Golden Retriever Appearance
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A perfect match of beauty and brains, the Golden Retriever is a long-coated, gilded beauty with a great disposition and sense of loyalty that makes a great family dog. Their dark eyes gleam with intelligence and will usually be seen wearing a good natured grin. These golden pups have coats that reflect their name; Golden Retrievers have coats that are in various shades of gold ranging from the lightest blond to tones of rich mahogany. Their lustrous coat works double duty with a dense inner layer that helps regulate body temperature, keeping them warm in the winter and cool in the summer, while an outer layer protects them from the elements and repels water. They also display a unique fur pattern called feathering, which is typically seen on the backs of their fore legs as well as on their necks, thighs, and bottom of their tails. Golden Retrievers will usually be 21-24 inches tall and weigh 60-75 lbs. These devoted beauties have an average lifespan of 10-12 years and might develop whitening of fur on and around their muzzles with age.
Golden Retriever Grooming
Golden Retrievers require a fair amount of regular grooming due to their thick, long coats. They shed regularly throughout the year and will shed an increased amount twice a year when transitioning seasons. Daily brushing will greatly reduce the amount of excess fur around the home, especially during their heavy shedding periods. Regular brushing will also help avoid any fur tangles or painful matting. Monthly baths are recommended to help keep their coats a glossy and shimmering gold. If a dog doesn’t get enough exercise to wear down their nails naturally, it’s important to trim them consistently to avoid any potential breakage or painful paws. Golden Retrieves have adorably floppy, fold-over ears which just happen to provide great breeding grounds for bacteria so ears should be cleaned periodically. Simply lifting the ear and wiping the outer areas with an approved ear cleanser will greatly reduce the chance of ear infections.
Golden Retriever Temperament
Long hailed as a great family dog, these loyal companions are good natured, sweet, and very loving. Goldens are extremely intelligent and eager to please, often excelling at whatever task they are put to. The typical Golden Retriever is naturally calm, gentle, and friendly. They are great with children due to their patient nature and trusting disposition. These dogs love being a part of the pack and thrive on family companionship, often staying involved in all aspects of their family’s everyday activities. They are extremely high energy and need to be exercised daily to avoid problem behaviors. Their sweet temperament makes them very poor watchdogs, as they will greet strangers with a smile and wagging tail. This also means they get along great with other dogs, cats, and other household pets as well as livestock. Golden Retrievers are often used as guide dogs for the blind, search and rescue dogs, and also make excellent therapy dogs. Their innate friendliness and joyous playfulness are characteristics that begin in puppyhood and are usually present throughout their lifetime.
Golden Retriever Training
Golden Retrievers are often very willing participants during training, seeing as they are highly intelligent and eager to please. They respond best to positive, upbeat training techniques that are centered on praise and rewards, not harsh corrections. Originally utilized as hunting dog, Goldens are known for their soft mouth grip and their ability to retrieve shot game undamaged. They also have an inherent love of water and can be trained both on and off land. Their high energy level can be burned off through training sessions, but it’s important to know when to call it quits. This eager to please pup will almost never give up, so it is the trainer’s responsibility to properly assign rest breaks and regulate training. These intelligent dogs can be trained to accomplish almost any task and are often trained as seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs, mental therapy aids, and so much more.
Golden Retriever History
The Golden Retrievers of today descend from ancestors bred in Scotland during the mid-19h century. Wealthy Scottish elite often passed the time in elaborate hunting parties, with wildfowl hunting becoming increasingly popular. The retrieving breeds available often weren’t capable of fetching downed game from both land and water and hunting parties would have to bring a multitude of different breeds for each type of prey. Retrieving game from watery areas is very important in Scotland due to the abundance of marshes and surrounding lakes and rivers. As a solution, the best water spaniels were bred with the retrievers. The Golden Retriever breed has long since been utilized as a hunting companion and excels at both retrieving downed game as well as waiting patiently in hunting blinds.