THE GOLDEN RETRIEVER
The Golden Retriever traces its ancestry to England. In the latter half of the 19th century, a gentleman named Sir Dudley Marjoriebanks (later, the first Lord Tweedmouth), began breeding in an attempt to produce the perfect hunting dog. Lord Tweedmouth's breeding program included Wavy-Coated Retrievers, Tweed Water Spaniels, an Irish Setter and a Bloodhound. The result, after many years of careful breeding for type, color and hunting ability, were dogs that became known as "Yellow or Golden Retrievers". Soon after, the dogs were officially given the title Golden Retriever. Today, they are one of the most popular purebred dogs in America.
An adult Golden Retriever should range in height from 21 to 25 inches at the withers (shoulders) and weigh from 55 to 75 pounds. They have a long coat and do shed, therefore, weekly brushing is suggested to remove dead hair from the coat. Basically, a Golden Retriever is a "wash and wear" dog and it does not take much grooming to keep your dog looking its best.
Much of the Golden Retriever's popularity stems from its reputation for possessing a gentle and loving temperament. Goldens have a natural love of people and, as a result, are extremely social animals. They typically get along well with children, other pets, and even strangers (no - a Golden is not a watchdog). Golden Retrievers are at their happiest when interacting with their human "pack"; be it playing a game of fetch, running around the yard with the kids, lazing on the couch watching TV, or sharing the stillness of a lake on a pre-dawn hunt with his master.
It is in part due to the overwhelming popularity of this breed that Rescue has become so important for the Golden Retriever. Therefore, the potential Golden owner should be aware of certain characteristics of the breed prior to bringing one home.
A Golden Retriever, just like any other dog, is not born with perfect house manners. This, in combination with the size of a full grown adult, could cause problems. It is imperative that your Golden be given basic obedience training. Take the time in the beginning and you will be rewarded with a well-behaved, gentle companion.
Golden Retrievers are high energy dogs. They need daily exercise and interaction with family members. A Golden Retriever left alone in the yard is not a happy dog and will let you know. Excessive barking, digging and destructive chewing are just a few of the behaviors associated with a bored Golden Retriever.
Golden Retrievers shed all year round. If you are uncomfortable with dog hair, consider another breed.
Before you bring a Golden Retriever into your home, please do your homework. Purchase a book on the breed and read it. Go to dog shows and question breeders. There are even websites devoted solely to the breed.
Remember, once you have made the decision to accept a Golden Retriever into your family, you have made a lifetime commitment. Do not disappoint your new friend. A Golden would never disappoint you!