- Weekly Brushing
- Shedding Seasonally
The Golden Retriever originated in the Scottish Highlands during the reign of Queen Victoria, in the mid-19th century. The first Lord of Tweedmouth, Dudley Marjoribanks wanted a versatile breed for waterfowl hunting. To create the ideal retriever, Tweedmouth crossbred a Tweed water spaniel (a now extinct breed) with a yellow-coloured retriever. The Golden Retriever was officially recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925.
As part of the sporting group, Golden Retrievers would participate in hunting and other field activities. Sport hunters appreciated the breed's versatility, obedience and gentle temperament. Today, Goldens are still used for hunting and field trials and have become a popular choice of family dog in the Western world.
Golden Retriever Appearance
Golden Retrievers are sturdy, medium-sized dogs that grow to be 21 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 55 and 65 pounds. Golden Retrievers have a well-balanced body with a deep chest and a broad shaped head. Goldens also possess expressive eyes reflective of their kind nature, floppy ears and a wide, powerful muzzle.
Golden Retriever Temperament
Golden Retrievers have a friendly, eager-to-please temperament. These dogs are intelligent, gentle and very affectionate. Golden Retrievers tend to get along well with other dogs, children and strangers and are well-known for their companionship qualities.
Grooming Your Golden Retriever
Purebred Golden Retrievers have a long, water-repellent outer coat and a thick, protective undercoat. A Golden Retriever’s coat can come in various shades of rich, lustrous gold. Goldens shed year-round but more profusely during the spring and fall. Weekly brushing is required to keep their coat shiny and healthy. Golden Retrievers also need regular nail trimming, ear cleaning and dental care.
Training & Exercise for Your Golden Retriever
In order for your Golden Retriever to grow into a well-mannered, well-adjusted adult, puppy classes and early socialization is recommended. As a breed that wants nothing more than to please their human, training your Golden Retriever comes as an easy task. Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent and can master basic obedience commands such as sit, stay and fetch.
Like most Sporting breeds, Golden Retrievers require an ample amount of exercise. Goldens love going on daily walks, long hikes and swimming! As an athletic breed, Golden Retrievers do best with active owners. Access to a big fenced-in yard to romp about is just what a Golden needs to stay happy and healthy.
Health Considerations for Golden Retrievers
With an average lifespan of 12-13 years, Golden Retrievers are a generally healthy breed. To ensure your Golden gets the most out of these years, it’s important to be aware of some of the common health issues Goldens are susceptible to.
Compared to other breeds, cancer is one of the biggest health concerns for Golden Retrievers. The two most common types of cancer in Golden Retrievers include hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma.
Hemangiosarcoma is a highly malignant cancer arising from the lining of the blood vessels. This form of cancer can cause tumors in various parts of the body but most commonly affects the heart and spleen of Golden Retrievers. Symptoms to be aware of in your Golden Retriever include lethargy, anorexia, extreme weakness or pale gums. Surgery is the primary method of treatment for Goldens with hemangiosarcoma.
Lymphoma is a group of cancers that stem from the lymphocytes. Lymphocytes are a type of white blood cell that aid the immune system in fighting off infection. Some of the common symptoms to look out for in your Golden Retriever include swollen lymph nodes, lethargy, fever, weakness and dehydration. Chemotherapy is proven to be the most effective form of treatment for canine lymphoma.
A cataract is developed when the lens of the eye clouds, preventing light from reaching the retina. Signs to watch for in your Golden Retriever include changes in eye colour, cloudy pupils in one or both eyes, confusion and clumsiness. This condition can be treated with surgery but if left untreated can lead to blindness.
Goldens have an increased risk of contracting ear infections. Their adorable floppy ears tend to trap moisture which creates the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and yeast. Golden Retriever’s ears should be cleaned and checked weekly to prevent ear infections from developing. If your Golden contracts an ear infection it's recommended that you consult with your Veterinarian. They might prescribe you with an ear cleanser and a topical medication to use at home.
Elbow & Hip Dysplasia
Canine hip dysplasia (CHD) is one of the most common canine ailments. It’s a genetic condition that causes an abnormal formation of the hip socket which can eventually lead to lameness and arthritis of the joints. Medium-sized dogs like the Golden Retriever are commonly affected by this health condition. Elbow dysplasia occurs when a Golden's elbow does not fuse properly during their development.
Dysplasia is typically hereditary that can be magnified by factors including excessive growth rate, age, types of exercise and improper weight and nutrition. While mild conditions can be managed with prescription medication and physical therapy, more severe cases could require surgery. To prevent or reduce the severity of elbow and hip dysplasia, it’s important to ensure your Golden Retriever gets a proper diet and the right amount of exercise.
Subvalvular aortic stenosis (SAS), is a congenital heart murmur found in Golden Retrievers. This condition occurs when abnormal tissue forms just below the aortic valve creating an obstruction which causes the heart to work harder to pump blood. Goldens with SAS can appear asymptomatic however, some symptoms to be aware of include lethargy, shortness of breath, exercise intolerance and fainting.
Without an adequate amount of exercise or a proper diet Golden Retrievers can be prone to obesity. This condition is often caused by overfeeding your Golden Retriever to the point where they’re consuming more calories than they can expend. Obese and overweight Goldens have an increased risk of health problems such as diabetes, hypertension and heart disease.
Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)
Progressive retinal atrophy (PRA), occurs when the retina of a Golden Retriever’s eye starts to deteriorate. Some dogs may experience total blindness, while others remain unaffected but can be carriers of the gene. There is currently no treatment that can cure this disease however, you can learn to spot the signs early to ensure your Golden continues to live a fulfilling life. Some common signs to look for include night blindness, bumping into objects and inability to follow hand signals/commands.
It’s important to monitor your Golden Retriever’s vision to detect these eye conditions early on, especially in the first years of their life. It’s recommended that you have your Golden’s eyes checked by your vet on a regular basis.
What Makes a Golden Retriever Unique?
Golden Retrievers love the water
Golden Retrievers have a water repellent coat that lies flat against their body. This helps them stay dry and protected from dirt and debris. As a breed created to retrieve waterfowl from bodies of water, Goldens are excellent swimmers and have an instinctive love of water. Goldens also have webbed feet to help them swim more efficiently.
Golden retrievers make great therapy dogs
Golden Retrievers are commonly used as service and therapy dogs. Goldens are gentle, intelligent, easy to train and have a way of making people feel calm and comfortable.
Golden Retrievers are naturally mouthy
Golden Retrievers love to carry something around in their mouth everywhere they go. Whether that be a stick, toy or clothing they always need to have something in their mouth. This is because Goldens were bred to retrieve birds with their mouths and gently carry them back to their owners.
Why NutriCanine Is Great For Golden Retrievers
Top 10 Facts About Golden Retrievers
Nutri canine Meals
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