Known for their golden coats and sunny dispositions, Golden Retrievers are loved by many. They’ve staked their claim as one of the most popular breeds in the country. Which is a spot they’ve clinched since they first arrived in North America. But what makes these gentle giants so sought after? Read on to learn all about the beloved Golden Retriever.
The History of the Golden Retriever
The origins of the modern Golden Retriever can be traced back to the first Lord Of Tweedmoth, Dudley Majoribanks. Lord Tweedmoth sought to create the perfect companion for hunting waterfowl. At the time, he wasn’t entirely satisfied with the setters and spaniels available.
In 1868, he bred Nous, a wavy coated retriever, with a Tweed water spaniel named Belle. Their offspring would become the foundation of the Golden Retriever breed we know and love today. The American Kennel Club officially recognized the breed in 1932, and the Golden Retriever has grown increasingly popular ever since.
Golden retrievers have a naturally water repellent outer coat and a dense undercoat. These physical attributes undoubtedly helped them navigate the marshy terrain of the Scottish highlands without losing too much heat. However, that fluffy coat means they also require regular brushing. To look their best, daily brushing is recommended. A Golden should also be bathed on a monthly schedule to avoid unpleasant odors.
Their signature floppy ears are simply irresistible. But if you have a Golden in your life, you must pay close attention to keep their ears healthy. Due to their shape, the lack of ventilation can create a breeding ground for nasty bacterias. Be sure to clean your Golden’s ears regularly, especially after spending time in the water. This can go a long way in keeping their ears healthy and infection-free. Regularly cleaning them with wipes is a great way to fight infection, too.
Golden Retriever Temperament
People often mistakenly believe golden retrievers are not the brightest, but in truth, most Golden retrievers are highly intelligent. And given the proper training, they can make for wonderful service and therapy dogs. They just aren’t afraid of looking silly if it means making people smile. Their calm, affable natures help them get along with practically everyone—both humans and animals alike.
Most Golden Retrievers need at least an hour of exercise each day for them to stay happy and healthy. The breed has a tendency to overeat and if they don’t get enough exercise, they can quickly become obese or develop specific behavioral issues.
While the breed is relatively healthy, they do carry a higher risk for hip and elbow dysplasia as well as Osteochondritis Dissecans, an orthopedic condition that affects cartilage growth in the joints. They are also at risk for several other ailments including Von Willebrand’s disease, Hyperthyroidism, and progressive Renal Atrophy. Sourcing your new dog from a reputable breeder will help to mitigate these potential risks.
If you or a loved one is looking into adopting a Golden Retriever, get ready to spend lots of time outdoors.
Golden’s thrive on outdoor expeditions, and running, swimming, and even hiking can be loads of fun when you have the perfect furry companion. Just be sure to give them a thorough brushing when you get home from your busy day.