These dogs will have you fall in love with them at first sight. That is a fact and this is the science to support it.
Golden Retrievers are an old breed and date back to the 19th century. Their origin is owed to Lord Tweedmouth, who in 1865 mated a yellow Labrador retriever with curly hair to the now extinct tweed water spaniel. He later crossed additional breeds and created the Golden Retriever which officially entered the books in 1903.
After the golden retriever’s registration in the official records, an association was formed that kept a book of breeding, and the breed became increasingly popular, spreading throughout England, America, and reaching almost every part of Europe by the end of the 20th century. Today, Golden Retrievers along with Labradors are considered the most popular breeds, in addition to being the most represented breeds in numbers. They are especially common in Scandinavian countries.
The Golden Retriever was originally bred for hunting. They were utilized in bringing game and birds, therefore the origin of their name that comes from the verb “to retrieve”.
Differences in breed and standards
Over time and with the development of cynology, two different breeds of the golden retriever emerged – the show type and the working type. The show type golden retrievers are mostly of a heavier builds and have thicker coats, while working dogs are more athletic and lighter. There is also a difference between the American and British Golden Retrievers, although the standards are almost exactly the same. The European breed has larger dogs with wider jaws, deeper chest and a shorter tail. The American standard is less stocky than the European, while the Canadian standard golden retriever has slightly darker hair.
On average, these dogs are active, strong, calm and benign. They are known for their obedience and intelligent behavior. Males average up to 24 inches in height and females up to 22 inches. Their weight averages 55-74 pounds. Their snout is strong, wide and deep, and their nose is black, although it can have a lighter color during winter. Their eyes are dark brown, of medium size.
The color of their coat is of course, gold or cream, while some breeds are a little darker. Their hair is straight and wavy with a waterproof undercoat.
A temperament that will make you fall in love right away
Golden Retrievers are known for their good behavior, intelligence and charm. These are calm dogs that are very patient so they are easy to train. They love children, other people, but also other dogs so they cannot qualify as good guard dogs. Of course, their reaction to another dog or person will depend on your reaction. They will not behave aggressively, but will let you know that someone unfamiliar is nearby. They are attached to their owners but also to the whole family. They are loyal and confident which also makes them the most beloved breed for families.
Training these dogs should not be a problem. These dogs like to please their owners, and at the same time are very patient to learn everything you want to show them. The will learn the general commands such as ‘sit, lie down, yes and no’ quickly and very easily. You can train these dogs to become show dogs as they will enjoy playing with you while you teach them various tricks. Since they are attached to the owner, this kind of play and training will create a special connection with your golden retriever. Be a strict and confident owner from the very beginning.
These are dogs that, like Labradors, enjoy playing, running and lots of space. They like to obey orders and really like to run and play. If you think you won’t have enough space for a golden retriever, or you won’t be able to offer ample physical activity, then don’t get one. Without being active and having access to open spaces, they could become depressed, irritable and destructive. These dogs need constant attention and love, so if you think that you will not have time for a pet like this, we do not recommend that you buy one.
Water, water, water. Like Labradors, these dogs especially love water, swimming and anything that can be associated with water. They enjoy jumping into water, swimming, and even just sitting in water.
Keeping their coat thick and soft
Golden Retrievers are easy to maintain even if they have double hair that is thick and soft. The hair is of medium length and smooth, so it is easy to comb and doesn’t get tangled. The only problem that you might have is their need to roll in mud. Seriously, they love doing that.
Puppies’ coat goes through changes until 7 months when the real coat is formed. Retrievers shed heavily twice a year. During shedding, we recommend intensive, daily brushing to get rid of as much hair as possible. The top layer of hair falls out throughout the year, but not too much. For brushing, we recommend that you get different brushes for the top and undercoat.
Outside the heavy shedding periods, brushing twice a week should be quite sufficient. Use a hard brush that first removes coarse, fallen hair, and then use a fine brush that will give a beautiful shine. Practice bathing once every 4 months as they have more sensitive skin and irritation could occur if exposed to water and shampoos too often. If necessary, you can use a dry shampoo for dogs to get rid of unpleasant odors or excess dirt.
Prone to many diseases
Golden Retrievers generally don’t have the best health and are quite susceptible to many diseases.
The most common diseases in this breed are:
gastric torsion, hip dysplasia, epilepsy, thyroid disorders, allergic skin diseases and dermatitis, food allergies, blurred vision, diabetes and glaucoma.
The lifespan of a golden retriever is 10-13 years.