The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds in the world because of its jovial and friendly attitude. Its intelligence and its image as a loving dog that is perfect for the family explain this success. His golden coat is characteristic. He is also an excellent swimmer and fit for work. Hunting, guide dog for the blind, search and rescue are areas where he excels.
Characteristics of the Golden Retriever
Medium in size, the golden retriever has a balanced and powerful appearance. This beautiful dog weighs between 27 and 34 kg with a size of 51 to 56 cm for females and 56 to 61 cm for males. Its large head is made of a black truffle and displays an accentuated stop. The muzzle is more or less wide.
The animal has medium, drooping ears and dark brown eyes that are quite wide apart. The color ranges from creamy white to dark golden. Some colors are not present such as mahogany, black or chocolate which are more visible in his cousin the labrador. The golden retriever has long, fringed hairs that can be flat or wavy. This fur is characterized by its silky and above all thick nature. The tail in turn extends at the back and is fringed.
History of the Golden Retriever breed
The Golden Retriever is a dog with controversial origins. One theory is that it is in fact a descendant of Caucasian shepherds acquired in 1858 by Lord Tweedmouth. Another story has it that a Water Spaniel was crossed with a Wavy Coated, keeping only the puppies with golden coats from each litter. Another legend says that the Golden Retriever was born from a cross between a Water Spaniel and a Bloodhound.
It was in 1909 that the breed appeared for the first time in a dog show. It was registered in England in 1913 before being recognized as a pure breed in 1931. France imported the first individuals in 1925. However, breeding did not take off until the end of the World War. Since the 1990s, it has been a very popular breed.
The popularity of the Golden Retriever breed
Eight years after the official recognition of the Golden Retriever breed by the British Kennel Club in 1913, the first club related to the breed was created. These majestic dogs quickly gained popularity in England, their country of origin, but also in the United States. In the 80s and 90s, the breed became incredibly popular, thanks in part to numerous appearances in films of the time and on television. Very quickly, Goldens appeared in many European countries as family and companion dogs.
Necessary living conditions and behavior of the Golden Retriever
Like the labrador, the golden retriever was originally a hunting dog, mainly bringing in waterfowl. He particularly appreciates water. In this respect, it has webbed legs as well as a thick fur ensuring its protection against the cold. This animal will therefore be able to please in environments by the sea or lake.
He is energetic and needs to work out. If unfortunately he has to live in an apartment, it is important to make him take three to four walks a day for his well-being. These outputs will channel its energy.
Appreciating the company of his masters enormously, the golden retriever is easy to educate. Be careful, we’re talking about education here, not dressage. This dog with a high sensitivity will prefer encouragement to reprimands.
Gifted at work and intelligent, it is easy to teach him to participate in family activities which he will perform with good will. Docile, friendly and assertive, the Goldie has many other qualities which have enabled him to become over time the favorite dog of the families.
Diet and main health problems of the Golden Retriever
The golden retriever has very fragile ears. Ear infections are not uncommon and manifest as reddening inside the ears. He may also have dysplasia, not only in the hips but also in the elbows.
In order to guarantee iron health, good nutrition is essential. The ideal is to make him consume 400 g of premium kibble, according to a ration of two meals per day. A good nutritional balance is desired to avoid being overweight.