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Golden Retriever

Tags: Sporting, Large-sized, Kid-friendly, Calm temperament

Names are important. So when you hear Golden Retriever, you think heart of gold and a coat to match, right? Then you should know that one of my ancestors, back in 19th Century England, was a yellow dog named Nous. And another was a Tweedwater Spaniel belonging to Lord Tweedmouth (a.k.a. Sir Dudley Majoribanks), a breeder with a thing for the color yellow. The Tweedwater Spaniel he chose was more light-liver colored than yellow, but he kept at it for two decades, bringing into the gene pool the Bloodhound, Russian Yellow Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Scottish Water Spaniels, Flat-coated Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, Red Setters, and more. You might say it was the Golden Age of Designer Dog Development. At first they called us Golden Flatcoats. Then it was Yellow Retriever. Now we're Golden for keeps.

Rave review

  • Affectionate, devoted, gentle family friend
  • Agile and active
  • Always alert
  • Born to run, happy to walk
  • Calm as a clam
  • Confident and self-assured
  • Courageous canine
  • Easygoing
  • Even tempered, good-natured
  • Loves kids and vice versa

Report card

  • Hardy hunter
  • Coat needs regular care
  • Intelligent and ready to learn
  • Outdoor enthusiast
  • Outgoing and extroverted
  • Playful pal
  • Pleased to please
  • Caters to country, tolerates town
  • Ready to romp
  • Socialization and training should start early
  • Sweet disposition
  • Takes to training
  • A welcomer, not a watchdog

What to expect

Since I'm giving so much -- legendary sporting dog and huggable family pet in one golden package -- I'm simply asking that you be respectful of my Golden Retriever personality and my sensitivities. Principally, I'm a "worrier." Sure, I worry that the children are all right. But sometimes I might worry you don't love me -- because you've gone off and left me alone too long (called "separation anxiety"). Or you'll yell because I drag things around in my mouth all day (the retrievers infamous "oral fixation"). I promise not to worry so much if you make my training (starting in puppy kindergarten, through all the obedience and canine sports classes you can find) firm but gentle, patient and consistent. Plenty of positive reinforcement when I learn something right, and easy on the negativity. Agreed? Agreed!

Watch for

Possible hip and elbow dysplasia, hypothyroidism, diaphragmatic hernia, inhalant allergies, eye conditions (cataracts, entropion, progressive retinal atrophy), bleeding disorders (including von Willebrand's disease), and heart problems.

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