This lovely golden breed was developed in Great Britain. In the mid-1800s, Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan bought his first yellow retriever, a male, whom he bred to a Tweed Water Spaniel in hopes of developing an even better bird dog. Through the years, cross-breedings were made to other Tweed Water Spaniels, Irish Setters, other retrievers, and, it is said, even a Bloodhound. Lord Tweedmouth’s gamekeepers kept records of breedings from 1835 until about 1890. These records were the beginning of the breed that was later called Golden Retriever.
Golden Retrievers cannot be counted on to be watchdogs or protectors, they are friendly with everyone.
Their expression is kind, eager, and alert, with dark, friendly eyes and soft, dropped ears. The body is strong, giving the appearance of being able to work in the field all day. The coat is dense and of medium length, not coarse or silky. There is a ruff around the neck and down the front of the chest and feathering on the legs and tail. The undercoat is soft. Colors range throughout the spectrum of gold, from light to dark, although extremely pale and dark dogs are less preferable.
Grooming a Golden is not difficult but needs to be done on a regular basis, as the feathering can mat, especially if it gets wet or picks up burrs or foxtails. Brushing and combing the dog twice a week is usually fine, although additional effort might be needed in the spring and fall when shedding is at its heaviest. The ears should be cleaned twice a week, too. Goldens are very active, and when they don’t get enough exercise, they can get into trouble.
Golden Retrievers are friendly with just about everyone. They enjoy trick training and love to show off. Although they will bark when someone comes to the house, they cannot be counted on to be watchdogs or protectors. Training is necessary so that the Golden puppy learns the household rules and correct social behaviors. In addition, the breed needs the mental stimulation and challenge of training. A bored Golden will get into trouble; a Golden with training and a job to do is a happy dog. Golden Retrievers also thrive in performance sports, including obedience competition, agility, flyball, flying disc, and hunt tests, as well as tracking and search and rescue. Their temperament is perfect for therapy dog work. Golden Retrievers are excellent family dogs, although puppies can be rowdy and need to learn to be gentle with small children. They are usually quite good with other small pets. Do not trust the breed with birds! Health concerns include hip dysplasia, aller- gies, and eye disorders.
Golden Retrievers are not ‘one man dogs’.
Golden Retrievers are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them. Their trusting, gentle disposition therefore makes them a poor guard dog. Any form of unprovoked aggression or hostility towards either people, dogs or other animals, whether in the show ring or community, is completely unacceptable in a Golden Retriever and is not in keeping with the character of the breed and as such is considered a serious fault. Nor should a Golden Retriever be unduly timid or nervous. The typical Golden Retriever is calm and naturally intelligent with an exceptional eagerness to please. Most Golden Retrievers are high energy and need plenty of exercise, such as dog agility.
Golden Retrievers are also noted for their intelligence and is one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability. These dogs are also renowned for their patience with children. By the time they reach maturity however, Goldens will have become active and fun-loving animals with the exceptionally patient demeanour befitting a dog bred to sit quietly for hours. Adult Golden Retrievers love to work, and have a keen ability to focus on a given task. They will seemingly work until they collapse, so care should be taken to avoid overworking them.
Golden Retrievers love water.
Golden Retrievers are exceptionally trainable due to their intelligence, athleticism and desire to please their handlers and generally excel in obedience. They are also very competitive in agility and other performance events. Harsh training methods are unnecessary as Golden Retrievers often respond very well to positive and upbeat training styles. Golden Retrievers are compatible with children and adults and are good with other dogs, cats and most livestock. Golden Retrievers are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and willingness to learn. Because of this, they are commonly used as guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs. They are friendly and tend to learn tricks easily.
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