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Golden Retriever Dog Breed History, Health Issues, Grooming and Living Conditions

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Author: Scott Lipe

Description: The well known Golden Retriever is renowned for its gold-cream coloured coat that is of medium length, which should be straight or with a slight wave and feathering. Their undercoat is also weather proof. They are a well proportioned dog standing 20-24 inches and weighing 55-80lbs, the males should be larger than the females. They have a powerful appearance with a friendly and loving expression, with large soulful eyes, medium sized pendant ears and a black or brown nose on a wide muzzle. They are well balanced and robust working dogs with a soft mouth.

History: The Golden Retriever was developed in the late 1800s in the Scottish Highlands by Lord Tweedmouth. They are a cross between the yellow flat coated retriever, the Tweed water spaniel which is now extinct, other spaniel breeds, the Newfoundland and possibly even the bloodhound. They were bred not only to make good companions but also to be highly talented hunting and retrieving dogs, it is for this reason that they are so soft mouthed. They also have a good nose which makes good them a good scent dog for narcotics detecting. They have had a long history being used as therapy dogs, service dogs and as guide dogs for the blind. They are currently the 4th most popular breed of dog.

Temperament: The Golden Retriever is an intelligent dog who is gentle, loving and a joy to be around. They are easily trained and are friendly to everyone around them including other animals. It is highly unlikely for them to ever be aggressive though they can be watch dogs and may bark if somebody approaches. However they can become highly strung if not given enough exercise and mental stimulation. They love to swim and can make excellent agility dogs due to their love of exercise, fun, and good intelligence. They adore to please their owners which is another factor that makes them trainable for almost any purpose, they also enjoy competition. They have an excellent personality and are loyal and self assured, however if you ignore them or keep them in a kennel they can become destructive, they love and need human companionship. They are very patient and make a great dog for first time owners.

Health Issues: A generally sturdy dog full of vitality, the Golden Retriever does however suffer from hip dysplasia, congenital eye defects, heart problems, Von Willebrand's disease, cancer and skin allergies. They are also one of those dogs that love their food so it's important to watch how much you feed them as they can easily become obese. Their average life expectancy is 10-14 years.

Grooming: The Golden Retriever has moderate grooming requirements, they need a daily brushing due to the fact they constantly shed, especially in spring. You should also clean their ears and trim the hair around their bottoms on a regular basis. They should be dry shampooed regularly and only properly bathed when needed.

Living Conditions: Due to their gentle nature the Golden Retriever can live anywhere from apartments to houses, they do need a good daily walk but when they are inside they are fairly inactive so can live in relatively small places. However the perfect environment for them would be somewhere with a garden, so they can run around and play.

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