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A lil Scottish charm goes a long way...

July 29, 2009 | By Modern D.

Sweet, docile and affectionate, it's little wonder that when it comes to puppies, Golden Retrievers invariably leap to mind. Yes, all puppies are cute and adorable, but when it comes to Goldens, they're in a class of their own. There's something particularly heart-melting about these bundles of wriggling blond fur, with their oversized paws, soft brown eyes, alert tails and, of course, velvet floppy ears.

If you're lucky enough to adopt such a puppy, you can rest assured that when she finally grows into her paws, she'll be no less eye-catching as an adult. Regal, handsome and self-assured, Goldens cry out to be petted and gushed over. Their eyes never lose that look of pure, unadulterated love and devotion, and their soft muzzles seem uncannily to gently smile. Many Goldens develop the disarmingly charming habit of leaning gently against the legs of strangers, asking to be stroked and adored.
Such beauty and lovey-doveyness doesn't mean they're the "dumb blondes" of the canine world; these gentle beasts were bred for work and intelligence as well as looks and temperament. Records kept from 1835 until around 1890 by the gamekeepers at the Guisachan estate of Lord Tweedmouth in Scotland reveal that Golden Retrievers were developed in the 1800s by crossing a light-coloured Flat-Coated Retriever with the now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. Their purpose was, initially, to retrieve waterfowl, guaranteeing them a gentle mouth that will rarely snap or bite. Some still work as gun dogs or appear in field trials, but in city life they can more usually be seen as pampered family pets, and with good reason.

Born to please, these 65- to 80-pound gentle beasts of the canine world are particularly patient with children, friendly with other dogs and people, and easy to train. They thrive on close human companionship, and want nothing more than to put a smile on the face of their owners. Given their over-achieving disposition, it comes as little surprise that the first three dogs of any breed to achieve the AKC Obedience Champion title, first available in July 1977, were all Golden Retrievers.

Read more at: www.moderndogmagazine.com/breeds/golden-retriever
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