How many of us have wanted to have a Golden Retriever at some point in our lives? The fame that these adorable dogs have is well earned. Initially bred as hunting dogs, now they are a part of millions of homes worldwide where they not only care for the family but, in many cases, they make their companion’s life easier.
Like the majority of dogs their size, the Golden Retriever normally lives between 10 and 12 years but, as always, it depends on their genes and other factors such as the food they eat and exercise to enjoy good health and have a long life expectancy.
One of the most common problems that they usually suffer from is hip dysplasia.
Make sure that before getting your new puppy that the breeder has guaranteed that their litter does not have any illnesses. This is extremely important. Some useful advice in order to avoid the appearance of this illness is to keep their weight under control and the use of natural condroprotectives.
According to the intelligence ranking of breeds by Dr. Stanley Coren, the Golden Retriever occupies fourth place behind the Border Collie, Poodle and German Shepherd. Because of this, it isn’t strange for us to see these dogs helping with tasks such as rescuing people, detection of explosives or assisted therapy for older people. They demand challenges and tasks, are always willing to train and learn and really enjoy social contact.
The Golden Retriever has a thick layer of fur designed to protect them from the heat and the cold, it is for this reason that they should never be shaved. They usually moult twice a year although in reality they lose small amounts of fur throughout the year. Brushing them twice a week and having a good vacuum are necessary conditions in order to live with a Golden Retriever if you are a clean freak.
As for the colour, there is a wide variety of shades within the breed: from light cream to the most golden brown. When they are a puppy they are born completely white but with age their coat gets darker. A good indicator to know what colour your puppy will be as an adult is their ears. Generally, the colour of their coat as an adult is the colour of the end of their ears when they are a puppy. Although some Golden Retrievers have a light shade, the real Golden Retriever doesn’t exist.
The origin of the Golden Retriever dates back to the 19th century and in Scotland in particular. An excess of waterfowl and a development in hunting – as well as the improvement of far ranging firearms – created the need for collector dogs that were more resilient and stronger for the hunters. Golden Retrievers were born from a cross of different retrievers, setters, spaniels and hounds. First recognised as “Flat Coats – Golden” by the English Kennel Club in 1903, they were finally recognised by the AKC in 1925 and nowadays it is one of the most popular breeds.
The Golden Retriever is generally a sweet, outgoing dog with a good nature; they are also friendly with other animals, people and children. Even still, their education and socialisation is of vital importance if we want to avoid serious problems in the future. Any dog with the best genes and temperament can, with age, develop fears or other problems if they haven’t been well socialised and educated, especially as a puppy.
As their name indicates, the Golden Retriever is a collector: “a type of hunting dog that brings back the hunter’s prey”. They have been brought up this way for years so nobody should be surprised that they love carrying things in their mouth: balls, sticks, shoes, socks, toys or anything that they catch. When the Golden Retriever is a puppy, this condition can drive anyone crazy so it is a good time to start to teach them, in a nice way, which objects they can take and which ones they can’t.
The film star
We can no longer keep count of the times the Golden Retriever has been in films or adverts. Their good nature and their “long blonde hair” melt even the coldest heart. It isn’t surprising that Disney has made a star of them in the famous feature-length film “Up” with the endearing character of Doug. In order to understand the dog’s mind and create the character of this Golden Retriever, Ian Dumber, one of the most famous canine educators was consulted by Disney.
If you have to go away for a few days, don’t leave your Golden Retriever in a cage. On Gudog, you will find the ideal dog sitter for your dog, and who knows, when you come back, they might be talking like Doug!