The Golden Retriever - A Brief Description
The acceptable variance in colour has helped this lovely breed to become one of the most popular dogs in the British Isles. The coat can vary from pale cream through to deep gold.
The Golden Retriever is a proud upstanding gundog, it is alert, it is responsive to training and with plenty of exercise proves to be a very amiable family companion with excellent temperament. It will live happily with both the young and the elderly.
The Breed evolved in Scotland during the late 1800s and has been an excellent shooting companion for many years. Even so, a Golden Retriever is quite happy living in a loving family environment where it will reciprocate the love and affection given to it.
Although the breed is susceptible to hereditary problems, including hip dysplasia, cataracts and progressive retinal atrophy, a lot has been done through selective breeding to eradicate these problems. Over recent years the situation has improved and is still going in the right direction thanks to the efforts of responsible Breeders.
Frequently Asked Questions
From Whom should I purchase my puppy?
The golden rule..... never buy a puppy from a 'puppy farm'. Go to a local Open Show and talk to the exhibitors. We are helpful and would usually know who has puppies in the area. Contact the Breeder and make an appointment to visit. See the puppies with their Dam in the home environment. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Ensure both Sire and Dam have had their Hips X-rayed and their eyes checked to ensure they are free from any hereditary problems associated with our Breed. Question the temperament of the Breeders stock. Golden Retrievers are very gentle and should be of a kind temperament with no indication of aggression. If you have any doubts as to your ability to select a puppy then ask an experienced person to accompany you.
Would a dog or a bitch be more suitable?
This would depend on personal preference. Dogs do tend to be more loyal and loving but they are also very much heavier and stronger. They do need more exercise than bitches and are more prone to wander if given the opportunity. Bitches are the gentler sex but they do have seasons approximately every six months. This will last for about three weeks during which time the bitch must be kept safely away from the male sex (unless you intend mating of course but this may be at a much later date if you have the time and experience).
How much exercise?
A Golden Retriever will require regular exercise, at least twice a day, when fully grown. When you first obtain your puppy, exercise will not be necessary, as it will exercise itself whilst playing. In fact, sleep is more important at this stage and puppy should have its own bed where it can retire whenever it wishes. When puppy gets to six months just a little light exercise on lead is to be recommended gradually increasing it until he is eighteen months or so. It is important to stress that a Golden Retriever puppy should not be over exercised.
How big do they grow?
Dogs are a little taller and obviously more masculine than the bitches. Dogs will grow to 22 - 24 inches at the withers (top of shoulders) and bitches 20 - 22 inches. Male dogs are also somewhat heavier than the females.
Is a Golden Retriever a good family pet?
The simple answer is 'yes'. The Golden Retriever is good with children although they do need their own space. They are kind, biddable and very good company. They are used as Guide Dogs for the Blind and as PAT Dogs to provide company and interest for the elderly and infirm.
All dogs requre training to a greater or lesser degree. This depends on what you expect from your pet. As a family pet, lead training, toilet training and basic obedience is a must. This will ensure the animal has a happy co-existance with the family and will behave in a manner acceptable to members of the public who come in contact with him. Most urbun establishments are reluctant to welcome dogs (other than Guide Dogs) and this is probably due, in the main, to the bad publicity unfairly given to our dogs but there are also some that are allowed to behave in a way that ruins their reputation. In country areas, dogs are more widely welcomed in public houses, stores and suchlike. Overall, a dog should be well behaved when in public areas and owners must be prepared to clear up if their dog should have an accident.
Buy from a Breeder.
Ensure you see the hip and eye certificates for the Dam and Sire.
Follow the Breeders feeding instructions.
Let puppy have its rest. Educate your children to this end.
Locate a good vet. Ask locals for their advice.
Ensure your dog is trained. Be firm but kind.
Keep in touch with the Breeder. We do like to know how our puppies are progressing.
Never be afraid to ask for advice, everyone has to learn.
The Golden Retriever Rescue
If you feel you would like to give a good home to a rescue dog please contact your local Rescue Officer. Many dogs require re-homing due to many different reasons, death of the owner, break-up of marriage, moving abroad etc. and Golden Retrievers generally settle very well.