The golden retriever is an intelligent dog that is eager to please its owner. It is one of the most popular breeds in the United States with qualities that make it a useful hunting companion, an ideal guide, assistance and search and rescue dog. Recognized by its golden-colored coat, this active and energetic breed can adapt to many different living situations.
The golden retriever breed originally came from the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800s and was used mostly for hunting. The breed was then crossed with yellow retriever and with the tweed water spaniel which is now extinct in order to create a superb retriever suited to the Scottish climate, terrain and available game. Later integrations of Irish setter, bloodhound, and more tweed water spaniel have made the retriever into the dog we are familiar with today.
Along with its endearing personality, the golden retriever also comes the need to exercise everyday. These loyal and devoted water dogs can be quite energetic and love to swim. They love the companion of humans but they are probably not suited for someone who can not devote much time into their pet. These active dogs thrive on human contact and require daily outdoor exercise which makes them not ideal for apartment living. Golden retrievers love learning new tricks and their retrieving ability makes them great at common dog games like catching a Frisbee or a tennis ball. They are incredibility skilled at agility as well. Golden retrievers have a real passion for life and for everything that they do which makes them great work dogs. Their intelligence and eagerness to please their owners boosts their desire to perform such tasks as finding lost people in an avalanche in search and rescue or put their skills into police work by finding missing persons. Although they are a wonderful breed to train in the skills of being able to offer companionship to those who need assistance, because of their active personality, an untrained golden might not be the best companion for the elderly. On the bright side, they are a great family pet and wonderful with children.
The life expectancy of the average Golden Retriever is around 10 to 14 years. But, not unlike other breeds of dogs, they do suffer from a number of different health problems. Some of these problems include cataracts, entropion, allergies, thyroid problems, cancer, epilepsy, and hip displaysia. One way to cut down on the number of health problems that your dog might suffer from is to ensure that you buy a puppy from a reputable breeder that ensures that their breeding pair have OFA and CERF certificates proving their dogs are in good health and less likely to pass on certain genetic health problems.
Generally golden retrievers are trusting, obedient, sweet natured and loving making them the perfect family pet and companion. With their friendly temperament and ability to get along with strangers causes them to not be a good watch dog. But, their striking golden color and endearing, sweet faces, makes the golden retriever breed both beautiful to look at and a joy to own.