Golden Retrievers were originally gundogs bred to retrieve shot ducks, upland game birds and other waterfowl. Due to their beauty, gentle temperament, high intelligence and a friendly personality, Golden Retrievers are constantly near the top in popularity. These clever dogs can adapt to a wide range of roles including hunting dogs, guide dog for the blind or deaf and many others. At the same time, they are massively popular companion dogs or family house pets.
I decided to put this small site together, to help people that are planning to keep a Golden Retriever. The site will feature easy to read articles on the most important subjects of keeping a Golden Retriever. In case you own a Retriever already, please send me your photos, so I can post it here for our visitors to see. Thank you.
Even though the golden retriever seems like a healthy dog actually that is often not the case. The average life span of a Golden Retriever is around 10 to 11 human years and that makes him a medium to short life span dog. Since the Golden Retrievers are a breed that is susceptible to many hereditary diseases, a responsible breeder will take much time to consider the individual dogs s that are to be bred.
If you have a Golden Retriever you should take him to the vet as often as you can during the early stages in their life so that you minimize the risk of dangerous diseases. The Golden Retrievers are a breed that is very susceptible to various genetic deceases and the most common one more is hip dysplasia. The second most common health issue for the Golden Retriever is obesity since these dogs love to eat and this is why even as pups they need to be trained to eat in moderation. Even though hip dysplasia is the most common disease for the Golden Retriever they mostly die from various types of cancer. Nearly 65% of all deaths by disease in these dogs are from cancer. They can have problems with various skin conditions and allergies. These retrievers can develop problems with various microorganisms since they have a long coat and that is a very easy way to catch them.
Golden Retrievers are susceptible to hart deceases as well as problems with their eyes of witch the most common is the cataract. However, in most cases the Golden Retriever is a dog in good physical shape and regular checkups at the vet will ensure that it can have a long and healthy life. Basically if you are thinking of buying a Golden Retriever, you should definitely look into its pedigree and make sure that your future companion is healthy and fit. If the roots are good you will have a great companion.
It was 1975 when in the concept of “helper dog” or “service dog” was introduced to the world by Dr. Bonita Bergin who later founded the so-called Canine Companions for Independence society program. This program has grown in size ever since then and has involved lots of scholars and research into the various ways in which different breeds of dogs can help people who are disadvantaged in one way or the other. Some of the major focus points of these studies were matching the personality of a helper canine with the person it is supposed to be accompanying, using helper dogs in Special Education programs for severely disabled children as well as their role in helping people with clinical depression problems and other emotional issues.
Among the most able and useful dogs in this program is the Golden Retriever breed which has been shown to excel in many different roles as an assistance dog. Aside from being excellent guide dogs for blind persons, they can also help increase mobility in patients who suffer from various disabilities. Because the Golden Retriever is a very intelligent breed and these dogs can take in a lot of training, they are also very often trained as medical alert or seizure response dogs. Some clinics in the US use the Golden Retriever in helping persons with autism develop and adjust. There are so many ways in which a dog can help a disabled human that the old saying about it being a man’s best friend takes on a whole new meaning.
Seizure assistance or helping with balance are only some of the ways in which these dogs can be helpful. Lending their ears or noses to their human partners are others, especially if they are completely deaf or severely allergic because the Golden Retriever can sniff out an allergen better than any machine if properly trained. Another common way of helping the disabled is something that the Golden Retriever can really relate to and it is retrieving things for their owners, things that might be out of reach for the disabled person and bringing them is an easy task to do for a retriever. Because it is a medium to large size dog, and also a very strong one at that, the Golden Retriever has been proven to be great at pulling wheelchairs for people in need. These dogs are great companions because they are very dedicated to their owners or handlers and are also generally very friendly and calm towards humans. This is what makes them perfect for this role and they play it well.
Aside from helping people with their specific disabilities, one should also remember the crime disincentive aspect of having a helper dog such as a Golden Retriever, not to mention the emotional well-being that comes from the deep sense of companionship that this dog can develop and incite in its owner.
So you decided to get a Golden Retriever puppy, right? Let me tell you a few things you should know prior to picking up your new family member. Golden Retriever puppies are so cute that it might be tempting to pick more than one at once, but as a starting dog keeper, you shouldn’t do this. Its much harder to properly raise two puppies than one. Thou I did it without any problems once in the past, with two adorable female Goldens.
So, the first thing you should do is pick a responsible breeder to buy the puppy from. There are many people offering “purebred” puppies for low price, but you should avoid them. The best idea is visit a few breeders before deciding which one to buy from. Look at how they treat their dogs, how they keep them, ask what they feed them with. Keep in mind you are picking an animal that will be with you for many years, so you want to make the best possible choice.
So you already decided who to buy from, now comes another important part. Most likely, there will be more Golden Retriever puppies to choose from. Take your time and play with them a bit, find the one that suits yours needs the most. Few minutes with the little creatures can tell you a lot about their personality – does it freak out too easy, is it biting more than the others, can it accept your hand caressing it …
Now you bought the puppy, what is next? You should already have a spot prepared for your new Golden Retriever puppy at home. Keep in mind the little dog baby would be stressed as you just took it away from its family. Try to keep it quiet for a while, do not stress it even more. In case you have kids, make sure they understand the small Golden isn’t a toy they should carry around all day long. You should also have food and water bowl prepared for your puppy.
What to feed the Golden Retriever puppy? It is pretty much a norm to get some food from the breeder, so you can feed the puppy what it is used to already. Then you can decide whether to continue with the same brand of food, pick another or start preparing food on your own. In case you decide to prepare food on your own, make sure you do some additional reading on this tops as it is not that easily to compile a proper food mix without appropriate knowledge about the dogs needs. Uneducated mixing might do more bad than harm.
Start training the puppy as soon as possible. The first steps should be learning it some schedule – when to feed, when to groom, when to exercise and go for a walk. Later on you can start with more advanced orders, the most important is to teach the dog to come when you call it. Golden Retrievers are very intelligent dogs so in case you want you can teach it a lot of advanced tricks.