Golden Retrievers are sporting dogs, Goldens are naturally athletic. They are also very trainable and obedient. Therefore, it is no surprise to see a large entry of Goldens in obedience competition and agility trials. Depending on how much advanced training you want to do with your Golden, these are areas in which the Golden excels and may be of interest to the owner of the Golden Retriever.
The Golden Retriever has branched into many other areas beyond the show ring and field, all of which demonstrate the breed’s unwavering devotion to humankind. The Golden has been used in every imaginable pursuit, including drug and arson detection, where the breed’s super “sniffer” is put to great service; therapy work for nursing homes, children’s hospitals and correctional facilities, where the Golden’s sweet and steady temperament makes the dog ideal for sensitive interfacing with the elderly, the infirmed and the incarcerated; service work for the blind and the deaf, where the breed’s superior intelligence and trainability, reliability and adaptability give the disabled companionship and assistance in their everyday lives; search-and-rescue work, where the breed’s nose, persistence and work ethic enable the dog to save lives. Goldens were among the breeds employed in the search-and-rescue efforts at the Oklahoma City bombing and the World Trade Center “Ground Zero” recovery project.
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Males measure from 23 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh from 65 to 75 pounds, with females being somewhat smaller. The Golden's dense, water-repellent coat comes in various shades of gold and can be wavy or straight. As indicated by their name, their coat comes in light golden colors to dark golden colors.
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Health and Training
These are energetic dogs who require exercise and an active lifestyle to channel their enthusiasm in the right direction. You must commit to at least one good walk each day, plus daily games of fetch, Frisbee games or bumper chasing. Daily exercise periods will keep your Golden physically fit and stimulated and too tired to entertain himself destructively. It is up to you to teach your Golden acceptable behavior in your home and in your neighborhood. That means weekly obedience classes with an experienced instructor and practice sessions with your Golden every day. As sporting dogs, Goldens are naturally athletic. They are also very trainable and obedient. Therefore, it is no surprise to see a large entry of Goldens in obedience competition and agility trials.
Even laid-back Golden Retriever puppies will require training to learn the rules of their new human world. Although highly trainable, Goldens are not born already trained, a surprise to some new owners who expect their Golden puppy to behave like the model Golden citizens they see on television. Good manners are not included in his purchase price. It is up to you to teach your Golden acceptable behavior in your home and in your neighborhood. That means weekly obedience classes with an experienced instructor and practice sessions with your Golden every day. If you cannot or will not commit to the time constraints of puppy training, perhaps you should rethink your decision to get this dog.
As a breed, Goldens are very oral dogs; after all, let us not forget their retrieving heritage. From pup to senior, most Goldens love, indeed they need, to have something in their mouths. It does not matter if that object is a toy, a table leg or your left hand. What is important is that this dog loves and needs to chew.
One of your major puppy challenges is teaching your puppy what he may or may not put between his tiny teeth. That will take effort, time and patience, but your pup is worth all that and more. Read the sections on techniques to discourage inappropriate chewing. If by four or five months of age, your pup still chews destructively, seek the help of a professional canine behaviorist. The dog may in fact be fine, and the problem might be you.
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