Table of Contents
The Golden Retriever is an excellent companion and best friend of a hunter. He is good-natured, calm, excellently serves upshot game.
- Breed name: golden Retriever
- Country of origin: UK
- Time of origin of the breed: XIX century
- Weight: males 26-41 kg, females 25-37 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 56-61 cm, females 51-56 cm
- Life Expectancy: 12-13 years
Golden retriever Characteristics, History, Training and Health
- Ideal hosts for the Golden Retriever are families with children and active people who love outings and long walks. The dog will deliver more inconvenience than positive emotions for couch potatoes and adherents of a relaxed pace of life.
- Representatives of this breed are quite silent and patient. They do not raise a fuss over trifles and do not annoy with loud barking.
- Dogs are smart and quick-witted. According to Stanley Coren, ranked 4th in the list of the most intellectually developed breeds.
- Among hunters, golden Retriever have a reputation as the best game carriers, capable of wading in search of prey even through wild thickets.
- Due to the abundant spontaneous molting, the breed is not suitable for fans of sterile cleanliness and allergy sufferers.
- Golden Retriever are capable learners, grasping even the most difficult material easily. They become excellent guides, rescuers, and search engines with a timely completed training course.
- Despite their friendly and outgoing nature, retrievers need nurturing and a steady hand. A dog that does not recognize the master’s authority becomes uncontrollable and can create many problems.
- Golden Retriever have a real passion for water and take a bath with pleasure in any open body of water, and if overlooked, in puddles.
- The owners often call their pets simply golden – from the English “golden” (golden).
Golden Retriever are smart hunters, impeccable family men and reliable friends, responsive to their affection and kindness. A properly raised Golden will willingly fulfil any master’s assignment and at the same time will not behave as if he had accomplished the greatest feat in the world. The only reward that the representatives of this breed expect for their helpfulness is simple human attention, which for retrievers is much more valuable than the most exquisite delicacy.
Golden retriever Characteristics of the breed
* The characteristics of the Golden Retriever breed are based on the assessment of lapkins.ru experts and the feedback from the dog’s owners.
History of the Golden Retriever breed
The main prerequisite for the emergence of the breed was the eternal passion of the English aristocrats for hunting. In the 19th century, the main entertainment of British and Scottish Esquires was hunting games and shooting ducks.
The venerable peers disappeared for days in the forests and swamps, boasting to each other with their trophies, guns and, of course, dogs.
However, if the gentlemen had complete order with the hounds, four-footed hunters who could find a shot quail in the heather thickets or swim after a duck that fell into the lake were in great shortage.
Commercial demand generated supply, and soon shaggy dogs with an unusual golden coat began to dissect through the valleys of Scotland.
The emergence of Golden Retriever, as an independent breed, is usually associated with the name of Dudley Marjoribanks, a Scottish lord and part-time breeder-amateur.
He showed the world a completely new kind of hunter-dog who was not afraid of water and skillfully imported a padded bird. For a long time, it remained a mystery, whose blood flows in the wards of the lord, until in the middle of the 20th century, the secret records of his studbooks were made public.
As it turned out, the Goldens were given their genes by the Water Tweed Spaniel, Labrador Retriever, Bloodhound and Straight Coated Retriever. At the same time, the first offspring was obtained as a result of mating a tweed water spaniel and a straight-haired retriever, which had a yellowish coat.
By the 20s of the last century, the breed was already quite popular in Europe and among breeders of the New World. In addition, the USA and Canada have formed their standards for the appearance of Golden Retriever.
So, for example, overseas, individuals with a more intense and dark coat color were preferred. The descendants of Scottish retrievers were brought to Russia after the collapse of the USSR, all from America. The first purebred dog came to the territory of the Russian Federation in 1991.
Golden Retrieve’s appearance
Golden Retrievers are moderately pumped up handsome men with soulful eyes and luxurious iridescent hair. Goldens owe their recognition not so much to their charm as to the efforts of marketers.
If an American family ever decides to have a dog, it will be a Golden Retriever in 9 cases out of 10. The breed was especially actively promoted by American cinema. It is enough to watch a couple of comedy melodramas produced in the USA to understand.
The sexual type in the representatives of this breed is pronounced. The growth of an average boy ranges from 56-60 cm, and his weight can reach 41 kg. Girls are much lighter (average weight – 25-37 kg) and smaller than males (height – 51-56 cm).
Despite the presence of a single breed standard approved by the FCI, experts divide golden Retriever into three types:
Representatives of the first group are the natives of Foggy Albion, with extremely massive legs and a wide skull. They are distinguished by lighter coat color, up to white. It is the English type that is most common in Europe and Russia. The range of American breeders wards is less impressive, but the “made in USA” Golden Retriever boast a graceful posture and generally more elegant appearance. At the same time, the shade of their coat is somewhat darker than that of their British counterparts. A distinctive feature of Canadian retrievers is their thin physique with fairly high growth. The coat color of the “Canadians” is even more intense and darker than that of the “Americans”.
The skull is massive, convex-angular. The transition from forehead to muzzle is distinct and smooth. The occipital protuberance is smoothed, the cheeks are flat. The animal’s muzzle is long, even, gradually tapering from base to nose.
Black, moderately dense and dry. The upper lip hangs noticeably over the lower lip but does not go beyond the jaw. The lips completely hide the teeth and gums of the dog, forming small folds in the corners of the mouth.
Jaws and teeth
The Retriever’s jaws are strong and fairly wide, with a pronounced scissor bite. The teeth are white and large. The incisors are aligned.
The lobe is massive, mobile, black. The nostrils are wide open.
Moderately long, hanging, drooping along the cheeks of the animal. The base of the ear is wide. The tip is narrow, smooth and rounded—placement – slightly above the line of the eyes.
Large, deep-set, rounded. The Golden Retriever has a smart, friendly look. The color of the iris is from brown to dark brown. The eyelids are black, dry, close to the eyeball. An important condition: in a dog looking straight, the whites of the eyes should not be visible.
Massive, set high and of moderate length. There are no folds and sagging. The neck muscles are strong, developed.
Adults have a strong, tightly knit body with prominent muscles. The back of Golden Retriever is straight, with a prominent loin and pronounced withers. The croup is massive, slightly sloping, rounded. The rib cage is of moderate width, sufficiently deep. The tucked-up belly line ends with a short and well-tucked groin area.
Moderately long, with a wide, thickened base and a tapered tip. It is located below the back. In a calm golden, the tail is lowered. In an excited golden, it is raised to the back level.
The forelegs are well-muscled, dry and straight. The shoulders are strong, with massive shoulder blades and the elbows laid back against the body. The shoulder angle does not exceed 90 °. The pasterns are strong but short and slightly sloped.
The front and hind feet are of medium size, rounded. The hind legs are strong, with well-developed muscles and well-spaced apart. The Golden Retriever’s hock joint is low and pointing backwards. The pads are massive, with short claws, the fingers of the animal are folded into a ball.
The coat of the Golden Retriever is very hard and water-repellent. The hair is quite thick and snug against the body, hiding an abundant undercoat underneath. The structure of the coat can be straight or have a light wave, and its length varies depending on the part of the body. The longest coat is found on the chest, ears, body, back of all four legs, and the lower part of the tail. The short hair areas are the head, feet and front of the limbs.
All shades of gold are considered references, up to the transition to cream color. Lighter colors are acceptable for feathering on paws and tail suspension.
The list of breed defects includes any deviations from the characteristics prescribed by the standard. For example, a golden retriever shouldn’t have sparse and long hair, white stripes on the chest, and too light and close-set eyes. The following vices may become a reason to prevent an animal from competing:
- square case;
- long or too short legs;
- malocclusion and a skewed lower jaw;
- lips, eyelids and nose, painted in any shade except black;
- a white “scarf” around the neck and blurs on the forehead;
- black coat color, as well as the presence of spots on it;
- drooping tail.
Embittered or, conversely, cowardly individuals, animals with small heads, short ears and small teeth will also not make a serious career.
Photo of golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are almost ahead of all breeds in terms of the number of enthusiastic reviews from owners. Indeed, only a convinced dog-hater can unearth the flaws in these good-natured intellectuals.
As for ordinary animal lovers, their goldens captivate with their softness and phenomenal facial memory. If one of your friends treated your pet to a treat or entertained him with an unpretentious game, you can be sure that the Retriever will not forget to add a fat “plus” to the karma of this companion.
Calm and balanced in everyday life, representatives of this breed try to keep their brand even in the most delicate situations. They are not conflicting and are ready to get along with any four-legged creature that does not show open aggression. Even in the tensest moments, the Goldens prefer to settle the matter peacefully. The Golden Retriever snarling and gripping its opponent with a stranglehold is something of a fantasy.
Golden Retrievers are primarily human-oriented. The breed is often recommended for keeping in families with children since animals are as correct and patient as possible in relation to the younger generation. Of course, trusting a dog with babies is not the smartest decision, but playful three-year-olds can be left to her. With him, they want to go for walks and share their joys and sorrows. For this reason, Goldens are often attracted to active Canis therapy. Shaggy “antidepressants” are happy to contact patients in a state of prolonged depression, charging them with bright emotions and gradually returning them to the joy of existence.
Golden Retrievers are typical confident people who are not suspicious and cautious. Strangers in these rustic good-looking people cause curiosity and burning interest, so if Golden lives in your house, accept that he will not work as a guardian of the territory and material values.
Education and training
The nature of golden retrievers is not deprived of intelligence and memory, so any lessons the dog grasps on the fly. The first thing that begins with training a Golden Retriever puppy is obedience: the animal must understand what is permissible for him and what is not.
Do not give in to the momentary desire to remove all prohibitions and pamper your baby, so to speak, as an exception. Puppy pranks will quickly cease to seem touchingly funny after the 40-kg dog begins to practice them.
In the first months of life, little retrievers try to taste the objects around them, so try to convey to the pet the meaning of the “Fu!” Command as soon as possible. Those who see a future hunter in the Golden Retriever will have to go outdoors more often.
The dog will learn how to find and bring a hit bird only when he sees it live. At first, the skill is practised on rags and dummies: a homemade scarecrow is thrown at the puppy to make him want to grab a strange thing and show it to the owner. Then they smoothly move on to retrieving and participating in the hunt.
Half-year-old puppies can be taught swimming and whistle submission, and it will be better if a pro does this. 12 months is the optimal age to start training a dog’s endurance since on a hunt it often has to sit in ambush so as not to frighten away the game.
Exercises for training memory are considered very valuable, as the golden Retriever is not always able to find games by smell alone. The command “Lie down!” in such cases does not apply. It is enough that the pet will sit next to you.
Maintenance and care
Although hunting has always been the main specialization of golden retrievers, it is not necessary for today’s owners of these shaggy “campaigners” to take up a gun. Tedious races through forests and swamps can be easily replaced with long walks in parks and meadows.
It’s great if you take your dog to a country house, away from the freeway, where he can run freely. Just do not try to turn your pet into a mongrel and settle him in a booth: the Retriever will not appreciate your impulse and will become despondent, so take the dog into the house and do not deprive her of her own company.
Keeping a Golden Retriever in an apartment is a kind of test of the owner for responsibility and hard work. The animal will have to compensate for the lack of free space, physical activity and impressions with regular promenades in combination with physical activity.
Due to their friendly nature, golden retrievers do not cope well with loneliness. Animals throw out their insecurity and fear on the surrounding objects: they gnaw furniture and wires, spoil their shoes.
The worst punishment the owner can think of for Golden is to lock him in four walls and calmly go to work. The Golden Retriever as a pet is an unacceptable option for careerists, workaholics, travellers, and other busy individuals.
What not to do about a Golden Retriever:
- allow children to sit on a grown dog since the pressure created by the child’s body can cause the animal’s back to bend;
- stroking the puppy on the head and putting the collar over his head, which leads to the incorrect formation of the set of the ears;
- pull the baby by the paws or try to lift him, fixing his hand under the chest.
The main problem for the owner of the Golden Retriever is the coat of his pet. During the moulting period, golden leaves fluffy marks wherever possible, and daily combing is of little help here. There are only two ways out of this situation: do not buy a golden retriever at all or put up with this peculiarity of the dog and purchase a powerful vacuum cleaner to clean up shreds after it from time to time.
The shedding Retriever is combed out twice a day using a brush and mitt to collect the hair. A dense undercoat is removed with a furminator or slicker. To remove the dog smell from the coat, you can moisten it with a solution prepared according to the following recipe:
- mix a glass of water with a glass of vodka;
- add 2 tablespoons of vinegar essence;
- add 1 teaspoon of salt and shake.
In the periods between molts, the animal’s coat does not require such careful care, but a couple of times a week you will still have to comb the dog’s coat with a comb. A bath for the Goldens is arranged once a month and this is quite enough.
After bathing your pet, you can slightly shorten the coat. The hair is trimmed from the bottom up, starting from the neck. The hair growing between the toes and at the base of the tail should also be trimmed regularly. It is not forbidden to walk with scissors on the feathers on the paws, and the “pants” of the dog.
Most Golden Retrievers have no problems with their eyes and ears, so a standard weekly check-up is enough for them. If dirt has accumulated in the ear funnel, it can be removed with a napkin and boiled water. Chilled tea leaves are good for treating the eyes.
Brushing Golden’s teeth is a laborious process but necessary. If you cannot classically clean the oral cavity, you can entrust this matter to dry food or special treats, whose solid particles function as abrasives that “erase” plaque.
Golden Retrievers can be fed with natural products or dried. In the first case, about 50% of the diet should come from animal protein, meat.
The daily rate of the product is calculated as follows: 10-20 grams of meat per kilogram of dog weight. The remaining half of the Retriever’s daily “menu” is made up of cereals and vegetables.
Meat for the dog is selected low-fat, with a large number of veins and cartilage. Beef, lamb, rabbit and turkey are ideal. By-products are also not prohibited, but due to the digestive upset that they can provoke, they are introduced into the diet gradually and little by little.
Important: Golden Retrievers are fed after a walk, not before.
It is better to cook thick porridge from rice and buckwheat, to which you can add stewed vegetables. Pumpkin, carrots, cabbage, turnips and beets are especially useful for golden retrievers. In season, early greens are mixed into the porridge.
It is not forbidden to include an adult dog’s diet and fermented milk products – kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese. Puppies, whose skeletons are still being formed, need more calcium; therefore, up to 4 months old, the diet of small goldens necessarily includes milk (whole and in the composition of porridge).
Approximate daily menu for a 4-month-old baby: 300 g of meat, 100 g of fruit and vegetable slices or vegetable stew (apple + carrot), 500 g of porridge in milk.
How many times to feed
Up to 4 months old, golden retriever puppies receive food 5 times a day. Starting from 5 months, babies are transferred to four meals a day. Six-month-old adolescents eat three times a day, and by 8 months, puppies completely switch to two meals a day.
Golden Retrievers are walked for at least two hours a day. In this case, it is not necessary to observe the same duration of walks. For example, the morning promenade can be shortened to 30 minutes, and the evening one can be increased to one and a half hours.
If the animal lives in an apartment, then up to four months, it should not be allowed to go down and up the stairs on its own. Take the puppy for a walk in your arms and in the same way, bring him into the apartment.
Babies are taken outside more often than adults to train them to use an outdoor toilet. At first, excursions are conducted in park areas, gradually moving to the busy city streets.
The dog mustn’t fall into a stupor at the sight of people and public transport sounds; therefore, the more often it encounters everyday phenomena of the urban environment, the sooner it learns to perceive them adequately.
Golden Retrievers and water
Goldens are one of the most “profitable” pets for veterinary clinics, and their owners are one of the most frequent visitors. The main diseases of the Golden Retriever, mentioned in almost every reference book, are retinal degeneration and hip dysplasia.
However, there are about a dozen different ailments behind the breed. For example, dogs are often diagnosed with cancer and heart disease, hypothyroidism, atopic dermatitis, von Willebrand disease and other dangerous ailments.
In addition, Golden Retrievers are prone to obesity. Against the background of more serious diseases, the excessive weight seems to be a harmless trifle, although, in reality, everything is not so rosy. Animals that have gained extra pounds live less, and individuals with overweight suffer more from the constant companion of all elderly dogs – arthritis.
A danger is concealed in themselves and the sick teeth of the animal. A common abscess on the gum or an inflamed tooth can “spread” the infection to all organs of the Retriever, eventually dropping it to dog paradise.
How to choose a puppy
- Going to the kennel, arm yourself with a printout of the breed standard, or better, take with you a specialist who will help you with choosing a puppy. If this is not possible, contact any of the kennel clubs where a reliable breeder will be recommended.
- Puppies inherit from their parents the appearance and hunting qualities and the type of temperament; therefore, in a conversation with the seller, they insist on getting to know the mother and father of the babies. If a customer is denied such a favour, there is a good chance that the pedigree of the dogs is not so-so.
- Golden males are distinguished by their bright charisma, but their character is more serious and firm. Besides, boys are much smarter when it comes to hunting. Those who see the golden Retriever as a future family friend should better buy bitches that are more agreeable and affectionate.
- The temperaments of American and European retrievers differ significantly – consider this fact when buying a puppy. Goldens from the USA is more energetic and emotional. Indigenous “Europeans” are noticeably more phlegmatic and do not sin with hyperactivity.
- Responsible breeders who value their name have the puppies well-groomed, vaccinated and treated with anthelmintic agents.
Photos of golden retriever puppies
How much does a golden retriever cost?
Pet-class puppies remain the most attractive option in terms of price: from 20,000 to 25,000 rubles. Almost imperceptible to the eye, defects in appearance significantly “cut” the cost of the Golden Retriever, which will especially appeal to those who do not dream of exhibitions and champion titles and are not opposed to saving money. Prices for a show class start at 35,000 rubles. And end in the region of 50,000 rubles. The option, designed for the most generous buyers, is the offspring obtained from the interbreeding, with the right to further breeding. The cost of such a puppy is 70,000 – 80,000 rubles.