The luxurious cream to golden coat of the Golden Retriever, his pleasing personality, and natural drive to be a good companion makes him one of Australia’s most popular breed of dogs. The relatively modern Golden Retriever was developed in the late 19th century as a retrieving dog to use while hunting wild fowl from scrub and water. Today, the Golden Retriever’s intelligence coupled with his tolerant easy-to-train nature makes him a popular choice for families, people with disabilities, and owners involved in obedience, tracking, agility and retrieving.
Characteristics and Temperament
If you are looking for a dog that can be left alone in the backyard while your family enjoys daily outings, forget about owning a Golden Retriever. Over the years, Golden Retrievers have been bred to make excellent companions to owners as retrievers in hunting expeditions, as service dogs for people with sight or physical disabilities, or as sniffer dogs working with the narcotics or search and rescue divisions in police departments. As a result, Golden Retrievers need to closely interact with their owners and be regularly included in family activities.
Like the popular Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever is known for his intelligence and gentle disposition. The Golden Retriever is a versatile breed that will greet everyone with a wagging tail which soon brightens a dull day. This is a breed that adores children and aims to please you and love everyone. The flip side is that they require lots of companionship to be happy, but it is easy to spend time with a Golden Retriever because they are active dogs – they love to retrieve and can spend hours at the park or beach bringing back a tennis ball or a frisbee.
Golden Retrievers, like other retriever breeds, are slow to fully mature both physically and mentally. At one year of age, they will be at full height but their full weight will be another year or two away. Mentally, Golden Retrievers can remain puppies up to the age of three years but don’t be worried because this means they keep their lovable, playful personality for longer than usual – sometimes for most of their lives – which is why they are often found in hospitals and retirement villages. You can expect your Golden Retriever to be with you for 10 to 15 years.
The Golden Retriever is a medium to large dog. The mature male weighs between 32 to 37 kgs and stands from 56 to 61 cm (22 to 24 inches) tall at the shoulder. Bitches are smaller, weighing between 27 and 32 kgs and standing from 51 to 56 cm (20 to 22 inches) tall. Not all Golden Retrievers look the same and you will find different types and shades of gold. All these types can still conform to the breed standard. A healthy well-bred dog is the result of good conformation and adherence to the breed standard.
Owning a Golden Retriever can open up a whole new world for family involvement. Activities such as showing, retrieving, obedience, tracking and agility can be very rewarding for both the owner and dog. The level of involvement can range from purely social to serious competition.
A kind face and wagging tale under the kitchen table can be all it takes for owners to give in and feed their Golden Retriever the odd scrap of extra food as a treat. But be careful because like Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers love food and must not be overfed. Golden Retrievers are susceptible to hip dysplasia, which can be exacerbated by excess weight, so it is important to monitor food intake throughout the life of your dog. Talk to your breeder about diet and consult your vet for further information.