15×20 watercolor & watercolor pencils (Faber-Castel, Derwent, Creatacolor on rough finish 140# watercolor paper. Original available.
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The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed, and is described in the standard as “kindly, friendly and confident”. Golden Retrievers make good family pets, particularly as they are patient with children. They are not “one man dogs” and are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them. Their trusting, gentle disposition makes them a poor guard dog. Any form of unprovoked aggression or hostility towards either people, dogs or other animals, whether in the show ring or community, is considered unacceptable in a Golden Retriever and is not in keeping with the character of the breed. Nor should a Golden Retriever be unduly timid or nervous. The typical Golden Retriever is calm, naturally intelligent and biddable, with an exceptional eagerness to please.
Golden Retrievers are also noted for their intelligence. The breed ranks fourth in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs following the Border Collie, Poodle, and German Shepherd, as one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience-command trainability.
Typical Golden Retrievers are active and fun-loving animals with the exceptionally patient demeanour befitting a dog bred to sit quietly for hours in a hunting blind. Adult Goldens love to work, and have a keen ability to focus on a given task. They will work until they collapse, so care should be taken to avoid overworking them.
Other characteristics related to their hunting heritage are a size suited for scrambling in and out of boats and an inordinate love for water. Golden Retrievers are exceptionally trainable—due to their intelligence, athleticism and desire to please their handlers—and excel in obedience trials. They are also very competitive in agility and other performance events. Harsh training methods are unnecessary, as Golden Retrievers often respond very well to positive and upbeat training styles.
Golden Retrievers are compatible with other dogs, cats and most livestock. They are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and willingness to learn. Because of this, they are commonly used as guide dogs, mobility assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs.
They are also known to become excellent surrogate mothers to different species. Kittens and even tiger cubs from zoos are well taken care of by them. In some cases, a retriever may produce milk for her adopted young, though she may not have been pregnant or nursing recently (info from Wikipedia).