Golden Retriever is a great companion and best friend of the hunter. Good-natured, calm, perfectly aportiruet shot game.
- Breed name: Golden Retriever
- Country of Origin: UK
- The time of the birth of the breed: XIX century
- Weight: males 26-41 kg, females 25-37 kg
- Height (height at the withers): males 56-61 cm, females 51-56 cm
- Life expectancy: 12 – 13 years
- The ideal owners for a golden retriever are families with children, as well as active people who love nature outings and long walks. Homebodies and adherents of a relaxed pace of life, a dog will cause more inconvenience than positive emotions.
- Representatives of this breed are quite silent and patient. They do not make a fuss over trifles and do not annoy with loud barking.
- Dogs are smart and quick-witted. They occupy the 4th place in the list of the most intellectually developed breeds according to Stanley Koren.
- Among hunters, golden retrievers enjoy the reputation of the best "porters" of game, able to wade in search of prey even through impassable thickets.
- Due to the abundant spontaneous molting, the breed will not suit fans of sterile cleanliness and allergy sufferers.
- Golden Retrievers are capable students who easily grasp even the most difficult material. With a timely completed training course, excellent guides, rescuers and search engines grow out of them.
- Despite the friendly and sociable nature, retrievers need education and a firm hand. A dog that does not recognize the owner's authority becomes uncontrollable and can create a lot of problems.
- Golden retrievers have a real passion for water and are happy to take baths in any open pond, and if overlooked – in puddles.
- Owners often call their pets simply golden – from the English "golden" (golden).
Golden Retrievers - smart hunters, impeccable family men and reliable friends, responsive to affection and kind attitude. A properly educated golden will willingly fulfill any master's assignment and at the same time will not behave as if he had performed the greatest feat in the world. The only reward that representatives of this breed expect for their own helpfulness is simple human attention, which for retrievers is much more valuable than the most exquisite delicacy.
History of the Golden Retriever breed
The main prerequisite for the emergence of the breed was the eternal passion of the English aristocrats for hunting. In the 19th century, the main amusements of British and Scottish esquires were game baiting and duck shooting. Venerable peers disappeared for days in the forests and swamps, bragging to each other about their trophies, guns and, of course, dogs. However, if the gentlemen had complete order with the hounds, then four-legged hunters who could find a shot quail in the heather thickets or swim for a duck that had fallen into the lake were in great short supply. Commercial demand generated supply, and soon shaggy dogs with an unusual golden coat color began to dissect the valleys of Scotland.
The appearance of golden retrievers, as an independent breed, is usually associated with the name of Dudley Marjoribanks, a Scottish lord and part–time amateur breeder. It was he who revealed to the world a completely new kind of hunting dog, who was not afraid of water and skillfully aportirovat a wounded bird. For a long time it remained a mystery whose blood flows into the wards of the lord, until the secret records of his tribal books were made public in the middle of the XX century. As it turned out, the golden ones were given their genes by a water tweed spaniel, labrador , bloodhound and a straight-haired retriever. At the same time, the first offspring was obtained as a result of mating a tweed-water spaniel and a straight-haired retriever, which had a yellowish coat.
By the 20s of the last century, the breed was already quite popular not only in Europe, but also among breeders of the New World. In addition, in the USA and Canada, their own standards of golden retrievers' appearance have been formed. For example, over the ocean, preference was given to individuals with a more intense and dark coat color. The descendants of Scottish retrievers were brought to Russia after the collapse of the USSR from the same America. The first purebred dog entered the territory of the Russian Federation in 1991.
Video: Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever appearance
Golden retrievers are moderately pumped–up beauties with a soulful look and luxurious iridescent fur. The goldens owe their recognition not so much to their own charm as to the efforts of marketers. The American cinema was particularly active in promoting the breed. It's enough to watch a couple of comedy melodramas produced in the USA to understand: if an American family decides to ever get a dog, then in 9 cases out of 10 it will be a golden retriever.
The sexual type of representatives of this breed is pronounced vividly. The average boy's height ranges from 56-60 cm, and his weight can reach 41 kg. Girls are much lighter (average weight – 25-37 kg) and smaller than males (height – 51-56 cm).
Despite the presence of a single breed standard approved by the FCI, experts divide golden retrievers into three types:
Representatives of the first group are natives of Foggy Albion, having extremely massive paws and a wide skull. They differ in a lighter coat color, up to white. It is the English type that is most common in Europe and Russia. The complexion of the wards of American breeders is less impressive, but golden retrievers "made in USA" can boast of an elegant posture and generally more elegant appearance. At the same time, their coat shade is somewhat darker than that of their British counterparts. A distinctive feature of Canadian retrievers is a slim build with a fairly high height. The coat color of the "Canadians" is even more saturated and dark than that of the "Americans".
The skull is massive, convex-angular. The transition from forehead to muzzle is distinct, smooth. The occipital protuberance is smoothed, the cheeks are flat. The animal's muzzle is long, smooth, gradually tapering from the base to the nose.
Black, moderately dense and dry. The upper lip noticeably hangs over the lower one, but does not go beyond the boundaries of the jaw. The lips completely hide the teeth and gums of the dog, forming small folds in the corners of the mouth.
Jaws and teeth
The retriever's jaws are strong and quite wide, with a pronounced scissor bite. Teeth are white, large. The incisors are arranged in one line.
The lobe is massive, mobile, black. The nostrils are wide open.
Moderately long, hanging, lowered along the cheeks of the animal. The base of the ear is wide, the tip is narrow, smoothed-rounded shape. Set – slightly above the eye line.
Large, deep-set, rounded shape. The golden retriever has a smart, friendly look. The color of the iris is from brown to dark brown. The eyelids are black, dry, close to the eyeball. Important condition: in a dog looking straight, the whites of the eyes should not be noticeable.
Massive, high postage and moderate length. The neck muscles are strong, developed, there are no folds and sagging.
Adults have a strong, tightly packed trunk with prominent musculature. The back of golden retrievers is straight, with a convex loin and pronounced withers. The croup is massive, slightly sloping, rounded in shape. The chest is of moderate width, deep enough. The taut line of the abdomen ends with a short and well-chosen groin area.
Moderately long, with a wide, thickened base and a cone-shaped tip. It is located below the back. In a calm golden, the tail is lowered, in an excited one, it is raised to the level of the back.
The front legs are muscular, dry type, standing straight. The shoulders are strong, with massive shoulder blades and elbows pulled back, pressed against the body. The shoulder angle does not exceed 90°. Pasterns are strong, but short, set at a slight slope.
The hind legs are strong, with well-developed muscles, spaced apart at a decent distance. The hocks of golden retrievers are low and look back. The front and hind legs are of medium size, rounded shape. The pads are massive, with short claws, the fingers of the animal are folded into a ball.
The golden retriever's coat is characterized by increased rigidity and has a water-repellent function. The hair is thick enough and fits snugly to the body, hiding a plentiful undercoat. The structure of the coat can be straight or have a light wave, and its length varies depending on the part of the body. The longest coat is located in the chest, ears, body, back of all four legs, as well as in the lower part of the tail. Areas of the body with short hair are the head, paws and the front side of the limbs.
All shades of gold are considered standard, up to the transition to a cream color. For feathering on the paws and suspension of the tail, lighter tones are acceptable.
Any deviations from the characteristics prescribed by the standard are included in the list of breed defects. For example, it is undesirable for a golden retriever to have a sparse and long coat, white stripes on the chest, as well as too light and close-set eyes. The following vices can be a reason to prevent an animal from competing:
- square body;
- long or too short legs;
- malocclusion and distorted lower jaw;
- lips, eyelids and nose lobe, painted in any shades except black;
- white "scarf" on the neck and grooves on the forehead;
- black coat color, as well as the presence of spots on it;
- drooping tail.
Embittered or, conversely, cowardly individuals, animals with a small head, short ears and small teeth will also not make a serious career.
Photo of a golden retriever
Golden Retriever character
In terms of the number of enthusiastic reviews from owners, golden retrievers are almost ahead of all breeds. Indeed, only a convinced dog-hater can unearth flaws in these good-natured intellectuals. As for ordinary animal lovers, their golden ones literally fascinate with their softness and phenomenal memory for faces. If one of your friends treated your pet to a delicious treat or entertained him with a simple game, you can be sure that the retriever will not forget to add a fat "plus sign" to the karma of this friend.
Calm and balanced in everyday life, representatives of this breed try to keep their mark even in the most sensitive situations. They are not at all conflicted and are ready to get along with any four-legged creature that does not show open aggression. Even in the most tense moments, the Goldenes prefer to solve the case in peace. A golden retriever snarling and clinging to an opponent with a death grip is something out of the realm of fiction.
The breed is often recommended for keeping in families with children, since animals are as correct and patient as possible in relation to the younger generation. Of course, trusting a baby dog is not the most reasonable solution, but playful three-year-olds can be left to it. Golden retrievers are primarily focused on humans. It is with him that they want to go for walks, share their joys and sorrows. For this reason, goldens are often attracted to active canister therapy. Shaggy "antidepressants" are happy to contact patients who are in a state of prolonged depression, charging them with bright emotions and gradually returning them to the joy of existence.
Golden Retrievers are typical sanguine people who are completely uncharacteristic of such character traits as suspicion and caution. Strangers in these simple-minded sympathizers arouse curiosity and burning interest, so if golden lives in your house, accept that it will not work out of him as a guard of the territory and material values.
Education and training
The nature of golden retrievers has not deprived them of intelligence and memory, so any dog lessons are grasped on the fly. The first thing to start training a golden retriever puppy is obedience: the animal must understand what is allowed and what is not. Do not succumb to the momentary desire to remove all prohibitions and pamper the baby, so to speak, as an exception. The puppy's pranks will quickly cease to seem pathetically funny after a 40-kilogram dog begins to practice them.
In the first months of life, retriever babies try to taste the objects around them, so try to convey the meaning of the "Fu!" command to the pet as quickly as possible. Those who see the golden Retriever as a future hunter will have to go out into nature more often. The dog will be able to learn how to find and bring a wounded bird only when he sees it live. At first, the skill is practiced on rags and dummies: a homemade stuffed animal is thrown at the puppy to make him want to grab an unfamiliar thing and show it to the owner. Then they smoothly move on to aportirovka and participation in the hunt.
Half-year-old puppies can be taught to swim and obey the whistle, and it will be better if a pro does it. 12 months is the optimal age to start training the dog's endurance, since she will often have to sit in ambush on the hunt so as not to scare off the game. The command "Lie down!" does not apply in such cases. It is enough that the pet will sit next to you. Memory training exercises are considered very valuable, since the golden retriever is not always able to find game only by smell.
Maintenance and care
Despite the fact that the main specialization of golden retrievers has always been hunting, it is absolutely not necessary for today's owners of these shaggy "servants" to take up a gun. Tedious races through forests and swamps can easily be replaced by long walks in parks and meadows. It's great if you take the dog to a country house, away from the highway, where she can run around to her heart's content. Just do not try to turn your pet into a mongrel and put it in a booth: the retriever will not appreciate your impulse and will become discouraged, so take the dog into the house and do not deprive her of her own company.
Keeping a golden retriever in an apartment is a kind of test of the owner for responsibility and diligence, since the lack of free space, motor activity and impressions the animal will have to compensate for with regular promenades in combination with physical exertion. Due to their sociable nature, golden retrievers do not cope well with loneliness. Animals splash out their uncertainty and fear on surrounding objects: they gnaw furniture and wires, spoil shoes. The worst punishment that the owner can come up with for golden is to lock him in four walls and quietly go to work. For careerists, workaholics, travelers and other busy personalities, a golden retriever as a pet is an unacceptable option.
What not to do with the golden retriever:
- allow children to sit on a grown-up dog, since the pressure created by the child's body can cause the animal's back to sag;
- stroking the puppy on the head and putting a collar over his head, which leads to incorrect formation of the ears;
- pull the baby by the paws or try to lift him by fixing his hand under his chest.
The main problem for the owner of a golden retriever is the coat of his pet. During the molting period, golden leaves fluffy traces wherever possible, and daily combing does not help much here. There are only two ways out of this situation: not to buy a golden retriever at all, or to put up with this feature of the dog and buy a powerful vacuum cleaner to clean up scraps of it from time to time.
Combing a shedding retriever twice a day with a brush and mittens for collecting hair. The dense undercoat is removed with a furminator or a fluff. To remove the smell of the dog from the coat, you can moisten it with a solution prepared according to the following recipe:
- mix a glass of water with a glass of vodka;
- add 2 tablespoons of vinegar essence;
- add 1 teaspoon of salt and shake.
In the periods between molts, the animal's coat does not require such careful care, but a couple of times a week you will still have to go through the dog's "fur coat" with a comb. A bath for the goldenes is arranged once a month and this is quite enough. After bathing, the pet can slightly shorten the coat. The hair is cut from the bottom up, starting from the neck. It is not forbidden to walk with scissors on the points on the paws, and the "pants" of the dog. The hair growing between the fingers and at the base of the tail should also be regularly trimmed.
Most golden retrievers have trouble-free eyes and ears, so a standard weekly checkup is enough for them. If dirt has accumulated in the ear funnel, they can be removed with a napkin and boiled water. A chilled tea brew is suitable for eye treatment. Brushing golden's teeth is a laborious process, but necessary. If it is not possible to clean the oral cavity in the classical way, you can entrust this matter to dry food or special treats, whose solid particles perform the function of abrasives that "erase" plaque.
Golden retrievers can be fed with both natural products and "drying". In the first case, about 50% of the diet should be animal protein, that is, meat. The daily norm of the product is calculated as follows: 10-20 grams of meat per kilogram of dog weight. The remaining half of the retriever's daily "menu" consists of cereals and vegetables.
The meat for the dog is selected lean, with a lot of veins and cartilage. Beef, lamb, rabbit and turkey are ideal. Offal is also not prohibited, but because of the digestive disorder that they can provoke, they are introduced into the diet gradually and little by little.
Important: Golden retrievers are fed after a walk, not before it.
It is better to cook thick porridges from rice and buckwheat, in which you can add stewed vegetables. Pumpkin, carrots, cabbage, turnips and beets are especially useful for golden retrievers. In season, early greens are mixed into the porridge. It is not forbidden to include fermented milk products in the diet of an adult dog – kefir, yogurt, cottage cheese. Puppies whose skeleton is still being formed need more calcium, so up to 4 months the diet of small golden ones necessarily includes milk (whole and as part of porridge).
Approximate daily menu of a 4-month-old baby: 300 g of meat, 100 g of fruit and vegetable slicing or vegetable stew (apple + carrot), 500 g of porridge with milk.
How many times to feed
Up to 4 months old, golden retriever puppies receive food 5 times a day. Starting from 5 months, babies are transferred to four meals a day. Half-year-old teenagers eat three times a day, and by 8 months the puppies completely switch to two meals a day.
Golden retrievers walk for at least two hours a day. At the same time, it is not necessary to observe the same duration of walks. For example, the morning promenade can be reduced to 30 minutes, and the evening, on the contrary, increased to an hour and a half. If an animal lives in an apartment, then up to four months it should not be allowed to go down and up stairs on its own. Take the puppy out for a walk in your arms and bring him into the apartment in the same way.
Toddlers are taken outside more often than adults to develop the skill of using an outdoor toilet. At first, excursions are conducted through park areas, gradually moving to busy city streets. It is very important that the dog does not fall into a stupor at the sight of people and the sounds of public transport, so the more often it encounters everyday phenomena of the urban environment, the faster it will learn to perceive them adequately.
Golden Retrievers and water
Golden retrievers love water treatments, so during a walk the puppy will certainly try to measure the depth of the first puddle that comes along. Accordingly, if you notice a pothole filled with water on the way, it is better to prevent the animal's rush by taking it by the collar and reinforcing the prohibition with the command "No!". If the moment is missed, and the pet is already swimming in a puddle, shout at him (the same command "Fu!" will come down) and throw a leash at him. It is not necessary to get into the water and try to pull the dog out. Wait until she obeys the command herself and praise her for her obedience. But you should not refuse to swim in open reservoirs. Swimming in a pond, river or lake for a dog is gymnastics and psychotherapy in one bottle, so when going on a weekend in nature, feel free to take golden with you.
Health and diseases of golden Retrievers
For veterinary clinics, golden ones are one of the most "profitable" pets, and their owners are one of the most frequent visitors. The main diseases of the golden retriever mentioned in almost every reference book are retinal degeneration and hip dysplasia. However, in fact, the breed has about a dozen different ailments. For example, dogs are often diagnosed with oncological and heart diseases, hypothyroidism, atopic dermatitis, Willebrand's disease and other dangerous ailments.
In addition, golden retrievers have a tendency to obesity. Against the background of more serious diseases, excessive weight seems to be a harmless trifle, although in reality everything is not so rosy. Animals that have gained extra pounds live less, and overweight individuals suffer more from the constant companion of all elderly dogs – arthritis. The animal's sick teeth are also fraught with serious danger. An ordinary abscess on the gum or an inflamed tooth can "spread" the infection through all the organs of the retriever, eventually sending him to the canine paradise.
How to choose a puppy
- When going to the kennel, arm yourself with a printout of the breed standard, or better yet, take a specialist with you who will help with the selection of a puppy. If this is not possible, contact any of the kennel clubs, where you will be recommended a reliable breeder.
- Puppies inherit from their parents not only their appearance and hunting qualities, but also the type of temperament, so in a conversation with the seller, insist on getting to know the mother and father of the kids. If such a favor is denied to the buyer, there is a high probability that the pedigree of dogs is so-so.
- Those who see a golden retriever as a future family friend, it is better to acquire bitches who are more accommodating and affectionate. Golden males are distinguished by their bright charisma, but their character is more serious and firmer. Besides, boys are much smarter in everything related to hunting.
- The temperaments of American and European retrievers differ significantly – take this fact into account when buying a puppy. The Goldens from the USA are more energetic and emotional. Indigenous "Europeans" are noticeably more phlegmatic and do not sin with hyperactivity.
- Responsible breeders who value their own name have their puppies groomed, vaccinated and treated with anthelmintic agents.
Photos of golden retriever puppies
How much does a golden retriever cost
Pet-class puppies remain the most attractive option in terms of price: from $200 to $250. Almost invisible to the eye defects of appearance significantly "cut" the cost of a golden retriever, which will especially appeal to those who do not dream of exhibitions and championship titles and are not averse to saving. Prices for the show class start from $350 and end around $500. An option designed for the most generous buyers is the offspring obtained from the interbreeding, with the right to further breeding. The cost of such a puppy – $700 - $800.