Eye And Heart Disease

Eye disease is very common with Golden Retrievers. Most Golden’s will generally have hereditary cataracts, which is a common eye problem. At an early age, with affected Golden’s, one type of hereditary cataract will appear. Even though it may not cause interference with the vision of the Golden Retriever, some dogs will progress into total and quite possibly severe loss of vision.

Sometimes, Golden Retrievers can get affected by non hereditary cataracts, although an examination by a board certified veterinarian can determine just how bad the cataracts really are. If cataracts are indeed suspected with a Golden Retriever, then breeding won’t be recommended. Breeding a Golden who has this condition can lead to serious problems, such as passing it on to the pups.

Several families of the Golden Retriever breed have been known to carry genes for CPRA (Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy), which affects the retina, and can result in permanent blindness for Golden’s at a young age. There are other types of eye defects as well, such as retinal dysplasia, which prevents a Golden from breeding.

Trouble with both the eyelid and eyelashes are also a possibility with Golden Retrievers, with some being the result of hereditary factors. The eyelids rotating in or out, or the eyelashes rubbing on or in the eye are both common problems with the breed. Even though surgery can help to fix these types of problems, dogs that are experiencing this type of problem shouldn’t be allowed to breed nor compete in shows under any type of AKC rules.

You should always have your Golden Retriever checked annually for eye disease, as it can develop during any age. When you take your Golden to have him examined for eye disease, you should have a veterinary ophthalmologist do the exam. He has all of the necessary equipment, and the proper training needed to make sure that your dog gets the best examination possible.

Heart disease
SAS (Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis) is the most common and widespread form of heart disease within the entire Golden Retriever species. Before you breed your Golden Retriever, you should always have him examined for heart disease by a certified veterinary cardiologist. If the cardiologist detects a heart murmur, he will recommend additional tests for your dog.

In the event that the results prove negative, it doesn’t necessarily rule heart disease out, as some milder forms may still be present, although undetectable. If a Golden Retriever is diagnosed to have any type of heart disease, he should not breed. Breeding Golden Retrievers who have heart disease can lead to serious and sometimes fatal results. To be on the safe side, you should always have your Golden tested for his disease before you plan on breeding.

Hip Dysplasia And Golden Retrievers

Hip dysplasia is a poor formation of the hip joints, which is a common growing disease with younger dogs of virtually every breed. With larger breeds, unsteady hip joints are common, although hip dysplasia can be a serious problem that will limit the physical activity of your Golden. Although many Golden Retriever owners don’t realize it, hip dysplasia is something that dogs inherit from their parents, and gets worse with age.

The signs and symptoms of hip dysplasia is nearly impossible to detect with Golden puppies, although it will start to show once the pup has reached the age of nine months. Even though you may take your Golden to the vet to have him looked at, your vet will tell you that you need to wait to see if the symptoms are there, once the Golden Retriever has reached a certain age.

The symptoms and signs of hip dysplasia vary, although the most common include crippling or the inability to walk properly. This disease can get better once the dog gets older though, due to the joints stabilizing, the inflammation going down, and the muscles in the hips getting stronger and more mature. Keep in mind however, that Golden’s who have hip dysplasia when they are younger will more than likely develop arthritis when they get older.

Golden Retrievers that suffer from hip dysplasia aren’t fit for breeding, although they can still live a long and healthy life. There are certain drugs that your vet can prescribe to your dog, which will help him control his weight and help control the disease. These drugs can also cut down on the pain as well, helping your Golden enjoy himself as much as possible.

Some Golden Retrievers that have hip dysplasia won’t begin to show any signs at all until they get a few years old, once the muscles start to wear down and the damage to the hip muscles start to become more noticeable. Although your dog may be active and healthy for most of his puppy years, dysplasia can slow everything down and make your dog look as if he is old and is suffering from the physical attributes of arthritis.

To eliminate the pain of hip dysplasia, there are surgery options available. Golden Retrievers have a high threshold for pain, and won’t normally show any signs of being in pain, even though you know they are. X-rays won’t show any signs of pain, although the limping or slow walking will tell you that your dog is hurting. Golden Retriever’s who have this disease won’t know it – which is why you should help as much as possible. If you do your part and help your dog seek relief – he will feel better than ever before – although he won’t let you know he hurt any at all.

Common Health Problems

There are many common health problems that your Golden Retriever will experience from time to time. Most of these ailments are nothing serious, providing you know how they should be treated and prevented. Below, we will take a look at the most common ailments, and tell you how to prevent your Golden from getting them.

Distemper virus
The distemper virus is an airborne disease that poses a high risk. This virus can be prevented by getting your Golden 3 different vaccinations when he is between 6 and 16 weeks of age, along with his regular annual booster shot. The symptoms from this virus include fever, cough, diarrhea, and vomiting. If your Golden Retriever has these symptoms, you should immediately take him to see the vet.

Heartworms
Heartworms are among the most common ailment with all dog breeds. They can reach lengths of up to 12 inches in the heart and the lung arteries, leading to heart failure, a decrease in blood circulation, and even death in some cases. The symptoms with heartworms may not appear until it is too late, so you are better off preventing them with the correct heartworm medicines.

Heatstroke
During the summer months or hot days, your Golden Retriever can get a heatstroke. You can prevent this from happening by giving your dog plenty of water, and never leaving him in direct sunlight. If you are playing together on a hot day, you should give him plenty of time to rest so he doesn’t overdo it. The symptoms indicating a heatstroke include a lot of panting or drooling, dark gums, a glazed expression, rapid pulse, and even vomiting. If your dog starts to show any of these symptoms, you should immediately take him to the vet.

Rabies
Rabies is one of the more serious ailments that your Golden Retriever can get, as it has an adverse affect on your dog’s nervous system. Normally, dogs get rabies through a bite of another animal that is infected with the disease. There are rabies shots that helps to prevent the disease, and your dog should get them at least once a year. The symptoms of rabies include seizures, aggression, and foaming at the mouth. If you suspect your Golden has rabies, you should call the vet immediately.

Tapeworms
Tapeworms are normally caused by fleas, and affect your dog’s stomach. The symptoms for tapeworms include a loss in weight, diarrhea, and even biting of the rectal area. You can easily prevent your Golden from tapeworms by using a rigid flea control. If your Golden Retriever exhibits symptoms for tapeworms, you should take him to the vet immediately. If the vet catches them in time, he may be able to kill the tapeworms with an oral medicine.

Hookworms
Hookworms result from your Golden coming in contact with feces, his mother, or the worm simply burrowing under exposed skin. You can prevent your dog from getting hookworms by cleaning his living area and keeping his skin clean. The symptoms that accompany hookworms include a dry coat, weight loss, weakness, and blood in the stool. As with all other ailments, you should immediately contact your vet if your Golden Retriever starts to show any of these symptoms.

Although these are just some of the most common ailments for Golden Retrievers, there are other ailments and health problems that your dog can get. If your Golden starts to show any signs of ailment, disease, or health problem, you shouldn’t hesitate to contact your vet and set up an appointment. Some of these diseases and ailments can be pretty serious – although they can be treated if you catch them in time.

Breeding Golden Retrievers

For beginners, breeding Golden Retrievers is nearly impossible. Breeding can be very complicated, although it can be easy as well. You should never attempt to breed unless you know a lot about requirements for hobby breeders, as it is simply unfair to the breed if you have a litter of puppies that simply aren’t what they should be. People who look to buy Golden Retrievers only want top quality, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to breed just have a puppies or make a few bucks.

Breeding Golden Retrievers is a very serious hobby, one that should be left to those who know how to make the right choices. There is a certain amount of cost and care involved with breeding, especially if breeders are going for a certain quality. There is also a lot of responsibility involved as well, which can take quite a bit of time to say the least.

Motivation for breeding
Breeding can help to fulfill the need of a Golden, although the dog still has no knowledge of it missing, no regrets, or no guilt towards living a life without having been breed. A pregnant Golden Retriever female doesn’t gain anything in regards to health, as it instead causes problems. Golden females that have been spayed on the other hand, cannot be bred. If you have chosen to have your Golden spayed, always remember that she will be unable to breed.

When looking to breed, quality breeders will have a lot of choices in front of them. They will need to determine the pair, such as the mother and the father. To get the highest quality possible from the litter, the breeder will need to determine the traits of both dogs, temperaments, and how well they seem to react to one another. The breeder will also need to determine in either of the dogs have any type of health problems, to prevent any diseases or ailments from being passed on to the litter.

Sometimes, when breeding Golden Retrievers, the mother of the litter will prove to be unfit, which requires more work for the breeder. If the mother isn’t doing her job of nurturing her young, the breeder will need to do it for her. This can be the most time consuming aspect of breeding, as the breeder will have to feed the young and make sure that they turn out as healthy as possible.

Aside from that, breeders also face quite a bit of costs as well. The prices for daily care, food, and vet bills can be very steep to say the least. When you crunch the numbers, you’ll quickly realize that breeders don’t make much money at all when they sale. Most breeders do it for a hobby, not looking to make money. Quality breeders on the other hand aren’t concerned with money at all, as they are more concerned about the quality of their litters. Quality is better than quantity, as even the best breeders out there have problems selling puppies from time to time.

Although breeding is fun for hobby breeders, it is something you really shouldn’t be doing if you don’t have the experience. Although your Golden may get knocked up by a dog of a different breed without you knowing it, you should do your best to avoid it at all costs if you can. A pure bred Golden Retriever should be bred only with dogs of her breed, to help preserve the breed and keep their bloodline going. If you have thought about breeding in the past – you should really study long and hard before you actually make a reality of it.

Characteristics Of The Golden Retriever

Almost all breeds of dogs are group oriented, as they need to interact with other species of their group to remain secure. Golden Retrievers, in particular, have been bred over the years to be geared more towards people. They make great guide dogs for the blind, friends for younger children, and even assistants for those who love to hunt. Due to the way they have been bred, they need to interact with people on a frequent basis.

They are merciful dogs at heart, and will tolerate several mistakes from you all the while wanting nothing more than you to acknowledge the fact that they are there and pat them on the head. Further proving that Golden Retrievers aim to please, is the fact that they were the first three dogs to obtain the Obedience Trial Championships – which is quite a statement indeed.

With Golden’s being so people oriented, it’s very important that they live with their owners. When you do any type of family activity, you should make sure that your Golden is included. Even though they don’t normally bark a lot, they will start barking if they get bored. Once a Golden Retriever is fully grown and becomes stout, he will enjoy many types of activities such as hiking, walking, hunting, jogging, and many other types of physical activity.

If you start your Golden Retriever puppy out early with exposure to kids, he will grow to become better than ever will kids. Although they can be very friendly around young kids, they can still knock them over or tend to want to lick them in the face. No matter how great your Golden Retriever may be around kids, you’ll never want to leave your dog and your kids alone. Even though Golden’s have a great temperament, a child can accidentally poke him or pull his tail and cause him to retaliate via his natural instinct.

All Golden Retrievers love the water, and choose to get wet any chance they get. If you have a pond or other source of water on your land, you can expect your Golden Retriever to get into it whenever he gets the chance. They are also drawn to mud, and will get themselves dirty on a frequent basis. Once your Golden is full grown, you can count on bathing him every couple of days.

During the summer, you’ll need to make sure that your Golden Retriever has plenty of moving air, shade, and water. They like the heat, although it normally isn’t good for them. As long as you take care of your Golden and don’t let him over exert himself, he should be just fine even in the hottest days that summer can dish out.

Grooming Your Golden Retriever

Grooming your Golden Retriever is a never ending process. The entire process should be down once or twice a week, and will take you around a ½ an hour of time. Brushing your dog while he is shedding will help to control shedding quite a bit. While outside, if your Golden Retriever manages to get burs or other defects in his hair, you should instantly take a few moments of your time and get the burs or other matter out of his coat.

When you groom your pet, you should always start with a good brushing. Brush his entire body, then once you have finished brushing you can switch to a comb to get out any loose hair that remains in the coat. While you are getting out the hair, you can also inspect your pet for ticks, fleas, and other types of skin ailments. If you wish, you can also check his ears and trim his nails as well.

Bathing your Golden is essential to grooming, and can be somewhat complicated. Before you attempt to give him a bath, you should always brush him first, to get rid of tangles. During shampooing, you should always use shampoos that are specifically for dogs, since human shampoo can dry a dog’s skin out. You don’t need to bathe your dog often, once every other week is good enough. If you properly maintain your Golden’s coat, you’ll find it’s much easier to clean.

To prevent matting, which is very common with Golden Retrievers, you should always make sure that you brush your pet on a daily basis. Metal combs and brushes work extremely well, and will help you to get a great deal of the hair out. Although some people choose to use scissors and cut the mats, you can easily injure your Golden if he happens to move or jerk. Scissors aren’t recommended, as brushing and proper bathing will help to prevent matting of the hair better than anything else.

When you cut your dogs nails, you should trim them a great deal, all the while avoiding going down into the quick. You should never let your Golden’s nails get too long, as long nails can easily take the shape of the dog’s foot, resulting in a splay. Therefore, you should always check your Golden Retriever’s nails and trim them every few weeks. If you trim them just right, you’ll have at least 2 weeks before they need to be trimmed again. If you do happen to trim the nails past the quick, bleeding will occur. To stop the bleeding, always keep some styptic powder on hand to make sure that you are prepared if you do make a mistake.

With other types of grooming, you should also make sure that you clean your Golden’s ears as well. They can get ear infections quite easily, if you don’t clean their ears on a regular basis. To get the best results and protect your pet from ear infections, you should clean his ears once a week using a quality cleansing solution. This way, you can rest assured that your Golden has healthy ears.

Grooming is an essential aspect to the health of every Golden Retriever. All it takes is a little bit of time from your day to groom your pet and keep him healthy. If you don’t have the time to groom your Golden, you can always take him to a professional. Whether you do it yourself or take your Golden to a pro – grooming is something that simply must be done.

A Golden Puppy

We all know that Golden Retrievers are beautiful, obedient, and make great family pets and hunting dogs. Golden’s also make great guide dogs for the blind, narcotic detection dogs, and even tracking dogs for finding missing people. Although there are many other dog breeds out there, Golden Retrievers remain one of the most versatile and most astonishing breeds that you can get.

Before you rush out and buy a Golden Retriever puppy, you should first take the time to learn a bit more about the breed. You can attend dog shows, meet with various owners of Golden Retrievers, and even go to your local kennel club. Most people who own Golden Retrievers are extremely proud of them and will be more than happy to share their enthusiasm with you.

When you buy you’re Golden Retriever puppy, it’s always a great idea to buy from a backyard breeder or local puppy mill. Backyard breeders are normally the best way to get a Golden puppy, as they know and care a lot about the breed in general. Although you can always go to a reputable breeder, backyard breeders aren’t just in it for the money – they actually care about their dogs and want you to get the best Golden possible.

You can also visit the Golden Retriever Club of America and their local member clubs, as they can supply you with a list of breeders in your area. If these breeders don’t have any Golden’s for sale themselves, they will be more than willing to help you find what you’re looking for. This way, you can get a Golden from a very reliable source.

Whatever you do, you should never rush into buying a Golden Retriever. You should always take your time, and have a little bit of patience. When you buy your puppy, you want a healthy puppy who will grow up to be a fine testament of the breed. By taking your time and making a careful decision, you can save yourself a lot of time and money later on down the road.

Golden puppies that are poor quality, are normally produced by breeders who just want to have a litter or breeders who are just looking for the profits and care very little about giving thoughts to looks, quality, or temperament. If you buy a puppy from either of these breeders, you’ll more than likely end up with a puppy who has poor health, poor temperaments, and even disqualifications in breed.

When you get your puppy, you should always think long term. Only buy from a quality breeder, and you shouldn’t have anything to worry about. Always remember that you aren’t just buying a Golden Retriever puppy – you are buying a companion and a friend for life.

Crate Training Your Golden

A lot of people normally have the wrong conception when it comes to crates. This conception leads people to believe that crates are a punishment for dogs, and therefore they won’t use them. Much to the contrary, crates are actually one of the safest places you can put your Golden Retriever, which also gratifies his natural instincts to situate himself within a den.

If you have a crate and leave it open, your Golden will start to go to it when he gets sleepy or when he gets confused. Although Golden’s tend to like crates, you shouldn’t overuse one by allowing him to spend hours at a time inside of one. While you should be training him to get used to the crate, you should never allow him out if he is barking. Once your Golden starts to appreciate the crate, you can leave him in it for a few hours here and there – such as when you are away from home.

When you get your puppy and bring him home for the first time, you should already your crate there and situated where you want it to be. You should set the crate up in a central area, but never in areas that have a lot of traffic. Most people who use crates tend to leave them in the kitchen near a door, so the Golden can go outside whenever he needs to relieve himself.

Once you bring the puppy home, you should put him inside the house and allow him to start searching for the crate. Leave the door to the crate open, and the Golden puppy should start to wander in and out of it. You can also put a toy or dog treat inside the crate, to give your puppy extra incentive to enter. Once he goes inside praise him, and let him know that he is doing the right thing.

If your Golden Retriever stays in the crate on his own, praise him for it. Once your puppy starts getting in the habit of going into the crate on his own, you should place a new toy or treat inside for him to play with. After a while, you can close the door and see how he reacts. If he starts to whine, you can talk to him and put your fingers through the door, although you should never immediately take him out – instead wait for him to settle down.

Even though it may take some time, crate training is great for your Golden. You can use the crate when you need to leave, when you have family over, or for when your Golden has a medical condition such as diarrhea. If you use a bit of patience and never use the crate for punishment – your Golden Retriever puppy should catch on to the crate pretty quick.

Choosing The Right Breeder

When you decide to get a new Golden Retriever puppy, the first choice you will face is where to get your puppy from. No matter how hard you try, it’s nearly impossible to know whether or not the puppy you are buying will grow up to be healthy and strong. In order to even assume that your puppy will grow up to be healthy, you’ll need to trust the individual you get your Golden from.

There are three options available to you, in terms of breeders. You should carefully think about each one, as they all will vary. Below are the three options you have to choose from, and a little bit of information to help you make this very important decision.

Dealer or pet shop
A pet shop is simply the worst place that you can get your Golden Retriever puppy. The puppies they have for sale here are bred poorly, and raised in poor locations to say the least. At these types of places, the puppies are thought of as a profit and nothing more. There is little to no emphasis on quality here either – as pet shops prefer quantity over qualify.

Due to the way the puppies are bred and raised, pet shops make quite a bit of profit. With there being so little that goes into the breeding and care of the puppies, pet shops make a lot of money. They mainly rely on impulse buying, not giving you a lot of time to evaluate the puppies that they have for sale. If you’re looking for an addition to your family, and a puppy that you know is healthy, you’d be better off looking somewhere else for your puppy.

Backyard breeders
Backyard breeders are considered to be yet another poor choice for your puppy. Almost all backyard breeders are people who own a few Golden’s and find it to be fun to breed their female for the fact of having puppies, or breed her once or twice before they decide to go ahead and get her spayed. Backyard breeders don’t look for quality or go out of their way to care for their litters, as they are more or less breeding to make money – and nothing more.

Normally, backyard breeders know very little about the breed in general, and even less about how to properly care for their Golden Retrievers. Backyard breeders normally aren’t familiar with the problems associated with breeding, and most could care less. Their only goal here is to breed Golden Retriever puppies. Once the puppies have been bred, their remaining goal is to sell the puppies as fast as they can – for the highest possible price.

Hobby breeders
A hobby breeder is the ideal way to get your Golden puppy. Hobby breeders are loyal, committed, and think of their pups as more than just a hobby. Although they do make money breeding, they could honestly care less. Hobby breeders care more about the quality of their puppies than anything else, and they commit themselves to helping you get the best Golden Retriever pup possible.

Hobby breeders accept responsibility for each one of their puppies, and they stand behind each and every one of their pups. If you want the best pup you can get for your money, you need to visit a hobby breeder. They very rarely produce poor quality Golden Retriever puppies, as they care a lot about quality. If you get your Golden puppy from a hobby breeder, you can rest assured that you getting a healthy puppy from the start.