19×25 colored pencil. Original available.
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Golden Retriever is the basic name given to a breed of dog, originally developed to retrieve shot game during hunting. It is one of the most common family dogs as it is naturally very friendly and amenable to training.
Usage Golden Retrievers are usually compatible with children, adults, and are good with other dogs. Generally their friendly nature makes them poor guard dogs. Golden retrievers are often well bonded to their family and will protect them when necessary. Golden Retrievers are unlikely to attack, but they make good watch dogs, because they bark loudly when a stranger approaches. Golden Retrievers 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, moblility assistance dogs, and search and rescue dogs.
Appearance (based on American Breed Standard) The ideal Golden is athletic, and well balanced. It is a symmetrical, powerful, and active dog. An American Golden is less stocky and lankier than a British. A male should stand from 22 to 24 inches (56 to 61 cm) in height at the shoulders, and females should be 20 to 22 inches (51 to 56 cm) at the shoulders. The males weigh 60-80 lbs. and the females weigh 55-70 lbs. The coat should be dense and water repellent, in various shades of lustrous gold or cream, with moderate feathering. Excessive length, lightness, or darkness is undesirable. The gait should be free, smooth, powerful, and well-coordinated. In shows, any resistance to handling, shyness, or aggression is a serious fault.
English English goldens are easily recognized by their light cream-coloured coats which sometimes appear white. This type is bigger-boned, shorter, with a more square head and/or muzzle. They are more common in Europe, so breeders of this type in America may import their dogs to improve bloodlines. A Golden Retriever of English breeding can have a coat colour in the colour range of all shades of gold or cream, but not including red nor mahogany. While shedding is unavoidable with Golden Retrievers, frequent grooming (daily to weekly) lessens the amount of hair shed by the animal. Goldens are known to shed the most in the spring and summer months as this is when they drop their winter undercoats. Severe shedding that results in bald patches can be indicative of stress or sickness in a Golden Retriever.
Coat and color The coat is dense and waterproof, and may be straight or moderately wavy. It usually lies flat against the belly. The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard states that the coat is a “rich, lustrous golden of various shades”, disallowing coats that are extremely light or extremely dark. This leaves the outer ranges of coat colour up to a judge’s discretion when competing in conformation shows. Therefore, “pure white” and “red” are unacceptable colors for the Golden coat. Judges may also disallow Goldens with pink noses, or those lacking pigment. The Golden’s coat can also be of a mahogany color, referred to as “redheads”, although this is not accepted in the British showring. As a Golden grows older, its coat can become a darker or lighter tint of brown, along with a noticeable whitening of the fur on and around the muzzle. Puppy coats are usually much lighter than their adult coats, but a darker coloration at the tips of the ears may indicate a darker adult color.
Temperament Most Goldens need plenty of exercise, such as dog agility.Typically, Goldens are fairly unruly as puppies and may chew and retrieve everything in sight. However, once they reach maturity, Goldens remain active and fun-loving while developing an exceptionally patient demeanor as befits a dog bred to sit quietly for hours in a hunting blind. Golden Retrievers love to work. Other characteristics related to their hunting heritage are a size suited for scrambling in and out of boats and an inordinate love for water.
Another legacy from their hunting background, Golden Retrievers are exceptionally trainable due to their desire to please their handlers and excel in obedience trials. In fact, the first AKC Obedience Trial Champion was a Golden Retriever. They are also very competitive in agility and other performance events. However, harsh training methods frequently cause Goldens to “shut down,” therefore positive methods are a better way to train these dogs.
They are also noted for their intelligence. As the name suggests, the Golden Retriever loves to retrieve. Retrieving a thrown stick, tennis ball, or flying disc can keep a Golden occupied and entertained for hours, particularly if there is also water involved. Goldens tend to be very tolerant of boisterous children. However, if not properly trained, they may accidentally injure a child in play.
As they age, they remain excellent friends and companions. They adore their owners and exhibit what can be described as unconditional love. (information from Wikipedia)