The Golden Retriever (nicknamed the “Goldie” or “Golden”) is a medium-sized sporting dog breed that features a recognizable golden coat and a soft mouth for retrieving game. Their friendly, obedient and active nature help make the Golden Retriever a fitting option for families and hunters as well as for assisting people with disabilities.
Origins Of The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is known to have originated in Scotland during the late 1800s and was created by Lord Tweedmouth with the intention of acting as a hunting dog that was suited to the Scottish landscape – this came about largely due to an improvement in firearms which meant that birds needed to be retrieved by a dog over greater distances and more difficult terrain.
They are the result of cross-breeding a yellow-colored Retriever and the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel and later on the Irish Setter, Bloodhound and the St. John’s Water Dog were introduced into the breeding program to fulfill Lord Tweedmouth’s vision of creating the ultimate hunting dog – one that was powerful, but also gentle and trainable.
Average Size Of The Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are classified as a medium-sized dog. The recommended standard size for the Golden Retriever male is 23-24 inches tall from paw to shoulder and a weight of 65-75 pounds, whereas the suggested size for female Golden Retrievers is 21.5-22.5 inches tall from paw to shoulder with a weight of 55-65 pounds.
Temperament Of The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is legendary for their friendly and confident character. They are generally trusting and gentle with unfamiliar people, which can mean they are not very suitable as a guard dog.
The Golden Retriever is also known to be extremely intelligent – placing 4th compared to other dogs based on their ability to be trained obedience commands.
They are also recognized to be very patient with kids – meaning they are highly suitable as a family pet. The Golden Retriever is extremely compatible with other animals such as other dogs, cats or livestock and is commonly known to act as a surrogate mother to other animals such as kittens or even tiger cubs in zoos.
Living Requirements Of The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever loves to have a medium to large fenced yard to provide them with enough space, but they are suitable for living in an apartment provided they are walked on a regular basis.
Health & Life Expectancy Of The Golden Retriever
Similar to a large number of medium-sized dog breeds, the Golden Retriever is normally longer-lived having a life expectancy of 10 to 14 years. The biggest health concern for Golden Retrievers is generally known to be cancer, which is officially recognized as the breed’s biggest killer. They are also prone to conditions such as hip and elbow dysplasia in approximately 20% of dogs, eye diseases such as cataracts or glaucoma as well as heart and joint diseases. Golden Retrievers are also commonly known to experience skin allergies and can gain weight easily – so be careful about overfeeding them.
Exercise Needs Of The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is kept happy with pursuits like swimming and retrieving balls or other toys. They possess a medium to high degree of energy and this necessitates exercise each day in the shape of long walks or jogs to prevent excessive weight gain and hyperactivity.