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The Golden Retriever is one of the world’s favourite dog breeds. Originally bred as Scottish gun dogs, Golden Retrievers are smart, trainable and friendly companions. Because of their intelligence and work ethic, they make great working dogs and can be utilised in many different roles including as seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs, hunting & detection dogs, and search and rescue dogs.
Golden Retrievers are sturdy, muscular, medium-sized dogs with a distinctive lustrous, thick, golden coat for which the breed is named. There are three main types of Golden Retrievers, which have arisen due to the breed’s widespread popularity. The British type has a wider, shorter muzzle, shorter legs and tail, a deeper chest and a blockier forehead. American Golden Retrievers are taller than their British cousins, lankier, and less stocky. Canadian types have thinner, darker coats and are generally taller and leaner than other types. Puppies of all types usually have a very light coat which darkens over time.
The breed has a double coat which sheds throughout the year but particularly around the change of the season. It has a thicker, water-repellent top coat and a soft undercoat to keep the dog cool in warmer months and warm in cooler months. Because they tend to shed quite a lot, it is recommended that owners spend 10 minutes per week brushing the dog and bathe it once per month.
Healthy male Golden Retrievers weigh between 29 and 34 kg on average and stand at about 58 – 61 cm tall. Females weigh in at 27 – 32 kg and stand at 55 – 57 cm tall.
The average lifespan of a Golden Retriever is around 11-12 years.
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Golden Retrievers are famous for their friendly and gentle temperament, which has consistently placed them on most popular dog breed lists around the world, Australia included. Loveable and charming dogs who love to please their owners, they are at their happiest when surrounded by their family, and are often described as the ideal family pet. They are good with children, loyal, docile, and are extremely rarely aggressive.
Goldens are intelligent, outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please their humans. They take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behaviour into adulthood. These energetic, powerful retrievers enjoy outdoor play; developed to retrieve waterfowl for hours on end, swimming and fetching are natural pastimes. While they love to play, they are incredibly smart and highly trainable. Favourites at dog shows and sporting competitions, Golden Retrievers are frequently listed in the top 5 smartest dogs.
As active and energetic sporting dogs, Golden Retrievers need plenty of daily exercise; if not, they are likely to engage in undesirable behaviour. They make great companions for active owners, including distance runners and cyclists. They also enjoy participating in canine sports such as agility, obedience, and tracking.
Like all dogs, the Golden Retriever should be socialised and exposed to different environments and situations from a young age to ensure it becomes a well-rounded dog.
Golden Retrievers are generally healthy dogs, and responsible breeders will screen their breeding stock for inheritable health conditions. However, the following conditions can occur in the breed:
Not all conditions are covered by Pet Insurance. For details of Bow Wow Meow Pet Insurance cover, refer to the Product Disclosure Statement.
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The Golden Retriever is a relatively recently-developed breed. It originated in Scotland in the mid-1800s out of a need for an adequate retriever breed (both on land and in water) for wealthy hunters. The breed we see today came out of crossing the best water spaniels with existing land retrievers, resulting in an active, powerful dog with a soft mouth-grip for retrieving game. The Scottish businessman and politician Dudley Marjoribanks is credited with creating the breed and his daughter Ishbel is credited with bringing the breed to Canada.
The Kennel Club of England first registered the breed as “Flat Coats (Golden)” in 1903 and it was first seen at a British dog show in 1908. In 1911 it was officially recognised as “Retriever (Golden and Yellow)”. The American Kennel Club officially recognised the breed 14 years later in 1925, but the breed’s popularity really took off in the 1970s, the era of President Gerald Ford and his beautiful Golden named Liberty.