Facts About The Golden Retriever

Facts About The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a breed of dog. They were historically developed as gundogs to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties. As such they were bred to have a soft mouth to retrieve game undamaged and have an instinctive love of water. The golden retriever has a dense inner coat that provides them with adequate warmth. The outer coat is sleek and water repellent, and lays flat against the body. The official colour of the breed is the varying shades of gold that are most often seen.

The breed's intelligence and versatility suit the dogs well for a variety of roles including guide dog for the blind, hearing dog for deaf people, hunting dog, illegal drug detector, and search and rescue participant. Because of their loyal and gentle temperament, golden retrievers are also popular family pets.

Golden Retrievers possess a friendly, eager-to-please demeanour, and are the fourth most popular family dog breeds (by registration) in the United States, the fifth most popular in Australia, and the eighth most popular in the United Kingdom.


British Type
Some variations do exist between the British type Golden Retrievers prevalent throughout Europe and Australia, and those of American lines and these differences are reflected in the breed standard. The muzzle of the British type of dog is wider and shorter, and its forehead is blockier. It has shorter legs, with a slightly deeper chest, and shorter tail. Its features make it generally heavier than the American type. Males should be between 56–61 cm (22–24 inches) at the withers and females slightly shorter at between 51–56 cm (20–22 inches). Their weight, however, is not specified in the UK standard. The KC standard calls for a level topline and straight hindquarters without the slight rear angulation found in American lines. The eyes of the European type are noted for their roundness and darkness as contrasted with the triangular or slanted composition of their American counterparts. A Golden Retriever of British breeding can have a coat colour of any shade of gold or cream; however, red or mahogany are not permissible colours. Originally cream was not an acceptable colour in the UK standard; however, by 1936 the standard was revised to include cream. It was felt this exclusion was a mistake as the original "yellow" retrievers of the 19th century were lighter in colour than the then current standard permitted. As with American lines, white is an unacceptable colour in the show ring. The British KC standard is used in all countries with the exceptions of the USA and Canada. Some breeders of this type in America may import their dogs to improve the temperament and health noted in those bloodlines .

American Type
An American Golden is lankier and less stocky than a British Type. A male should stand 22–24 inches (56–61 cm) in height at the shoulders, and females should be 20–22 inches (51–56 cm). The coat is dense and water repellent, in various shades of lustrous gold, with moderate feathering. The gait should be free, smooth, powerful, and well-coordinated.

Canadian Type
The Canadian Golden Retriever's appearance are similar to the American type in height and weight, and have a thinner coat than their conformation line counterparts, and they are usually darker in colour.

Coat and Colour
As indicated by their name, their coat comes in light golden colours to dark golden colours. The coat and undercoat are dense and waterproof, and may be straight or moderately wavy. It usually lies flat against the belly. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard states that the coat is a "rich, lustrous golden of various shades", disallowing coats that are extremely light or extremely dark. This leaves the outer ranges of coat colour up to a judge's discretion when competing in conformation shows. Therefore, "pure white" and "red" are unacceptable colours like black . The Kennel Club (UK) also permits cream as an acceptable coat colour. Judges may also disallow Goldens with pink noses, or those lacking pigment. The Golden's coat can also be of a mahogany colour, referred to as "redheads", although this is not accepted in the British show ring. As a Golden grows older, its coat can become darker or lighter, along with a noticeable whitening of the fur on and around the muzzle. Puppy coats are usually much lighter than their adult coats, but a puppy with a darker colouration at the tips of the ears may indicate a darker adult colour. A golden's coat should never be too long, as this may prove to be a disservice to them in the field, especially when retrieving game.

Golden Retrievers under adult age generally need less grooming care than adult dogs, but if a large amount of time is spent on grooming, a puppy will more likely tolerate adult grooming. Grooming tools include guillotine nail clippers or nail filers (particularly motored), slicker and pin brushes, and a grooming comb. Golden Retrievers do well bathing once every week or every two weeks, and they will shed minimally if brushed quickly everyday. Golden Retrievers shed moderately to heavily, shedding year round and particularly in spring and early summer.

The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed and is described in the standard as "kindly, friendly and confident". They are not "one man dogs" and are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them. Their trusting, gentle disposition therefore makes them a poor guard dog. Any form of unprovoked aggression or hostility towards either people, dogs or other animals, whether in the show ring or community, is completely unacceptable in a Golden Retriever and is not in keeping with the character of the breed and as such is considered a serious fault. Nor should a Golden Retriever be unduly timid or nervous. The typical Golden Retriever is calm, naturally intelligent and biddable, with an exceptional eagerness to please.

Golden Retrievers are also noted for their intelligence, it ranks fourth in Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs following the Border Collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd Dog, being one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience command trainability. These dogs are also renowned for their patience with children.

By the time they reach maturity however, Goldens will have become active and fun-loving animals with the exceptionally patient demeanour befitting a dog bred to sit quietly for hours in a hunting blind. Adult Golden Retrievers love to work, and have a keen ability to focus on a given task. They will seemingly work until they collapse, so care should be taken to avoid overworking them.

Other characteristics related to their hunting heritage are a size suited for scrambling in and out of boats and an inordinate love for water. Golden Retrievers are exceptionally trainable—due to their intelligence, athleticism and desire to please their handlers—and generally excel in obedience trials. In fact, the first AKC Obedience Trial Champion was a Golden Retriever. They are also very competitive in agility and other performance events. Harsh training methods are unnecessary as Golden Retrievers often respond very well to positive and upbeat training styles.

Golden Retrievers are compatible with children and adults and are good with other dogs, cats and most livestock. Golden Retrievers are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and willingness to learn. Because of this, they are commonly used as guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs. They are friendly and tend to learn tricks easily.

They are also known to become excellent surrogate mothers to different species. Kittens and even tiger cubs from zoos are well taken care of by golden retrievers. In some cases, a retriever may produce milk for its adopted even though it may not have been pregnant or nursing recently.

The average life span for a Golden Retriever is 11 to 11½ years.[19][20] Golden Retrievers are susceptible to specific ailments. A responsible breeder will proactively minimise the risk of illness by having the health of dogs in breeding pairs professionally assessed and selected on the basis of complementary traits.

Golden retrievers are known to have genetic disorders and other diseases. Hip dysplasia is common in the breed; when buying a puppy, the pedigree should be known and be examined by the OFA or by PennHIP for hip disease.

The Golden Retriever was first developed in Scotland at "Guisachan" near Glen Affric, the highland estate of Sir Dudley Marjoribanks later Baron Tweedmouth. For many years, there was controversy over which breeds were originally crossed. In 1952, the publication of Majoribanks' breeding records from 1835 to 1890 dispelled the myth concerning the purchase of a whole troupe of Russian sheepdogs from a visiting circus.

Improvements in guns during the 1800s resulted in more fowl being downed during hunts at greater distances and over increasingly difficult terrain. This led to more birds being lost in the field. Because of this improvement in firearms, a need for a specialist retriever arose as training setter and pointer breeds in retrieval was found to be ineffective. Thus work began on the breeding of the dog to fill this much needed role.

The original cross was of a yellow-coloured Retriever, Nous, with a Tweed Water Spaniel female dog, Belle. The Tweed Water Spaniel is now extinct but was then common in the border country. Majoribanks had purchased Nous in 1865 from an unregistered litter of otherwise black wavy-coated retriever pups. In 1868, this cross produced a litter that included four pups; these four became the basis of a breeding program which included the Irish Setter, the sandy-coloured Bloodhound, the St. John's Water Dog of Newfoundland, and two more wavy-coated black Retrievers. The bloodline was also inbred and selected for trueness to Majoribanks' idea of the ultimate hunting dog. His vision included a more vigorous and powerful dog than previous retrievers, one that would still be gentle and trainable. Russian sheepdogs are not mentioned in these records, nor are any other working dog breeds. The ancestry of the Golden Retriever is all sporting dogs, in line with Majoribanks' goals.

Golden Retrievers were first accepted for registration by The Kennel Club of England in 1903, as Flat Coats – Golden. They were first exhibited in 1908, and in 1911 were recognised as a breed described as Retriever (Golden and Yellow). In 1913, the Golden Retriever Club was founded. The breed name was officially changed to Golden Retriever in 1920.

The Honourable Archie Majoribanks took a Golden Retriever to Canada in 1881, and registered Lady with the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1894. These are the first records of the breed in these two countries. The breed was first registered in Canada in 1927, and the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario, now the Golden Retriever Club of Canada, was formed in 1958. The co-founders of the GRCC were Cliff Drysdale, an Englishman who had brought over an English Golden and Jutta Baker, daughter in law of Louis Baker who owned Northland Kennels, possibly Canada's first kennel dedicated to Goldens. The AKC recognised the breed in 1925, and in 1938 the Golden Retriever Club of America was formed.

There are also organisations other than clubs dedicated to golden retrievers, such as breed specific adoption sites.

In July 2006, The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland organised a gathering of Golden Retriever enthusiasts at the ancestral home of Guisachan House. A photograph was taken by photographer Lynn Kipps to commemorate the occasion. It captures 188 Golden Retrievers and therefore holds the record for most Golden Retrievers captured in one image.

Basics of Golden-Retriever Training

Basics of Golden-Retriever Training

It's essential for Golden-Retriever parents like you to know certain basic factors that determine your relationship with your Golden-Retriever and can go a long way in training him effectively.
Before you begin training your Golden-Retriever, it is absolutely essential that you build a loving bond with him. This is important as it helps you to understand his needs and instincts and also allows your Golden-Retriever to have complete trust in you. 

Let us see how.......
How To Bond With Your Golden-Retriever

Building a bond with your Golden-Retriever is the first and the most crucial step involved in training him successfully. As soon as you bring your Golden-Retriever home, you must first try to develop a caring and loving relationship with him in order to win his trust and confidence. 

When Golden-Retrievers are secure in the knowledge that they belong to the family, they are more likely to respond better to their owners' training commands. Just like with any relationship, there must be mutual trust and respect between you and your Golden-Retriever. 

Trust takes time to develop and respect comes from defining boundaries and treating any breach of those boundaries with firmness and fairness. 

Without enforceable limitations, respect can’t be developed. And when there is no respect, building a bond with your Golden-Retriever is almost impossible. 

4 Golden Rules To Building A Relationship With Your Golden-Retriever :
  • Spend quality time together;
  • Take him out in the world and experience life together;
  • Establish and promote a level of mutual respect; and
  • Develop a way of communicating to understand each other's needs.
Building a bond with your Golden-Retriever will not only help you manage him better but will also make your Golden-Retriever calm, quiet and an extremely well-adjusted pet.
Love Your Golden-Retriever and He Will Love You back

Once you're successful in building a bond with your Golden-Retriever, you can rest assured that training him and teaching him new and clever tricks will be a cakewalk.

How Your Golden-Retriever Learns...
Your Golden-Retriever's learning period can be divided into five phases:

The Teaching Phase - This is the phase where you must physically demonstrate to your Golden-Retriever exactly what you want him to do.

The Practicing Phase - Practice makes Perfect. Once a lesson is learnt, practice with your Golden-Retriever what you have just taught him. 

The Generalizing Phase - Here you must continue practicing with your Golden-Retriever in different locations and in an environment with a few distractions. You can take your Golden-Retriever out for a walk, or to a nearby park and command him to practice whatever you've taught him. 

Practicing the learned lessons in multiple locations and in the presence of small distractions will help him learn and retain lessons better . 

The Testing Phase - Once you're sure that your Golden-Retriever has achieved almost 90% success....he responds correctly almost every time you give a command, you must start testing his accuracy in newer locations with a lot of distractions.

Example: Take him to the local shopping mall and ask him to obey your command. He may not come up with the correct response the very first time you do this, but you must not lose hope.
The idea is to test your Golden-Retriever to see how he responds in an environment which is new to him. Set-up a situation where you are in control of the environment and your Golden-Retriever.

There are only 2 possibilities:
  • Your Golden-Retriever succeeds!!! (Trumpets please!)
  • In case your Golden-Retriever fails, re-examine the situation. Review and/or change your training. Then try testing again.
Keep on testing until he succeeds. Follow the rule of the 3 Ps – patience, persistence, praise.
Internalizing Phase - Finally, comes the extremely rewarding phase where your Golden-Retriever does everything he is taught to do even without your commands.
  • Never scold your Golden-Retriever if he fails. It's not his fault. You have failed as a trainer!
  • You must be patient and persistent for your efforts to show rewards.
  • Appreciate and love your Golden-Retriever when he does it right! A little encouragement will work wonders for your Golden-Retriever.

Copyright (c) 2009 TrainPetDog.com

Training Your Golden-Retriever to Listen to You

Training Your Golden-Retriever to Listen to You

Why Won't My Golden-Retriever Listen To Me?

This is a common question that most first-time Golden-Retriever owners ask me. Before I answer your question, let me ask you a few instead:
  • Do you use cookies, collars, head halters or clickers to make your Golden-Retriever listen to your commands?
  • Do you have to raise your voice every time you want your Golden-Retriever to listen to you?
  • Does your Golden-Retriever always come or sit on command - anytime and anywhere you want him to?
If your answers are mostly in the negative, its time you seriously reconsider your role as a sincere Golden-Retriever trainer and an ideal pet parent.

Get Your Golden-Retriever To Listen To You

Before you begin any training, you must first establish yourself as the "ALPHA dog" of your family. Your Golden-Retriever must know that you’re the leader of the pack and it is YOU who is in charge.

Here is a list of simple DO's and DONT's that you must follow if you want to be the Alpha:
  • Always go out or come in through the door first - remember you are the leader;
  • Always eat first - give your Golden-Retriever something to eat only after you've finished your meal;
  • Don’t circle around your Golden-Retriever when he is lying on the floor - make your Golden-Retriever move out of your way instead;
  • Don't let your Golden-Retriever set the rules - pay attention to him when you think fit and not whenever he demands;
  • Don’t permit your Golden-Retriever to sleep with you in your bed - demarcate his sleeping area clearly.
Once you successfully established yourself as the Alpha, training your Golden-Retriever and making him listen will be a lot easier than you can imagine. Remember, if your Golden-Retriever does not learn to "listen", all your training efforts will be in vain!

Does your Golden-Retriever know his name? Does your Golden-Retriever look at you whenever you call him by his name? This is the first and the most critical step involved in Golden-Retriever Training. If your Golden-Retriever doesn't respond to his name, you cannot have his attention for teaching him any other commands.

To make sure that your Golden-Retriever recognizes his name, take a treat in your hand and hold it away from your body. Call your Golden-Retriever's name. He is most likely to look at the treat in your hand. Continue calling his name untill he turns and looks at your eyes. Give him the treat immediately. Repeat this exercise by holding the treat in the other hand. Once you're sure that your Golden-Retriever has learnt to recognize his name, just call his name and reward him for looking at you by petting or with a hug.

You must understand that Golden-Retrievers respond far better to positive reinforcement than they do to coercion or force.

Copyright (c) 2009 TrainPetDog.com

Is Your Golden-Retriever Potty Trained Enough?

Is Your Golden-Retriever Potty Trained Enough?

House Training a puppy or adult Golden-Retriever is such an essential issue for its owner that even a single exclusive tip turns out to be extremely helpful.

The first step in making your Golden-Retriever fit for polite company would be to potty train him. Some see this training as a hassle and some as a challenge.

For me, it is part of bringing up a pet.

There are a few things you need to know before you actually start potty training a puppy or adult Golden-Retriever. I enumerate these below:
  • You need to understand your dog's body language. Watch for signs that will indicate to you when your pet wants to eliminate.
  • If you own puppies, remember that they need to go potty at fairly frequent intervals - as soon as they wake up, after short naps, after play-time, after meals, before and after being crated and finally, before retiring for the night.
  • Take your Golden-Retriever for walks at the time that he usually does his potty. Take him out to the yard and then to the same place there every time he needs to answer nature's call.
  • Praise your Golden-Retriever after he eliminates at the right place. Some Golden-Retriever owners even give treats to their dogs. But remember to do this every time he does it right. He will relate the rewards to his having "done it right" and zero in on the spot where you want him to defecate regularly.
  • With time, you can try signal training. This is so that you know when your doggie wants to go. You can hang a bell at his level near the door and teach him to push it with his nose or pat it with his paw on his way out.
  • Until your Golden-Retriever has been fully potty trained keep him under strict vigilance. Do not let him roam around the house freely.
  • Use a crate. A crate-trained Golden-Retriever is usually very happy to get his own den. The advantage of crating is that dogs do not soil the place where they sleep. So, he will naturally not eliminate inside the crate.
  • If you have a small dog and if you live in a high-rise building or in a place that does not have a proper backyard, you can try litter pan training. What you do is create a space for your pet to eliminate in your house itself.
  • Use positive reinforcements while housebreaking puppies or adult dogs. Do not scold or hit him as you will gain nothing by doing that. He will only associate punishment with your return from outside. If you catch him in the act, a stern 'NO' or 'FREEZE' will do. It will startle the Golden-Retriever enough for him to stop pooping.
  • Be prepared to return to a soiled home if you are keeping your Golden-Retriever home alone for more than 4 hours as separation anxiety is quite common among home - alone dogs.
  • Accidents will happen. It is unusual for a trained adult Golden-Retriever to work against its house training. But medical problems or health disorders may lead to sudden accidents.
  • Many dogs mark their territory. These can be a leg of a table or a particular wall. Intact male and female dogs mark their territories by urinating. Use deodorizers to spray on the places where your Golden-Retriever has marked.
  • If you are patient and are ready to accept that house training a dog takes time, even months sometimes, you will end up having a good housetrained Golden-Retriever.
Now we will move on to how to potty train puppies and adult dogs.

Potty Training A Puppy:
Irrespective of breeds, housetraining a puppy is considered to be one of the biggest challenges by dog owners. If you think housetraining your puppy simply involves a steady supply of old newspapers, then think again.

A puppy does not develop full control over his bladder until it is over 4 or 5 months old. Since they are growing and developing rapidly at this time, puppies eat more, burn more calories and need to eliminate more frequently than an adult Golden-Retriever.

After each nap, meal, drink or play, take your puppy to his designated area (indoors or outdoors, wherever you have decided) and stay there until it eliminates. Then bring him to his crate.
Repeat this situation every day until he has developed a habit out of it.

Potty Training An Adult Golden-Retriever:

The best way to housetrain an adult Golden-Retriever is to begin all over again.
Observe him very closely. Maybe even maintain a diary of where he goes and when. Whether he is pooping when you are home or only when you are outside; whether you can time yourself to be home when he feels the need to go outside.

You can try dog crates, but be careful to introduce him gradually to them. 

Remember, commitment, consistency and intelligent use of positive reinforcement will make you the owner of a perfectly housetrained Golden-Retriever. Don't expect miracles. You will only be disappointed.

Get this unique Housetraining guide and start Housebreaking Your Golden-Retriever Today.

Copyright (c) 2009 TrainPetDog.com

How Well Is Your Golden-Retriever Groomed?

How Well Is Your Golden-Retriever Groomed?
The reason one should groom his/her Golden-Retriever is simple - your dog's physical state influences the way he feels and the way you look at your dog. Extreme cases, where lack of proper care, cleaning and grooming can directly affect the behavior of your Golden-Retriever, are not rare.
Proper grooming not only infuses a healthy glow to your dog's appearance, but also helps develop his self-esteem; while it makes you a very proud parent, when you show off your Golden-Retriever to others.
The first step involved in dog grooming is: Brushing!

Brushing has been universally acknowledged by expert dog groomers as the single most important step in grooming.

The benefits of brushing are many. To name a few:
  • Better blood circulation
  • Shinier and healthier coat
  • Better bonding

Even if you know how crucial brushing is for your Dog's health and well-being, we all know that there is a right way and a wrong way of doing anything. And without doubt, you would like to do everything the RIGHT way when it comes to your Golden-Retriever. 

Yes, there's a method to follow while brushing your Golden-Retriever.

Here are FIVE steps to successfully brushing your Golden-Retriever that will prove to be extremely useful:
  • Brush against the growth of the hair first with a slicker brush and then with a medium or wide-toothed comb.

  • The slicker brush removes all the loose hair and the comb takes care of the tangles.

  • Brush your Golden-Retriever along the hair growth and make sure you reach the skin as you brush his way.

  • Then use a flea comb over the coat to get the fleas and remove any remaining tangles. Part the coat and start from the root and then comb through.

  • If your Dog's paw pads are hairy, then clip them using electric clippers. Do not clip the hair in between the pads. Clip only the excess hair.
Brush your Dog's hairs to prevent it from matting. Matting can be a very painful experience. 

Regular brushing untangles the matted hairs on your Dog's coat. Since this is a risky job to do, the best way out is to prevent them from forming in the first place. And doing this is simple: just brush and comb your Golden-Retriever regularly. If and when you see any mats or tangles, use a detangle solution and a medium-toothed comb. 

Don't wait until your Golden-Retriever is dirty or matted to introduce him to grooming. That would make him associate the experience with unpleasantness. Moreover, many dogs learn to see their routine brushing as an alternate form of petting, i.e. another source of affection and attention.

Copyright (c) 2009 TrainPetDog.com