance in the neighborhood.
Goldens are friendly, outgoing dogs that are good with strangers. They do not show signs of aggression or shyness and are great family pets. However, they may be protective over their owners and homes when a stranger is present.
The daily exercise needs for Golden Retrievers:
Golden Retrievers have lots of energy and enjoy being outdoors. If they get enough exercise they can do well in an apartment setting.
Goldens love to play and their energy needs should be met on a daily basis so that they don’t become destructive or start exhibiting behavioral problems such as excessive barking, howling, digging, chewing and escaping.
How much food does a Golden Retriever need?
The amount of food a Golden Retriever needs will depend on activity level, metabolism, age, and other factors. To maintain an ideal weight, the Golden Retriever should eat 1-2 cups of food per day.
Feeding schedule for Golden Retrievers:
Golden Retrievers are more likely to suffer from bloating if they have food available all the time. To prevent bloating, it is recommended that you feed your Golden Retriever twice a day and always provide fresh water.
When training a Golden Retriever:
Golden Retrievers are among the most trainable breeds of dogs. They can learn basic commands such as sit, stay, come in a matter of minutes and can be trained to do more complex activities such as learning how to play a musical instrument.
Coat, skin, fur and colors:
The Golden Retriever’s wavy or straight outer coat may be various shades of gold. The hair is slightly longer and heavier on the chest, tail and ears; it is shorter on the face and underside of the animal. It has a very dense undercoat that enables it to work in water as well as withstand the cold.
The coat should be brushed one or two times a week to avoid matting. It is recommended that you use a rubber brush and metal comb when grooming your Golden Retriever because their coarse outer coat can easily break off the teeth of other types of combs.
In terms of shedding, Goldens do not shed as much as other breeds but will shed more frequently than others.
The Golden Retriever should be bathed once a month or as needed and its eyes and ears should be checked regularly for any signs of infection.
– Coat color: shades of gold (from light gold to red gold) can include flecks of cream, black and gray hairs
– Coats are wavy or straight
– No undercoat
– Tail is thick at the base and tapers toward the tip tail should reach to the back when pulled downward, not carried over its back
– Ears are medium in size hanging with rounded tips
– Eyes are brown, eyes may be lighter due to muddied pigments causing light coloration in iris
– Nose is well developed and black
How long do Golden Retrievers live?
The typical lifespan for a healthy Golden Retriever ranges from 10-13 years.
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