Golden Retriever Breeders, Breed Clubs and Rescue
The Golden Retriever is an immensely popular dog, occupying a place in the top five of all dogs registered with the Kennel Club for some years. He is a dog who conveys an ideal of honest companionship and affectionate, loyal family dog.
He was developed during the 19thc by Lord Tweedmouth in the Border Country between England and Scotland; a yellow Wavy-coated Retriever was mated to a Tweed Water Spaniel and the resultant four yellow puppies formed the basis of the breed. They were initially known as Yellow Retrievers and were registered and shown as Flatcoats, being defined only by colour until 1913. They took the name of Golden Retriever in 1920.
As is clear from his name he was bred to be a retriever, but his temperament and intelligence suits him to other roles. He takes easily to being a guide dog, has a nose good enough to make him a police sniffer dog and is a happy obedience competitor, all in addition to being a very useful dog in the field. However his really outstanding success is as a family dog; the Golden Retriever is kind and loyal, he makes a wonderful companion dog, good with children, welcoming to visitors and decorative too!
Sadly, his popularity has led to some poor temperaments, which is totally atypical. Whenever a breed becomes popular some people are tempted to breed, for profit, from stock who are really not good enough, whether by reason of hereditary physical defects, lack of quality or unreliable temperaments. Those with memories long enough will remember the syndrome “cocker rage” which was a result, probably, of injudicious breeding. In the past few years, in our boarding kennels, we have twice been confronted by very aggressive Golden Retrievers; they were both nervous-aggressive, but when a dog tries to bite you their motivation is not something you concern yourself with. The message is that a puppy of any breed, however reliable it is by reputation, should be assessed for temperament, together with its mother, before agreeing to buy.
The adult Golden Retriever can be quite substantial at up to 61cm and weighing 80lbs; he should look powerful and kind with a coat in any shade of gold or cream, never red or mahogany. The coat is either flat or wavy with plenty of feathering and a dense water-resistant undercoat. It is important to check the pedigree; a dog which has FT (Field Trial) Champions in his pedigree is likely to be a much more active dog than one with Sh (Show) Champions. If it is a quiet and undemanding adult you are looking for then one who has been bred with the show bench in mind will be your best bet. He will, though, as a youngster be very demanding of your time and attention, so make sure you can devote enough of your time before acquiring one of these lovely dogs. And remember that swishing tail can clear a coffee table in seconds!
Everyday grooming is quite straightforward; a pin brush for the feathering, slicker brush for the body coat, particularly when he is moulting. Avoid bathing unless absolutely essential as it removes the natural weatherproofing; this is not just a cosmetic consideration because the result is that he gets wet easily and the coat can easily become saturated and take a lot of drying. A delightful dog, he is a lovely addition to the family.
Rescue and Rehoming
See here for a full list of Golden Retriever Rescue organisations.
Many Breed Clubs will be able to help, and there are dedicated Rescue organisations listed. In the first instance, if you need to rehome you dog please contact your breeder who may be able to help you.