A charming character combined with great loyalty makes the Golden Retriever an excellent companion for children. This trustworthy dog loves the outdoors and an active lifestyle. He’ll gladly retrieve anything you throw for him and he just loves the water too. A highly intelligent breed, the Golden responds very well to training. Avoid starting strenuous sports too early in puppyhood as bones and ligaments need to grow and strengthen.
The Golden Retriever was developed in the last century. A yellow Wavy Coated Retriever was mated to a Tweed Water Spaniel and produced four yellow puppies who became the ancestors of the breed.
Temperament and lifestyle
The Golden Retriever is a friendly, loving and intelligent dog who wants nothing more than to be part of his family. The breed’s original job as a Gundog has sculpted it into what it is today – the ideal family dog who gets along with children and other pets, a very good reason why working ability should be preserved in this beautiful breed. It is important to remember that puppies don’t come trained! As a new pet owner you will need to put in a lot of time to shape your new companion into this perfect dog. Golden Retrievers are at risk of becoming overly boisterous and should attend puppy classes to learn at an early age how to interact calmly and politely with people and other dogs.
Exercise and training
The breed needs plenty of daily off-leash exercise and mental stimulation – such as hiking, swimming or walking on the beach. Owners should never forget that these dogs are ‘retrievers’ and that they enjoy carrying things in their mouths – soft toys and balls can be great rewards for training and retrieving games are an excellent way to make a Golden Retriever feel good.
Training a good recall is essential as Golden Retrievers’ sociability with other dogs and people tends to cause them to happily wander away from their owners on walks. They are also inclined to bark when they want something and owners must be careful not to reinforce this or it will quickly become a very annoying habit.
They usually excel at obedience training. Once mature, Golden Retrievers can make excellent therapy dogs as they are usually very tolerant of handling and enjoy interacting with all sorts of people.
Daily care and health
The Golden’s dense coat must be groomed regularly to help reduce the amount of overall shedding and prevent painful mats from forming. If groomed regularly, once or twice a week, the whole procedure should only take 30 minutes. A daily brush while he is shedding will control the amount of hair left to fall on your carpets and furniture.
Golden Retrievers may suffer from obesity if overfed, so select a healthy diet. Hereditary conditions include hip dysplasia, elbow dysplasia, heart problems and skin allergies, so only buy a puppy from a responsible breeder.