Friendly and hard-working, the Golden Retriever has it roots as a wildfowl retrieving gun dog, which probably explains why these dogs love to swim! Thanks to its amenable and happy character, the Golden Retriever has become a very popular pet. The breed is in general easy to train, so they make very reliable and dependable guide dogs for the blind.
The breed came about in the late 19th century thanks to the efforts of Lord Tweedmouth, a half-English, half-Scottish noble, who owed the Guisachan estate on the banks of Loch Ness. He was a very wealthy man with a passion for two things, hunting and breeding. Unsurprisingly one of his breeding projects was to develop a dog with an aptitude for retrieving at bird hunts. To this aim he crossed a wavy-coated retriever with Tweed Water Spaniel, Irish Setter, Newfoundland and Bloodhound genes. Lord Tweedmouth kept a record of the generations and crossings in his breeding program, so the heritage of the Golden Retriever can be fairly accurately identified. Lord Tweedmouth’s second son, Archie, emigrated to Texas and his daughter, Ishbel Marie, to Canada. Both took young Golden Retrievers with them, starting the enthusiasm for the breed in North American. The Golden Retriever was recognized by the AKC in 1925.
Temperament and Training The Golden Retriever is a loyal and loving dog, with a good gentle-nature. Very patient and tolerant of children, the dog makes an ideal family pet. Training is very rewarding as this dog is quick to learn, and very intelligent. The breed always does very well in obedience training contests.
Care and Exercise The double coat needs brushing weekly. Heavier shedding may happen Spring and Fall, and twice weekly brushing will help during these times. Plenty of exercise is needed by Golden Retrievers. At least an hour daily should be the norm, with the odd swim
Puppies Six to ten puppies typically compose a litter. Newborns have a light gold color, which turns to dark gold in the first year of a puppy’s life. Obedience training can be started at the age of two months. If you want a Golden Retriever, remember to check your local animal shelter first, as being such a popular pet, many unfortunately end up homeless.
Health As with other breeds, the Golden Retriever can be prone to disease, both genetic and viral. Potential problems are hip dysplasia and congenital eye defects.