Golden Retriever dogs
The Golden Retriever has been one of the most popular family dog breeds in the UK for many years. This is not surprising as they are lovely dogs and also get along very well with small children.
If you're thinking about bringing a Golden Retriever puppy into your home, read on to learn everything you need to know about the adorable Goldens.
A brief history of the Golden Retriever
There are many different versions about the origins of this breed, but the most popular one dates back to 1864. Apparently a golden blond puppy was born in a litter where all the other puppies were black. The person who adopted this puppy then started a breeding program in Northern Scotland by crossing this dog with Water Spaniels and sand-coloured Bloodhounds.
Goldens were originally used for hunting. Their job was to track down prey, retrieve the shot game, and then take it back to their master. These dogs are good at fetching, with their gentle bite, they can carry prey in their mouths without damaging it.
Golden Retrievers are classified as a large dog breed. An adult male measures between 55 and 60 centimetres at the shoulder, while females measure between 50 to 55 centimetres. Goldens also carry their tails high, creating the impression of a very long dog, from head to tail. Their ideal weight is around 30 Kg.
Their long and thick coats make them even more magnificent. The coat is slightly longer on their legs, neck, belly and tail, while always lying flat on their backs.
The term Golden in this breed’s name refers to their gold-colored coat, although a few white hairs can usually be found on their chests. Furthermore, they have a dense undercoat which ensures that they are comfortable in extreme weather conditions, including heat, rain and cold.
Golden Retrievers have a sturdy build, with strong muscles and bones. While they may come across as being a bit clumsy, they are in fact very agile and fast.
As their owner, you are the most important thing in your Golden Retriever’s life and they will always go out of their way to please you. Compared to other dogs, this breed adaps very well to your requirements and the daily household routines.
Because they are so eager to please, intelligent, and obedient these dogs are used extensively as guide or assistance dogs. Due to their highly developed sense of smell they also excel as police dogs for detecting drugs or explosives.
Some connoisseurs refer to Goldens as eternal puppies because of their playful and enthusiastic nature. While other breeds outgrow their playfulness in puberty, this breed maintains this trait as it is built into their character.
The only situation in which these dogs are not a good choice is if you are looking for a guard dog. Goldens are so good natured that they will welcome even unwanted guests. You also cannot rely on them for protection as this is not a strongly developed instinct in this breed.
Like many large dogs, Golden Retrievers love to eat. Some of them are very protective of their food bowls and should not be disturbed while eating. Unfortunately, this trait also makes them prone to becoming overweight.
You should ideally feed them twice a day and then remove the food bowl after 15 minutes. This prevents them from eating more than they need. Don't be tempted by your dog's pleading looks - it is really important to follow the feeding guidelines so that your dog maintains a healthy weight.
But how do you determine how much food is enough? On each dog food product page on the Yarry website you can enter your dog’s weight and whether they are inactive, normally active or very active. You will then get an indication of how many grams of the particular food you should feed your dog daily. For example, an active dog weighing 30 kilograms should be fed 558 grams per day of the kibble with organic chicken, MSC fish, organic peas and baobab per day. By following these guidelines your dog will get all the nutrients they need.
All Yarrah's pet food is free from artificial fragrances, colouring, flavours, pesticides and GMO and made from only the most absorbable proteins. On each product page you can also find the exact ingredients and nutritional values.
By feeding your dog snacks you can be sure that you will quickly become the best of friends. While this is tempting, you have to be careful. Always subtract the calories contained in any snacks from the dog’s total daily allowance to prevent weight gain. Also keep this in mind if a friendly stranger gives your friendly dog a snack while you are out walking. Every calorie counts!
New owners do not need any past experience with dogs to bring a Golden Retriever into their home. You should, of course, gather all the necessary information about your dog’s needs and how to train them. Then, if you follow the advice, you will most likely not get any major surprises.
On average, these dogs need between 40-60 minutes of very active exercise daily. This means that they need a really long walk at least once a day, and not just a few quick rounds to relieve themselves. This is not only necessary to keep them physically fit but also for their mental health. Be sure to stimulate your dog while out walking by, for example, playing fetch or any other games.
Preferably you should walk your dog twice a day for 30 minutes to get rid of all their excess energy. You can add another two short rounds for your dog to relieve themselves. This will also help to ensure that your dog is calm indoors.
Preferably you should stick to a regular schedule so that your dog will know that they will be taken out for a walk soon. This will stop them from whining and also prevent fluctuating weight.
Children and Goldens get along very well. Although these dogs are quite big, children will usually not be afraid of them because they are so affectionate. However, despite your dog’s good nature they might sometimes accidentally knock a small child over. Never leave small children and dogs alone without adult supervision.
With a Golden Retriever, other pets are also not a problem. They might have to get used to a new family member, but will seldom respond with aggressive behaviour. There is a better chance that your dog will be even more affectionate and fun in order to maintain their position as the favourite pet.
This breed was originally used to retrieve downed game, often after a shot bird had fallen into water. They enjoy water and are excellent swimmers. So when you have a chance, take your dog for a swim once in a while. They will love you for it.
Many owners are enthusiastic about how easy it is to train a Golden Retriever puppy. Now and then your dog might be in a mood where things get a bit more difficult, but mostly they will always do their best to please you.
You always have to be calm during training and your dog will benefit from consistency. Furthermore, they do not respond well to punishment, rather focus on rewarding good behaviour to achieve the desired result. When your dog does something wrong it is best to ignore it.
Always take care not to fall for your dog’s biggest trump card - their pleading look. Don't be caught out by this technique and always stand your ground. If you give in it means that your dog is taking the initiative and that rarely bodes well for their future training.
One the Golden Retriever’s most appealing characteristics also causes the biggest challenge during training. You will need to temper your dog’s enthusiasm to some extent. For example, you will need to teach them not to jump up against people or to run after everything while out walking.
Adult Goldens are very strong and this is why you have to teach them how to walk on a leash from an early age. Once they are older, it becomes difficult to teach them not to pull and your walks will not be pleasant.
A Golden Retriever puppy younger than 15 months should not exercise too much. Their muscles, bones and joints are still growing and overexertion could lead to chronic conditions later in their life. These dogs are only fully grown when they weigh around 25 Kg, and only then you can let your dog decide when they have had enough exercise for the day.
This breed sheds a lot, especially in spring and autumn. During these seasons you should brush your dog every day to remove loose hair. This will not only benefit your dog but also reduce the amount of dog hair on your clothes and furniture.
While brushing your dog, pay particular attention to their armpits, hind legs and ears as this is where their hair tends to tangle the most. Also trim the hair between their toes regularly. The same applies to the hair around their ears. If you don’t want to do this yourself you could take your dog to a groomer twice a year.
This breed’s coat is self-cleaning which is a bonus for you. They do like to get themselves dirty - besides swimming, rolling in the mud is one of their favourite activities. Fortunately you don’t have to shower them after every swim or mud bath. Once their coat is dry give it a good brush to remove any dirt and twigs.
It is notoriously difficult to predict how big a Golden Retriever’s will be once they are fully grown. Many owners worry when their Golden Retriever puppy is much smaller than others of the same breed and age. However, this is nothing to be concerned about. Some puppies grow faster than others and they also have their growth spurts at different ages.
A number of health conditions that are common in Golden Retrievers, including hip and elbow dysplasia and epilepsy. Unfortunately, because the breed is so highly sought after, there are some unethical breeders who do not prioritise the future health of the pups they breed.
With an average lifespan of between 12 and 16 years, this breed has a significantly longer life expectancy than most other big dogs. To keep your dog healthy the best you can do is to watch their weight and to make sure that they get enough exercise.