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The Golden Retriever, a docile and intelligent dog

A family dog par excellence, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular breeds because of its docility, kindness and intelligence. Easy to train, it is also a loyal protector of its owners, whom it adores above all else.

Characteristics of the Golden Retriever

Of medium size, the golden retriever presents a balanced and powerful look. This game retriever weighs between 27 and 34 kg with a height of 51 to 56 cm for females and 56 to 61 cm for males. Its broad head is made up of a black nose and displays an accentuated stop. The muzzle is more or less wide.

The animal has medium-sized, floppy ears and dark brown eyes that are set fairly wide apart. The coat is of a color going from creamy white to dark gold. Some colors are not present such as mahogany, black or chocolate which are more visible in its cousin the Labrador. The golden retriever has a long fringed coat that can be flat or wavy. This fur is characterized by its silky and especially thick nature. The tail extends to the back and is fringed.

History of the Golden Retriever breed

The exact origins of the golden retriever are rather unclear. There are several legends surrounding the history of the breed, although it is known to have originated in Great Britain. One of the most famous is the one that tells that the Goldie would have been born from a line of light-haired Caucasian Shepherds, spotted in 1858 by Lord Tweedmouth in a Russian circus. In each litter, only the golden-haired puppies would have been selected to obtain dogs with golden coat only.

Another legend says that the breed was obtained through hybridization between the St. Hubert's dog, the Leonberg and English spaniels. The golden retriever was not presented in dog shows until 1909. It was recognized as a pure breed in 1931.

Living conditions and behavior of the Golden Retriever

Like the Newfoundland or the Labrador, the Golden Retriever is originally a hunting dog that mainly brings back waterfowl. It particularly appreciates water. In this respect, it has webbed paws as well as a thick coat to protect it from the cold. This animal will therefore be happy in environments bordering the sea or lake.

It is energetic and needs to spend time. If, unfortunately, it must live in an apartment, it is important to take it for three to four walks a day for its well-being. These outings will help to channel his energy.

Appreciating enormously the company of his masters, the golden retriever is easy to educate. Be careful, we are talking about education and not training. This sensitive dog will prefer encouragement to reprimands.

Gifted at work and intelligent, it is possible to teach him easily to participate in family activities which he will carry out with good will. Docile, friendly and self-confident, the Goldie has many other qualities that have made him a family favorite over the years.

Diet and main health problems of the Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever has very fragile ears. Ear infections are not uncommon and manifest themselves in the form of reddening of the inside of the ears. It can also suffer from dysplasia, not only in the hips but also in the elbows.

In order to guarantee him an iron health, a good diet is necessary. Ideally, he should eat 400 g of premium kibble, with two meals a day. A good food balance is desired to avoid overweight.