The Golden Retriever is a very popular pure breed of dogs. It was originally bred in Scotland to assist in the retrieving of the game birds like the waterfowl. It is generally adored due to its gentle and playful nature.
Temperament of The Golden Retriever
Golden Retrievers are popular as family dogs due to their extremely friendly nature. Unlike other dogs, they are also specially very soft with the babies. They are very gentle and amicable with both the acquaintances and the strangers. This trait, however, makes them a poor choice when looking for guard dogs.
These dogs are very confident. They are never late in embracing a new person as soon as they view them. They also have a rare feature as compared to other dogs, they do not bark although they can.
They have a special bond with humans. They are known to serve as guide dogs for the blind. They are also employed as hearing dogs for the visually impaired. They assist law and order enforcement officials for search and rescue operations.
The Golden Retrievers are one of the most intelligent dogs on the planet. They are known to be extremely obedient towards their trainer. They are very athletic and enthusiastic. They always make an effort to please their master. For this, they do not mind being over-worked. Ideally, they would work until they get exhausted. Even then, they are not known to express aggression or fatigue.
They have a very soft mouth. This makes it possible for them to retrieve the game birds without causing any harm to the bird’s body.
They are also very patient and are therefore employed to sit for long hours during the hunting of game birds. They have an inherent great love for water. They are highly competitive, but also very adjusting with other dogs. They also do not follow the ancient dog-cat chase, and are calm in their pursuit.
Signs of Unusual Aggression
The Golden Retrievers are very sweet in their behavior. Some organizations that define their behavioral attributes rule out aggressive nature from this list. However, most of the time with their growing age, the Golden Retrievers start exhibiting abnormal behavior. This can be attributed to their being a pure breed. This makes them susceptible to many dangerous diseases like Cancer.
The Golden Retrievers are very enthusiastic. They generally calm down when they are 2-3 years old. This calmness comes due to maturity and chemical balance. However, if they continue being hyper-active even after attaining this age, they need to be carefully monitored for a variety of causes.
A good master needs to look for these signs of aggression. They can prove to be fatal for the dog in the long run. The following signs of ill-behavior by the Golden Retriever should be seriously taken into consideration:
- Prolonged Barking: The Golden Retrievers are a gentle breed, and they do bark. But their barking is occasional and can be termed rare as compared to other dogs. They are family dogs, also trusting strangers out on their way. Most of the time, the bark is to grab the attention of their master. This is their inherent nature for acceptance and love. However, if the barking of the Golden Retriever is exceeding the normal limits, it makes up a cause of concern. They might be trying to indicate a serious issue within them, or one that they view for you.
- Chewing everything: The Golden Retrievers are known to be very enthusiastic and agile. Like many other breeds of dogs, they end their teething phase when they get about six months old. During this phase and even beyond that, their habit of chewing is normal. They prefer bone or their favorite soft toy and may gnaw on it all day long. The problem, however, occurs when they start chewing things apart from the bones and toys. This is a serious issue and may be a cause of several factors.
- Eating Habits: Golden Retrievers are prone to get obese. They love food a lot, but only when it is their favorite. They particularly love dry kibble, meat, and vegetables. However, if they start attacking the cake at home, or other foods that are not their all-time favorites, there could be something serious going on with them.
- Dismal Look: These dogs love to be happy and around the family. They rarely prefer solitude. If they have started distancing themselves from people, there could be some greater emotional reason for that.
Reasons for Destructive Behaviour
The Golden Retrievers come under the domain of the pure breeds. They, therefore, are prone to a large number of diseases. But this may not be the sole cause for their constantly drifting moods and aggression. The main reasons can be varied:
- Diseases: There is sufficient evidence that a large number of Golden Retrievers suffer from cancer. This kills about 61% of these dogs according to a study. They most commonly suffer from hemangiosarcoma and mast cell tumor. Also, one-fifth of them are prone to develop hip and elbow dysplasia. They also suffer from cataracts and their sensitive retina can become the prey of several malfunctions. They develop heart diseases and allergies. They are especially annoyed by the fleas.
- Matted Hair: These dogs have long hairs. Although they shed it seasonally, some may be left beneath their ears and around the belly. This may cause a deadlock of the hair and subsequent pain. This also makes them prone to ear infections.
- Injury: Since this dog breed is characterized by its playful nature, it can get injured. It is known that the Golden Retriever won’t stop until it’s done getting the pleasure that it seeks.
- Anxiety: The Golden Retriever is no exception to other dogs when it comes to fear. It can get intimidated by something it finds dangerous, and then start displaying abnormal behavior like barking and biting. This frightening situation may be the sound of a fire-cracker or loud music.
- Abuse: Dogs reflect the behavior of their masters. If they have a mistreating master or even a stranger, their minds may have a negative impact. They can start attacking people around them to showcase their displeasure.
- Possession: The Golden Retrievers are known to be very fond of their toys. They can turn hostile if they are abstained from toying with them by force. The result could be a bite on the person who has held its toy hostage.
- Barrier Frustration: The Golden Retrievers find great pleasure in pleasing their masters. This is also the reason for their competitive nature. If they are unable to complete a task given by their master, they would drop down in frustration. They then exhibit behaviors like snapping and barking at their master.
Countering The Aggression
The Golden Retriever is a dog worth keeping. The following steps may help in keeping a check on its aggression:
- Grooming: The Golden Retrievers have very bushy hairs and need constant grooming. Their extra hair should be shaved off frequently. Also, a lotion that repels fleas should be applied to their body. This would prevent them from getting ear and skin infections.
- Feeding Habits: The growing phase of a dog is very important. In order to prevent it from developing bone disorders that affect it in the future, it should be administered a diet rich in calcium and phosphorous. This would strengthen its teeth, and avoid aggressive behavior such as the intimidating chewing.
Some studies suggest that the body of the golden retriever has an unusual negligence for corns and wheat. This is due to the fact that the dog’s body doesn’t get any serious nutritional benefit from these foods. If the dog is not enjoying the food it is being given, it can turn crazy.
- Inspection: The dog should be examined for any injury when it starts unusual barking or snapping. Most of the time, the dog would look normal but the injury may be hidden beneath their bushy coat.
- Monitoring: The dog should be watched out for extremely rude behavior. It may have received hostility from someone, and now started avenging it from others. If a person in the family is responsible for such behavior, he should be stopped.
- Giving Time: The dog craves for the company of his master. It has the inherent desire that it receives all the attention, and this desire is worthy of being fulfilled. Spending time with the dog would make it feel less possessive towards the master. This would also address its concerns and anxiety due to some frightening incident. If it hastens when hearing loud music, the master should refrain from hurting him.
- Do not over-expect: The Golden Retrievers give their best when challenged. A dog, however, is not perfect in doing everything. This leads to the feeling of frustration in it. The master should keep in mind that the dog should not be over-worked. This can be taken care of by ensuring that any act of the master doesn’t reflect that the dog needs to push its limits. The master should refrain from apprehending the dog when it doesn’t succeed in doing something.
- Visit a Veterinarian: If the above steps don’t work, visiting a veterinarian becomes the last resort. The dog may not be able to express its dis-ease but it must be addressed as soon as possible.
The Golden Retriever is a cherished breed of dogs. It is popular as a family dog. Historically, it was bred in the nineteenth century Scotland as a retriever of game birds.
It has a lustrous golden coat that can grow very long. This coat has several variations among different breeds. The Retrievers shed this coat seasonally, and therefore require constant grooming. It can weigh up to 40 kilograms and goes up to a height of 65 cms. The male and female Retrievers have slightly different characteristics in terms of height and weight.
These dogs were used for retrieving game birds due to their gentle nature. They are compatible with other dogs and cats. They also assist humans in many tasks. They can serve as hearing dogs, disability assistants, and guide dogs for the blind. They serve as excellent companions in search and rescue operations.
There are three subtypes of this breed of dogs. Almost all of the subtypes live for an average of 11-12 years. They are hyper-active until the age of about three years. After that, they become stable due to maturity and altering of the hormones.
They are prone to diseases like cancers and obesity because of being a pure breed of dogs. Their retina is also very sensitive to infections. They are an easy prey of heart diseases. Many of them also suffer from hip and elbow dysplasia.
The Retrievers are characterized by a compassionate and friendly behavior. They are very intelligent and competitive. They like pushing themselves to the fore for accomplishing challenges. They are very athletic and enthusiastic. They have an inherent love for water. This makes them a popular assistant for retrieving of the game birds.
At times, they may show some unusual behavior like excessive barking, continued chewing and gnawing, and a saddened look. There may be several emotional as well as physical causes for such behavior.
They can be inspected for some injury in case of continued barking. They may have been abused by a person. They need frequent grooming so that skin allergies and fleas do not affect them. The master should be careful about spending sufficient time with the dog, as the issue may be related to boredom or possession. The dog should not be pushed to its limits for play or work. It should also be given a nutrient-rich and tasty diet. Most of its aggression may be related to the food.
Finally, the dog should be taken for a full-checkup to the veterinarian if the issue doesn’t get resolved by using the above methods.