Know Your Breed: Golden Retriever

golden retriever breed

For many years, there was a legend that Golden Retrievers were descended from Russian sheepdogs bought from a circus. In fact, the breed was developed in Scotland, at the highland estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks, later known as Lord Tweedmouth.

Although Golden Retriever dogs are golden, they come in a variety of shades, ranging from a light golden (such as the white Golden Retriever or English cream Golden Retriever) to dark golden colours, with feathering on the backs of their forelegs, the fronts of their necks, backs of their thighs, and tail bottoms. The Golden is slow to mature and retains the silly, playful personality of a puppy until three to four years of age, which can be both delightful and annoying. Many keep their puppyish traits into old age.

While Golden Retrievers are famously agreeable and easy to train, they are known to become sad and even depressed when left alone for long periods of time. Experts say they shouldn’t be left alone for more than seven hours.

Golden Retrievers have a dense, water-repellent double coat, and shed their undercoat through most of the year. During the shedding periods, they may require daily brushing to remove dead fur. The rest of the year, brushing once a week as maintenance should be enough. Using high-quality shampoos and conditioners will help keep your Golden Retriever clean, and also help to remove shed fur.

Originally bred for the physically demanding job of retrieving ducks and other fowl for hunters, the Golden NEEDS daily exercise. And like other intelligent breeds who were bred to work, they need to have a job to do, such as retrieving the paper or waking up family members.

The ideal pet parent for this breed of dog is also active and willing to be there for the daily exercise (up to one hour) this dog craves. Rope toys and fetch toys are excellent to keep your golden engaged and using interactive toys stimulates your dog’s mind and senses. Golden Retrievers enjoy swimming, running, walking, and (if you want to do less of the running) a good game of fetch. A tired Golden is a well-behaved Golden (am I right?)

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