Dogs 101 – Golden Retriever

Could this be the perfect family pet? Well, considering that they are one of the lowest ranking barkers, and they don’t have bad breath. That’s a pretty good start. And what’s this about an egg?

Amy Shojai: They have what’s called a soft mouth. I’ve actually seen these dogs pick up two or three raw eggs in their mouth at a time without breaking them.

Often referred to simply as “The Golden”, the golden retriever is one of the most beloved dogs, and is always ranked high among the most popular breeds.

Amy Shojai: Golden retrievers are right at the top as far as pet goes. Very versatile, they are one of the top pets that are welcomed into homes today.

And there happens to be a guy you can thank for this beautiful pooch, and he’s got a funny name: Lord Tweedmouth, or if you prefer his given name, Sir. Dudley Marjoribanks. An avid hunter, Lord Tweedmouth lived near the banks of Loch Ness, and it was there, where he developed the dog in the 1860s with the love for the water and the desire to retrieve. Well, the Tweedsters knock this one out of the park.

The American Kennel Club registered The Golden in 1925 and the breed flourished to the 30s and 40s, and has never lost its popularity. And if forbidding is your thing, look no further. They are rocking the good behavior hardwire.

Dr. Karen Halligan: Unique about the golden retriever is that they were the first ever AKC obedience trial champion.

And that’s like Miss Manners for dogs, an organization recognizing an excellent working relationship with their owners.

Victoria Wells: They are so willing to work for the people they are bonded with. They are just so ready to please their families.

You don’t have to bother saying “fetch” to these guys. Bred as hunters to retrieve fowl from water and land, they will run tirelessly all day.

Goldens are a big dog, measuring around 22 inches in height and an average weight of 65 pounds. They sport a dense water-repellent coat with a good undercoat and a rich shades of golden coloring. A puppy’s coat is almost always lighter than what it will be when it’s an adult. Looking at a puppy’s ears is a good indication of what color it will be when it grows up.

These dogs love to chew. Yup, it’s that soft mouth again, bred to carry water fowl during the hunt. But sometimes it goes a little too far. Some bad reviews are taking a bite out of their reputation.

Dr. Nicholas Dodman: Aggression is now a feature in some lines, not the whole breed, but you gotta watch out for it. And golden’s actually number 3 on the National Bite Parade, and what is an epidemic of bites these days.

Who is number 1 and number 2? The German Shepherd’s at 1, the Chow Chow at 2. And like its retrieve along the Labrador, it has wet feet to aide in all that pedaling it loves to do. But with all that fetching and running, the golden retriever is prone to hip displeasure, a joint disorder common to many large breeds. It’s caused by a loss of cartilage due to an abnormal formation in the hip. It can be quite painful and requires proper medical attention. Consult with your vet, if your golden shows signs of discomfort.

For environment, goldens are versatile. But it’s a bigger dog that requires activity.

Dr. Karen Halligan: I think the nice thing about golden retriever is they are gonna adapt to anywhere. They will be fine in the apartment as long as they get worked. You can put them on the farm. They’d have a bless.

Hip displeasure is common. And if not properly exercised, these guys can pack on the pounds. There has also been a problem with cancer in the breed.

Dr. Karen Halligan: Lymphoma is a very common cancer in golden retriever. So you wanna make sure that you get a good line.

Grooming wise, you’ll have to pay attention to their coat.

Victoria Wells: Golden should be groomed regularly. You know, they need to be brushed. They need to get all the knots taken out with the slicker brush.

Golden retrievers are extremely easy to train.

Amy Shojai: They are more biddable than some other breeds, which means they are more eager to please.

There’s probably not a better pet for the entire family. But remember, it can be mouthy and a biter. So train them early to not bite. This is not a guard dog, unless the intruder hates getting licked. Every golden has its own unique personality and traits. But in general, goldens are born to run and are generally quite healthy. Keep that brush handy and don’t slack with the training and you’ve got a great family dog.

They just have a zest for life no matter what they do. They are just amazing dogs.