Dog-ology: Golden Retriever

Basics

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and gentle temperament. Males typically weight 65-75 lbs, females 60-70 lbs. They require daily exercise as they are very active dogs. They shed year round and therefore need regular grooming and a bath every two months. They love the water, so getting them to take a bath is an easy task, but their thick coats make the actual process more difficult. Ranked among the top four most intelligent dogs, Golden Retrievers are easy to train and are often used as guide dogs, police dogs, therapy dogs, and for search and rescue.

History

Originally bred in Scotland in the late 1800's to retrieve shot waterfowl, such as ducks. Fowl hunting was a popular sport for the wealthy elite at the time, but the existing breeds were inadequate at retrieving on both land and water. Baron Tweedmouth, from Scotland, took it upon himself to breed the best water spaniels at the time with existing Russian retrievers, resulting in the Golden Retrievers of today.

Fun Facts

  • Golden Retrievers rank on the top ten most popular dog breeds in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.

  • They are one of the lowest ranking barking breeds.

  • They have what is called a soft-mouth, which was bred into them to ensure that the fowl that they retrieved was not crushed by their jaws upon returning it to their owner. They have been known to carry up to three raw eggs in their mouth without cracking them.

  • They are excellent companion animals for both humans and other species. The San Diego Zoo paired Golden Retrievers with cheetahs for company.

  • Golden Retriever puppies are almost always lighter in color than they will be as adults. The color of a puppy's ears are a good indication of what color their adult coat will become.

  • They are crepuscular in nature, meaning they are more active at dusk and dawn than in the middle of the day.

  • Two U.S. Presidents have owned Golden Retrievers while in office. President Ford had a Golden named Liberty and President Reagan had one named Victory.

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