Since their origination in Scotland as hunting dogs, Golden retrievers have gained popularity all over the world. An American Golden retriever is a beautiful dog with a regal bearing, a golden water-resistant coat, and active capabilities.
However, Golden retrievers are as famous for their gentle demeanor as their beauty and are often rated the best dogs for families with children. American Golden retrievers are friendly dogs that are smart and eager to please, making them easy to train. They are highly tolerant, affectionate, and full of love, making them the perfect furry companion.
American Golden Retriever Origins
All Golden retrievers trace their origins to Dudley Majoribanks Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland, who lived near Glen Affric in the 1800s. Lord Tweedmouth wanted a hunting dog able to swim long distances to retrieve downed waterfowl. He was successful in this endeavor as well as in breeding a hunting dog that had a gentle temperament, was easy to train, and had great physical beauty. The breed quickly gained popularity, and Golden retrievers were imported to the Americas in the early 1900s.
Over time, because different qualities were desirable in different locations, breeders selected for distinctive traits. Although Golden retrievers in the English, Canadian, and US lines are all considered one breed and all display the famous Golden retriever temperament, these three lines no longer look quite the same. It is the Golden retriever lineage from the US that is known as the American Golden retriever.
American Golden Retriever Puppies
Adoption fees for a Golden retriever puppy from a rescue organization will usually fall between $300 and $750. A breeder is likely to charge up to $3,000. A lighter coat is not considered desirable by the AKC, and a light-coated Golden retriever puppy purchased in the USA should not cost more than a puppy with a darker coat, although the desirability of any coat color is a matter of personal preference.
An American Golden retriever puppy needs to eat about half a cup of high-quality puppy food three times per day. As the puppy grows, more food is needed to keep them healthy, but mealtimes can eventually be reduced to twice a day. American Golden retriever puppies will not mature rapidly, but they will grow quickly, and they have a very high energy level. It is important to provide the quality and volume of food your puppy needs. For dietary guidelines more specific to your individual puppy, consult with your veterinarian.
In addition to the quality food your puppy needs, American Golden retriever puppies need a lot of mental stimulation and physical activity. They thrive on consistent, active training using positive reward methods. If possible, training should take place in a fenced yard because American Golden retriever puppies are highly sociable and may be easily distracted if taken off-leash in an open area.
For your puppy’s safety, always follow local leash laws and be aware of your puppy’s desire to run, chase, and interact when in public. Always make sure your puppy is properly vaccinated before being taken in public or to play with other dogs. Spay and neuter any puppies not intended for breeding, and register your dog in accordance with local requirements.
A healthy American Golden retriever can be expected to live between 10 and 13 years. Like all dogs, Golden retrievers must be vaccinated to prevent common infections such as parvo and rabies. There are also some breed-specific concerns.
American Golden retrievers have a high cancer rate. Regular veterinarian visits may help catch cancer early, and spaying or neutering your Golden retriever can reduce this risk. Reputable breeders will choose breeding lines for overall health as well as temperament. Ideally, such breeders can provide details about the health of your dog’s dam and sire, as well as the overall health of their lineage.
Skin conditions or allergies can be an issue with American Golden retrievers. Because they shed heavily and need regular grooming, you are likely to learn precisely what approach your dog needs to minimize any such irritation. Your vet can also help you determine how to approach grooming your dog beyond regular brushing to help manage skin irritations.
Hip and elbow dysplasia are common in purebred American Golden retrievers, as are eye problems, thyroid issues, diabetes, and epilepsy. Some health issues can be managed with regular exercise and veterinary care. American Golden retrievers are also susceptible to bloat. However, this is not unique to this breed as all large barrel-chested dogs are susceptible to the condition. Always discuss all health concerns with your veterinarian.
Standard heights for adult American Golden retrievers range between 21.5 to 24 inches. Weights range between 55 and 75 pounds. Adult male American Golden retrievers are taller and heavier than females. American Golden retrievers are heavier and taller than their English counterparts but have an overall leaner build. The tails of American Goldens have an upwards curve, their eyes are almond-shaped rather than round, and they have a narrower, tapering nose. An American Golden retriever’s ears are well behind and above its eyes, unlike its English counterpart, which has ears level with its eyes.
American Golden retrievers generally have darker coats than English Goldens. The AKC allows registration for light golden, golden, and dark golden coat colors. Cream and white-colored coats are not permitted for registration by the AKC, nor are extremely dark-colored coats. However, a wide range of coat colors for American Golden retrievers are available if AKC registration is not desired.
These dogs are physically well-balanced and strong. Although beloved as a family companions, they’re fully physically and mentally capable of being trained as gundogs, which was the original purpose of the breed.
The American Golden retriever’s temperament is famously gentle, friendly, and highly active. If you decided this wonderful dog is right for you, be ready to take them on long, vigorous walks. An American Golden retriever will also respond favorably to almost any opportunity to swim – no duck retrieval required.
American Golden retrievers are affectionate and thrive on attention. They do not make good guard dogs for the same reasons they make wonderful family companions. They are not territorial or aggressive. They may or may not bark at an intruder, and they may assume a burglar has come to give them belly rubs. Conversely, your American Golden retriever will offer kind welcomes to your friends and your children’s friends.
If an American Golden retriever shows signs of aggression or hostility, something is seriously wrong, and the dog should be taken to the veterinarian immediately. These dogs are not just famously gentle and friendly, but highly tolerant. This is why they make such good dogs for families with children. Their reputation for gentleness and tolerance is well-earned.
American Golden retrievers are highly intelligent and eager to please, making training easier than with many other intelligent breeds. This is as true for a rescued senior American Golden retriever as it is for a puppy. The senior Golden may even come with the benefit of already being house trained.
These dogs are sociable, friendly, intelligent, highly active, and eager to please. They make wonderful companions for families with children and are often trained as seeing-eye dogs. Although health concerns may seem significant, an American Golden retriever is well worth the risk. Their kind demeanor and trainability make them one of the most sought-after and beloved of all canine companions.