This dog is the fourth most popular breed in the United States, and also extremely popular in Europe. Their beautiful golden coat and energetic nature make them the perfect family dog. Also trained to help the blind, detect drugs, and assist with search and rescue, there is therefore a very high level of interest in golden retriever information.
The creation of the breed in fact directly correlates to advancements in gun technology. As guns were commonly used for the sport of hunting in Western Europe, fowl that was shot from increasingly greater distances would be harder to find. Thus the need for a new breed of retriever dog was born.
The first of this new breed was the result of crossing a black-coated retriever with the now unfortunately extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. Their four pups went on to be bred with more sporting dogs, including the Irish Setter, the sandy-colored Bloodhound, and the St. John’s Water Dog. The best qualities were taken from each of these dogs, resulting in the dog we know and celebrate today.
This dog has a great personality and a love for all people. It is a poor guard dog because of the inevitable befriending of everyone they meet, but this makes them a great dog to have around kids of all ages. Their great work ethic and huge desire to please everyone around them means they can do lots of different jobs. Trained and used in search and rescue missions by police forces all over the world, they are also great seeing-eye dogs. Having this dog for a companion creates a positive environment for disabled people and helps them with day-to-day tasks.
Owing to the fact that these dogs like so much attention, they are not for people who cannot devote a lot of time to their dogs. If you work a lot, or live in an apartment, you may want to consider a different breed. As sporting dogs, they need to exercise often to release energy and stress. They like to run, swim and play, so their owners need to be or become almost as energetic as they are!
They are very smart and are easily trained. One of their very favourite activities is learning new tricks. Excellent Frisbee players, and are obviously masters at playing fetch, they are very loving, smart, easy going and enthusiastic in everything they do. They are happy to be trained, given activities and played with. They are great to have around kids because of their love of activity. Their passion creates a great environment for families and all people. When given proper care and love they thrive and become excellent companions.
The breed typically lives to be between 10 and 14 years old. They do suffer from certain health problems like cataracts, cancer, entropion, thyroid problems, allergies, epilepsy, and hip dysplasia. Of course, any breed has health risks.
As long as you get your dog from a trustworthy breeder, problems should be minimal and can even be avoided entirely. A good breeder can show you certification from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (known as the OFA) and from the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (known as CERF), proving that your puppy’s parents were in good health, minimizing the chances of genetic health issues.
Great Britain has a system for making sure that dogs are healthy. There is a DNA database for all registered dogs, and all breeders are encouraged to do this. When you go and pick out a dog anywhere, you should always ask questions about the health of its parents and whether they are registered with the Kennel Club.
Overall, golden retrievers make great pets and companions. If you choose your dog well and invest wisely in its health, you can avoid the vast majority of problems and have a long and very healthy relationship with your dog. This can really be made very easy for you – see below.