Meet the Golden Retriever (Golden / GR)
Golden Retrievers originated as fine hunting dogs, the docile and loving Golden quickly made its way into homes as family pets. This medium to large sized dog is amicable with other pets, dogs, animals, and a pleasure to be in the company. Golden Retrievers rank within the top two positions for positive cohabitation within multi-pet homes. The amicable Golden will happily tolerate and play with other pets and dogs, which makes him or her the perfect fit for a pet loving family. Easy to train and a generally happy disposition that pairs well with children and strangers alike, keeps this dog at the top of popularity. Expect your Golden to be included in all family activities and live closely indoors. This arrangement makes for a mentally healthy and happy Golden Retriever.
Goldens are quite active, near tireless dogs that love to play fetch, swim, hike, jog, and participate in other games or sports. They are best fitted to people with active lifestyles and that are able to spend some daytime hours in their company while providing exercise for the dog. Additionally, do not forget to challenge them mentally. A neglected or under exercised Golden can stir up all kinds of trouble through barking, digging or other negative behaviors.
Intelligent and enthusiastic quick learners with an easy-going disposition it is no wonder they are highly sought after talented dogs. Excelling as bird dogs on land and water, hunting, tracking, obedience competitions, narcotic detection, service for disabled, therapy, search & rescue, and guide dogs for the blind, the Golden is truly versatile and it is no wonder it is one of the most popular breeds today.
Originally bred for hunting the breed has now split into two types. The smaller, leaner, darker, less-coated hunting and sport dog, and the lighter colored, fluffy, family and show type. Of late, there has been reports that some of the lighter coated family versions have been more unstable of temperament and less healthy than the normal easy-going patented Golden temperament, while the hunting and sport lines remain stable and healthier. Additionally there has been a trend towards an almost white coat within the family type.
Golden Retriever History
The discovery of Lord Tweedmouth’s stud books in nineteen fifty-two challenge an old story that stated he had purchased a breed from a Russian circus troupe that was the original yellow retriever. The meticulously kept studbook begins in the year eighteen thirty-five. Inside the book, it states that Lord Tweedmouth bought his first yellow dog from a cobbler in Brighton that had acquired the one yellow puppy from a litter of black wavy coated Retrievers. The puppy was named Nous, and this is where the forming of the Golden Retriever begins.
Mating with Nous began in eighteen sixty-eight and lasted until eighteen eighty-nine. During this period, Tweedmouth crossed the yellow Flat-Coated Retriever with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, then later with the Bloodhound, Irish Setter, and more Tweed Water Spaniels. The dogs became known as Golden Flat-Coats. Lord Tweedmouth kept some and gifted others to friends and relations in England and Scotland. These gifts founded the early kennels.
Golden Retrievers were first exhibited in nineteen hundred and eight, and they belonged to Viscount Harcourt who had started the Culham Line with stock he had obtained from the Earl of Portsmouth. They were shown at Crufts and the Crystal Palace, but at this time had no recognition separate from Retriever. In nineteen hundred and six, Mrs. Charlesworth obtained her first Golden named Norman by Beauty and mated her with Culham Brass, and in nineteen hundred and nine joined Lord Harcourt as the only other exhibitor of yellow retrievers with a total of eight Golden’s appearing at the Crufts show, followed by showing ten the following year.
Ready to Train Your Golden Retriever?
Check out my latest Golden Retriever Training Guides.
Golden Retriever Training Two titles, both will help you to easily get you training your Golden Retriever like a professional dog trainer. The Think-Like Version is shorter, and gets quickly into training. The No BRAINER Dog TRAINER has a couple extra sections such as new puppy stuff for you and your puppy, and how to transform and correct common issues among new dog owners and their new puppies. Both Golden Retriever Training Guides are available in e-Book and Paperback versons, and both titles have the same training values and techniques and instructions you will need to train your Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever | Golden Retriever Info Continues – Inside your Golden Retriever Guide shown above as well!
The American Kennel Club officially recognized the Golden in 1925 and grouped them with Labrador Retrievers, and then received a separate classification in 1932 as its own breed. The Golden Retriever Club of America was established in 1938. As of 2015, the Golden Retriever ranks as the third most popular dog registered with the AKC.
Golden retrievers started as a hunting dog and still maintains that status today. Able to hunt upland or water, they are capable of using their soft mouths on land for quail, or pheasants, and in the water for ducks and geese. In fact, they love to be in water, and their dense double waterproof coat allows them to withstand most water temperatures. It has been stated that they have such soft mouths that they can carry raw eggs in their mouths without them breaking.
Patient, willing and able to do retrieving work, Golden’s will wait by your side until prompted to retrieve. They are not flushing dogs but excellent retrievers. To obtain good hunting Golden’s you will need to seek out lines that are bred specifically for hunting. These dogs are usually of a darker color, less gun shy, and contain strong inherited hunting genes.
Golden’s were developed as hunting dogs and have exceptional noses for this work. They revel in being wet and are outstanding swimmers. There was a time when they were ranked high and sought after for hunting, but their awesome demeanor as a family dog pushed breeders to pay less attention to breeding hunting dog qualities. More than a couple of hunters interviewed speak of their exceptional nose, soft mouth, and over-all hunting savvy. Today, it takes more work to find a reputable breeder putting out good hunting stock, but when you find a breeder of hunting Golden’s, you will enjoy a diligent hunting companion who enjoys relaxing by the couch after a long day of hunting.
Like humans, dogs have the potential to develop ailments and diseases. Many of these ailments and diseases vary in type and prevalence, from breed to breed. Consider this fact when picking out your new puppy, and beware of any breeder that makes a claim that the puppies of their particular breed are “100% healthy.” A reputable and honest breeder should know and share any health related issues that the breed you are purchasing or inquiring about might have, or that could potentially surface.
The possible inherited health issues of the Golden Retriever include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, and heart disease. Other common health issues are cancer, allergies, hypothyroidism, ear infections, allergies, and epilepsy.
Consult the CHIC database and your countries Golden club for further in depth health information about what is being done to solve these issues.
Prior to acquiring your dog of choice, I recommend reading about canine health related issues and common breed specific ailments. By familiarizing yourself with the signs and symptoms of a potential disease or sickness, you will be empowered to be the first line of defense in support of your dog’s health and wellbeing. By completing routine physical examinations of your dog, frequent fecal inspections, as well as recognizing any gastrointestinal problems, all helps to assure optimal health of your companion. By observing and understanding your dog’s healthy behaviors and regular patterns, you will easily be able to identify when your dog is not feeling well, and to deduce if medical attention is needed.
As the Golden Retriever’s Alpha role model, you are responsible for providing the best possible care for your dog, assuring his or her wellbeing and comfort. Do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian if you observe your dog displaying peculiar behaviors or showing any signs of discomfort. It is very important to maintain your dog’s scheduled exams, mandatory check up’s and vaccination appointments. Uphold this duty, so that your dog can enjoy the vitality of good health that he or she deserves, and is entitled to.
Long daily walks are recommended for maintaining a healthy dog, regardless of the breed. Walks can be opportunities to practice leash training, socialization, and aid to the over-all mental and physical wellbeing of your dog.
For the first two years Golden’s are forming their bones and bodies, take it easy with heavy exercise such as hiking, jumping, and running, and instead provide swimming and walking on soft surfaces such as grass, and only light hikes that do not have steep inclines.
Besides daily long walks, Golden Retrievers require a minimum of one hour per day of varied types of exercise, whether this is achieved through play, games, or sport. Tracking games are a great source of exercise and mental stimulation for Golden’s. There is no choice in the matter of exercise, all Golden’s wake up ready to work and require something use their energy. Fortunately they excel and enjoy participating in dog sports such as, flyball, agility, dock diving, obedience, freestyle, and tracking, which provides you many outlets for their energy. If this is not appealing to you, hours of fetch, hiking, or jogging can be provided. Mental exercises additionally aid in keeping them busy and occupying their time.
Loneliness and boredom are enemies of the Golden. I advise that you always provide your new puppy with plenty of toys to keep boredom at bay and to reduce the chance of potential destructive negative behaviors from overtaking their naturally sweet disposition.
Feeding Your Golden Retriever
Age, weight, and activity levels are a few of the factors that can change the food requirements of your Golden. Once you have determined the appropriate amount to provide, feed an accurately measured portion, at regular times, to help maintain their optimal weight. If you wish to feed your dog a raw food diet or a mix, please do your research and consult your veterinarian prior to any adjustments to their meals. Be sure to keep plenty of fresh, clean water available for your dog, and it is considered a good hygienic practice to clean your dog’s bowl after each feeding.
Proactive Measures for Puppy Selection
If you want to buy a Golden Retriever puppy, be sure to find a reputable Golden Retriever breeder who will provide proof of health clearances for both of the puppy’s parents. Health clearances are official documents that prove a dog has been tested for, and cleared of any, or all breed specific conditions, however a clearance does not guarantee against acquired diseases or congenital abnormalities. Remember, even under the best breeding practices and proactive care measures, puppies can still develop diseases. With Golden’s many breeders like to keep their puppies into their eighth week to provide them further guidance and socialization from their mothers and litter mates.
As we have witnessed with other popular breeds in the past such as the German Shepherd, many untrained and devious breeders have been placing their Golden’s into the market. These dogs often do not have the gentle temperament, and even have a propensity to bite due to shyness and aggression problems such as fear biting. They also have potential of having a greater amount of health issues. Because of this onslaught of dogs in the market, extra diligence is required in selecting a reputable Golden Retriever breeder, or a breeder that is recommended from the Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA), Kennel Club, or other agency of high reputation. With a popular breed such as this, it is well worth your time and money to take your time in selecting the breeder of your new puppy.
For the Golden Retriever breed, you should expect to see a health clearance from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) for hip and elbow dysplasia, heart, as well as a clearance from the Canine Eye Registry Foundation (CERF), certifying that the eyes are healthy. You can also confirm health clearances by checking the OFA web site. For more information, refer to the club website, breeder, or veterinarian. Consult the CHIC database for other tests and their schedules.
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA www.offa.org) maintains an open registry with evaluations of hips, elbows, eyes, thyroid, cardio, and additional canine health issues. They also provide clear definitions of the test categories to help you understand the grading system. PennHIP is another registry that tests and evaluates dog’s hips.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) conducts large canine research studies on diseases that affect purebred dogs. Their health program is under the direction of the Canine Health Foundation (CHF), and is in partnership with OFA, and additionally does breed testing and provides a centralized canine health database called, the Canine Health Information Center (CHIC). The results of these tests are maintained in a registry, and dogs that have completed all of the required exams, including testing of the hips, elbows, and eyes, receive a CHIC number. Along with the breed-testing program, there is the CHIC DNA Repository. CHIC is trying to gather and store breed DNA samples for canine disease research. The goal is to facilitate future research aimed at reducing the incidence of inherited diseases in dogs. You can search the database to find out if a specific dog has information listed about it. More information about CHIC is available here!
To be accepted into the CHIC database, breeders must agree to have all test results published. This enables the reader to see both good and bad results of the testing. Obtaining a CHIC number does not imply that the dog received good or passing evaluation scores. The CHIC registration also does not signify as proof of the absence of disease, and all information must be read and evaluated. CHIC allows the information collected to be readily available to anyone with an inquiry.
Golden Retriever Care
You are responsible for the welfare of your new puppy or dog. Please treat him or her with respect and love, and this will be reciprocated tenfold. Dogs have been human companions for thousands of years, and they are living beings complete with feelings, emotions and the need for attachment. Before bringing home a new dog or puppy, please determine if you are capable and willing to provide all the needs that your new family member requires.
From the time you bring your pup home, positive training is a great start to introducing your new pack member to your household. You should be aware and sensitive to the fact that dogs have an amazing capacity for memory and recollection of those experiences. With this in mind, please refrain from harsh training tactics that may intimidate your puppy and that potentially can negatively affect personality or demeanor. When you train your new puppy, give him or her the respect they deserve, and utilize all available positive reinforcements. The result of your positive, proactive training methods and behavior modifications will be that your dog’s abilities, traits, and characteristics that are buried within the genetic profile of their specific breed, will shine. I am an advocate for beginning with rewards based clicker training, followed by vocal and physical cues for your young dog to learn to become obedient to commands.
Crate training has positive benefits, and provides a safe place for your dog to nap, or simply to be alone. In addition, crate training at a young age will help your dog accept confinement if he ever needs to be transported, boarded or hospitalized.
Appropriate, early, and ongoing socialization will help you and your Golden throughout his or her lifetime. Expose your new puppy or dog to a wide variety of situations, people, and other animals. This helps to prevent shyness, aggressiveness, possessiveness, and many other potential behavioral problems, meanwhile supporting the bond between the two of you. Remember never leave young children unsupervised around dogs or puppies. Also, be aware that situations of aggression may happen no matter how loving, gentle, and well trained a dog may be.
A routine care program is essential for any dog, and should always include basic hygienic practices. For the optimal health of your pet, scheduled care should include the care of the coat, nails and teeth. It is important to get instruction from your veterinarian for the proper cleaning method of the outer and inner ear.
Brushing your Golden’s dense double coat a couple of times per week and a bath every month is usually plenty to keep their coat in good condition. Although, they do shed heavily on a daily basis so frequent brushing benefits the splendor of their coat, helps control household hair mess, and is an opportunity to practice handling, inspect for ticks, fleas, lumps, or rashes.
Begin training from the day you bring home your Golden and it will benefit you throughout the lifetime of your dog. Eager to learn and obey, once properly trained they truly are a dream dog to have as company. Friendly dogs that love to greet everyone; they can have a tendency to jump up as a greeting. Athletic, and of large size and strength, jumping should have focused attention and training to let them know that jumping on humans is unacceptable behavior. Keep in mind that Golden’s can continue to behave as teens into year two or even three, and during this time, extra effort will be needed to reel in their abundant enthusiasm.
Always supervise when children are playing with your dog and teach children proper dog etiquette, such as how to identify that a dog is becoming too excited to continue playing. Equally, teach your Golden what is acceptable play behavior. A caution regarding biting, some lines of Golden Retrievers will tend to bite more than other lines. This is easily diminished when you take alpha control of your dog and teach them not to bite or mouth humans. The Golden is a rapid adopter of this command, as well as others. They quickly learn, adopt, and remain obedient their entire lives.
Begin training in least distraction areas and properly exercise your dog so that they are not too energized to focus during training sessions. Quick learners that are able to learn and retain through rewards training, diligence, combined with leading from the alpha position and remaining consistent in rule enforcement and schedules should enable you to train your Golden with relative ease.
Gradually begin socializing your puppy from the time you bring him or her home. Proper early socialization that continues throughout your puppy’s lifetime will provide you with a well-adjusted dog that is able to handle almost any situation in a calm manner. Early, thorough, and continual socialization is important for your Golden Retriever. You do not want your dog being territorial and wary of strangers, so it is important to expose them early to a variety of situations, animals, people, and places. Socialization benefits you and your dog by providing you both with peace of mind. With good socialization, you can expose your Golden Retriever to different situations with the assurance that he or she will look to you for guidance in rules of etiquette for the indoor and outdoor world. Socialization is the foundation for all well-adjusted dogs throughout their lifetimes.
An effective incentive is to make everything you do seem fun. Always refrain from forcing your puppy to do anything they do not want to do. Highly prized treats are usually a great incentive to do something, and you will find that a fun, pleasant, friendly, happy, vocal tone combined with the treats will be ample reward for good behaviors and command compliance. Begin training all new commands indoors. This includes silencing all of your audio-visual devices that act as distractions to dog’s sensitive ears.
Training should always be an enjoyable bonding time between you and your dog. Remember that all dogs are different, and that there is no set time limit for when your dog should learn, understand, and properly obey commands. Always have fun during training, remembering to keep your training sessions short, and stop if either of you are tired or distracted. I always suggest beginning training new tricks or commands in an area of least distraction. I promote starting with rewards based clicker training and ending with vocal and or physical cues for your dog to follow.
If you notice any negative behavioral issues, and are not quite sure if you are offering your dog proper socialization and necessary training, do not hesitate to enter your puppy into a puppy kindergarten class to assist you with training and socialization. Behavioral issues do not have to be present to enroll your dog into a puppy kindergarten; this assistance will benefit the both of you. Properly research the available classes so that their approach matches your own. The time to enroll your puppy is usually around eight to ten weeks of age, and after their first round of shots, although some kindergarten classes will not accept puppies until they are three to four months of age.
Reward good behaviors, but do not reward for being cute, sweet, loveable, or huggable. If you wish to reward your dog, always reward after you issue a command and your dog obeys the command. During your training sessions, be sure to mix it up, add a variety of toys and treats, and do not forget to have fun. Remember to provide them with ample daily exercise to keep them fit, healthy, and to keep behavioral problems at away. Provide consistent structure, firm authority, rule enforcement, love and affection, and you will have one heck of a dog for you and your family.
Country of Origin: Scotland
Other Names: N/A
Nicknames: Golden, GR
Group: Sporting, Gun Dogs
Size: Medium to Large
Height: Height: Male 23-24 in (58-61 cm) Female 21.5 -22.5 in (55-57 cm)
Weight: Male 65-75 lbs (29-34 kg) Female 60-70 lbs (27-32 kg)
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: Any combination of shades in gold or cream.
Coat: Straight, slightly wavy.
Grooming: Brush a couple times a week, brush and comb, pay attention to undercoat, clean water rinses after their romps through outside water sources.
Apartment: Yes if properly exercised, but recommended to have a medium to large backyard.
Temperament: Friendly, energetic, loyal, friendly.
Exercise: Daily long walks, play, and or sport for excess on one hour.
Training: Highly trainable, Intelligent, Athletic, Possess a strong desire to please which will assists in training.
Recognitions: CKC, FCI, AKC, UKC, KCGB, CKC, ANKC, NKC, NZKC, APRI, ACR, DRA, NAPR, ACA
Golden Retriever Rescue
Golden Retrievers are often acquired without any clear understanding of what goes into owning one, and these dogs regularly end up in the care of rescue groups, and are badly in need of adoption or fostering. If you are interested in adopting a Golden, a rescue group is a good place to start. I have listed a few below. If you have the facilities and ability please rescue a dog and enjoy the rewarding experience that it offers both of you.
Photos Golden Retriever_in Water_Newdogtimes.com By Scott Beckner (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons Golden Retriever_down_close up_newdogtimes.com,"CPRileyFace". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons - https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CPRileyFace.jpg#/media/File:CPRileyFace.jpg Golden Retriever_hunting_pheasant_newdogtimes.com,https://www.flickr.com/photos/widnr/6545506505/, CC License 2.0 NoDerivs https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/legalcode, Hunting Pheasant, By Wisonsin Department of Natural Resources, no changes made Golden Retriever_red toned_newdogtimes.com,https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/e/e7/At_Sticker_Lumis_Golden.JPG, By Marlies Kloet (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://cre Golden Retriever