Brief Origin and History
Golden Retrievers first appeared in Scotland in the 1800’s when Lord Tweedmouth began cross breeding Tweed Water Spaniels, Red Setters, and Yellow Retrievers in order to produce a dog that would be well suited to the environment of Scotland. The result was a friendly, golden dog with great hunting capabilities. Golden Retrievers were brought to England and America during the beginning of the 20th century and by the 1920’s they were recognized as a breed by the American Kennel Club.
Golden Retrievers are one of the most friendly dog breeds and for this reason, they are considered the most popular family dogs in America. They are affectionate and eager to please. They are also great around kids. Their affectionate nature prevents them from being good guard dogs, but they are excellent as watch dogs, as they will bark to alert the family of a stranger’s approach. Golden Retrievers are sociable dogs and should be kept in doors with the family as opposed to living primarily in the yard. If properly exercised and loved, Golden Retriever are calm and enjoyable to have around. However, if they do not exercise enough, they can become hyperactive and restless, which could result in destructive behavior. About an hour of exercise a day is sufficient to keep a Golden Retriever content.
The long, soft coats of Golden Retrievers sheds often and must be brushed at least twice a week to keep it healthy and manageable. Dry shampooing and bathing when necessary are recommended over frequent baths because too much bathing will dry out the coat and the skin of the animal. Aside from regular nail trimmings, ear cleanings, and brushings, Golden Retrievers do not require much special attention in the grooming department.
Specification of Breed
Although they are very active dogs, Golden Retrievers are prone to heart diseases, eye conditions, and bone maladies, as well as cancer. Poor breeding and overbreeding contribute to this, so it is important to breed Golden Retrievers properly. Golden Retriever litters usually consist of six to eight pups, and it takes two years for them to mature into adulthood. On average, these dogs will live about 10 to 12 years. They range in color from a light cream to a very dark gold. When they are full grown, Golden Retrievers can be as tall as two feet and weigh as much as 70 pounds. Proper feeding is essential to the health of the Golden Retriever. They gain weight easily when overfed. Regular checkups with the veterinarian are helpful in maintaining the health of the Golden Retriever and detecting health problems before they become serious.
When buying a Golden Retriever, keep in mind that they require at least an hour of exercise a day. If purchasing a puppy, be sure to keep exercise light, as activities that are too strenuous for the puppy may affect its growth and development, as well as cause health problems down the road. Golden Retrievers are not well suited as home alone dogs. If they are left alone for too long they may engage in destructive behavior to ease their boredom. Mental activities will help keep them calm, but these activities cannot replace regular physical exercise.
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