The Golden Retriever is a large sized, energetic breed, serving as efficient gun dogs used for retrieving waterfowl and game birds. These good looking dogs are not just efficient as a working breed but also excel as excellent family dogs.
The following physical features characterize these active dogs with a symmetrical and powerful built:
Head: Broad and slightly arched
Muzzle: Straight and well set
Eyes: Dark, closely fit, of medium length
Ears: Short, just above its eyes and close to its cheek
Body: Muscular built and well balanced
Tail: Thick, well set, muscular at the base
|Coat||Inner coat: Dense, making them feel warm when outdoors; Outer coat: Water repellent, straight or wavy, fitted closely to its body|
|Color||Dark or light golden or cream|
|Group||Retrievers, lifesaving dogs, sporting dogs|
|Average life expectancy (How long do they live)||10 to 12 years|
|Size (How big do they get)||Big|
|Height of a full grown Golden Retriever||Male: 22 to 24 inches; Female: 20 to 22 inches|
|Weight of a full grown Golden Retriever||Male: 65 to 75 pounds; Female: 55 to 65 pounds|
|Litter size||8 on an average|
|Behavioral characteristics||Devoted, intelligent, friendly, eager-to-please and gentle|
|Good with children||Yes|
|Climate compatibility||Thrives well in a temperate climate but does not do well when the temperature in warm|
|Shedding (Do they shed)||Moderately high but excessive during spring as well as fall|
|Competitive Registration Qualification/Information||FCI, CKC, UKC, ANKC, UKC, KC (UK)|
Their breeding began in Scotland in the second half of the 19th century since the hunting of wildfowl was immensely popular among the Scottish aristocrats. However, the retrieving breeds which existed were unable to perform their job adeptly. Hence they were crossed with some of the best water spaniels to produce the Golden Retriever. Dudley Marjoribanks, a noble, played a significant role in developing these dogs. He initiated a full course breeding programme as his requirements were a dog to thrive in the rainy and rugged condition of Scotland. Hence he crossed one of his Yellow Retriever with an extinct breed namely Tweed Water Spaniel. Four puppies evolved from this crossing which therefore became a part of the breeding programme. Other breeds included were the St John’s water dog, Bloodhound, and Irish Setter. The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland is one among the several organizations formed for the betterment of this breed. In England, the Kennel Club was the first to register these breeds that were exhibited in the year 1908 at a dog show in Britain. In America, it gained recognition after a long time with AKC giving them acknowledgment in 1925. The Golden Retriever Club of America developed in 1938. On the other hand, in Canada, they were registered for the first time in 1927, while the GRCO (Golden Retriever Club of Ontario) established in 1958.
|British kind||American Kind||Canadian kind|
|Broader skull and more muscular than the rest of the varieties. Dark round eyes and may be of golden or cream color, though the latter shade was initially not accepted in the United Kingdom.||Are thinner and less muscular in comparison to the Golden Retrievers of other countries, with a darker coat. Gaits are more smooth and well coordinated.||Thinner with a darker coat and are taller than the other two varieties.|
Their friendly, kind, calm and confident nature makes them adorable family pets. They are always eager-to-please their masters as well as other members of the family.
However, they are not a one-man’s pet and would thrive amicably with everyone including strangers, a trait that does not make them excellent guard dogs.
Their affection can at times turn into exaggeration, and you can often see your Golden jumping upon you or anyone else to express their greeting.
They are incredibly patient with a high endurance level, also possessing an affinity to work hard, perhaps till the time they collapse.
Because of the task, they were employed for, they have an immense love for water.
Their gregarious nature and eagerness to learn, make them used as a guide, mobility assistance, search and rescue dogs.
They are extremely friendly with kids of all ages, but because of their rambunctious nature, you should supervise your child’s play with these big dogs. They also share a good rapport with other dogs as well as cats, rabbits or any other animals.
To keep it from shedding you need to brush it one or two times a week using a slicker brush to remove dead hair and avoid mats and tangles, which should be made a daily affair when it sheds a lot.
Bathe it once a month to keep it clean. As your Golden is fond of water, make sure that he is washed well after a swimming spree to remove the chlorine, which may otherwise damage the coat if accumulated. Trimming its nails, brushing it twice or thrice a week as well as cleaning its eyes and ears are the other grooming needs essential.
Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs confers upon it the 4th rank in terms of intelligence. Hence this sweet-tempered dog would be a delight to train when handled by an experienced and firm master.
The National Research Council of the National Academies mentions that Golden Retrievers weighing 55 to 75 pounds has a requirement of 1353 to 1740 calories per day. Dry dog food of good quality would provide it with the required nutrients and also keep its teeth free of tartar buildup. If you are giving it canned food that would help in providing it with additional moisture. You can also add homemade food to its kibble. However, make sure that its diet is balanced as your Golden has a tendency to suffer from obesity and feeding it too much could impact its health.
It is sweet and calm tempered and is generally not known to bite excepting a sweet peck on your finger out of affection. However, like any other breed, they could resort to aggression and biting if not bred well or when they are stressed and in a lot of pain.