If you don’t know what a golden retriever looks like and you are a dog lover, shame on you! They are one of the most favoured dog pets ever across the world, and for good reason, but more on that later.
Even though I hail from Texas, and we are more used to warm whether, these dogs can malt considerably and you can groom their outer coat down considerably, so they still are used here a little.
One dog site gives the history of the golden as being created in Scottish Highlands (1800s), Lord Tweedmouth apparently CROSSED an “original yellow Flat-Coated Retriever” with the extinct “Tweed Water Spaniel”. then of course he crossed this with a Bloodhound, Irish Setter and Tweed Water Spaniel again.
Hands up who sees the hypocrisy of pure-breed dog clubs hating designer dogs that are ONLY crossings of TWO breeds !!
Yellow Flat-Coated Retriever
Ironically some sites say that the flat coat retriever only originated in the 19th century, making it hard to believe that it was used in the 18th century to create the Golden retriever that we know today. Founder breeds of this dog are thought to be St John’s water dog, newfoundlands and collie type dogs. The most noticeable difference in traits between the yellow flat coat retriever and the golden retriever seem to be that the flat coat retriever can display much more aggression – which might be suitable for different hunting skill sets than just retrieving in the dog hunt.
Typical uses of Golden retriever
- hunting and tracking,
- Gundog and bird dog on both land and in the water
- Drug detection,
- service dog for the disabled,
- Guide dog for blind
- Therapy dog (for older people).
Golden retriever HUNTING skills
The quintessential gun dog that has foot webbing so it can almost live in water too. Double coats mean that it can withstand cold climates and harsh bushes that it might need to push through to get the game.
The golden retriever is said to have FIVE golden traits: birdiness (strong desire for birds, hunting retrieving and anything to do with bird noises). Strong retrieving instinct, ability to mark (know where the game has been shot and fallen for later retrieve, exceptional nose, and very strong trainability.
Unlike some of the founder breeds the golden is an exceptionally friendly dog with owners, strangers and the hunter, willing to please and learn new tricks and very strongly dog treat rewarded driven. Friendliness makes them a very poor guard dog, but very soft mouth makes them an exceptional retriever.
You will notice that many golden retrievers are supposed to have the industry traits of the Labrador, however their ‘goofiness’ sometimes has them not be trusted where solo work is required, but this can vary with dog and training methods.
You are unlikely to get a better family dog as long as they are walked and socialised so they maintain their sunny disposition.
They are not the most fierce hunting dog, nor the most robust, but their dedication to complete the job and their brilliant nature on the hunt and at home still makes them a big favourite with hunters the world over!