Breed talk - The Golden
I've decided to do a weekly "breed talk." I have been researching different breeds since the age of 13; from then until now makes alot of dogs I've checked out. I love learning about dogs and their purpose, where they came from, who wants them and meeting individuals of the breed. Of course there are many still that are so rare that I have yet to meet and new breeds popping up all around so I don't think I'll run out of breeds to discuss.
I will write from my experience with each breed; so this is a JMHO.
In my line of work the Golden is definitely in the "top 5" in popularity. I have worked with many, many goldens and although they resemble one another in looks; they are very individual. Typically a sensitive breed, they are easily trained and love to work for their guardian. Their soft face gives the breed a friendly look and their personality lives up to that. Over the years I have worked with a wide variety of Goldens both in looks and in personality.
Goldens have a wide range of Gold, from the platinum beauties all the way to the dark red which is seen much less often these days. Coat length and density varies as well; the dogs in the conformation ring have much more coat with their feathering being exaggerated. As with most breeds who have dual purpose; dogs bred for working generally have much less coat.
Goldens shed alot; you must not mind golden tumble weeds rolling around your home to be a Golden lover. Many of my clients comment on all the hair but say having a golden outways any hair issues.
The height standard for the golden: Females 21 1/2 -22 1/2 males 23-24 at the shoulders. Females weight is around 50lbs, give or take. Males weigh in at approximately 60 lbs.
The golden has suffered many health issues over the years with the predominant problems being hip dysplasia, allergies and cancer. I have known many individuals who have suffered from one or all of these problems. One couple I worked with had done their research, gone to a great breeder who was a longtime family friend and had their puppy shipped to them. Not long after her 6 months they discovered she had severe hip dysplasia.
And; I have known way too many goldens who's lives were ended far too early by cancer.
The velcro dog, yes the golden is the true velcro dog. Many people call their breed a velcro one but I quickly correct them, the Golden Retriever is the original velcro dog. I have a very good article which I wrote on Velcro dogs and the dog I wrote it for was a Golden boy.
Most goldens that I have had the pleasure of working with loved to work for their guardians. Their gentle enthusiasm is uplifting, their submissive body language unmistakable. The golden is a soft breed, sometimes too soft which can lead to difficulties in training. Not that they cannot learn but you must be so very careful with your tone and body language. I have rarely met an aggressive golden and that aggression was specifically directed at other dogs.
A young golden is often overly enthusiastic leading them to the airborne greeting. Jumping is a typical young golden issue. How many times have I been sent flying by my new clients? Once you can get the excitement level under control they are one of the easiest dogs to train. My regular comment to new clients is to give their dog the training articles and thats it, trained.
And watch the waistlline; goldens do seem to be a breed that puts on the pounds easily. And for some reason it is accepted more readily to have a fat golden; not in my books. A lean, muscular and athletic golden is a beutiful vision.
All in all a wonderful breed, and with the work of some great breeders the health issues will soon be a thing of the past.