Meet the Breed: The Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever puppy photo by Dennis Brekke.
The Golden Retriever is a medium to large-sized sturdy dog of solid proportions. The British specimens tend to have blockier heads and fuller build, whereas the American ones have a more triangular-shaped head and lankier bodies. Their fur is thick and can be straight or wavy. The undercoat is water resistant. They have feathering under the tail, legs, and abdomen. They come in a variety of colors ranging from cream to rich golden. They have dark-brown soulful eyes.
The Golden Retriever was developed in the mid 18th century in Scotland as a retrieving hunting companion. Crosses were made with Irish Setters, the sandy-coated bloodhound, wavy-coated black retrievers, and the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. They were bred to be athletic and to have "soft" mouths, meaning that they would carry game in their mouths without damaging them. They were capable of maneuvering in rough terrain and were bred to love water. They have webbed toes.
The ideal family dog! Photo by Zephyr.
Golden Retrievers are known for their patient, friendly personalities. They have the ability to be watch dogs and let you know when strangers are coming, but they do notÂ make good guard dogs as they are more likely to befriend strangers and happily reveal the whereabouts of the family heirlooms with their eager-to-please attitude. Because of their high intelligence and athletic abilities, it is wise to provide them with daily walks and activities to keep them from becoming bored and even potentially destructive. Some of the Golden's many talents are hunting, tracking, retrieving, agility, competitive obedience, narcotics detection, and performing tricks. These dogs also love to swim. They can be mouthy, so proper training at a young age will teach them the appropriate behaviors.
Unfortunately, Golden retrievers are prone to cancers. They can be susceptible to cataracts, hips dysplasia, joint issues, and skin allergies. They are also prone to obesity, so be sure to keep them active and do not overfeed.
Breed Club Links: Golden Retriever Club of America
Have any great stories about a Golden Retriever in your life?
Featured photo by Andrew Morrell.