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Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is the pen-ultimate "good dog".  When produced responsibly, very few breeds can brag of such "golden" temperaments.  Unfortunately, their dashing good looks combined with this personality has led to wild popularity and absurd overbreeding by those just seeking a buck who have no idea of the quality or true health of the dogs they are producing and no interest in serving as a resource to those dogs or their new owners once they are in their homes.  Researching the Golden Retriever breeder is definitely worthy of a book in its own right.  Working with rescue promises a great companion because the Golden Retriever is generally a good and easy dog to live with.  Certainly basic needs including an interesting routine, physical and mental stimulation, food, water, shelter and basic grooming are needed, but when they are met, the rewards are profound.

By Breed Name
By Breed Name
General Information
Group(s): SportingRetriever Height: 21-24
Weight: 55-75 pounds Longevity: teens
Colors: Golden Coat type: long, silky but not dense, appears as a smooth coated dog with some feathering on legs and tail
Recognized Registries: AKC, UKC, CKC, virtually all
Overall Appearance: well balanced dog with sloping neckline, slightly longer in back than height (as all strong swimming breeds are), powerful rear, eager and alert
Personaility - Behavior - Training
Energy Level: moderately high (at least while young)
General Nature: exceptional
  with Children: exceptional but still requires proper socialization, well behaved children and supervision
  with other pets: generally good but as a retriever they may not be reliable with smaller animals, birds, etc.
  with dogs: exceptional
Socialization requirements: needed; without proper socialization breed tends toward shyness and lack of confidence
Ideal home characteristics: rather adaptable but does have requirements for regular exercise, play and activity
Temperament Notes: issues typically result due to lack of attention as in lack of play, exercise or socialization
Training requirement: exceptionally easy to train, enjoys it, one would question why you might want a Golden if you wouldn't train it, it doesn't get better than this
Trainer notes: The happy and confident Golden Retriever has a higher desire to please than virtually any other dog.  With this said, there is no reason to use anything but positive methods since this will leave a dog that is always ready to work and striving to figure out what you want.  The secret is to be sure that you are always rewarding desired behaviors and ignoring undesired ones, not simply indulging the dog.  A common misunderstanding among too many people!
Background Information
Year range of first recognition: early 1900s
Country of Origin: England
Original Function: Water Retreiver
History: In 1867, Lord Tweedsmouth bred a yellow retriever Nous to Belle, a Water Spaniel bitch, from there more Water Spaniels, Retrievers and Irish Setters initiated the Golden Retriever as we know it today.
Adoption Information
Deviations from Standard: oversized, excessive coat, heavy head with flews, poor dentition, bug eyed
Health Notes: Canine Hip Dysplasia, Eye Disease, Heart Disease
Health Testing: CERF, OFA or Penn Hip
Questions to ask Breeder:  http://www.digitaldog.com/breeder_questions.html  - The Breeder Questions as listed here provided with explanations and answers you will want to be looking for! 
  • How long have you had Golden Retriever?
  • Why do you have Golden Retrievers (show, performance, hunting, etc.)?
  • What do you consider to be the most important single characteristic of a Golden Retriever?
  • What health issues have you seen in the breed?
  • What criteria do you set for your breeding stock?
  • Do you plan to keep a puppy from this litter?
  • How often do you have puppies?
  • Do you have a written contract and puppy guarantee?
  • At what age do you sent your pups to their homes?
  • How would you describe the ideal Golden Retriever?
  • How would you describe the ideal Golden Retriever home?
  • Are your puppies whelped in your home?
  • What advice would you offer someone in raising and training a Golden Retriever?
  • Web Sites:

    http://landofpuregold.com/rescuea.htm- Map showing many regional and local Golden Retriever Rescues, be sur to do a search using "Golden Retriever Rescue YourState" to find rescues local to you.

    http://www.grca.org/educate.htm- Great educational information, books, articles, brochures you can request and more to help you with understanding the Golden Retriever and finding a good companion

     

    Other Resources
    Breed standard:

    http://www.grca.org/StandProgs/standard.htm- Standard for the Golden Retriever Club of America

    Breeder Ethics:

    http://www.grca.org/codeofethics.pdf- Code of Ethics for the Golden Retriever Club of America

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