The Golden Retriever has been in the top five of most popular dog breeds for almost as long as they have kept track. Smart, loyal, trustworthy (unless a snack is at nose height), and (overly) eager to please, it is no wonder that Goldens have been featured in books, movies, and more than their share of commercials. I am biased when it comes to Goldens, however, as I have had four of them over the last thirty years.
As legend has it, Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland (by birth named Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks) wanted to create a hunting dog that could retrieve shot-down birds from both land and water. His solution was to breed a Wavy-Coated Retriever (Nous) with a Tweed Water Spaniel (Belle), thus creating the first litter of Golden Retrievers (Cowslip, Crocus, and Primrose) in 1868.
They had a double coat (thick undercoat and water-repellant outer coat) which was bred to regulate body temperatures outside while hunting and retrieving birds. Due to the extreme requirements of covering land, ponds, and marshes, Lord Tweedmouth sought not only a strong and agile dog, but he also needed one with a “soft mouth” so as not to “destroy” the birds during their retrieval. This was critical as guns became more powerful and accurate, giving dogs longer distances to travel. The breed was officially recognized by The Kennel Club of England in 1911 and by the American Kennel Club in 1925.
The typical Golden is 22” to 24” in height and weighs between 55 and 75 pounds. Goldens come in a pretty broad spectrum of colors ranging from traditional “Field Goldens” of a reddish-orange hue to a white/pale cream of “Conformation Goldens.”
Golden Retrievers have an average life expectancy of ten to twelve years (far too short for any dog lover). Unfortunately, they are more susceptible to certain diseases than other breeds and have a predisposition to dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), hip/elbow dysplasia, and luxating patella (when the kneecap shifts out of place). Like many other dogs, Goldens also experience health issues such as chronic ear infections, skin rashes (hot spots), and obesity.
It is estimated that 60% of all Goldens will die from cancer, with the most common cancer being hemangiosarcoma (a cancer of the blood vessels), followed by lymphosarcoma (a cancer of the lymphocyte, which is a type of blood cell), osteosarcoma (a cancer affecting the bones), and mastocytoma (mast cells in the dog’s skin). Of my three, Kaylin died of osteosarcoma (age ten), Riley passed from hemangiosarcoma (age thirteen), and Charlie died from lymphosarcoma (age ten).
My Golden Louie is two now and has only been fed NOBL. His veterinarian called him, “A near perfect example of a lean and healthy Golden”. While no one food is the perfect food for all dogs, knowing the predispositions of breeds will help you make more informed decisions regarding their nutritional needs. While meeting and exceeding nutritional guidelines doesn’t guarantee health and wellness, it certainly doesn’t hurt.
How Guardian can help your Golden
At Guardian, we believe in using ingredients from nature with no artificial or synthetic vitamins and minerals. Our essential amino acids come from animal-based proteins (not synthetics) which makes them highly digestible. Since canines have zero need for carbohydrates, we minimize their inclusion, especially since they can play a role in obesity and related health issues.
Our patented NOBL Canine Food Bars are nutrient-dense and freeze-dried, providing 100% complete and balanced nutrition. Each bar is pre-portioned, making it easier to monitor portions and help with weight control. They’re also super convenient with no thawing, rehydration or bowl required, perfect for pet parents who take their Goldens on-the-go.
In our effort to innovate every day in support of pet health and wellness, our Dog Almighty Elixirs are an ultra-convenient and tasty way to help all dogs and Goldens alike live their best lives. As drinkable supplements, pet parents can forgo the pills and powders and give their dogs something they’ll actually enjoy. Our Mobility formula can help maintain and enhance healthy bone and joint function, while our Calm formula can help maintain calmness and support balanced behavior.