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The Golden Retriever, which also goes by the name Golden, is a large gun dog. He is one of the most popular dog breeds in the world. It is speculated that the Golden Retriever is a Russian Sheepdog descendant. Retrieving ducks and other fowls shot down by hunters is the primary purpose of the breed.
The Golden Retriever is an excellent family dog since he is friendly and tolerant. He excels in activities such as retrieving, hunting, and tracking. The Golden Retriever is also a popular choice as a therapy and assistance dog. He loves the outdoors, but he will also be content relaxing at home with his pack.
The Golden Retriever breed is intelligent and obedient, which makes him very easy to train. Because of his thick coat, this dog breed requires a lot of grooming. To expend the Golden Retriever dog's excess energy, around 40 minutes to an hour of exercise and mental stimulation is necessary.
The Golden Retriever breed has unclear origins. This is due to the existence of varying historical accounts of the breed. It was believed that the breed descended from Russian sheepdogs.
These Russian Sheepdogs were found in a circus during the mid-1800s. It is said that Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, Lord Tweedmouth, took them to his estate in Scotland.
In the 1950s, his great-nephew, the 6th Earl of Ilchester, debunked this legend. He discovered Marjoribanks' studbook, which was kept since 1835.
It was then revealed that the first yellow dog was purchased in Brighton, England, in 1862. The puppy, named Nous, came from an unregistered litter of Black Wavy-Coated Retrievers and was used as a hunting companion.
The Yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever called Nous was bred with Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel, which is now an extinct breed. Their offspring were then crossed with a Red Setter. As Tweedmouth continued his breeding programme, he kept all the yellow puppies and gave away the others.
The Retriever dog's main role was to retrieve ducks and other fowls shot by hunters. The Golden Retriever breed was also used to develop the Flat-Coated Retriever together with Collie, Newfoundland Dog, and other Setter and Spaniel breeds.
The Golden Retriever is a large dog. A male Golden Retriever weighs 30–34 kilos and stands 56–61 centimetres at the withers. On the other hand, a female Golden Retriever weighs 25–32 kilos and stands 51–56 centimetres at the withers. The breed is well-balanced with a powerful body.
The Golden Retriever has a well-chiseled skull and a strong neck. He owns a powerful muzzle and medium-size ears. His eyes are dark brown and radiate a gentle and intelligent expression.
The Golden is easily recognisable because of his lush golden coat with some feathering. He has a dense and water-repelling outercoat with a thick undercoat. The breed's coat could be either straight or wavy.
The Golden Retriever's ideal coat colour is any shade of gold or cream and never red or mahogany, according to the KC (Kennel Club) breed club standards. A few white hairs on the chest are allowed.
Heavy feathering is seen on the chest, tail, and back of the thighs. The Golden Retriever also has fur feathers on his underbody and the back of the front legs.
The Golden retriever sheds all-year-round, and he sheds heavily in the spring and autumn. This also means this breed is non-hypoallergenic and not the best choice for dog lovers with allergies. Owning a Golden means getting used to having dog hair on your clothes and furniture.
The Golden Retriever dog requires heavy grooming due to his thick coat. Daily brushing helps minimise loose hair all over the house. It also prevents tangling and distributes natural oils in the skin.
The Goldens that are primarily bred for show lines have very dense coats compared to those created for hunting. Thus, they require more brushing in a day. Bathing should be done at least once a month, especially when he spends a lot of time outside.
Aside from brushing your Golden's coat daily, regular brushing of the teeth is also recommended to prevent tartar build-up. When trimming your dog's nails, be careful not to cut too short to avoid bleeding.
Check your Golden Retriever's ears regularly for redness and other signs of infection. Do not forget to clean them at least once a week. Use cotton balls and a dog-safe ear cleaning solution to wipe off the dirt. Avoid using cotton buds as these push in the dirt further into the ear canal than removing it.
Grooming the Golden at home is okay, but regular veterinary examination is recommended to detect early signs of illness.
Golden Retrievers, despite their big size, are very-easy-to-care-for family pets due to their docile nature. The dog breed is one of the top choices for families and first-time dog owners. They are gentle, intelligent, and affectionate canine companions.
This yellow Retriever is slow to mature. Even as he grows older, he still retains his puppy-like and goofy personality. As a fully fledge Retriever, he is over the moon when he has something to carry in his mouth. A newspaper, ball, or soft chew toy will be perfect.
The Golden Retriever dog is friendly to everybody. Thus, he is not a good watchdog as he will happily shower strangers with kindness and love.
Since the Golden enjoys being around people and is eager to please, he will need to live indoors with his family. If left to his own devices, he may suffer from separation anxiety.
The Golden Retriever is great for families with young children. However, supervision is needed during interactions with toddlers as the dog may accidentally knock them over. The Golden can get along with other animals, too, regardless of type and size.
A Golden Retriever dog is naturally smart and obedient. He easily learns things and retains the skills he acquires. Because of these great characteristics, including patience and focus, the Golden can sit quietly for long hours in hunting blinds.
The Golden Retriever breed excels in obedience training and is even ranked as one of the top breeds in obedience training. He can also be trained as an assistance dog, search and rescue dog, and service dog. No need for harsh or strict methods as the Golden will enthusiastically participate in training.
The Golden Retriever may have a general predisposition, but this does not mean that each dog is not unique. Each dog breed's temperament and intelligence are shaped by different factors, including, but are not limited to, his genetics, the environment where the puppy is raised, and the training he receives.
Golden Retriever puppies have many variations, mainly the show-ring line and the hunting line. Show-dog Goldens are primarily bred for their appearance. Some claim that this type is more vulnerable to illnesses and has an un-Goldenlike temperament. This line is observed to have biting problems.
Golden Retriever dogs that are bred for hunting have a stable temperament and are known to be healthier. Their downside is that they are extremely energetic. Thus, they require owners who can handle their daily need for exercise and mental stimulation.
An adult Golden Retriever will need to be fed 2–3 cups of the best quality dog food per day. Remember that, like in every breed, the amount of serving depends on many factors: age, size, build, level of activity, and metabolism.
As a Golden owner, understanding the basic nutritional needs of the breed is very important. You should also consider his distinct characteristics.
Here are the typical calorie needs of an adult Golden Retriever per day:
The Golden Retriever breed loves his food, so he can easily become overweight. Make sure to schedule his mealtimes, measure his food, and limit his treats to prevent weight gain. The main ingredient of your Golden's diet should be high-quality meat and other protein sources.
To maintain your Golden Retriever's luxurious coat, include good omega fatty acids in his diet. Always read the labels of commercial dog food and avoid those with artificial additives. Monitor the Golden's food intake, and make sure that he does not eat rapidly or drink too much to prevent obesity and bloat.
The Golden Retriever has an average lifespan of 10–13 years. The breed is generally healthy but predisposed to certain medical conditions, including:
Bone and Joint Problems
Whilst these conditions can be caused by environmental factors; they can also be passed on through genetics. These conditions may cause pain and eventually lameness if they are not properly treated.
Goldens with elbow and hip dysplasia can be cured through medications, supplements, therapy, and in severe cases, surgery. Treatment for osteochondritis dissecans is comprised of strict rest and activity restrictions. Medications are prescribed as well to reduce inflammation.
The Golden Retriever breed can be affected by bloat or gastric dilatation-volvulus. It is a rare but extremely fatal condition in dogs. It is a result of excessive gas accumulation in the stomach, causing it to expand.
Bloat can restrict blood flow to the stomach lining and heart, prevent proper airflow, and tear the stomach lining wall.
The Golden Retriever and other large breeds and giant breeds are more likely to develop this condition than smaller breeds.
If your dog starts drooling too much, vomiting, and has a swollen stomach, he may be experiencing bloat. Take him to the vet right away, as delays will only put your dog in danger of losing his life.
Von Willebrand Disease (VWD)
The Golden breed can potentially develop Von Willebrand Disease. It is a hereditary bleeding disorder that is very prevalent in the Golden Retriever breed. VWD hinders the blood's clotting ability, which causes the bleeding.
Some Goldens may have the VWD but will have no bleeding tendencies. Serious cases of VWD often result in excessive bleeding of the mouth, nose, digestive tract, and reproductive and urinary organs.
Golden Retriever puppies with VWD will have uncontrollable bleeding if they are teething or declawed. Blood, plasma, and cryoprecipitate transfusion is the most common treatment for this disease. The vet may advise surgery for dogs that have severe VWD.
Prospective Golden Retriever owners are advised to buy a puppy from a reputable breeder. Assured breeders screen their breeding stock for typical breed-related health issues.
Health screening reduces the chances of your Golden Retriever puppy inheriting the breed's common health problems, such as progressive retinal atrophy. Suggested health tests for Golden Retrievers are cardiac, thyroid, elbow, hip, and eye evaluations.
The Golden Retriever dog was bred as a gun dog. He has high energy levels and requires plenty of exercise. This can be 40–60 minutes of vigorous exercise per day. You may divide it into two 30-minute bouts. If a Golden Retriever is unable to release his energy, he may develop behavioural issues.
Consider including running, hiking, free time in a fenced yard, retrieving games, and swimming in his exercise regimen. Include mentally stimulating activities as well such as obedience and agility training.
However, Golden Retriever puppies should be restricted from strenuous activities, unlike their adult counterparts.
Golden Retriever puppies start to develop quickly at the age of 4–7 months and are highly at risk of bone disorders. Do not allow your puppy to play on very hard surfaces like concrete pavements, putting pressure on his joints.
Running and playing on the grass and puppy agility classes are safe for him to do. Once your Golden Retriever puppy is about 2 years old and has fully formed joints, he can have regular exercises.
As a fully-fledged Golden Retriever loves to carry something in his mouth. With this in mind, give him a newspaper, ball, or soft chew toy to play with.
The Golden Retriever excels in a wide variety of dog sports, including agility, dock diving, freestyle, fly ball, obedience, rally, and tracking. The breed loves water, so he will enjoy swimming on the beach, lake, or pool. Outdoor family activities will bring great joy to this breed.
A well-bred pedigree Golden Retriever puppy will cost between £1,200 to £2,500. The total cost for dog accessories and equipment cost between £100 and £500. Providing him with high-quality puppy food will amount to £40–£50 a month.
Veterinary expenses, including vaccinations, routine checks, and annual boosters, have a combined cost of £160–£240 for the initial year. After that, you will need to shell out approximately £50–£60 per year for vaccine boosters.
This cost does not include the medical expenses that you incur. You also have the option to neuter or spay your dog, which costs around £100–£400.
The average monthly cost for a Golden Retriever puppy pet insurance starts from £24. However, note that the pricing may change depending on your dog's age and the area you live in.
Dog owners who live in London tend to pay higher pet insurance covers than other regions. Senior dogs have higher pet insurance costs as well, as they are prone to health problems.
Are you sure the Golden Retriever is the best breed for you? Take the Pet Breed Selector Quiz to find your perfect breed match.Dog Breed Selector Quiz
The golden retriever is one of the most popular choices as a pet dog. If you are not sure if this dog breed is right for you, you can use our Pet Finder for more dog breed suggestions.
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