Golden Retrievers in the USA
The Golden Retriever is a large breed of dog that is popular in the USA for being highly intelligent and possessing a good personality. There are three main types of golden retrievers based on their country of origin. These include the British, Canadian and American type. The dog is large and weighs between 65-75 pounds for males and 55-65 pounds for females. The shoulder height is 22-24 inches for males and 20-22 inches for females. The coat color ranges between gold to cream and any shades in between are acceptable. In the USA the golden retriever is the third most popular family dog which is mainly attributed to is gentle temperament.
Golden retriever breed history
The origins of the golden retriever can be traced back to 19th century Scotland when fowl shooting was a common sport for the elite and noble. This sport normally took place in marshy and wet areas. To retrieve shot game in such terrain, dogs needed to be strong and rugged as well as easily trainable and gentle. Since the then dog breeds seemed to not do such a great job at retrieving shot game, there was a need to develop an animal that would be more suitable for the task. Advancement in gun technology meant that birds could be shot at much greater distances further emphasising on the need for a suitable hunting dog. The task for breeding the right dog was taken up by a Scottish noble man and hunter named Sir Dudley Marjoribanks in his estate near Glen Affric, Scotland. Here, between 1835-1890, he started by originally breeding a yellow coloured retriever with a female Tweed Water Spaniel. The latter breed is now extinct. The breeding resulted in puppies, four of which formed the foundation stock for the golden retriever.
Temperament and personality
Golden retrievers are among the best family dogs out there. Their friendly personality allows them to get along with almost anyone whether familiar or not. They are also good with children, other animals such as cats and other dogs and display very little aggression. Golden retrievers are also known to have a high intelligence making them easy to train. In Stanley Collen’s The Intelligence of Dogs, they rank fourth behind the border collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd.
Due to their willingness to work, strong sense of smell and ease with which they are trained, they are among the best breeds for search and rescue as well as narcotics sniffing. In sporting competition, the golden retriever normally ranks top in obedience.
This breed was bred for the outdoors and will therefore not do well in an apartment. They need space to run and roam. They are quite active and enjoy long walks as well as activities such as swimming, running, and hiking. Golden retrievers are people pleasers and should be treated with a gentle hand as they are quite sensitive dogs. Their willingness to please makes them easy to train and will do anything for a treat. While golden retrievers love being outside, they are also a very patient breed meaning that when it is time to go indoors they will fit right in with the family.
Their mild temperament however makes them unsuitable guard dogs.
As their name bluntly suggests, this breed of dog has a golden colour which varies from light golden to dark golden. Puppies may be somewhat lighter than their older counterparts. While white and red golden retrievers are not unheard of, the American Kennel Club disallows for coat colours that are too light or too dark. There are no definite criteria of judging whether the coat is too light or too dark. Such decisions are at the discretion of the judges.
The kennel Club(UK) however considers cream as an acceptable colour for the British golden retriever.
Grooming for Golden Retrievers
The Golden retriever has a double coat. A long outer coat and a short and soft inner coat. This protects the dog from adverse weather and helps keep it warm in the cold. When the temperature starts to drop, golden retrievers grow a denser fur which is later shed when the temperatures start to rise. This means that during warm seasons there will be a lot of fur lying around in the house. Brushing your dog’s coat regularly will pull out any loose fur and help avoid the house being untidy. When brushing your golden retriever, make sure you use a high quality bristle brush and an undercoat rake. Also take time to wash your dog with a regular shampoo once a week to keep the coat clean.
Lifespan and Health
Golden retrievers have an average lifespan of between 11-13 years. Unfortunately, this lovely breed has some health issues that warrant a trip to the veterinary every year for checkup. Some of the health concerns associated with the breed include;
- Skin diseases. 1 in every 2 golden retrievers develops some kind of skin condition with most of them being allergies that result in itchy skin such as pyoderma, seborrhoea and sebaceous adenitis.
- Elbow and hip dyspepsia is a common problem with golden retrievers with statistics showing that more than 20% of the population is affected by some form of hip and elbow dyspepsia.
- Heart diseases are also a major concern for owners of golden retrievers with an estimated 15% of the breed population being affected. This is a big number further emphasising on the need to get your dog checked regularly by the vet.
- Seizures or epilepsy is another major condition with goldens affecting around 7% of the breed population.
- Due to the high amount of hair in the ears the golden retrievers are prone to ear infections.
- Cataracts are found in 13% of the golden retriever population and is the most common eye disease in the breed. It affects dogs of any age including puppies and depending on how fast the condition is treated, may or may not cause permanent blindness.
- Another piece of information to keep close if you have or plan to have a golden retriever is their proneness to obesity brought about by their love for food. This breed is an enthusiastic feeder thus the need to check the quantity of food you give your dog. Puppies should eat two cups of food every day and mature dogs not more than three.
Where to find Pedigree Golden Retrievers in the USA
Based on the information above, it is clear that a golden retriever will make the perfect family dog. With gentle character, great intelligence and the desire to please, they will do well in almost any household. So where can you get your hands on a soft and cuddly golden retriever pup? Getting a pedigree animal in some areas is a great and valuable info is found on https://www.grca.org/ challenge considering the indiscriminate breeding that fails to take account of the qualities that made the breed stand out in the first place. Intelligence, calmness, a good gait and that golden coat are some of the qualities that a proper breeder checks and maintains. Worry not however, as the following list shows the most reputable breeders by state in America.
Find Golden Retrievers in (Click on the State / Link) :
Fun Facts about Golden Retrievers
- Golden retrievers enjoy being around water and will gladly jump in a lake after a ball.
- This breed is popular in movie scenes due to the ease of training.
- It has been proven that golden retrievers get sad and depressed after being left along for long hours and it is actually advisable not to leave them for more than seven hours a day.
- Since the breed was developed for outdoor activity; fetching game during hunting, golden retrievers naturally love to roam and should therefore be kept behind a locked gate when there is no human supervision.
- Owing to their well-developed sense of smell and tracking ability, golden retrievers are often used by search and rescue teams.
- Due to their friendly nature, this breed is among the most popular therapy dogs in America.
- Golden retrievers are the third most popular dog breed in America
- The American kennel Club officially recognized Golden Retrievers as a breed in 1925.
- Two American Presidents, Reagan and Ford both had golden retrievers while in office.
- Golden Retrievers get on well with other animals including cats.
- Owing to their keen senses and alert nature, golden retrievers make great watch dogs and will quickly notice something new in their surroundings, they however make poor guard dogs, as soon as they have the first interaction with a stranger, they revert back to their friendly and gentle nature.
- The loudest bark recorded in the Guinness World record is held by a golden retriever named Charlie at 113.1 decibels. Considering a chainsaw is at 110 decibels, this was truly an awesome feat.
- Golden retrievers have been trained to detect epileptic seizures an hour before they occur.
- Another Guinness World Record was held by a golden retriever for the highest number of tennis balls held in the mouth at the same time. The Dog named Augie held 5 regular sized tennis balls in the mouth.
- Golden retrievers can run at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour or 48 kilometers per hour
- Golden retrievers have a soft mouth meaning that they can pick things up in their mouths without causing damage to them. This is one of the reasons why this breed was a popular hunting companion by 19th century noble men as it could retrieve small game with little to no damage on the carcass. Some golden retrievers can even pick up an egg in their mouths without breaking it.
- This breed is among the most likely to get “snow nose”, a condition where pink spots appear on the nose during cold weather and disappear in warm or hot weather.
- The most popular attribute of goldens are their temperament which is defined as friendly, confident and kind. It is viewed as the Hall mark of the breed.
- English golden retrievers are the most muscular of the three golden retriever types and are the lightest in color with most having a cream in color.
- Golden retrievers normally get between seven to ten puppies in a litter.