The name Golden Retriever literally describes what this dog was bred for, retrieving. These dogs were used on a hunt to retrieve duck and other birds from the water. Retrievers have a natural love for the water, they have a layered coat that allows them to withstand colder climates and a layer that also helps water bead off of them to keep their inner layer dryer longer. Goldens need lots of exercise, they are easy to train, great family dogs and also very intelligent. Goldens have a natural tendency to roam so it is important they are kept on a fenced in yard.
These dogs are often used as disability dogs, they are great companions and very gentle nature and their intelligence makes them a perfect candidate for this job. Because of their natural ability to seek out a hunters game they are often used as search and rescue dogs. This breed is not meant to be a guard dog, they will announce potential threat but their natural gentle temperament doesn’t make them guard dogs. There are many stories however that do go against this, where owners have had their Golden come to their rescue and be ruthless when it comes to protecting their family.
Temperament: The Golden Retriever is known for its temperament. These dogs are very patient and well-mannered, makes them perfect family dogs and great with children. These dogs love being in a family setting, and around other people and dogs. Because they are so trusting and gentle they are said to be poor guard dogs.
Golden’s are very intelligent and patient dogs, this makes them great for laying waiting in hunting huts. They like to please their owners and are great working dogs. They have a very strong ability to focus on a task they are given. They are so focused and so hard-working that they will work until they collapse, so it is important to mind them and pay attention so that this does not happen.
Positive upbeat training styles are the most effective way with this breed. They love to please their owners, they are very smart, and also competitive when being used for agility competitions. They have a natural love for water, which makes them great for water sports. They love a job and to be a part of an active life style, if you are someone who like to hike and do outdoor type adventures, your golden will love to go with you.
Coats and Coloring: Their main coloring is a lite golden or dark golden color. The top coat is water resistant and mildly sheds throughout the year, it is also wavy in look, and the under coat of the retriever is softer, it keeps them cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The under coat sheds seasonally, it can be a lot of hair, making it more maintenance. Regular brushing will help with this. Also, Goldens get feathering in the hair as it grows long. In the winter you will really want to mind the hair growing and feathering around the feet, it will catch snow and create tight balls that get stuck in their feet and cause pain and discomfort. Trimming these hairs should be part of the regular grooming.
Health and Life: they can be expected to live for 11-12 years, this breed is affected by specific ailments so it is recommended that they have yearly check ups with the vet. For this type of regular medical attention you make want to consider pet insurance.
Two really common issues with Goldens is hip dysplasia and obesity. Goldens love to eat! talk to your breeder about they recommend for diet and feeding times. A steady diet and lots of exercise will help to avoid this issue. As they get older and are less active you may have to revisit the diet and adjust accordingly. Your vet can always help guide you through this if you need help. Good breeders test for genetic issues such as hip problems, talk to your breeder about it when your looking at bringing a puppy home.
Some other things to watch out for is skin irritation and ticks, they have long hair so its is hard to see the ticks, flea treatments are a great preventative measure. Because of their coat shedding they can also develop dry and irritated skin. As they get older then can develop issues with their joints and bones, this is one of the reasons why it is important to have regular vet checks. Rupturing of a ligament from agility is common and expensive. The number one issue for Goldens is cancer, it is the cause of most of the deaths in this breed. Again I will stress the importance of due diligence with a proper breeder and regular vet checks to prevent as much as you can without medical means. If you have pet insurance, they will cover most of your medical concerns as long as you had the coverage before the diagnosis. It can be a small price to pay for a piece of mind.
Grooming: Because Goldens love the water, they won’t mind having a bath. You only need to so this every coupe months. Ears should be cleaned regularly especially after they have been outdoors in water. Moisture can build up in their ears and cause infections. They generally have black nails, so if you arn’t comfortable trimming them because you can’t see the vein, not to worry, they are a gently giant and taking them to a grooming center won’t be an issue. Because of their regular shedding, a regular brush (couple times a week) will save you a lot of cleaning, and will give you an opportunity to check for skin irritations during the seasonal changes.
Goldens are a precious breed, their are so many amazing qualities about them. They are a great first dog for kids, as they are patient and easy to train. Enjoy them and give them lots of love 🙂