The Golden Retriever is one of the most well-known and popular dog breeds because they make such perfect family companions. This breed gets along well with other pets, children and even strangers. An energetic dog who loves chasing balls and playing games, the Golden Retriever is intelligent, loyal and makes an excellent service dog as well as faithful companion. Originally developed as a gundog and retriever, he has boundless energy and will not fare well if left home alone for long periods of time. If left home alone with nothing to occupy his time he can become destructive. Interactive toys that make him think are a great way to keep him occupied.
The Golden Retriever was said to be created during the Victorian era and possibly has the Tweed Water Spaniel, Yellow Retriever, Wavy-coated Retriever, Flat-coated Retriever and Red Setter in his ancestry. Dudley Marjoribanks, Lord Tweedmouth, is widely accepted as the person to produce the first dogs that were to later become known as the Golden Retriever after many years of breeding various breeds together. However, there are historical documents that suggest the Golden Retriever was already in existence before Lord Tweedmouth began breeding them on his estate in Scotland. In 1911, England’s Kennel Club began classifying these dogs as Retriever – Yellow or Golden, and then in 1920 the name was officially changed to Retriever – Golden. The American Kennel Club registered the first Golden Retrievers as foundation stock in 1925. The Golden Retriever was officially recognized as an AKC breed in 1932.
The Golden Retriever has become one of the most popular dog breeds and most recognizable thanks to his role in Hollywood movies such as Homeward Bound and Air Bud. He is more than just a glamorous movie star, though. The Golden Retriever makes an excellent child’s companion as well as doing well at search and rescue, arson detection, drug detection, therapy and disability assistance. He is also still a well-rounded hunting dog. Many people enjoy participating in dog sports with their Golden Retriever including agility, flyball, dock diving and obedience. His intelligence and high energy level makes him ideal for most of these sports and creates an even tighter bond with their owner.
The Golden Retriever has a dense coat that is water repellent with a thick undercoat. The outer coat must not be coarse or too silky. It must lie close to the body and not be puffy; the outer coat can be either straight or wavy. There should be moderate feathering on the forelegs and underbody. Heavier feathering must be present on the front of the neck, back of the thighs and on the underside of the tail. Golden Retrievers should have lustrous color in various shades of gold. Cream is an acceptable color. His feathering can be a lighter color than the rest of his coat. The Golden Retriever should never be white or have white markings. Nor should he have any black or other coloring on his body. Black nose, lips and eye rims are expected. He should have dark, inquisitive eyes and alert ears that hang down to about the outer edge of the eye. Ears that are too long, too short or stand up are not correct and will not portray the classic Golden Retriever look.
While the Golden Retriever is the perfect family companion, he can also be very high maintenance. He requires regular brushing and bathing. The Golden Retrievee is considered to be an excessive shedder and his hair will mat if left ungroomed. When grooming, pay close attention to his underbody and where his legs and body meet. These areas tend to have excessive matting. He will have major shedding twice a year, during this time, daily brushing is required to keep the hair from getting everywhere in your home. Even after shedding all their undercoat, the Golden Retriever will still shed and hair will get on your furniture and clothing. You can use a shedding glove on him once a day to help alleviate the excessive shedding but it will not completely eliminate the hairs that tend to find their way onto everything. Golden Retrievers love water and dirt. He will find mud puddles, ponds and pools. Regular baths are recommended when he discovers mud or dirt. Freshwater rinses are recommended when he gets into ponds, streams or pools to remove any debris or chlorine from his coat. He is playful so expect him to think bath time is just another game. Be prepared to have a bath with him! Ears should be cleaned once a week and kept dry to prevent ear infections from occurring. Regular nail trimmings about every 2-3 weeks should also be done. Teeth brushing to keep teeth and gums healthy should also be done daily or at least weekly.