Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information Hub
Considered one of the most popular dog breeds around the world, the Golden Retriever is a medium-large dog breed that originated in Scotland. The name Retriever was given to it thanks to the dog’s ability to retrieve things without causing them any damage since they have a soft mouth. And the name Golden comes from their almost golden fur.
They make great assistant dogs for people with disabilities, like a guide dog for blind people and a hearing dog for deaf people. They also can be trained to become detection dogs due to their hunting instincts to help search and rescue people.
List of Contents
- 1 The Golden Retriever Origin and History
- 2 The Golden Retriever Characteristic
- 3 What Is The Golden Retriever Temperament?
- 4 The Golden Retriever Health and Lifespan
- 5 Products and Accessories for a Golden Retriever
- 6 How to Take Care of a Golden Retriever
- 7 The Best Activities for Golden Retrievers
The Golden Retriever Origin and History
The Golden Retriever origin and history starts in Scotland in the middle of the 19th century. The elite used to play wildfowl hunting, a very popular sport, but with another type of breed that they soon realized it was not adequate to retrieve downed game from both the ground and the water. And this retrieving was necessary as the hunting ground was pocketed with rivers and marshy ponds.
So, the Golden Retriever was developed by crossing them with the water spaniels in Glen Affric by the 1st Baron Tweedmouth (also known as Dudley Marjoribanks). But the breed got improved during the 1800s to be able to hunt in bigger distances and in more difficult terrains.
It was possible to know about the breed’s origin and purpose by the journals kept by Dudley Marjoribanks. In the 1960s, Dudley got a retriever with a yellow coat, named ‘Nous’, from a litter of retrievers that had black coats. Then, he bred the yellow retriever with a water spaniel, which resulted in 4 yellow puppies that became the basis of the golden retriever breed we know today.
Then, he kept breeding the yellow puppies with other water spaniels, a British setter, Labrador retrievers, and other black retrievers.
Some decades ago, there were big disagreements about the Golden Retriever’s real origins, as some people defend that the breed was created from the development of Russian trackers and sheepdogs that belonged to a circus.
But in 1952, journals finally published Dudley Marjoribanks journals and saw that the history of the Russian trackers from the circus was a myth.
All the breed development was kept away from the big public eyes for almost a century, and only in 1908, Lord Hardcourt exhibited a collection of Golden Retrievers at the Kennel Club Show. Only after this exhibition that the name “Golden” was given to the breed.
Origin of the Golden Retriever in the United Kingdom
The Kennel Club first accepted the Golden Retriever registration in the UK in 1903, but named it Flat Coats. They were only recognized and exhibited as a Retriever with Golden color in 1911.
Origin of the Golden Retriever in the United States
Only 14 years later, in 1925, the Golden Retriever breed was recognized in America by the American Kennel Club. And since then, they remain ranked number two for the American Kennel Club registration, the only breed above them in number one is the Labrador Retriever.
Americans are basically judged by their physical traits, as color, coat, nose, height, weight, feet, and nose.
Origin of the Golden Retriever in Canada
The Archie Marjoribanks went to Canada in 1881 and took a Golden Retriever with him. The first records of registration are from 1894. But the original breed registration happened in 1927.
In 1958 the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario was founded and later it was expanded as the Golden Retriever Club of Canada.
The Golden Retriever Characteristic
The Golden Retriever is a medium to large breed, but very strong, with a dense and water-proof and repellent coat. Their fur is usually dark yellow, blonde almost gold. That’s where the “golden” from their names come from.
The topcoat is water-resistant and sheds in minimal amounts during the whole year, while their undercoat is softer and keeps their body temperature cool during the summer and warmer during the winter. Spring and fall are usually when it sheds.
The males usually weigh between 65 up to 75 lbs and their height is 22 up to 24 inches. The females weigh between 55 up to 65 lbs and their height is 20 up to 22 inches.
American Golden Retriever
The American type usually has fewer muscles and tends to be lankier if compared to other types. Their coat has a dark golden color and a moderate feathering. When running, their feet encounter at the center of their balance, and when trotting, they have a smooth and free gait. The eye shape for the American type is triangular.
British Golden Retriever
The British type is the most common one in Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. They tend to be way more muscular with a broader skull. Their coat has a lighter golden color if compared to the American type and their eyes are rounder and darker.
Canadian Golden Retriever
The Canadian type is the tallest of them all, but with a thinner and darker coat. The average height of them is between 23 and 24 inches for males and 21.5 to 22.5 for females.
What Is The Golden Retriever Temperament?
The Golden Retriever is the second-most popular dog breed in the United States, fifth-most popular in Brazil and Australia, and nowadays is eighth-most popular across Europe and the United Kingdom.
And worldwide popularity doesn’t come from anywhere. Golden Retriever’s standard temperament is kind and friendly. They deal super well with kids, are patient, and tend to take care of them, which makes them the perfect dog for families.
They tend to be terrible guard dogs as their most prominent characteristic is their kindness. They are calm, intelligent, and always like to please everyone, so any hostile situation or aggression — towards either other animals or people — is not in the character of the breed. They also should not be timid or nervous.
The breed is one of the most intelligent and brilliant ones. They are always fun and full of energy, but can also sit quietly for long periods during hunting. Golden Retrievers love to work and when you give them a task, they will complete it with focus.
This is something that you should be careful of: Golden Retrievers will work until they finish the task or until they collapse. Do not leave them alone doing things or they will not know when to stop. Try to avoid overworking them.
They love water and know how to go in and out of boats. They are super easy to train — this comes from their need to please their owners combined with their strength and athleticism — and will always be obedient. They are super competitive and will respond very well to positive training styles.
You can have a Golden Retriever living at home along with other animals. They tend to be super compatible with other breeds and cats.
And as it was already mentioned, they are incredible assistance and guide dogs due to their calmness.
The Golden Retriever Health and Lifespan
The Golden Retriever’s average lifespan is about 12 years. But only a few decades ago, the breed used to live around 16 to 17 years. Veterinarians and specialists still don’t know the real cause for this decrease in their lifespan.
The most common cause of death among Golden Retrievers is bone cancer, blood cancer, and lymphoma. They die from those causes more often than any other breeds, as 60% of their death cause was cancer.
Golden Retrievers love to eat and won’t stop until you say so. So it’s very important for the owners to control their food portions in order to avoid obesity, something very common to this breed and that can easily happen — a good way to control how much they eat is by purchasing a slow feeder bowl.
The amount of daily food depends on where the dog lives, how active he is and which food he is being fed, but on average, adult Golden Retrievers should eat 5 cups of food per day and puppies should eat about 3 cups.
When buying a Golden Retriever, make sure to know its pedigree and examine him with veterinarians to see if they are prone to hip disease (called hip dysplasia).
Other common diseases can be glaucoma, cataracts, joint diseases, seborrhoea, and heart diseases.
Products and Accessories for a Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers, like any other dogs, will need to have the basics of products and accessories to live comfortably. The essentials are:
Leash: there are different types of leash available, from different materials and sizes, but you’ll need one that is comfortable and strong enough for them and for you.
Crates: just make sure to purchase one that will fit the Golden Retriever and won’t break too easily.
Beds: the bed can be the same size as the crate, but also from a material that will be easy to clean, dry, and carry around when needed, like a shedding dog bed.
Harness: car harness is the most popular. And they are also ideal for those with puppies that will for sure grow super fast.
Food and water bowls: go for a slow feeding bowl and an anti-dripping bowl with a solid base that won’t flip easily. Happy dog and happy owner with no mess around the floor.
Nail clippers and brush: brush their coat often to avoid too much shedding and keep their nails short so they don’t hurt you or themselves.
Shampoo: their coat needs to be clean to avoid possible infections or skin diseases.
Toys: if you give them a toy they’ll be happy with it and spend a good time playing with it. It can be a chewing, plush, dental, or interactive toy.
Poop bags: perfect to take with you while walking.
Pee cleaner: this item will be used more often than you think. It removes all the odors of pee from any surface.
How to Take Care of a Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers don’t tend to be picky eaters. They will adapt to the dog food you decide — but always choose the best type of food with your veterinarian ensuring that is adequate to the dog’s weight and age.
If you got your family a Golden Retriever be prepared to do a lot of activities. This breed requires at least two hours of exercise a day. But remember that although they love to play, they are also highly trainable, so they won’t be messy dogs running around.
They also require regular grooming and baths to avoid skin diseases and allergies, so use high-quality shampoo and brush to take care of their coat. Golden Retrievers’ coat tends to shed during the year, but they should never be too intense and severe. If you notice an intense amount of shed to the point of the dog having bald spots in its body, then it may be a sign of stress or any skin disease.
Their ears also need to be cleaned to avoid infections and the hair around them has to be groomed.
Show Affection to Your Golden Retriever
Always keep in mind that they are highly sociable dogs and will always crave human attention. They will seek you for affection, will lean against your feet until you pet them, and will stay by your side.
There’s no too much affection when it comes to Golden Retrievers. They will stay happy by being with you. Be careful not to leave them alone for long periods of time or they will start chewing doors and other hard things they can find, develop depression, and bark excessively.
They Need to Socialize
As mentioned on the last topic, Golden Retrievers are very sociable dogs and this doesn’t only mean with people but with other dogs too. If you take them on a walk they will love to meet other people and interact with other dogs and animals.
If you already have other animals at home, they’ll interact very well with them. But if the Golden Retriever is your only animal, then always take him on walks around the neighborhood or to specific dog parks where he can run freely with other dogs.
Feed Their Minds
Golden Retrievers are one of the most intelligent and brilliant breeds, and to keep this alive and take care of their mental health is important to give them a lot of mental stimulation. This will also prevent them from getting bored.
You can hire a professional trainer to train your Golden Retriever or do it by yourself. Small mental stimulations can be done on a daily basis, like teaching them tricks and commands or playing games like hiding and seeking.
They Need Space
Golden Retrievers are a large to medium breed and will require room to move and run freely, in order to grow healthier, develop their muscles, and spend energy.
But this doesn’t mean that they have to stay outside all the time, in fact, they’ll love to stay inside with you. Just make sure that they are in a comfortable place.
The Best Activities for Golden Retrievers
Golden Retrievers are highly active dogs. And they need to be in order to avoid developing health problems. Some of the best activities you can do with your Golden Retriever are:
Swimming: If you have a swimming pool or lives near a lake, then your Golden Retriever will be the happiest dog ever. This breed was created to hunt in the water and will easily learn their ways around boats and decks. If your Golden Retriever doesn’t know water yet, start slowly and soon he’ll love it.
Running or walking: They don’t get tired easily and can be a great exercise partner for you.
Hiking: A way to spend even more of their energy is by taking them to hike. Just check to see if the place is dog friendly if they can run freely or need to be on a leash. Take a few pauses to let him drink water.
Hunting: They hunt dogs. That’s what the bred was created for. So nothing better than to take them hunting.
Hide treats: If you’re not keen on outdoor activities, hide some treats around the house and teach him how to look for them. This will also be one great mental stimulation.
Fetch: A tennis ball or a stick will be your Golden Retriever’s favorite things. Just throw them and wait for him to run and bring them back to you. Keep doing it to spend their energy.