The Golden Retriever is a dog breed which is large in size and is bred as gundogs to retrieve shot ducks and other birds during the hunting and shooting activities. These are named retrievers because of their ability to retrieve the prey to the hunter undamaged. They are lovers of water and can be easily trained the basic obedience. They have a long coat with a denser under coat that keeps them warm, and a flat outer coat which is capable of repelling water and lies against the body. They are well suited for the country or suburban habitats. They require a good amount of outdoor exercises but also need to be fenced, as they have a high tendency to roam about. They shed at the change of the seasons and require regular grooming.
This breed prominently participates in the conformation shows and is a versatile breed. Their intelligence makes them available for various roles like guiding the blinds as a gude dog, helping the deaf as hearing dog, for hunting and detection and search and rescue.
Origin and History
The Golden Retriever was originally bred in Scotland in 19th century. At that time, the wildfowl hunting was a popular game amongst the Scottish elites, but the existing retrievers were not able to retrieve the shot both in water and on the land efficiently. So, the best of the water spaniels were cross bred with the retrievers, resulting in the development of the breed known as the Golden Retriever. During the 1800s, there were some improvements made in the breed so that they could efficiently catch hold of the birds in the difficult terrain.
Golden Retriever was first registered in 1903 by the Kennel Club of England, in the name of Flat Coats-Golden. They were first exhibited in 1908 and accepted as a Retriever i 1911.
In the United States
The American Kennel Club took another 14 years to recognize Golden Retriever, and finally did that in 1925.
The breed was first registered in 1927 and then the Golden Retriever Club was formed in 1958.
The Golden Retriever is a large breed of strong built with a dense, water-repellent coat. There have been few changes in its subtypes due to the regional variations. All Golden Retriever are generally blonde, yellow or golden in colour and all the subtypes undergo the same health problems.
British type Golden Retriever can be found throughout the Europe and Australia and can be distinguished from the North American breeds on the basis of the standards. The British Golden Retriever has a wider and shorter muzzle, blockier forehead, short legs, deep chest and short tail. They generally weigh more than an American or Canadian Golden Retriever. The males are 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 in) tall at the withers; while the females are shorter with the height being 51 to 56 cm (20 to 22 in). There is no standard weight described for the British Golden Retriever. They are generally known for the round and dark eyes. The colour of the coat is of the shade of the golden, mahogany, red or cream. They usually have a muscular body with high endurance.
The American Golden Retriever is taller than the British ones. They retain the thick coat of the British Golden Retriever but are less stocky than them. The males are 23 to 24 in (58 to 61 cm) high and the females are 21.5 to 22.5 in (55 to 57 cm) high. Their coat is same as British Golden Retriever and is found on lustrous golden colour with moderate feathers. They have a well-coordinated, free and smooth gait when trotting and their feet converge towards the centre of the line while running. They have got the same physical standards as the other Golden Retriever and sometimes even British Golden Retriever are imported for their temperament and appearance.
The Canadian Golden Retriever has comparatively thinner and darker coat as compared to the other varieties. They are usually taller and leaner than other varieties like British Golden Retriever.
This breed is kindly, friendly and confident and their temperament is considered as the hallmark for this breed. They make good pets and are not only friendly with their owners but also strangers. Their gentle disposition makes them a poor guard dog and any type of aggression towards any dog or people is not acceptable by the standards. The typical Golden Retriever is calm, intelligent, fun-loving and active but is never too timid or nervous. The Adult Golden Retrievers love to work and they work until they are collapsed, so they should be avoided from doing overwork.
Health and Lifespan
A normal Golden Retriever lives for around 11 to 12 years. It has been found that they are prone to few hereditary diseases and so should be taken for regular yearly checkups. Hip and elbow dysplasia is common to this breed. A major part of this breed died due to Cancer, commonly hemangiosarcoma. These dogs are even affected by the eye diseases like cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, retinal dysplasia, entropion. They may even suffer from heart and joint diseases along with some skin allergies like allergy to fleas.
They usually require weekly grooming and during the shedding period, they must be daily groomed to lessen the amount of hair being shed. They need bath every two months and they normally shed twice a year. They also require regular cleaning of their ears to avoid any infections or allergies.