Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Golden Retrievers Do You Know How To Best Look After Your Dog S Health Poor Genetics And Weak Nerves Five Vital Questions To Ask Your Vet

Golden retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs today. You’ve probably seen them in the park joyfully fetching a tennis ball. But what do you really know about this dog?

The Golden Retriever was developed during the 1800’s in Britain.

The breeder, Lord Tweedmouth, wanted a dog that was loyal, kind, spirited, and energetic. He also wanted a dog with a love for water and the ability to retrieve. Golden Retrievers are the embodiment of beauty and brains.

Categorized as a sporting dog, the typical Golden Retriever male weighs between 65-75 lbs. and the female slightly smaller at 55-65 lbs. As adults Golden males stand 23-24 inches and females stand 21.5-22.5 inches. Goldens’ coats are various shades of gold.

The Golden Retriever has a water repellent and weather resistant double coat. The firm, resilient outer coat can be wavy or straight. The tail and legs are feathered with longer hair while the under coat is dense and soft in texture. The coat color varies in shades of cream to gold and is rich and lustrous. The Golden is a heavy shedder.

The Golden Retriever is a large, and energetic breed making them the world’s foremost family pet and companion. They are sturdy, well proportioned, and are well known for their hunting capabilities on land and in the water. The Golden is a perceptive and agile breed that trains quickly.

Golden Retrievers are loveable, polite, and highly intelligent. They are sweet, eager to please, and devoted family companions who are always gentle and patient with children. They exude charm and confidence however they do not do well if left alone for extended periods of time and may become mischievous and destructive. They have a tendency to be overly exuberant and easily distracted. They are friendly with other pets. In fact, they are friendly with everyone. They tend to bark as a form of greeting. The Golden Retriever is not well suited for a two career family as they require an inordinate amount of human interaction and companionship.

The Golden Retriever is one of the easiest breeds to train. They excel in obedience and are popular therapy and service dogs. They have many talents including competitive obedience, narcotic detection, agility, and performing tricks.

Caring for a Golden Retriever can be time consuming. The heavy coat of Golden Retrievers requires daily and thorough brushing with a firm bristle brush. They should be dry shampooed regularly, and bathed only when absolutely necessary with a mild shampoo to keep from drying out their skin. Also, they are prone to hip dysplasia, cataracts, and skin allergies so regular veternarian check-ups are essential. They do have a tendency to gain weight so it is important not to over feed the Golden Retriever.

Golden’s will do okay in an apartment dwelling provided they are sufficiently exercised. The Golden Retriever requires daily exercise and they enjoy play sessions with their family, retrieving balls and other toys. Golden Retrievers are moderately active indoors and do best with a medium to large sized securely fenced yard.

Golden Retriever puppies should be purchased from reputable Golden Retriever breeders who should be able to provide documentation from the American Kennel Club or similar registry organization. Ideally, you should be able to view the parents. An alternative to purchasing a puppy is to adopt a Golden Retriever from a Golden Retriever rescue or other rescue organization like the Humane Society.

Now you know everything you ever wanted to know about Golden Retrievers. Remember that like any pet, owning a Golden Retriever is a long-term, significant commitment.

As a loving pet owner, you want your dog to live a great life. You can do this thanks to the many advances in veterinary medicine. Dogs can live longer and healthier. And, the quality of your dog’s health is all about how well you and your vet work together to make it so.

Your first vet visit should be within the first ten days that you own her. In this time period, the vet will get measurements and weights for her. They will also check the blood and stool of the animal to insure there are no health concerns there. It is also important for you to get some basic education on modern pet care from your vet during that first appointment. The vet will be able to tell you how to brush the dog’s teeth, how to clean his ears as well as how to clip toenails. Just ask.

The next thing that you should keep in mind is your dog’s food. A well balanced diet will include foods that are good quality and in the correct amounts. Your dog needs the right nutrients to sustain a healthy lifestyle. You can always ask your vet which is the best food for your dogs as well as understanding how much to feed them. You don’t have to purchase the highest priced product on the store shelves either. Some of the most costly are not even that good for your dog. There are great inexpensive choices for you as well.

You need to give your dog exercise. It helps to strengthen muscles and keeps her weight under control. It helps with the immune system of the pet as well. You may actually have to encourage your dog to be active. If a dog seems to be a couch potato type animal, you need to find a way to get them moving. Other dogs are naturally active. You should put some time each day aside for the exercise of your pet.

Your dog will need to be seen by the vet at least once per year. This will allow the vet to insure the dog’s health as well as test for parasites that may be there. Blood and stool samples will be used for this. It is important to do this so that the vet can spot and treat problems before they threaten your dog’s health severely. You should also mention anything different that your dog is doing during this time. For example some pets will lick paint or will eat strange substances. These are signs that something is medically wrong and you should bring it to your vet’s attention.

Also important during this visit is that the vaccines will be updated. This is very important to your dog’s life. And, in some areas, it is required by law to have them done.

Lastly, you’ll need to know how to choose a vet. Do it the same way you would choose your own doctor. They should be someone that you trust and feel comfortable talking with. The vet should encourage your questions and support your needs.

Dear Mr. Katz:

I recently purchased your book, “Secrets of a Professional Dog Trainer!” and have tried very hard to curb my dog Honey’s aggressions, which I have now recognized as both fear and food aggression… after reading your book.

But instead of better, I fear it is getting worse.

We adopted her from the age of 2-3 months, and she was fine in the beginning. Very loving and extremely hyperactive. The hyperactivity continues, and she still jumps up at anyone coming near the house. She seems to fear tall men, especially if they have anything in their hands, like a garden rake or spade, and she backs away from strangers, even small children. She is afraid. She gets aggressive with anyone she senses is afraid of dogs, and she has gone for them, making it worse for them, of course! She becomes aggressive with anyone who passes her by when any food is around, and she will growl and snarl at them, telling them in effect that the food is hers, so hands off!

To crown it all off, she snarled and growled at me today when I went up to stroke her, which she has not done before. I have always tried to correct her, either by the leash, or we have a muzzle which we correct her with, and failing that, I will put her in her crate as a punishment. I am not a novice with a dog. Before Honey, we had the most wonderful shepherd/husky dog, who was similarly abandoned, and I never had one problem with him – he was wonderful. I have taken honey to obedience classes – She does sit and stay, also goes down when she is instructed to.

I feel that I have done everything possible to alleviate her aggression, but it doesn’t seem to work. I have two daughters who both pour love on her too, and quite frankly, I am afraid one day that she will become vicious – Can you please give me some advice, because I do not want to have to have her put down.

I have tried everything you recommend in your book, including spitting in her food, and making her wait to eat last. But I must be doing something wrong! I know mixed breeds aren’t your favorite, but please make an exception in my case. I love dogs, and hate to be beaten. I am also English, and you must know that we are softies when it comes to animals!

I await your reply in haste!

Sincerely,

Diana

Dear Diana,

First, let me point out that I share my home with a mixed breed.

And yes… I like him. A whole lot! His name is Forbes and he is one of the most compatible dogs I’ve ever had the pleasure of sharing my life with.

To be honest, I have a feeling that your dog’s issues are very much a result of poor genetics and weak nerves.

But before jumping to any conclusions, you must first recognize that all of the information you’ve droned on about provides me with NONE of the information I need in order to help you.

So… what do I need? I need to know what happens when you correct the dog? Does she continue to act aggressive? Does she stop immediately? Does she try to bite you? Does she go submissive? And once you get her to pay attention to you, what’s happened once you’ve started to create new/positive associations with the stimulus, as described in the book?

These are all of the questions you need to be asking yourself. As well as:

– Is my timing on the money? Is the dog associating my corrections with the behavior (the aggression).

– Am I being consistent? (Be honest… if the dog isn’t getting a firm correction EVERY TIME she exhibits the behavior, then it’s no wonder that you’re not getting the results you seek.)

– Are my corrections motivational? If the distraction/stimulus is more motivational than your correction, then you’ll never get any results. You’ll know that your correction is motivational when the dog stops looking at the stimulus and starts looking at you.

Please let me know. However, judging on what you’ve described I would not be surprised if this is mostly the results of poor genetics and weak nerves. And in which case, you will never be able to overcome the dog’s genetics, so the dog should either be put to sleep or confined to such a lifestyle that she only comes in contact with you and people that she does not show the aggression towards. But before you make any snap decisions I would recommend consulting with a professional who can evaluate the dog for you. It’s impossible to give an accurate assessment without seeing the mutt. Err… dog.

That’s all for now, folks!

Choosing a “vital 5″ out of my list of questions to ask your vet about your cat was no easy task. As the list gets longer, it becomes even more difficult.

My hope, of course, is that cat owners and vets everywhere will use this technique to form a better pet health care team. With some creativity, you can adapt the concept, if not the questions themselves, to fit just about any pet.

As you may already know, I began collecting my list of questions based on reader feedback. By the types of questions that I was being asked by website visitors, two major truths became painfully obvious…

1. Many people just do not seem to have a good working relationship with their vet.

By that I mean that for some reason, they don’t seem to get the information that they need. Honestly, I have been shocked by the questions coming my way on cat health and behavior. Hadn’t these people spoken to their vet? Surely their vet could have helped them with this topic.

Sadly, in some cases, the answer was no. Even worse, though, was the sad reality of the second truth…

2. They had asked one or more veterinarians about the issue, but never got a clear direction on what the problem was or what to do about it!

In some cases, these people had asked for help over long periods of time, with no results. For them, my standard answer of “here is what I know, now go ask your vet about the particulars” didn’t really work for them.

The quick answer of “get another vet” didn’t always apply either. It was either not feasible, or had already been tried. The obvious follow up to that would be to continue looking for a veterinarian who would help. But that probably isn’t necessary most of the time.

I didn’t have a specific answer for these people at the time, but I knew two things. First, these people needed to get to a place where they could work as a team with their vet to help their cat. Second, they needed to learn exactly what to ask in order to get their vet to talk to them.

One of our goals as cat owners should be to develop and encourage an information flow with our vet. Yet, this seems to be something that most of us put little thought into.

So, how do you do that? Two ways…

1. Ask good questions that lead to a two way information exchange.

My firm belief is that the quality of information that we receive is directly related to the questions that we ask. Based on that notion, I decided to try to help you, the cat owner, and put together a list of “questions to ask your vet.”

2. Arrive at your vet visit prepared, with questions in hand.

Show up at your vet visit with written questions, and write down the responses. While you’re there, jot down any new questions, along with their answers, that come to mind. If you don’t, you will either forget to ask, not ask in the right way, or worse, forget the answer! Your pet will thank you.

Of my entire list of questions to ask your vet, I’ve selected 5 that are vital. Here they are…

1. Should my cat be indoor or outdoor?

This decision impacts how you and your cat interact. More importantly, it determines to a significant degree how long your cat may live. As a rule, indoor cats live many times longer than outdoor cats.

2. What are the most common diseases and conditions that I should know about?

You and your vet should briefly discuss the most common conditions that develop in cats. This discussion can expand to include breed, and may vary based on geography.

3. What are the most common signs of disease that I should look for?

In addition to knowing which diseases are common, you should know what to look for. Getting a good idea of the common signs of disease will help you detect trouble early. Some common signs of a number of diseases are excessive thirst and urination, excessive vomiting, weight loss, and lethargy.

4. What do you recommend for cat litter?

This can be somewhat controversial, but you should get your vet’s opinion. There are many options, probably too many, on brand and type. Using the “wrong” cat litter can have a profound effect on the well being of your cat.

Some cats will refuse to use the litter box if you even change brands. Expand this into a discussion on litter box type, number and placement as well.

5. Is there a particular diet or brand of pet food that you recommend? Why?

This again is controversial, but all important. The AAFCO sets certain guidelines on pet food ingredients, but that does not mean that commercial pet foods are all the same. In addition, a number of well meaning cat lovers, including some breeders, are recommending home made cat food, or raw meat diets.

Watch out, as these can be dangerous, especially if not done correctly. Find out what your vet is feeding her own animals, and why.

Again, I’ll stress the value of the dialogue that begins based on these questions. If you’re a good conversationalist, you’ll be able to rewrite these questions in your own words. If you are like most, however, you should write them down as is, and let the conversation flow from there.

Are there more questions to ask your vet than just these? Of course there are. Are there others that are also vital to you and your cat? Absolutely, and some of them only you may know. The above list, however, should get you started on a great dialogue, and give you some solid information that a surprising number of pet owners simply do not have.

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