The Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever breed was established in the late 19th century and is as its name suggests, a retrieving gundog bred to pick up shot game.
It has an enviable reputation as a great family dog owing to its equable temperament. This sometimes leads to this breed being expected to put up with anything which is unfair and unacceptable.
The Golden is a medium sized dog weighing 25-30 Kgs for a bitch and 30-35 Kgs for a dog. Its crowning glory is its coat which can be any shade of gold, with long feathering to its tail, tummy and hind legs. This will be shed all over your house! The Golden is a very intelligent breed and not just a long haired Labrador. They are less boisterous than the Labrador and more sensitive but can be more stubborn!
Because they are bred to retrieve Goldens have an innate desire to pick up and carry things. They should never be told off for this. If they pick up something they shouldn’t have such as underwear, shoes, children’s toys etc, they should be encouraged to bring it to their owner who should offer something legitimate, such as a tit-bit or dog toy, as a substitute.
Golden Retrievers love water; the muddier the better. They can find a muddy puddle on even the driest of days so are not the breed for the very house-proud! They also dig and chew and can be very greedy, which means they sometimes have to be taught not to steal off work tops. They love and need company so should not be owned by people who are out at work all day. They are loyal and affectionate and love nothing better than a cuddle.
As Golden Retrievers are intelligent they need a reasonable amount of exercise and benefit from having some brain training. This may be obedience or gun-dog training. Although only a small number are worked in competitive obedience many of the Southern Golden Retriever Society’s well-known Display Team are rescue dogs.