The Golden Retriever was originally developed to retrieve downed fowl and is today one of the most popular dog breeds in the world, especially among families with young children. The Golden Retriever is easy to handle, have a happy disposition and will normally go along well with both children and other dogs. It needs plenty of attention to stay in high spirits and should not be left alone too much since it is a very social creature. Goldens are not commonly used as watch dogs, since they are so happy and friendly towards all human being – intruders included. They will however bark when startled and can be thought to bark when someone enters the premises.
Golden Retriever care
Golden Retrievers are famous for their thick and shiny coat and grooming your dog several times a week is an essential part of good Golden Retriever care. During shedding periods, you will need to groom your Golden even more frequently. Every spring, your Golden Retriever will loose its thick winter coat and require extensive grooming. Another important aspect of Golden Retriever care is to prevent ear infections by keeping the ears clean. If your dog is especially prone to ear infections you can cut away excess hair to promote better air exchange.
Golden Retrievers are not as prone to obesity as Labrador Retrievers, but they still need regular exercise to stay happy and healthy. As with any animal – humans included – too much food and too little exercise will have an adverse effect on overall health. When your Golden Retriever grows older and becomes less active you will need to serve it smaller amounts of food or switch to food specially designed for elderly dogs.
Golden Retriever puppy
Since the Golden Retriever is such a popular breed, it is commonly produced by puppy mills and disreputable backyard breeders. It is therefore very important to purchase your Golden Retriever puppy from a trustworthy breeder that strives to breed out genetic disorders and raise healthy and well socialised dogs with a stable temperament.
The typical Golden Retriever puppy is quite an unruly little fellow with plenty of energy and a highly inquisitive disposition. It must therefore be trained to understand the difference between allowed and forbidden activities. When the Golden Retriever puppy grows up, it will turn into a very patient dog, while still retaining its youthful cheerfulness and energy.
Do not be surprised if your Golden Retriever puppy doesn’t like to play fetch; many Goldens will not start fetching until they have matured into adult dogs.
Golden Retriever training
The Golden Retriever is a very social dog and it loves to be trained since this means spending time with its owner. It is also a clever dog and with the right type of Golden Retriever training, it can be turned into a guide dog or search and rescue dog. A modern form of Golden Retriever training involves training them to become therapy dogs that can work in hospitals and retirement homes. Golden Retrievers normally responds well to obedience training and are also known to be excellent hunting dogs – partly thanks to their remarkable scenting ability.
Just as the name suggests, the Golden Retriever will instinctively love to retrieve and can actually become sad and frustrated if it is never allowed to carry out this task. If you do not hunt, get a stick, a ball or a flying disc for your dog and play fetch on a regular basis. Your Golden Retriever will also need to have toys that it is allowed to carry around without getting scolded for it. Golden Retriever training can preferably include teaching your dog to fetch things for you, such as the newspaper or your purse.
Golden Retriever breeding
Golden Retriever breeding started in Guishachan near Glen Affric in Scotland. Today, the Golden Retriever breeding has created two main groups of Goldens: English Golden Retrievers and American Golden Retrievers. They are considered members of the same breed and the only significant difference between the two types are their looks. Compared to the English Goldens, the American Golden Retrievers have retained more traits from their field-hunting ancestors and will therefore look lankier. Their bodies are comparatively tall and their limbs are long. The coat of the English variety can be golden or creamy, but will never be red or mahogany. The American Golden is available in much darker shades and is actually quite similar to the Irish Setter when it comes to coating coloration. The English Golden Retriever breed is famous for its longer, light-creamed coloured coat and can sometimes look almost white. Compared to the American type, the English is short and big boned with a square head and/or muzzle. English Golden Retriever breeding is not that common in the United States and Canada, and North American breeders will therefore sometimes import dogs from Europe to improve bloodlines.
Golden Retriever breeders
As mentioned above, the immense popularity of the Golden Retriever as a family dog has turned it into a breed of choice for a lot of puppy mills and disreputable backyard breeders. Sticking to responsible Golden Retriever breeders is definitely recommended, even if it means that you have to pay more for your Golden Retriever puppy. Reputable Golden Retriever breeders will strive to weed out genetic disorders and raise well socialized and mentally stable dogs. Examples of common Golden Retriever disease are cancer, hip and elbow dysplasia, joint disease (including patella luxation), eye disease, skin disease, heart disease. The most common forms of cancer in Goldens are hemangiosarcoma, lymphosarcoma, mast cell tumor, and osteosarcoma. When it comes to eye disease, Golden Retrievers are especially prone to developing cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy and glaucoma.
Golden Retriever price
The Golden Retriever price varies a lot from breeder to breeder. A high Golden Retriever price does not automatically mean that you will get a high quality dog, but an unusually low price should cause suspicion. Due to irresponsible Golden Retriever breeders, hip dysplasia is today very common in the breed. When you chose a breeder, stick to those who can show that the parents of the puppies have been examined by OFA, PennHIP or similar for hip disease. Keep in mind that an inexpensive Golden will turn into an expensive – and heart breaking – purchase if you have to put it down due to serious illness. Paying a somewhat higher Golden Retriever price is a good investment if the seller can provide you with proof that the parents as well as the puppies have been provided with veterinary care and been examined for common ailments.