Interesting facts about Golden Retrievers

Interesting facts about Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever is the ultimate gentle giant dog. Shaggy and playful, yet gentle and easy to maintain, the Golden Retriever fits right into many households.

Equally as likely to be spotted working in a library, hospital or airport as they are goofing around in the dog park, it’s no surprise that this versatile pooch is one of the most consistently popular in the United States.

But did you know that there’s much more to the Golden Retriever than what meets the eye? Indeed, there are countless interesting facts about Golden Retrievers. For instance, where does the breed come from, how old are they, and have any famous people owned one? Let’s explore this unique golden dog:

They come from Scotland

Yes, unlike their Labrador Retriever relations (that don’t come from Labrador), the Golden Retriever is not named after a place; that makes the breed’s origins hard to trace.

It was thought that the Golden Retriever was a descendant of Russian circus dogs. With the breed’s playful and obedient nature, it’s not hard to see why so many people believed this. However, the rumour was debunked when the books of Lord Tweedmouth of Inverness were discovered.

Lord Tweedmouth recorded buying a unique “yellow retriever” while on a walk in Brighton with his son in 1864. The aspiring dog breeder paired this wavy, gold-colored pooch – named Nous – with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle.

Belle and Nous produced a litter that could traverse both the land and water of the rugged Scottish landscape with ease. These floral golden puppies, Cowslip, Crocus, and Primrose, were gifted to friends and family, Crocus going to Tweedmouth’s son.

They work hard

Don’t let that goofy, playful demeanor fool you – Golden Retrievers can work hard! Whether it’s search and rescue, tracking, hunting, or service dog work, the Golden Retriever is a quick learner and can pull off anything with aplomb!

You might spot Golden Retrievers at the disaster site, sniffing among the rubble. Or, Goldens may be at the airport, sniffing luggage for contraband. You might even meet Golden Retrievers at the hospital, participating in studies to sniff out cancer, or guiding their owner around the city as a seeing dog or guide dog.

Some Goldens even attend school or libraries, calming the patrons and listening attentively to the stories readers tell them. And when their work is done, you’ll see Golden Retrievers chilling out in the yard with their owner or playing with a frisbee at the local park!

They need a LOT of exercise!

Officially categorized as a sporting group dog, Golden Retrievers are not only going to snuggle up with you on the couch all day. They’re always up for doing something active, whether fetching, canicross, swimming, jogging, hiking, or whatever you prefer.

Natural athletes, Golden Retrievers are brilliant at many sports. That being said, Golden Retrievers are natural mermaids, and you’ll be hard-pressed to drag them away from an alluring body of water. Let them be your furry fitness companion and have fun together!

They are naturally mouthy and love to eat

In true Retriever fashion, Golden Retrievers have a natural tendency towards mouthiness. They love to carry favorite objects everywhere they go – a prized chew toy, a large stick… your underwear… anything they can get their paws on. But make sure the object stays in their mouth – Golden Retrievers also love to hoover things up.

This may be limited to inhaling their kibble in two bites, but most Golden owners have a story about the strangest thing their Retriever has ingested. Crayons, sticky tack, socks, pills. If it’s dropped on the floor, your Golden Retriever will give it a go.

This tendency often leads to gastrointestinal issues like bloat or gastric torsion and obstructions that require surgery. Thankfully, the Golden Retriever is as obedient as they are mouthy; good training can instil better eating habits.

They can be gentle

All Retrievers need to have a “soft mouth” when they hunt to carry game like ducks without leaving a mark on them. Golden Retrievers have such a “soft” mouth; they could play fetch with an egg and keep it intact!

Golden Retrievers also get along well with young children despite their large size. They’ll patiently tolerate being used as Action Man’s horse, having their ears braided and claws painted.

This gentleness also carries over to their careers. Golden Retrievers make great reading dogs; they also excel as therapy dogs or provide a calming presence in hospitals.

They rule event competitions

This athletic and brilliantly intelligent pooch rules canine sports like dock diving, agility, obedience and canicross. You name it; Golden Retrievers excel at it.

Why not enrol your Golden Retriever in local agility or obedience classes? Your pup will love meeting other dogs, learning a new skill, and using up some of that limitless energy!

They are truly intelligent

Though they are just big puppies at heart, the Golden Retriever is an intelligent breed. The Golden comes in as the 4th smartest breed, just behind the Border Collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd.

They are persistently popular

The Golden Retriever has ranked in the top ten of the most popular dog breeds in the United States for decades. They were pipped to the top by their equally friendly cousin, the Labrador Retriever, which has kept a paw firmly on the top rank for the past 28 years.

Perhaps surprisingly, the German Shepherd Dog is more popular than the Golden! Their most recent score was 3rd place out of the 195 recognized breeds!

They are famous!

There are countless famous Golden Retrievers, too, if their popularity wasn’t enough! There are loads of Golden Retrievers in popular shows and movies, and presidents Reagan and Ford both had Golden Retrievers as their pets while in the oval office!

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