Golden retrievers have proven themselves to be a very friendly, kind, gentle and confident breed that loves everyone. Goldens are intelligent and show an eagerness to please that makes them a good working dog as well as a great family pet.
They have the patience of a saint. That’s not surprising considering that they were originally bred to hunt waterfowl, an endeavor that requires hours of patience sitting idly by a duck blind.
The breed originated in the Scottish highlands in the late 1800’s. Lord Tweedmouth devised the breed when he took on the challenge to develop a dog that could withstand the Scottish climate and be willing to retrieve in the Scottish terrain. It is said the Tweedmouth crossed a yellow retriever with a tweed water spaniel, a breed that is extinct. As time went on, the baron incorporated bloodhounds and Irish setters into the bloodline.
Golden retrievers are relatively large dogs that require daily exercise and maintenance. Be prepared to throw lots of sticks, Frisbees or balls for retrieval. They absolutely love the water and are well suited to those who boat and/or hunt waterfowl.
The coloring of golden retrievers can vary from cream to mahogany. However, a beautiful gold coloring is the most common. Their double coats do a good job of repelling water, making them an ideal breed for water sports, but they do shed and require regular brushing to keep their coat from knotting.
Training golden retrievers is relatively easy when compared to teaching many other breeds. Golden retrievers are smart and they love to please. They respond well to positive reinforcement. Harsh training methods should never be used.
Golden retriever owners should be aware of the fact that their puppy will love to work and they won’t give up easily. Take care to avoid overworking.
In the United States, golden retrievers are usually found on the most popular breed list because of their eagerness to please and their superior intelligence. Not only are they used as family pets and hunting dogs. These traits make the breed ideally suited for training as mobility assistance dogs, guide dogs and search and rescue dogs.
Goldens are very sociable and usually get along well with other animals. Golden retrievers have also been known to fill in as surrogate mothers to different animal species. They’ve been used to nurse every kind of animal from kittens to tiger cubs.
While the good news it that golden retrievers make ideal pets, be aware of the fact that they have been carelessly bred over many generations, causing them to be prone to disorders such as hip dysplasia. When purchasing a golden retriever, seek a reputable breeder. Check with your veterinarian or organizations such as the American Kennel Club, the University of Pennsylvania Hip Program or Orthopedic Foundation for Animals.
Overall, the Golden Retriever is a great choice for families in general, especially those with young children. They are known for their companionship and will guard those they love dearly.
If you are looking for a compassionate, loving, and friendly puppy, the Golden Retriever breed is worth looking into.