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Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

[Image: Golden-Retriever-On-White-05.jpg]


Other Names- Goldens 
Dog Group Kennel Club- Gundog 

Breed Classification 
The Golden Retriever is a very popular Gundog breed and is employed today for its compatibility in companionship, showmanship, obedience and field trials. The breed performs as well in water, due to its dense undercoat, and over land because of its long, powerful strides. These dogs are also used as seeing eye dogs and for therapy. 

Feeding Requirements
The Golden is one of the easiest dogs to feed, being neither fussy nor prone to stomach upsets. However, they are a greedy breed and care must be given to ensure owners guard against excessive feeding in an effort to keep the dogs lean and healthy. 

Other Expenses
The price of a puppy is around £500 but it will vary depending on which part of the country you are purchasing it from. These dogs are relatively inexpensive to keep as they do not require any food additives on a regular basis. Good trimming scissors are a sound investment but with proper care will last a good few years. 

Average Puppy Price

9 - 15 years 

Average Litter Size

General Physical Description
This breed is known for its lustrous, golden coat of resilient quality and medium length. The Golden Retriever has a friendly and intelligent expression with perfect symmetry and superb, flowing movement covering the ground with long, powerful strides. 

Height Min Max 
bitch 51cm 56cm 

Dog 56cm 61cm 

Weight Min Max 
bitch 27kg 32kg 

Dog 30kg 34kg 

Size Category - Medium 
Weight Height Range Dogs' height at withers is normally between 56 - 61cms and bitches' between 51 - 56cms. The weight for dogs is normally between 30 - 34kgs and bitches 27 - 32kgs.

If you choose your puppy from parents which have both been hip-scored and eye-screened with favourable results, the likelihood of your Golden being susceptible to the hips and eye problems is then greatly reduced. As puppies, without careful exercise management, they can be prone to OCD. In general, Goldens are a healthy breed. 

The Golden dates back to the latter half of the 19th century and owes much of its development to Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (Lord Tweedmouth). His records were meticulously kept and form a good basis of origins. Marjoribanks took a liking to the yellow colour and acquired a dog called 'Nous' of that colour from Brighton, England in 1865 and used him on a Tweedwater Spaniel bitch, which was an English retrieving dog, close & curly-coated and a light liver colour. These are now extinct. Through structured line breeding over a period of 20 years, and bringing in Labrador Retrievers, Red Setters and possibly a Bloodhound or two to improve scenting and add bone, the Golden was developed and in 1908 became registered and shown as Golden Flatcoats until 1913 when the listing was changed to Golden or Yellow Retrievers until, finally in 1920, they took the name they bear today. 

Goldens are extremely intelligent dogs with an intense desire to please. Therefore they make superb candidates for fieldwork, showing, obedience, companionship and assistance for the disabled. Never treat them harshly or harm can be done to their accommodating and sensitive natures. 
Show Characteristics All pigmentation should be preferably black. Coats should not be excessively long, open, limp or soft. Red or mahogany is not allowed. White markings and black hairs are not acceptable. The head is broad and arched with a well-defined stop. Jaws should be strong with a perfect, regular scissor bite. The eyes are medium large, set well apart with dark pigmentation. The ears should neither be small nor large and set on at the approximate level of the eyes. The neck is long, clean and muscular, and merges into well-laid-back shoulders. The body should be well-balanced and short-coupled with deep well-sprung ribs and a level topline. The forelegs should be straight with good bone and the hindquarters strong and muscular with good second thighs. Hocks must be well let down and straight when viewed from behind. The feet are round and cat-like and the tail set on and carried at back level, reaching to the hocks without curling up at the end. 

Country Of Origin 
Great Britain 

Famous Examples 
Shadow from 'The Incredible Journey' by Sheila Burnford 
Records Held

Energy - Medium 
Overall Exercise 80 - 100 minutes 
Distress Caused if Left Alone Medium 
Personal Protection- Low 
Suitability As Guard Dog- Low 
Risk of Sheep Worrying- Medium 
Tendency to Bark - Medium 
Ease of Transportation- High 
Level of Aggression - Low 
Compatibility With Other Animals- High 
Suitable For Children- High 

General Character And Temperament 
The Golden is a gentle dog with intelligence and a level disposition and because of this is an ideal dog to have as part of the family. They adore children and love to be involved in all family matters, whether indoors or outdoors. They are foremost a retriever and are therefore very orally fixated. Goldens will attempt to drag, pull or carry anything they can fit into their mouths. They also love water and care should be taken to ensure their safety when any form of water is nearby. Goldens are however worriers and great care should be taken during training, ensuring sensitivity is maintained at all times. 

Coat Length Medium/Long 
Grooming Requirement > Once a week 
Trimming Frequent 
Requires Professional Groomer 
Grooming Because of the density of the coat, Goldens must be regularly groomed and trimmed. The undercoat, because of its water repellant nature, is extremely thick and must therefore not be allowed to matt, causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. The feathers on his front legs should be trimmed regularly as should the hair between his pads. The hair on the back legs up the hocks needs to be cut close and, again, the feathering under the tail should be trimmed. The tail should be trimmed in a crescent shape. The chest area should be kept relatively short in order to show off the length of neck. The top coat on the body only needs brushing and can be either flat or wavy. Whilst the length of the coat attracts water and mud, this is easily cleaned off once the coat has dried. 
Colour The coat of the Golden Retriever can be any shade of cream or gold. Red and mahogany is also seen. 

Shedding Heavy 
Suffers From Allergies 
Tendency to Cause Allergies
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Service Dogs Comfort Newtown Survivors

Marc Lallanilla, Assistant Editor
Date: 18 December 2012 Time: 12:24 PM ET 

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Golden retrievers have been sent to Newtown, Conn., as therapy dogs.

A team of specially trained service dogs has been dispatched from the Chicago area to Newtown, Conn., to comfort the survivors of last week's mass shooting.

K-9 Comfort Dogs, a charitable organization from Addison, Ill., is run by Lutheran Church Charities and has in the past visited people hard-hit by natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy and the Joplin, Mo., tornado, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The program was started in 2008 after a gunman killed five students at Northern Illinois University. When the dogs — all golden retrievers — aren't being deployed for crises like the Newtown shooting, they visit people in hospitals and nursing homes. K-9 Comfort Dogs now has 60 dogs in six states, according to the Chicago Tribune.

Service animals have been shown to reduce stress in children with autism, and research has shown that seniors and people who had recently undergone surgery had better treatment responses and faster recovery rates if they had contact with a therapy dog or other service animal.

In Newtown, the dogs visited Christ the King Lutheran Church, site of funerals for two children who were killed in the shooting, which claimed 27 lives plus that of the shooter. The dogs also engaged with local students for after-school activities, Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, told the Chicago Tribune.

"There are a lot of people that are hurting," Hetzner said."The whole town is suffering."
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Dogs' social skills linked to oxytocin sensitivity

Date: September 18, 2017
Source: Linköping University

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A golden retriever turns to his owner for affection.
Credit: Mia Persson

The tendency of dogs to seek contact with their owners is associated with genetic variations in sensitivity for the hormone oxytocin, according to a new study from Linköping University, Sweden. The results have been published in the scientific journal Hormones and Behavior and contribute to our knowledge of how dogs have changed during their development from wolf to household pet.

During their domestication from their wild ancestor the wolf to the pets we have today, dogs have developed a unique ability to work together with humans. One aspect of this is their willingness to "ask for help" when faced with a problem that seems to be too difficult. There are, however, large differences between breeds, and between dogs of the same breed. A research group in Linköping, led by Professor Per Jensen, has discovered a possible explanation of why dogs differ in their willingness to collaborate with humans.

The researchers suspected that the hormone oxytocin was involved. It is well-known that oxytocin plays a role in social relationships between individuals, in both humans and animals. The effect of oxytocin depends on the function of the structure that it binds to, the receptor, in the cell. Previous studies have suggested, among other things, that differences in dogs' ability to communicate are associated with variations in the genetic material located close to the gene that codes for the oxytocin receptor. The researchers in the present study examined 60 golden retrievers as they attempted to solve an insoluble problem.

"The first step was to teach the dogs to open a lid, and in this way get hold of a treat. After this, they were given the same task with the lid firmly fixed in place, and thus impossible to open. We timed the dogs to see how long they attempted on their own, before turning to their owner and asking for help," says Mia Persson, PhD student at the Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, and principal author of the article.

Before the behavioural test, the researchers increased the levels of oxytocin in the dogs' blood by spraying the hormone into their nose. As a control, the dogs carried out the same test after having received a spray of neutral salt water in the same way. The researchers also collected DNA using a cotton swab inside the dogs' cheek, and determined which variant of the gene for the oxytocin receptor that each dog had.

The results showed that dogs with a particular genetic variant of the receptor reacted more strongly to the oxytocin spray than other dogs. The tendency to approach their owner for help increased when they received oxytocin in their nose, compared with when they received the neutral salt water solution. The researchers suggest that these results help us understand how dogs have changed during the process of domestication. They analysed DNA also from 21 wolves, and found the same genetic variation among them. This suggests that the genetic variation was already present when domestication of the dogs started, 15,000 years ago.

"The results lead us to surmise that people selected for domestication wolves with a particularly well-developed ability to collaborate, and then bred subsequent generations from these," says Mia Persson.

The genetic variations that the researchers have studied do not affect the oxytocin receptor itself: they are markers used for practical reasons. Further research is necessary to determine in more detail which differences in the genetic material lie behind the effects.

Per Jensen points out that the study shows how social behaviour is to a large extent controlled by the same genetic factors in different species.

"Oxytocin is extremely important in the social interactions between people. And we also have similar variations in genes in this hormone system. This is why studying dog behaviour can help us understand ourselves, and may in the long term contribute to knowledge about various disturbances in social functioning," he says.

Story Source: Linköping University. "Dogs' social skills linked to oxytocin sensitivity." ScienceDaily. (accessed September 18, 2017).

Journal Reference:
Mia E. Persson, Agaia J. Trottier, Johan Bélteky, Lina S.V. Roth, Per Jensen. Intranasal oxytocin and a polymorphism in the oxytocin receptor gene are associated with human-directed social behavior in golden retriever dogs. Hormones and Behavior, 2017; 95: 85 DOI: 10.1016/j.yhbeh.2017.07.016

The oxytocin system may play an important role in dog domestication from the wolf. Dogs have evolved unique human analogue social skills enabling them to communicate and cooperate efficiently with people. Genomic differences in the region surrounding the oxytocin receptor (OXTR) gene have previously been associated with variation in dogs' communicative skills. Here we have utilized the unsolvable problem paradigm to investigate the effects of oxytocin and OXTR polymorphisms on human-directed contact seeking behavior in 60 golden retriever dogs. Human-oriented behavior was quantified employing a previously defined unsolvable problem paradigm. Behaviors were tested twice in a repeated, counterbalanced design, where dogs received a nasal dose of either oxytocin or saline 45 min before each test occasion. Buccal DNA was analysed for genotype on three previously identified SNP-markers associated with OXTR. The same polymorphisms were also genotyped in 21 wolf blood samples to explore potential genomic differences between the species. Results showed that oxytocin treatment decreased physical contact seeking with the experimenter and one of the three polymorphisms was associated with degree of physical contact seeking with the owner. Dogs with the AA-genotype at this locus increased owner physical contact seeking in response to oxytocin while the opposite effect was found in GG-genotype individuals. Hence, intranasal oxytocin treatment, an OXTR polymorphism and their interaction are associated with dogs' human-directed social skills, which can explain previously described breed differences in oxytocin response. Genotypic variation at the studied locus was also found in wolves indicating that it was present even at the start of dog domestication. 
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