Golden Retrievers And Some Things You Didn't Know About Them
by: Richard Cussons
How it all began with Golden Retrievers: Sir Dudley Majoribanks wanted a hunting dog, but not just any hunting dog. He wanted one that was just as a much a companion as it was a retriever of the birds he shot. The then popular Irish Setters and Spaniels were only good for showing him where the birds had fallen but their coats, much too fine, kept them from finding them in harsher areas. So, Dudley Majoribanks created the Golden Retriever and, coincidentally, one of the most popular breeds. Of course, it was not an easy task--it took him years to create the dog he envisioned (years and multiple breeds).
From 1865 to 1889, Majoribanks used his pups to further the idea of the ultimate hunting dog. When he finally accomplished his goal, the result was a mix of the Setter, lesser Newfoundland, Springer Spaniel and the Water Spaniel.
Majoribanks had his Retriever.
Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds (second only to Labrador Retrievers) and with good reason: their gentle temperaments and sweet faces make them a favored family dog. But, also, their water-repellent coats and high intelligence make them ideal for hunting, which Majoribanks would be proud to see continue. This mixture of intelligence and loyalty mark them as a natural choice for families. This is a devoted breed, one that will do everything they can to please.
Standing between 20 to 24 inches and weighing 55 to 80 pounds, this is not a dog meant for great intimidation (of course, its friendly isposition cancels that idea, no matter what the size). Instead, this is a dog built for activity: whether hunting, retrieving or merely playing with its owners, the Golden Retriever is meant to move.
This can cause a problem for some households, however. Many people see the Golden as the ultimate dog. In some ways, it is, but there are disadvantages. One, as mentioned before, is the need for activity. Golden Retrievers were not created to simply lay around the house. It needs something to spark its intelligence and use its natural instincts. If you do not have the time to devote to this breed, then you should not consider purchasing a pup. But, it's not just time spent exercising--your Golden wants time with you. That matters most. The affectionate dogs cannot stand to be left alone. If they are, for longer periods of time, they may become destructive.
Of course, many people respond to this by either: locking their pet outside or crating him. Neither one of these options is overly wise. The Golden is prone to digging when left outside for too long and could escape the yard, and, if left in a crate, the dog would be miserable. No, you need time to spend with this breed. Otherwise, you will both be unhappy.
Another disadvantage to the Golden can also be argued as its greatest advantage: its temperament. To the Golden, everyone is a friend to be licked and loved. In some ways, this is excellent. You can trust your pet never to harm your children, your other animals or even strangers who visit the house. In other ways, however, this is a problem. The Golden does not make even a tolerable guard dog. If you are looking for something to defend you, this is not it. This breed was meant to be sweet, not to become aggressive if a stranger should appear in the doorway. Now, yes, the Golden Retriever will bark (they can actually become quite vocal) but that is all they are likely to do. Even intense training is no guarantee that your Golden will defend you. It's hard to suppress centuries of loving instinct.
But, if you are searching for a dog that will love you and try its best to please you, then the Golden is the perfect match. This is a dog that will always greet you at the door, even when you've just stepped out for a minute, and this is a dog that will want to be with you no matter where you are. If you have the time and energy to devote to it, Golden Retrievers will never let you down.