Golden Retriever

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Species group:

Other name(s): Goldens

The basics:
The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular pet dogs on the planet. Active, intelligent, and eager to please, a well-trained Golden is a loyal companion who expects to spend lots of time with its people. As the name suggests, the breed was originally developed to dive right into the water to retrieve waterfowl for hunters, and the result is an active energetic animal who loves to play fetch.

If you're looking for a chill pet who likes to kick back on the couch and watch TV, the athletic Golden may not be right for you. This dog is for active individuals or families who enjoy getting into the outdoors for lots of exercise.

Because of their alert, adaptable spirit and their good-natured personality which allows them to get along well with others in public, Goldens can be trained to serve a lot of important functions, from therapy dog to narcotics detection.

Appearance / health:
Often referred to simply, but lovingly, as “Goldens.” A sturdy, but lovely, dog with good proportions, having a medium length, “feathery,” water repellent outer coat and a dense undercoat; feathering should always be on the chest, legs and belly. A broad head; a powerful wide, tapering muzzle; black nose and sweet-natured brown eyes with darker rims; scissor-bite; clear frontal stop; medium-sized hanging ears; muscular in the neck and thighs; broad-chested; tail is long and should never be curled.

Because the Golden is considered an average shedder, it should be brushed regularly. It is recommended to use a firm bristle brush as well as suitable grooming tools necessary to pay extra attention to the undercoat. Only bathe when necessary, but it is acceptable to use a dry shampoo on a regular basis.

The Golden both loves and needs exercise. Daily walks, long and brisk, are an absolute necessity for apartment dwellers (though they are not recommended as an apartment dog). They will also enjoy trotting along side you as you bicycle, skate or jog. They truly do best with a large backyard or in a rural setting with sufficient space to run and be playful.

OFA and CERF certification are important in both the sire and the dam of a prospective puppy as they are prone to congenital eye defects (hereditary cataracts and extroverted or introverted eyelids) and hip dysplasia. Inquire if parent dogs have been screened for Von Willebrand’s Disease. Other health issues to be aware of are: skin allergies, heart defects, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy). Due to the poor breeding mentioned above, which occurred as a result of their popularity, some inbreeding occurred increasing the risks of epilepsy and cancer.

Behavior / temperament:
The Golden is sweet, loyal and eager to please their people. Naturally charming, smart and well-mannered, they are quite easily trained due to their desire to please. Goldens are alert, responsive, and are a terrific family dog. They do need to be close to their people and leaving them alone for extended periods or alienating them is likely to result in destructive behaviors as they try to find a means of entertaining themselves.

There are many words to describe the temperament of the Golden: playful, easygoing, tolerant, trustworthy, gentle, serene, pleasing, friendly, sensible, and laid back, to name but a few; however, poor breeding habits have resulted in some that can be nervous and timid and these can, in some cases, be snappy. Always ask to see the parents and observe their temperament; ask to see pedigrees and do your homework in checking out the breeding lines. They can also be demanding in seeking attention from their people.

Goldens are rated as having a very high obedience level and medium level skills in problem solving. Due to their eagerness to please, they are easily and quickly trained and are known to excel in obedience competitions.

Considered to be average barkers, the Golden does make a good watchdog as it will loudly announce a stranger approaching. Though a good watchdog, the Golden is not at all inclined toward being a guard down and has very little guarding instincts.

Is a Golden Retriever right for you?

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What owners are saying about Golden Retriever health

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What owners are saying about Golden Retriever behavior and training

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The Classic and Reliable Family Dog

Golden Retrievers are amazing family dogs, but you knew that already didn't you? I've owned and trained, three Golden Retrievers in my life...so far. They are loyal, lovable, patient, and extremely kind. It is no wonder that Goldens make for amazing therapy pets. My Gold...

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