Golden Retrievers were first bred in Scotland during the mid 1800’s. Because of an upswing in the number and quality of hunting guns during that time, hunters found that they were losing a lot of game. In order to combat this, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks decided to breed a type of dog that would be inclined to retrieve fallen water fowl.
The Golden Retriever stems from several different dog breeds. The original pairing was a cross between a yellow Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel. The resulting litter was bred with a few other breeds, including the Irish Setter, the St John’s Water Dog, and the Bloodhound. The result was a water-loving breed that had a mouth soft enough to effectively retrieve and return with a bird.
Because of their intelligence and sweet nature, Golden Retrievers quickly became popular as working and family dogs. Currently they are the 8th most popular breed in the UK.
This breed falls into two categories: the British Golden Retriever and the American. In general, the British breed has a shorter, blockier frame, while the American is a little longer.
The iconic golden colour of the breed can range greatly in hue. You’ll be able to find Golden Retrievers with a coat anywhere from white to mahogany in colour. Golden Retrievers have a thick, wavy double coat. As the dog ages, his coat might change to a darker or lighter colour and some whitening of the fur around the mouth will most likely occur. As you can imagine, such a thick, full coat does lead to moderate/heavy shedding. This can be reduced by daily brushing and a bath every week or two.
If you were to make a list of breeds that would make good guard dogs, the Golden Retriever would be at the very bottom! These dogs are known for their sweet tempered, easy going nature. They’re as friendly towards strangers as they are towards their owners. In the show ring, any sign of aggressive behaviour in a Golden Retriever is considered contrary to the breed’s description and a serious fault.
Alongside their sweet nature, Golden Retrievers are also very intelligent dogs (in fact, they’ve been ranked as the 4th most intelligent breed in the world). This makes training relatively easy. They’re eager to please and very hard workers. Lastly, they’ve extremely sociable and easy going dogs, so they do well in families with children.
There are a few diseases that this breed is susceptible to. Hip Dysplasia is a common ailment, as well as skin and eye problems. And, just like many of us, any extra food this breed eats will go straight to their hips. If overfed, a Golden Retriever will put on extra weight quite quickly.
Since they are so eager to please and intelligent, this breed needs an owner that can take the lead and teach them new things. They do tend to be quite energetic, so daily exercise is important if you prefer your slippers unchewed.