The golden retriever is a calm and easy-going dog who gets along well with everyone. His sunny nature made this original hunting dog the most popular breed as a family dog, but the charming Scot is also widely used as a reliable working and companion dog.
There are several theories about the origin of the golden retriever. However, there is historical evidence that around 500 years ago fishermen in the south of England emigrated to Newfoundland on the Avalon Peninsula. They took the ancestors of the pedigree dogs so popular today with them to use the excellent swimmers for fishing. The water-repellent fur made the dogs insensitive to the sometimes freezing temperatures when they fetched fish from the nets to the boat or brought the mooring lines to the pier.
The name is composed of “Golden” for the radiant coat color and the English verb “to retrieve” means to retrieve, to find again.
At the beginning of the 16th century, English immigrants settled in the area around St.John’s. This is where the breeding of the St. John’s dog began, whose joy in retrieving ducks was used. Over time, the Flat Coated, Curly Coated, Chesbay and Duck Toller lines emerged, but the best known are probably the Golden Retriever and the Labrador Retriever. All species were of medium size and therefore well suited to be carried on land or in fishing boats when hunting. When they visited their English homeland, the emigrants took some of their dogs with them and thus laid the foundation for the further development of the breed, which is affectionately known as “Goldie”: The start of breeding is documented in detailed records from 1864 onwards.
The Golden Retriever breed owes its origin to the 1st Baron Tweedmouth Dudley Marjoribanks. He mated his Tweed Water Spaniel bitch “Belle” and “Nous”, a yellow retriever male with a wavy coat. According to tradition, the Lord bought the Wavycoat Retriever from a shoemaker from Brighton, who in turn had received the dog from a gamekeeper to settle his debts. Between 1968 and 1890 Lord Tweedmouth was dedicated to breeding. From carefully kept books the further crossbreeding of a Tweed Water Spaniel, an Irish Setter and a beige bloodhound emerges. The first registration of the new breed took place in 1913 under the name “Flat Coated Retriever”. Since then, these friendly dogs have found more and more lovers: starting from Great Britain, the calm blondes from the north conquered the entire European continent and the USA. Its triumphal march in Germany began in the early 1980s, where the golden retriever was quickly discovered for advertising and as an actor in feature films. The great popularity has remained unbroken to this day, so that the Goldies have become the most widespread and popular family dogs according to the puppy statistics of the breed associations.
The well-proportioned head has a pronounced stop and a strong, but soft snout with a strong scissor bite. The nose, the lips and the eyelids are pigmented black, whereby one can observe a lightening of the nose of many dogs in winter. The medium-sized ears are set at eye level and almost reach the corners of the mouth. The balanced physique is slightly longer than high and well muscled, with the chest arched and protruding deep in front of the tucked abdominal area. The not too long neck merges into a well-set shoulder area and a straight back with a short loin area. At the level of the topline, there is an abundantly feathered tail that is carried halfway up and never rolled up. The bone structure is robust and enables the Golden Retriever to move powerfully. In the recent past, similar to the Labrador Retriever, the division of the breed into a heavily built and lusciously hairy and an athletic, lighter stroke can be seen. The coat of all shades from cream to gold can be wavy or straight, but not curly. Mahogany or red shades are not desirable in the breed standard. Dense undercoat protects the body from cold and wet, daily brushing is recommended during the coat change.
The sensitive nature of the Golden Retriever requires good empathy on the part of the owner when raising the puppy. Too harsh a tone creates lasting fear and uncertainty, but a lack of consistency leads to the fact that the actually very calm representative lays down surprising outbursts of temper and thinks he has to take on the leadership role. The Golden Retriever loves water more than anything, and he happily seizes every opportunity that presents itself – his extremely fine nose finds every puddle, no matter how small, in which he then bathes with pleasure. He’s just as fond of wallowing in mud holes or fresh cow dung, running happily to his humans and first of all shaking off dirt and moisture from his fur. Retrieving is the Goldie’s passion, with which he shows his skills as a traditional hunting dog during dummy training. Once the toy has stayed at home, he can alternatively place flattened frogs, rotten fish and whatever else he can find on the roadside or in the water at his owner’s feet. The Golden Retriever gets along with other pets and is particularly gentle with children. His friendly demeanor is what makes him popular, but makes him unsuitable as a guard dog. This breed is mainly used as a companion dog for the disabled, as a drug detection dog, rescue dog in disaster operations.
The Golden Retriever breed is more prone to elbow and hip dysplasia (ED, HD). These clinical pictures are favored by the tendency to become overweight. Furthermore, hereditary mast cell tumors can occur on the skin or on internal organs as well as muscle wasting (muscular dystrophy). Thanks to its weatherproof fur, the Goldie perceives cold and wet climates as pleasant, but hot temperatures are very troublesome for him.
The Golden Retriever at a glance
Origin: Scotland FCI Breed Standard 111, Group 8, Section 1: Retriever Dogs, Water Dogs, Browsing Dogs Size: medium-sized Height at the withers: Male 56 – 61 cm, female 51 – 56 cm Weight: Males 30 – 40 kg, bitches 25 – 35 kg Coat color: solid cream or Yellow tone Eye colors: dark brown Use: retrieval dog, family dog, guide dog, search and rescue service, therapy dog Character: sensitive, calm, likes to work and perseveres, patient Health risks: obesity, osteoarthritis, food allergy, thyroid, epilepsy Life expectancy: approx. 10 – 12 years
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