Harmonious, balanced, and active, the Golden Retriever is a robust dog with a gentle expression and an elegant appearance: obedient, intelligent, friendly, sociable, and has an innate willingness to work. In the United States, there are three different standards. These are the American Golden Retriever, the Canadian Golden Retriever, and the English Cream Golden Retriever.
American Golden Retriever: Characteristics
The Golden breed was born from a cross between a Yellow Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel, which is currently extinct: over the years, they have been crossed with other breeds.
From these combinations was born the Golden we know today, balanced, strong, but with a soft appearance.
This is the British Golden Retriever, the original breed from which all others are descended, and was first introduced to the United States via Canada. However, it was not until around World War II that the British and American types began to diverge, with breeders relying on different crosses between American dogs. Over time, the American breed began to differentiate itself more decisively from the British race.
In Europe (FCI standard) there is only one Golden Retriever breed. Still, in the United States, the name English Cream Golden Retriever has been assigned to lighter-colored dogs whose origin is allowed from England, Europe, Australia, and Canada.
American Golden Retriever
Therefore, the American Golden Retriever is much less widespread in Europe, and its price in Italy is much higher than that of the English line.
But what are the characteristics of the American Golden? He is characterized by a narrower and more oblique cut of the eyes. In addition, medium-sized ears are set slightly higher than eye level, unlike those of the English Golden Retriever, which are set slightly lower.
The significant differences are related to the tonnage: This medium-sized dog provides specific standards.
The American standard provides a height at the withers ranging from 22 to 24 inches for adult males, while it varies from 21 to 23 inches for Goldenrod females.
The weight respect for adult males varies from 63 to 74 lbs, while for females, it varies from about 55 to a maximum of 63 lbs. The coat color ranges from cream to darker red, and the hair has no waves.
The American Golden Retriever is a hardy, solid breed that has a relatively recent selective history, but the American line is characterized by a greater height at the average withers.
The History of the Golden Retriever
When the creation of the Golden Retriever began, around the middle of the 19th century, hunting was one of the most popular activities in Scotland as hunting weapons began to evolve, particularly with the appearance of the cartridge shotgun; this increased efficiency in terms of the amount of game killed. However, this increase created new needs, including a hunting dog that would be more effective in tracking and retrieving games in difficult terrain on land and water.
Initially, it resulted from crossing a Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel, then their descendants with the Irish Setter, Saint-Hubert Dog, Saint John Water Dog, and other dogs rapporteurs. Next, he had to be strong and agile enough to find and retrieve the game quickly, no matter his terrain. Similarly, its coat should have been waterproof, its legs a little webbed, and its grip on the game both firm and light to damage it as little as possible. Finally, the report reflex had to be as natural as possible, favoring it throughout the selection.
The current Golden Retriever was recognized in 1954.
The Golden Retriever – Character, Education and Health
Among the dog breeds whose popularity has been inexhaustible for many years, there is the Golden Retriever. Whether for his friendly and gentle appearance, his playful and affectionate personality, or his obedience, he is often praised, par excellence remains one of the family dogs.
His reputation is second to none; he is one of the favorites. However, do you know the Golden Retriever well?
Golden Retriever Temperament and Behaviors
The Golden Retriever is a sociable, friendly, and affectionate dog; he usually gets along well with most people, including strangers, without distinguishing between adults or children, as long as the puppy's socialization has been adequate. Breathing the joy of life, he is a dog who can be exuberant and very cheerful, who loves to play a lot, whether with someone or on his side with his toys.
You have to be careful with the interactions between the dog and the children to prevent him from jostling them by wanting to play or beg for attention – something he particularly loves!
He is rarely predatory, he is not usually a dog that chases small animals, and he coexists easily with many animals if he is accustomed to it in the right way as soon as possible.
Also, it is a dog that does not bark in general, except to alert if it finds an unusual situation or to let people know there is a stranger. These barks will be severe and powerful but devoid of aggression; it is not a guard or attack dog. Active, enduring, and versatile, Golden Retriever lends itself easily to many disciplines and sports. However, inside or when asked, he knows how to be calm.
Depending on your goals, there are two bloodlines to choose from, the working one, which is more suitable for people planning to do a lot of physical activities with the dog, or for people who want to take the dog hunting with them to bring back the game. The other line is the show line, preferable for those wishing to have a companion dog. Besides certain anatomical aspects, the main difference between these two lines is their energy level; the working one needs a more significant expense than the show one, which is calmer and less demanding. But, on the other hand, he is docile and easy to train in both cases, with the correct training methods.
What is the energy level of the Golden Retriever?
Sports are a perfect fit for Golden Retrievers, who possess an average energy level but can adapt independently. In addition, golden retrievers have excellent retrieval skills and can land alone when asked. This calm, when required, does not require excessive effort, and the Golden Retriever knows how to distinguish between the moments when he can let his madness express itself and the moments when he must be wiser. He is a perfect dog if you want to do canine sports or other activities with him:
Search and rescue
Best Products for American Golden Retriever
What is the ideal family for a Golden Retriever?
The Golden Retriever is a dog that suits multiple lifestyles. Everything seems conducive to his development in the city, the countryside, and on the beach. However, it is also a dog that can live in an apartment or house. This dog has good stamina and energy but can easily be calm and relaxed indoors.
All the more so, it is not very predatory, cohabiting easily with many animals of various sizes and species, appreciating children of all ages just as much, for the little that socialization has been done in this direction. It is not for nothing that the Golden Retriever is a popular breed and is one of the family dogs par excellence!
Physical characteristics of this breed of dog
As its name indicates rather well, the Golden Retriever only exists in “golden”, the color itself varying from very pale blond, almost white, to dark coppery blond, reminiscent of red. The Golden Retriever should be uniformly golden, with slightly lighter shading allowed, but never white markings except for a few chest hairs. The coat is flat or slightly wavy, double-layered, and tightly packed to allow it to be waterproof. He has banged in places only, a nose, and dark eyes.
On average, the Golden Retriever has a height at the withers of 21.5 to 24″ (approximately 54 to 61cm) as well as a weight of 55 to 75lbs (approximately 25 to 34kg), according to the official breed standard. Overall, this is a lop-eared dog with a friendly, intelligent expression whose length structure is slightly greater than height.
Proper Golden Retriever Care: Grooming
The Golden Retriever is a dog that does not need any particular grooming. He is also not recommended to shear it unnecessarily since he has double-layered fur. In addition, this double thickness protects the skin from both the sun and the cold, regulating body temperature appropriately according to the climate. This is particularly practical for saving the dog on hot summer and freezing winter days.
However, it would be wrong to say that there is no maintenance to do on their coat. Regular brushing is necessary to avoid the formation of knots, with particular attention to the thickest parts such as the torso and belly, the back of the front legs and thighs, then the tail. It is recommended to do this at least twice a week; even if you have the impression that it is unnecessary, it precisely helps prevent potential knots that could form. You can also brush more often, which is necessary during molting, which takes place twice a year.
Regarding baths with shampoo, it is essential to know that the Golden Retriever has somewhat sensitive skin; unless there is a particular situation, it is best to limit soapy baths to a maximum of once every six months. In addition, like many dogs with floppy ears, it is necessary to ensure that the inside of the ears is always dry and clean. Therefore, washing your dog's ears regularly is essential to prevent the risk of ear infections.
Coat maintenance is not a chore for the master, as brushing is enough. Cards should not be used: they would be too aggressive and cause excessive desquamation (dandruff). On the other hand, it is advisable to use a mixed brush with natural bristles, nylon bristles, or even rubber gloves. It will be necessary to brush in the direction of the hair and against the hair to remove dead hair and impurities; so the baths can be spaced out (every two or three months with a neutral shampoo).
If you want to prepare a Golden Retriever for an exhibition, the work of the professional is more technical. With a fine comb or coat king knives, it will be necessary to eliminate the undercoat disseminated on the body: skull, neck, back, sides, shoulders, thighs, and throat.
With sculpting scissors, we will lighten the ears, leaving them well drawn and the hairs well in place. Next, excess hair on the throat will be removed with serrated scissors, which ensure a natural finish; the excess hair of the perineum and the lower part of the base of the tail must be eliminated in the same way will shorten the overall silhouette of the specimen. The tail should be long and reach the point of the hock; it will be placed in the extension of the back. Next, comb the bangs towards the floor, touching up the tips at an angle if necessary, with 8-inch flat scissors (the hair should be longer at the base and very short at the end).
The fringes of the forelimbs can be aligned but not lowered; for this, it will be necessary to hold the legs parallel to the ground. The fringes that go from the point of the hock to the ground should be touched up but not eliminated so that the frame is visible.
The feet must be perfectly rounded and compact, and the fingers must not spread apart. It should not be forgotten that this breed has a robust, harmonious, and well-proportioned constitution, all qualities that a professional will know how to reflect. You can apply a finishing spray to give shine and enhance the color.
What are the common health problems in the Golden Retriever?
Cancer is the most common disease in the Golden Retriever and the most common cause of death in more than half of them in old age. It is predisposed to different varieties, including hemangiosarcoma, lymphomas, and melanomas. Since cancer has a genetic predisposition, avoiding adopting a puppy with many ancestors with cancer will reduce the risk of your dog developing it as they age.
Next, a common problem for almost half of them is related to their skin sensitivity, whether it is the risk of pyotraumatic or hot spot dermatitis, skin allergies, or eczema, which causes the dog a lot of itching.
In addition, it is not uncommon for the Golden Retriever to have blood clotting problems, precisely von Willebrand's disease. He also has a predisposition to these diseases:
The liver problem called a portosystemic shunt
Entropions and ectropions
Like most large dog breeds, it is susceptible to elbow or hip dysplasia. The best way to reduce the risk is for the parents to be X-rayed and well graded, proven free from dysplasia.
Dog training methods for the Golden Retriever puppy
As with all breeds of dog, it is essential to socialize your puppy well and introduce him to a variety of situations – new people, new places, dogs of varying sizes, breeds, and builds, Christmas and Halloween decorations, sounds of all kinds, etc. progressively and positively, respecting the rhythm of your puppy. Also, it is important to bet on positive education methods that are respectful of the dog's well-being and at the height of modern knowledge of canine behavior. This will allow a beautiful relationship between you and your Golden Retriever dog.
First, the first way remains the most classic: find good breeding, put a reservation deposit and thus have a puppy when the time comes. It is essential to choose ethical canine breeding, which has at heart the well-being of dogs and responsible breeding. An excellent way to ensure this is to check that the breeder adequately tests each of his breeding stock and ideally also conducts competitions to validate that the dogs comply with the breed standard.
In addition, dogs must have a good environment that is clean, stimulating, and safe, they must not live permanently in boxes or enclosures, and regular outings for their psychological balance are required. Finally, if the breeder refuses that you visit the place where the dogs live, this can happen for various reasons. He must, in good faith, be able to show you his facilities in another way, for example, via videoconference.
Beware of trick statements such as "I don't compete because they are family dogs" or "I only breed for longevity, I don't need to follow the standard". A good breeder can do health testing, competition, compliance, or athletic testing while promoting the breed's longevity.
Beware puppies for sale on the classifieds and in pet stores, which most likely come from a puppy mill.
Secondly, it is always possible to adopt a dog from a shelter, whether it is type, therefore "racy" without papers or crossbreed. If you'd instead not adopt a puppy or just want to give a dog expecting a family a second chance, this might be an option. Do not hesitate to visit a shelter and if you think you have found your future companion, take the time to meet him and question the shelter employees to pay real attention to the dog's personality.
Finally, a third possibility is to go to a rescue group specializing in the breed
In conclusion, the Golden Retriever was originally a dog bred for retrieval when hunting small game, particularly birds, in a semi-aquatic environment.
Over time, his outgoing personality and easy-going temperament made him the ultimate family dog. But, despite everything, it is essential to remember that each dog is unique, which makes them so charming!
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