Sunday, January 26, 2014

Golden Retriever

The golden retriever consistently tops the list of most loved family pets. Usually associated with children and suburban life, and, with their love of water and natural retrieving ability, the golden retrievers are also excellent companions to hunters.

History and Origin

Recorded history of the golden retriever dates to the early 1800s when the breed was a popular hunting dog in Scotland. As a rugged, middle-size dog, the breed was appreciated for the ability to hunt on land and in water. Sportsmen admired the dog's athletic ability and diligence while their families enjoyed the gentle, friendly nature of the pet. By the late 1800s, the golden retriever was well known in North America and was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1925.


Over the years, golden retrievers have become useful as guide dogs for the blind, deaf and other handicapped individuals because of their intelligence, trainability, well-rounded temperament, as well as their ability to get along well with people. They are trained as therapy dogs to comfort residents in nursing homes and emotionally disturbed children.

Appearance and Size

The golden retriever is a strong, middle-size dog with a moderately round skull and medium to dark brown eyes. The breed's ears are triangular and pendant (hanging) and fall approximately to the level of the jaw. The outer water-repellent coat is thick and soft although not silky. The undercoat is moderately dense. As the name of the breed indicates, the coat color is golden or a close shade of golden. Longer hair of a lighter shade, known as feathers, is present on the back of the forelegs and thighs, underbelly, front of neck and underside of the tail.

The adult golden retriever is approximately 21 to 24 inches in height at the shoulder and weighs about 55 to 75 pounds.

Personality

The golden retriever is a playful, affectionate companion with an amiable personality. If not for the dog's size, golden retrievers would be welcome lapdogs. Although not generally a boisterous breed, this pet will announce visitors.

Home and Family Relations

The golden retriever is an excellent family pet that is good with children and other pets. This breed is an appropriate choice for a first pet provided that the owner is capable of managing a dog of this size and strength.

Training

The golden retriever is intelligent and highly trainable. In addition to being adept hunters, this breed has been trained to be companions for disabled persons including guide dogs for the blind. Golden retrievers have also carried out drug detection and search and rescue work.

Common Diseases and Disorders

In general, the golden retriever is a healthy dog with few medical concerns. However, the following diseases or disorders have been reported:

  • Gastric torsion, also known as bloat, is a life-threatening sudden illness associated with the stomach filling with air and twisting.
  • Hip dysplasia is a malformation of the hip joint that results in pain, lameness and arthritis.
  • Epilepsy is a seizure disorder that develops between the ages of 2 to 5 years.
  • Hot spotsare areas of itchy moist skin irritation.
  • Hypothyroidism results when the thyroid gland does not function adequately.
  • Atopy is an itchy skin disease of animals that is caused by an allergy to substances in the environment.
  • Interdigital Dermatitis, also known as pododermatitis, is an inflammation of the paws involving the feet and nails.
  • Food Allergy can occur in some pets secondary to a variety of a food ingredients.
  • Lick granuloma is a condition in which the dog licks an area excessively, usually on the front leg, until a raised, firm ulcerated lesion is formed.
  • Cataracts cause a loss of the normal transparency of the lens of the eye. The problem can occur in one or both eyes and can lead to blindness.
  • Diabetes is a disease of the pancreas related to insufficient amounts of insulin production.
  • Osteocondrosis of the Shoulder is a congenital lesion that can cause degenerative joint disease.
  • Corneal ulceration is the loss of the corneal epithelium (the outermost cells of the cornea).
  • Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that develops when the pressure within the eye increases.
  • Laryngeal paralysis is a dysfunction of the larynx, or voicebox causing respiratory distress. Most common is the acquired idiopathic form.
  • Entropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes inward rolling. Lashes on the edge of the eyelid irritate the surface of the eyeball and may lead to more serious problems.
  • Ectropion is a problem with the eyelid that causes eversion of the eyelid margin. It most commonly affects the lower central eyelid.
  • Distichiasis is a condition in which there is growth of extra eyelashes from the glands of the upper or lower eyelid.
  • Melanoma is a tumor arising from melanocytes, which are the cells that produce pigment.
  • Mast Cell Tumors are malignant tumors than can occur in the skin or within the body.
  • Hemangiosarcoma is cancer that can result in bleeding tumors of the spleen, liver or heart.
  • Progressive retinal atrophy is a disease that causes nerve cells at the back of the eye to degenerate. The condition usually begins in older pets and can lead to blindness.
  • Aortic Stenosis - is caused by stenosis of the aorta and causing symptoms such as weakness, collapse and sudden death.
  • Pericardial effusion - is an accumulation of fluid within the pericardial space. Most common caused by hemangiosarcoma of the heart.
  • Lymphosarcoma, also known as lymphoma, is a malignant cancer that involves the lymphoid system.
  • Ectopic ureter is an abnormality present at birth in which one or both of the ureters that bring urine from the kidneys to the bladder fail to open into the bladder in the normal way. The affected animal is born with this problem and the resulting urinary incontinence usually begins at birth.

    In addition, golden retrievers are prone to elbow dysplasia, dwarfism, osteochondrosis, and von Willebrand's blood disease

    Life Span

    The life span of the golden retriever is 10 to 13 years.
  •  

    No comments:

    Post a Comment