Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Today's Blog: Meet the Breed: Golden Retriever

Hello Everyone!

We cannot express how excited we are to finally be blogging! We will publish a blog every Monday and will cover a plethera of things: health, helpful gear, behavior and a Meet the Breed post every other Monday with interesting facts and fun information you may or may not know about each specific breed. Maybe you have or have had this breed that we feature or maybe you are a fan of this particular breed and would like to share an observation, comment and/or story about it. We would love to hear from you and learn from your experience with this breed! So sit back, relax and experience the wonderful world of dogs with us!

This week's breed is the beautiful Golden Retriever. We have chosen this breed to begin with for very obvious reasons: we have three! And why have we chosen this breed to share our lives with? Because with what we do (dog daycare) it is essential that our dogs be able to integrate with every walk of canine life and the Golden Retriever adapts to this lifestyle so perfectly! Now for the facts:

ORIGIN: The Golden originated in Scotland in the late 1800's by crossing a yellow flat-coated retriever with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. The breed was later crossed with the Bloodhound (why goldens have such a superior sense of smell), Irish Setter (helped to perfect their skills as a bird hunter) and more Tweed Water Spaniel (making them more adaptable for retrieving fowl from the water).

USES: The Golden Retriever is highly trainable and eager to please which makes them adaptable to almost any job: family dog (exceptional with children), obedience competitions, hunting and tracking on both land and in the water (they have webbed paws and a waterproof coat for this purpose), narcotics detection (their incredible sense of smell due to the bloodhound in them), service dog for the disable, guide dog for the blind and therapy dog.

HEALTH PROBLEMS: Because of their popularity and intense breeding, they are also prone to a host of health problems including cancer, hip dysyplasia, heart problems, congenital eye defects and skin allergies. With all breeds but especially this one, DO NOT OVERFEED! Extra weight puts extra pressure on joints and the heart and will accerlerate cancer. Don't give into those beautiful eyes telling you they are still hungry.

PERSONAL OBSERVATIONS: This is based upon our observance of the breed over the last 14 years. There are two types of Goldens: field (American) and show (English). Field goldens are taller, lankier and have a higher metabolism (built for field work, hunting, etc). The show Golden is a stockier, lower to the ground Golden with a lower metabolism that better suits the show ring. We have also oberved a difference in personality based upon the color. Reds and yellows tend to be more outgoing with other dogs, while the English cream and Alpine Whites tend to be more standoffish around other dogs.

IS THIS BREED A GOOD CHOICE FOR YOU? They need good exercise seven days a week. They shed but interestingly enough not as much as a labrador does. They will bark at strangers approaching but it is very rare they will act on it and bite as they were not bred for this purpose. They are outstanding cuddlers!