This Scottish breed is one of the most popular large sized dog breed that are very easy to train and are well suited for almost every home types. These dogs originated in the Scottish Highlands around 1810 and were developed by crossing a Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) with a Flat Coat Retriever.
They were first recognized in England as the ‘Flat Coats – Golden’ in the year 1903 and were then accepted by the American Kennel Club in the year 1925. Later, with the increasing demand of these faithful and loyal dogs, the Golden Retriever Club of America was founded in the year 1938. Some of the most eminent people such as President Gerald R. Ford and Ronald Reagan preferred to choose Golden Retriever as their pets. These dogs even appeared in many TV serials such as the Homeward Bound, The Fox and the Hound 2, Napoleon, Cats & Dogs amongst many others.
These dogs are commonly used as search, rescue, guide and assistance dogs.
Golden Retriever – At a glance
The following list of general and physical characteristics will help you get familiarized with your Golden Retriever dog: –
• Breed type : Pure Breed (these dogs belong to the Sporting/ Gun dogs group and are registered and registered by the American Kennel Club, Golden Retriever Club of America, Continental Kennel Club, Canadian Kennel Club, Australian National Kennel Club, United Kennel Club, New Zealand Kennel Club and many others)
• Height: Males have an average height of 1 ft. 8 in to 2 ft. 2 inch and females have an average height of 1ft. 6 in. to 2 ft.
• Weight: Males have a weight of 65 to 80pounds and females have a weight of 55 to 70 pounds at an average.
• Life Span: 10 to 13 years.
• Available coat colors: They have a smooth, water repellant, wavy, medium haired double coat with fur like feathers on the back and are recommended in Golden or Golden White (rare) coat colors.
• The average litter size is 5 to 10 puppies.
Temperament and Personality traits
Golden retrievers have an even mannered – loving temperament. These dogs are very intelligent and they occupy the 4th position on Stanley Coren’s scale for measuring intelligence factor in dogs. A well trained Golden retriever shall be obedient, well mannered, naturally intelligent and calm and composed in nature.
As these dogs share a hunting heritage, they would love to chase things and living objects and can sit for hours to focus on a given task. They love water and would love to play and swim in water bodies in the summer season.
Training isn’t a hassle with the Golden retrievers as they are very intelligent and will follow your commands quiet obediently. Training methods such as positive reward approach or the upbeat training style shall be helpful.
They are fit for a spacious home as they are very energetic and love to play. They will get along with children and pets quiet easily. However, make sure you supervise your children when they are playing with the Goldies.
Feeding habits and Nutrition
Check the ingredients of the dog food that you pick. The dog food should contain at least one or two meat and vegetable sources from the following and the listed vitamins and minerals:-
• Meat sources: – Fish (Tuna/Mackerel), Chicken, Chicken liver (not chicken broth), Lamb or Bison.
• Vegetable and Fruit Sources: – Carrot, Soya bean, Brussels, Tomato, Pomegranate, Chickpea, Apple, Raspberry, Blueberry and anti-oxidants such as Marigold and other herbs.
• Vitamins and Minerals: – Vitamin A, Vitamin B Complex, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin E and minerals such as Zinc, copper, calcium, iron and selenium. Their feed shall contain Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
As with other dogs it is necessary that you monitor the feeding habits of your Golden retriever. Never feed them with a diet that contains human food, cheese, cashews, raisins, apple core and other such harmful food stuffs. Pick good quality dry dog food for your dog. Brands that can be trusted are Acana Dry dog food, Purina, Hills and Taste of the Wild dry dog food.
Your Golden retriever shall be fed with 2 to 3 cups of premium quality dry dog food divided into two equal meals every day.
Health and Immunization
Golden retrievers can acquire several health issues the most common being: –
• Cancer – either Hemagiosarcoma or osteosarcoma
• Hip and Elbow dysplasia – causing lameness and extreme pain in joints which can further lead to adverse conditions such as arthritis.
• Eye or Ophthalmic issues – such as Retinal dysplasia, corneal dystrophy, glaucoma, progressive retinal atrophy, distichiasis, entropion causing partial or complete loss of vision with age.
• Cardiac issues – Subvalvular aortic stenosis, cardiomyopathy and others.
• Joint related diseases: – Patellar luxation, Osteochondritis and Panosteitis.
• Skin related problems: – Seborrhhoea, Lick granuloma, Lyme disease and Sebaceous adenitis.
• Other kidney related disorders.
Golden retrievers can be allergeic to various allergens, the most common being fleas and mites.
Golden retrievers should be immunized at regular intervals so that they are protected from various diseases caused by dangerous viruses. Some mandatory vaccines for this breed includes: – Parvovirus, Rabies, Distemper, Coronavirus, Hepatitis A and B, Influenza and Parainfluenza vaccines. Inject annual booster shots from experienced vets.
Care and Grooming
20 to 35 minutes vigorous exercise on a daily basis will keep these dogs away from many serious health issues.
Your Goldie shed at a nominal rate, however they possess a thick coat and therefore daily brushing should be beneficiary, which will keep their coats in a healthy condition. Bathe him at least once a month with a mild shampoo such as an oatmeal shampoo.
Your Golden retriever would require nail trimming at least once in two months and their teeth needs to be brushed every alternative day.
Since, these dogs have a fold over ear; their ears can be infested by many pathogens. Clean his ear with a balanced ear cleanser at least once a week and check for any symptoms of flea infections or other type of infections during their grooming sessions.
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