Golden Retrievers and Their D.N.A

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.”

Dogstwentyfourseven has a Facebook page,!/dogstwentyfourseven. Interesting articles and links are posted every week. Please click on “Like” if you are enjoying my posts and page. I can be found on Twitter @Dogs247Becky

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About dogstwentyfourseven

Becky White is a dog walker.She and her husband live in Toronto with their two daughters.Becky has been a dog lover all of her life and feels now is the right time to share her stories, experiences and adventures!
This entry was posted in Golden Retrievers, Owners with Two of the Same Breed, Your Dog Gene and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

25 Responses to Golden Retrievers and Their D.N.A

  1. Mark Ziedenberg says:

    Becky: as a long time golden lover, I really enjoyed your “golden stories”
    Our Penny (12 year old golden female) loves the time she spends with you!!

  2. Sandy Creighton says:

    Becky, you have summed up this breed with amazing accuracy. I have had the delight to be the owner of a cream colored Golden for 14 years, and now I am an owner of a new 13 month old “golden” colored Golden and they both have many of the same traits. They are a terrific breed- great family dog and a wonderful companion. Their behaviors and antics always put a smile on your face. I am glad to say that my daughter and I have found a new Golden with Becky’s help.

    • Thanks Sandy! They are a really unique breed and I have known many 🙂 I am so happy you can enjoy another Golden and that we became new friends through the process of your getting him 🙂 Winston is the fourth dog I have been able to find a forever home for.I hope to see you again soon.Best Wishes

  3. Sylvia says:

    In our family the raised paw is called the “please paw” courtesy of the kids.

  4. Jamie and Jennifer says:

    You nailed it! Right down to the purring sound. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve asked people to listen to the odd sound our dog Leia makes when I am petting her (which would be all the time, if it were up to her!) Leia is our first Golden, but she won’t be our last. She returns our love a thousandfold.
    We are really enjoying your blogs – can’t wait til the next one!

  5. Goldens are just special, no question about it. I have only had one in my lifetime but she sure left her inprint on my heart. Buffy will never be duplicated or forgotten, Now if i could just find her,

    • Thanks for your comment Patricia.This post has set records for my Blog in the last 24 hours spreading wildly across the US and Canada.There are hundreds of others like yourself that feel the same way about their dear Goldens.Treasure the happy memories I am sure you have many :)How did you find my Blog,I am curious.In what city do you live in? I write two new posts a week if you are interested in reading more of my work on a variety of dog related topics.Thirty three blog posts so far since Jan. 2012 🙂 Becky

  6. Patricia Hudson / South Bend, IN says:

    My Precious golden retriever Buffy, went missing in Sept of 2011, from my back yard. I went out to get her from her morning constutional and the gate was open and she had vanished. I am just heart sick and have searched for months now to find her, we have done all the ads, posters, phone calls, facebook, craig’s list etc. In my heart I believe someone has her and they don’t intend to give her back. I want you all to know I will not stop looking for her, I will search until I draw my last breath. Buffy came into my life when she was just hours old, we cuddled then and I fell in love. She came home with me at 6 weeks and never was away from me until she vanished.

    She went missing from South Bend Indiana, in an area near Auten and Kenilworth roads, and a Park known as St. Patricks park. I am offering a reward for her return no questions asked, and that money is in the bank in a savings account waiting for someone to have an attack of consience or an attack of needing some cash. Please help me find my baby. My phone # is 574-273-6041 and I am home most of the time.

  7. I love my Golden…what more can I say?

  8. Sue says:

    Becky, I enjoyed your observations, although I would advise anyone thinking about a golden to do extensive research as inbreeding has created some behavioral and medical issues, as in all breeds. They are wonderful dogs; I have been blessed to be adopted by two. Speaking of which, go to a rescue to adopt your golden! They will help you make sure the breed is right for you, as well as the individual dog. Becky, is it possible to remove the “puppies for sale” link I see on your page? Unless you are going to show, adoption and rescue – saving two lives, the dog you adopt and the one you make room for – are SO much more rewarding. The dog will know it has been saved and be devoted to you forever. Keep loving goldens – blonde ones, red ones, cream ones ……

    • I agree with you Sue. We just rescued an eight year old lab to add to our 13 year old lab we adore 🙂 I strongly believe there are too many animals needing forever homes and I have mentioned it in a few of my posts on rescues and posts on adding a second dog to homes. Thanks for your comment. I will pull the puppy advertisment from my personal Facebook page.Is that where it was seen? I don’t think it was posted on my dogstwentyfourseven page.

  9. Pingback: Why I love Goldens | Life In The Dog House

    • Thank you for your kind words. This post went quite viral across the U.S about a month after I published it and was shared around the world by Golden lovers. It gave me such a thrill that my words rang true.:) I have written other stories on Goldens just click on Golden Retrievers on my main page under the topics. Thanks again for the support 🙂 I hope you may be a regular reader. I have a Facebook page too under Dogstwentyfourseven with lots of Golden pictures, Cheers Becky

  10. Nancy Brown says:

    Goldens are pure love. They are a little like a needy boyfriend in that you cannot satiate their need for love but we can forgive them for that. However, they give as much as they get and absolutely pour out their adoration from their eyes. When one rubs the soft head of a Golden, there is no doubt that Goldens are nature’s way of saying, “Sit, be adored, and never stop rubbing.”

  11. Vicky says:

    I lost one golden to liver disease when she was just a year old. I now own her mother (friend moved and couldn’t take the dog with her, so I happily took her!) and i also have another golden. Sadie, the mom to the one I lost, is SO laid back and is very well-mannered, listens very well. Tucker, my other golden, not so much, LOL. he is my velcro dog, I cannot go anywhere without him following. Yes, he even follows me to the restroom, silly boy. He is 4.5 years old, but acts like a puppy. HOLY MOLY, he is hyper. The vet said he is also OCD. I used to get so frustrated with him at times, but now, all I can do is just laugh when he goes goofy on me. If he is too hyper, he is let outside where he can run around a fenced yard to his heart’s content.

    • Wow Vicky your hands are full but with lots of Golden Love too 🙂 Would you consider being a guest author on my blog and write about your life with Goldens? I have a huge following of Golden owners on my blog and my Dogstwentyfourseven Facebook page. Have a great day ahead! Becky

  12. Pingback: Does Your Golden Retriever Purr? | The Daily Golden

  13. Steve says:

    Just stumbled on this years after it was created, but wanted to chime in that you are on the nose with describing Golden traits. Our precious 5 year old ‘River’ is a redder shade of Golden to show they come in all shades of color; occasionally mistaken as an Irish Setter but she’s 100% Golden. It’s just amazing how ingrained in their DNA some of these traits are – she’s got the full lean, soft paw if you stop petting, guttural ‘purring’, desire to be in contact with you, etc… down to a T. Her lean is almost a party trick, she’ll get close to 45 degrees if I slowly start tilting away – but she very intuitively knows she’s allowed to lean on me but not my wife (River’s approx 100 lbs and a very full framed Golden). I originally thought the ‘purring’ was something learned from her growing up with our cats (like a mimicking behavior) but was delighted to find it’s just another hidden gem in the breed. We love all dogs, but our Golden has a very special place in our hearts.

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