The Golden Retriever originated from Scotland and was bred by a man known as “Lord Tweedmouth.” As one can imagine, the reason the Golden Retriever was bred was to do the very thing stated in their name- retrieve. Tweedmouth’s goal was not only to breed an excellent retriever, but to also breed a dog with an even temperament and high tolerance- these qualities are truly what make Goldies special. Because of their extreme attentiveness to their owners’ needs and high tolerance towards things that may annoy any other breed, one can tell that their assistance in hunting and companionship is a very deep-rooted instinct to these dogs. While intelligent, the Golden Retriever is often known to come across as “goofy” due to their extreme loyalty and attention to their owners’ needs. Anyone would seem goofy if they were as happy as a Golden Retriever!
Golden Retrievers make wonderful family members due to their undying need to please and their strong instinct for general calm. Although sweet and easy-going by nature, it is important to socialize them as puppies, just like any other breed. Any dog who hasn’t been properly socialized at a young age, no matter how sweet, can easily turn into an anxious character. Imagine growing up in one place and never leaving it- this would easily make anyone too anxious to leave the house. Always socialize, socialize, socialize!
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds in the U.S. due to their personalities. When caring for them, it is important to know that since they are hunters, they should be kept busy. The more active and intelligent the breed, the more destructive they can be when not given a job. Retrievers require a few 30 minute sessions of play through out the day in order to keep them from getting “bored”. When bored, because their main function is to retrieve, they can become quite mouthy. Playing “fetch”, or going jogging and climbing are some of the best activities to give these dogs. If you hunt- even better! Always remember to look out for signs of overheating and dehydration- especially those who live in the south. Some symptoms of this are: red gums, excessive panting, dry noses and loss of skin elasticity. While this breed has stamina, always be ready to call it quits when they have been worked too hard and be sure to serve plenty of water.
When looking to adopt a dog, it is imperative to remember that they will eventually become seniors. With every breed, there are always a few common health risks involved that come with their old age. When Golden Retrievers come older, they can be known to develop hip/elbow dysplasia, cataracts, epilepsy and mast cell tumors. Retrievers are also known to have allergies so always keep an eye out for “hot spots”. Hot spots are areas on the dog’s skin that become hotter than the rest of their body and often, these spots are very dry, itchy, red and overall irritated. Always be sure to keep your Golden groomed and check for signs of itching- even moving their fur around to take a peak at their skin is a healthy habit to adopt.
If bringing a new Golden Retriever into one’s home, keep in mind that they shed quite a bit! Daily brushing is a must with this breed and again, is a great practice in order to keep an eye on their skin for possible seasonal allergies. Never allow a Golden’s fur to become matted because this is one of the biggest causes for hot spots. When dogs have mats, their skin is constantly being pulled at by the tangle and tends to cause major irritation.
Golden Retrievers are one of the most loving, gentle breeds that mankind has ever known. Anyone that owns one understands how unbelievably intelligent they are and most of their owners just can’t get enough. They’re like potato chips, you can’t just have one!