This is a guest post from Becky White from Toronto, Canada. She is a dog walker and pet sitter and blogger for DogsTwentyFourSeven. They truly are genetic gold!
Golden Retrievers are a popular breed in my neighbourhood. I am constantly amazed at how similar their traits are despite coming from a huge array of breeders and different families raising them.
Out of the many dog breeds I have been exposed to at the off leash parks and when dog walking, Golden Retrievers are a truly a unique bunch. They could easily win a contest for the happiest breed. Their “happy gene” should be bottled and sold. They adore being with people, and especially close in their vicinity. They are terrific with all other dogs socially, in new situations.
I often think if they were in human form they would be the people you would want to invite to your dinner party. Golden Retrievers would enter your home gushing about how nice it was to see you and would meet and greet all other guests and “work the room.” There would be no need to worry about your guests mingling, as Golden’s are experts! They would be up for anything planned – indoor or out. The perfect dinner guest!
Golden’s love to present “gifts” when owners come in the door, usually a stuffed animal, a family member’s shoe or beloved toy. It often gets paraded around for all to see with such personal pride!
Along with their attention to please and keep harmony they can multi task! I have seen quite of few of them pick up and carry more than one toy in their mouths or multiple balls lined up on their tongues!
I have found Golden Retrievers have a unique way of communicating when wanting something. The majority I have grown to love will draw in with their breath to make a sound in their throats to grab a human’s attention. Often it is two or three short repeated noises in a row and it seems to be when they are in a sitting position. They adore being patted and this sound I think is a technique they use to communicate “keep the patting/stroking coming. I love it!” I think very similar to a cat purring.
Another trait I see a lot with Golden’s is the paw extended out to a human when sitting beside us. It often occurs when patting has stopped, out comes a front paw and it is softly placed on a person’s lap. Sometimes even if the patting session has ended the desire to keep being linked by touch continues as the paw remains on an owner’s lap!
What I find intriguing are dogs that are being bred to be half golden for their temperament. Even Goldie-poos, for example use the paw extension technique. The touching gene is very prominent! Plus the leaning gene that retrievers seem to have, as they lean full weight into your leg when being patted standing up. This I have observed in mixed breed dogs that are part retriever. They love to be loved and it goes full circle with all of their owners.
On that note they make awesome family pets. Goldens can easily co-exist with other animals or children in a home. They are often well-mannered, very patient, sweet and affectionate. What’s not to love? They do need to be exercised and enjoy an outing, and in my experience they never “complain” about being out in negative weather. The “clean up” after a spring walk can involve some hands removing muddy splashes from their belly, leg fur and flowing tails! Their fur is famous for floating onto clothing or into your mouth if windows are down in the car!
I am amazed at the variety of colours covering all the shades of gold and cream. Occasionally I am asked to walk two or three together and people will ask if I only walk beige dogs! I often answer back that they can represent a hair colour ad for shades of blonde! Once in a while I see retrievers with cascading wavy curls on their chest similar to a tuxedo shirt.
One dog I boarded named Emily had this look and a unique trick. If she wanted something from you – usually food related – she would go from a seated position on all fours to a position where she would balance on her bum with her two front paws in the air. She could remain in this begging pose for minutes! I have never seen this before with a dog; her balance was amazing, especially for a bigger breed. She would not even wobble!
I have been blessed to get to know many retrievers over the last decade. Cailley is one of the first dogs I ever walked when starting out as a dog walker. She is a dear senior now with all of these lovely retriever traits. Interestingly all of the goldens I have walked over the years are ninety percent female. Maybe a trend in the last decade?
Two others I have walked over the years Lily and Emma died in the last six months of cancers, which was sad for their families and for myself. I have kept in touch with the owners still and we treasure their dog memories and “everything golden.”
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