Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Weight
55-75 lbs
Height
20-24 Inches
Lifespan
10-12 Years
Exercise
90 mins - 2 hours Daily

Overview

Weight
55-75 lbs
Height
20-24 Inches
Lifespan
10-12 Years
Exercise
90 mins - 2 hours Daily

The Golden Retriever is a very popular breed that was originally used to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks. For the past few years, they have been listed number three on the American Kennel Club’s “most popular breeds” list. This breed became popular due to its gentle, friendly, and loyal nature, making it an ideal family pet.

Like the name states, golden retrievers exceed at retrieving items undamaged due to their soft mouths. They also have an instinctive love of water and are very easy to train. This breed has adapted to outdoor conditions by having a dense inner coat for warmth and an outer coat that repels water by laying flat against their bodies.

The Golden Retriever is a great family dog but they do involve a lot of work as the dog can be slow to mature. They maintain their playful puppy nature until they are about 3-4 years old and always require extensive exercise. You will be rewarded with an incredibly loyal dog. They want to fit in and please you at all times.

The breed loves being with their “pack” so ideally they will live in the house with you. Add in a large garden or a back yard and the dog will be in it’s element. While they are incredibly good natured as a breed they can be playful and clumsy so small children will have to be watched carefully in their presence.

If you are after a vibrant and loving family dog this is the breed for you.

History

Many people used to believe that Golden Retrievers were descendants of Russian Sheepdogs bought from a circus. That theory has since been proved false when it was discovered that the breed was actually developed in Scotland in the mid-19th century. According to the records that were found, the breed was developed near Glen Affric at the highland estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, later known as Lord Tweetmouth. 

During this time, wildfowl hunting was quite a popular sport for the elite of Scotland. As guns improved during the 1800s, existing retriever breeds like the pointer and setter were found inadequate for retrieving downed game from both the water and land over greater distances. As a result, the best water spaniels were crossed with existing retrievers to create the ultimate duel purpose retriever.

One of the many crossings that were tried was a yellow-colored retriever named Nous, with a Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) female named Belle. Nous came from an unregistered litter of otherwise black wavy-coated retriever pups and was purchased in 1865 by Tweetmouth. Nous and Belle had a litter of four pups in 1868 which became the basis of the mix that will eventually lead to the breed we know as the Golden Retriever.

The Golden Retriever bloodline was crossed with an Irish Setter, sandy-colored Bloodhound, St. John’s water dog of Newfoundland, and two more black wavy-coated retrievers. The bloodline was also inbred and selected for the abilities needed in this new, specialized gun dog role. The idea was to create the ultimate hunting dog that is loyal and even-tempered at home.

Tweetmouth wanted his new breed to be stronger than any other retrievers as well as trainable. For this reason, the Golden Retriever only has sporting dogs in line with Tweetmouth’s goals in its ancestry. The Golden Retriever turned out to be powerful and very active with a “soft” mouth, excellent at retrieving game without damaging them.

As you would expect, Tweetmouth’s new breed first attracted attention in the hunting field. One of the most well-known descendants of Tweetmouth’s dogs was a liver-coated dog called Don of Gerwyn. Don of Gerwyn won the International Gundog League trial in 1904.

Flat Coats – Golden was the first name Golden Retrievers were registered as in 1903, by The Kennel Club of the United Kingdom. In 1908 They were exhibited and finally recognized as a breed in 1911. This newly registered breed was referred to as Retriever (Golden and Yellow) and renamed in 1920 to become the Golden Retriever as we know it today.

It took America another 14 years to recognize this breed and it was finally accepted by the American Kennel Club in 1925. A few years later in 1938, the Golden Retriever Club of America was founded. As of the year 1998 through to 2005 the Golden Retriever was the second most registered dog in the American Kennel Club, only outranked by the Labrador Retriever.

In 1881, a Golden Retriever named Lady was brought into Canada by Archie Majoribanks. In 1894 she was registered with the AKC by Archie himself. These were the first known records of the breed in Canada and America. The breed was officially registered in Canada in 1927 with the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario (GRCO) coming into existence in 1958.

Cliff Drysdale, an Englishman who imported a Golden to Canada, and Jutta Baker, daughter-in-law of Louis Baker, who owned Northland Kennels at the time were the cofounders of the GRCO. As the GRCO expanded, it was renamed the Golden Retriever Club Of Canada.

In July 2006, there was a gathering of Golden Retrievers and their owners organized by the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland in the ancestral home of Goldies, house Guisachan, in Scotland. This gathering holds the record for the most Golden Retrievers in one picture after a photographer, Lynn Kipps, took a picture to commemorate the occasion. 188 Golden Retrievers were captured in this image.

Health

Golden Retrievers, like most dog breeds, have some health issues you should be aware of. Generally, responsible breeders screen their breeding stock for health conditions to ensure healthy puppies are born. In Goldies, you should request health clearances for the following:

  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Thrombopathia
  • Clearance that the eyes are normal

You can confirm any health clearance certificates given to you by checking the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) website (https://www.ofa.org/). Here is a list of common health problems in Golden Retrievers:

  • Joint dysplasia

Elbow and hip dysplasia is quite a common condition in Golden Retrievers and should be screened in breeding stock. This condition causes joints to grow abnormally which leads to the development of arthritis. Both elbow and hip dysplasia are heritable conditions.

Eye conditions

Cataracts are cloudy spots on the eye lens that grow over time. This is known to be a genetic problem in Golden Retrievers bred from low-quality stock. In severe cases and if left untreated, the dog may go blind. Cataracts can be surgically removed with good results.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is another eye disease breeding dogs should be screened for. This condition progresses with age, initially leading to night blindness and then progress to full-on vision loss. Many dogs adapt well to the loss of vision, but it is not ideal.

Allergies

Golden Retrievers are quite prone to skin allergies and infections. These can be caused by anything ranging from fleas, food, or environmental allergens like pollen. Allergies and infections can cause hair loss, red itchy skin, and injury due to excessive scratching.

Von Willebrand’s disease

Von Willebrand’s disease is an inherited blood disorder that interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. There is no cure for this disease. Blood transfusion is currently the only treatment.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism is characterized by an underactive thyroid gland. This condition leads to weight gain without diet changes, hair loss, lethargy, skin, and coat changes as well as mental dullness or epilepsy.

Ear Infections

Due to the floppy ears of the Golden Retriever, they are predisposed to recurring ear infections. Ear infections are characterized by red, itchy, smelly ears with increased discharge.

Cancer

Cancer is a very common plight in Golden Retrievers. The most common types of cancer reported are hemangiosarcoma (cancer of blood vessel walls and the spleen) osteosarcoma (bone cancer), and lymphosarcoma (blood cancer).

Interesting Facts

  • Golden Retrievers have an exceptionally “soft” mouth. They can carry a raw egg in their mouths without cracking the shell.
  • This breed has water-repellent double coats. The inner coat keeps them warm while the outer coat keeps the water out unless they take a dip in the river or pool of course.
  • There are three types of Golden Retrievers: British, American, and Canadian Golden Retrievers. All three vary in color and size.
  • Golden Retrievers often adopt other animals, even cats!
  • Golden Retrievers often star in movies and television shows due to being so easy to train. 

Photos of Golden Retriever

Here are some Bernese mountain dog photos for you to get a good picture of the breed.
NAMES BY BREED

Golden Retriever Names

Female, Male, Inspired by size or by coat color

Maggie

Piper

Winnie

Dixie

Archie

Bentley

Charlie

Milo

Winston

Cinnamon

Pumpkin

Whiskey

Daffodil

Sunny

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