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.
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 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.
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 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 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 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.
Training For Your Golden Retriever
With the term training in mind, there are several different meanings involved. When you are looking to train your Golden Retriever, you have a few options available to you. Below, we will take a look at the many types of training for your Golden, and help you decide when type of training is best for both you and your Golden.
Behavior training teaches a Golden Retriever to be a good dog in general. The training involved includes house breaking, good general behavior around people and pets, leash training, and other types of things that will make him a better companion. Dogs that who passed obedience training and well composed - no matter where you decide to take them.
Activity training teaches Golden Retrievers various activities such as hunting, herding, search and rescue, and several other tricks that you can do together. Activity training is very popular with the Golden breed, as it helps to make the relationship between you and your pet a lot more interesting. By concentrating on activities that the Golden breed was bred to do, activity training is always very beneficial to your Golden Retriever.
Obedience training teaches your Golden how to perform various activities. This type of training focuses on general behavior as well, teaching the dog to be well behaved. Most dogs who go through a class in obedience training turn out to be well behaved and will listen to your commands and shouldn't do things such as chewing and barking for no reason. If you want your Golden to be well behaved and obedient, you should enroll him in a obedience training class as soon as you can.
Keep in mind that there are certain lines and distinctions with each type of training. If you choose obedience training for example, then your Golden Retriever won't get any help with his behavior. When you select a class for your Golden, you always want to select a class that fits his needs at that time. If you are having trouble controlling your dog, you may want to start him off with behavior training, which is what most Golden owners tend to do.
When you look for a training class, you should also know what area your dog needs help with. Sometimes, a behavior pattern can be the result of boredom, which can easily be fixed by spending more time with your dog. Once you have spent more time with him, you'll sometimes notice his patten to stop. Other times however, he may need a bit more help with certain behavior patterns, which is where training comes into play. Although Golden Retrievers are smart dogs, they won't know if they are doing something wrong unless you show them.
Before you can train your Golden puppy, you need to know what to teach him. Golden puppies adore routines, and feel more at ease than ever if they are on a schedule that they can predict. When you take your dog to training, you should always be patient with him and reassure him that he is doing good. As your Golden gets older and begins to learn new things, he will never forget his training. In the unlikely event that he starts to slip on some of his training, you can always let him go through a course again to brush up on the techniques. This way, no matter how old your Golden Retriever gets, he will always be the ideal companion that you have grown to love over the years.
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.
Tips For Training Your Golden
Although there are many training tips for Golden Retrievers, teeth is the most common. Golden puppies love to chew, and will chew anything they can get. Although chew toys are preferred, there is a way that you can help your Golden fulfill his natural instinct to chew, and help him to ease the pain of teething as well.
To start, simply fill an old sock you have with several ice cubes. Next, put a knot in the sock and place the sock with the cubes in the freezer. When your puppy starts to chew on things, simply give him the sock. You can keep several socks with ice in it in your freezer if you want, so your puppy will always have a chew toy. Although this is great to use, you should never leave your dog alone with the sock. He could end up chewing the sock and swallowing pieces of it, which could lead to very serious health problems.
During leash training, a lot of people prefer to attach the leash to the Golden then drag him in the direction they want him to go. This isn't the best way to train, as it often sends the wrong signal to the puppy. Instead, you should first get your Golden puppy used to the collar and the leash. You can do this by putting his collar and leash on inside the house or outside in a fenced in area, so that he can walk around and move about freely with the leash on, dragging it alongside him.
Once you have given him some time, pick the leash up, then start calling him to you. Once he comes over to you, start praising him for it, so he knows that he is on the right track. Always be patient when leash training, as it will take some time for him to get used to it. If you continue to praise him when he is doing it right and continue giving him time to get used to the leash, you shouldn't have any problems.
Digging is something that Golden Retrievers love, as it is essential to their nature. Digging can be somewhat frustrating if you don't give your Golden an area to himself, as he will dig holes in your yard. If you keep your Golden indoors, he may try to dig in the floor, on the couch, or on the bed. Digging is part of their nature, and you should never punish a Golden for digging.
To help him fill this need, you should give him an area to dig in. You can get him a kiddie pool or sandbox, filling it with either soil or sand. Then, try burying a treat or toy in inside, so your Golden will dig to get it out. Once he learns this is where he should dig, he will more than likely head to that area when he has the need to dig. Later on, when he becomes a bit older, you should invest in obedience training classes that will help him to get his digging habits under control.
The above tips can help a great deal when training your Golden Retriever puppy. Golden's are great dogs, although you'll need to have a bit of patience with them. Even though they are very smart dogs, it may take them time to learn. Once they start learning however - they will become an integral part of your family that you couldn't begin to live without.
Training Your Golden Retriever
Dogs aren't like humans, so they need to learn in different ways. Dogs don't have human responses, meaning that they don't operate with the principle of right or wrong. Instead, they operate on a principle of response, guided by the actions you give them. If their actions lead to a bad response from you, then they not that what they are doing is wrong and will avoid doing that type of behavior.
If your dog does something right, he should be praised for it. If your Golden Retriever is listening to what you say and doing well, you should reward him with a treat or praise. Letting him know that he is doing good leads to positive response. On the other hand, if he isn't listening to you or doing the total opposite of what you say, you shouldn't reward him at all - but instead scold him with a stern NO.
When training your Golden Retriever, timing is the most important factor. If your dog is doing something wrong, you shouldn't wait or hesitate to correct him. Doing so may send the wrong impression. When your Golden is doing something wrong, you should correct him right then and there, so he will know without a doubt what he is doing wrong.
For example, if your Golden Retriever is chasing cars, you obviously want to stop this habit before it gets it out of hand. The second you see him doing this, you should always stop him and let him know he's wrong. This way, he will know that chasing cars is something he shouldn't be doing. It may take a bit of time for him to realize this, and you'll need to hold your ground and continue to correct him when he is doing something that you don't approve of.
This type of theory is similar to that of praise. When you see your Golden Retriever doing something right, you should praise him instantly. If you don't praise him instantly and instead wait until he has stopped, he will assume that you are praising him for stopping. To be on the safe side and get the most from your Golden, you should always praise him when he is behaving in the right way, then correct him when he is behaving in a negative way.
If you take your time and show patience with your Golden Retriever, you shouldn't have any problems training him. The training process may take quite a bit of time, although it is more than worth it in the end. Once you have trained your Golden Retriever, he will react to what you say, and avoid doing the things he has been corrected for. Training is essential for Golden - and will make him a much better dog when he grows older.
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.
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.
Medical Problems Of Golden Retrievers
Also known as seizures, epilepsy disorders normally occur from viral infections, and environmental factors as well. Even though an inaccessible seizure isn't always a problem, dogs that have recurring seizures should never be bred. Vets can recommend medicines that control recurring seizures, although medicine isn't always effective. Although epilepsy doesn't affect the health of a Golden Retriever, it does have an effect on breeding. You can never tell if it is indeed heredity, therefore breeding is pretty much out of the question - to avoid passing it on to the litter.
Skin allergy is the most common medical issue with Golden Retrievers. Skin allergy is normally the result of allergens such as flea bites, dust, airborne pollen, food, and even mold. Symptoms will vary, although they can include bits, scratching, licking, and even ear infections. Diet is extremely important here, as it can help to prevent a lot of these problems. If you consult with your vet, you can more than likely eliminate the risks your pet has of getting a skin allergy.
Hypothyroidism is a condition that causes the thyroid gland to malfunction. Golden Retrievers that are affected by this disease will normally show such symptoms as coat problems or obesity. This medical problem can also result in a lack of fertility as well. A lack of fertility can be a big problem for breeders, as it makes it very hard for the affected Golden Retriever to breed.
The treatment of hypothyroidism involves taking the oral supplement for hypothyroidism on a daily basis. Once it has been treated successfully, the prognosis will appear to be normal and dog will have a normal, healthy life span, providing there are no other medical problems. This condition is somewhat common with Golden Retrievers, and can be diagnosed by your vet.
Some Golden's who suffer from hypothyroid problems will have seizures, although this will stop once they go on the oral treatment medicine. Even though the hypothyroid condition isn't associated with epilepsy, you should monitor your dog to be on the safe side. You don't want to take any chances with your dog coming down with epilepsy, which is why you should always have your vet do routine checks.
Even though medical problems are somewhat common with Golden Retrievers, you can help to prevent them by making sure your dog is healthy. If you do your part and make sure that you treat your Golden well, you shouldn't have anything to worry about. Golden Retrievers are generally healthy dogs, although they can get ill from time to time. If you take your dog to the vet and get him treated as soon as he gets sick - he'll be better and back to his normal self in no time at all.
Adopting An Older Golden Retriever
Those of you who want a Golden Retriever but aren't ready to go through the trials and tribulations of a puppy, should look into adopting an older Golden. Older Golden Retrievers are mature, and prove to be great in homes where they need to spend a quality amount of time by themselves. They are a very adjustable breed, being good tempered. No matter how old the Golden may be, he will quickly become a valued member of your family in little to no time at all.
Many times, breeders will have older dogs for sale. There are several reasons for this, which include show dogs that have lost their potential, studs that have been used for breeding, female Golden's that have been bred a few times then retired, or other types of special conditions where a breeder is helping a friend get rid of his Golden Retriever. There are other reasons as well, although whatever they may be - the adult Golden Retriever will be available for anyone who wants him.
Most older Golden Retrievers are already housebroken, and known a lot of behavior patterns and how to adapt to a new and loving family. Although it will be a little hard on your new dog at first, if you give him plenty of love, attention, and patience, he'll be just fine. You need to keep reassuring your new Golden on a regular basis, and let him know that you are his new owner and that you love you and you are glad he's a member of your family.
If you have been thinking of adopting an older Golden Retriever, you should make sure that you learn everything you can about him. You should also determine his temperament, and whether or not it's compatible with your family. You should also learn important things as well, such as his diet, likes, dislikes, daily routine, and his habits. Before you decide to take him, you should always make sure that the members of your family meet him as well, so you can talk it over and decide whether or not everyone wants the dog to be a member of your family.
With an older dog, you need to take care of him for the first days, and let him know where everything in your home is. You'll need to show him where he sleeps, where he should use the bathroom, and where his food is. Take your time and be patient with him, as will normally take him a few days to learn how things in your home work.
You should always give your new Golden Retriever at least a month or so to get used to his new environment, before you start his new obedience training. Even though your new dog may have some prior obedience training, you should still enroll him in a new class. This way, he can brush up on training and you can work with him to help him understand. Once you have finished training, he'll understand your commands better and you and him will get along just fine.
All Golden Retrievers, regardless of their age, love attention. Older Golden's on the other hand, may have medical problems that you aren't aware of. You shouldn't let this stop you from getting one though, simply because the rewards that you'll find are far greater than any cons that may come to mind. Although many people don't give a lot of thought to getting an older Golden Retriever - they are perfect for families who don't want to put up the time and troubles of raising a puppy.
The Golden Retriever
In a dog's world, Golden Retrievers are simply the fatal attraction. They are a preferred dog breed, making great pets, hunting dogs, obedience competitors, show dogs, and even a combination of all these traits. No matter what your intent may be to own a Golden Retriever, you'll have an excellent dog that will live up to it's potential and then some.
Golden Retrievers are calm, well mannered, and extremely affectionate. They are easy to train as well, very intelligent, and great for those who need a companion. Golden's are also loyal to their owners, lovable, and great with children of all ages. They also make great watchdogs as well, as they will bark loud and let you know when a stranger is near.
Like other dogs, Golden Retrievers will shed their hair throughout the year and more in the spring - no matter how many times you brush them a day. They also like to be in and near the water, similar to Labs. If you have any type of water on or near your property, your Golden Retriever will be in it, and tend to be either wet or muddy quite a bit - which can tend to get frustrating.
If you are always on the go or never at home, you shouldn't get a Golden Retriever. If you prefer cats over dogs, you should look into another breed. Golden Retrievers crave attention and admiration, and normally don't do too well if you leave them at home by themselves for long periods of time. Golden's need attention, and desire to be around you at all times. If you spend a lot of time at home on the other hand, or have kids, a Golden Retriever will be a perfect addition to your family.
A lot of people out there prefer to get a puppy and raise it themselves. This way, the puppy will grow up with the skills they have taught him. This is a great idea and very rewarding, although it can consume a lot of your time and tend to be very frustrating at times. Those who don't have a lot of time to spare or tend to get easily frustrated, shouldn't get a puppy. Instead, they should look towards an older Golden Retriever who has already been house broken and trained.
Golden Retrievers are an excellent breed, and they can provide you with the companion you have been looking for. They can participate in several activities with you as well, such as hiking, camping, and walking. Golden's love the outdoors, and they love just getting out there and doing things with you and your family. If you include your Golden Retriever in family activities - you'll have a friend for life who will quickly grow on you over the years.
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