Managing Golden Retriever Health Problems and Training

Golden retrievers are really “a man’s best friend.” Train your golden retriever, spend time with your golden retriever and I guarantee you will get hours and hours of enjoyment from this breed. Are you maximizing the potential of your golden retriever? You need to maximize the potential of your golden retriever as this breed has unlimited potential.

Are you maximizing the potential of your golden retriever? You need to maximize the potential of your golden retriever as this breed has unlimited potential…

Choosing your Golden Retriever Puppy

When choosing a puppy remember that Golden Retriever puppies are very cute and appealing, but you need to base your choice on more than just looks. Before you pick up your puppy, you should always make sure that he has a strong build, with straight legs.

The puppy should be strong and muscular, yet be wriggly and active when you first try to pick him up. You should also make sure that he has healthy teeth and gums, and look over the rest of his body to make sure that he is healthy and there is no sign of skin disease.

Golden Retriever Training

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular house dogs in the world. They are fairly easy to train, very intelligent, and great for those who need a companion. The Golden Retriever is also loyal to its owners, lovable, and great with children of all ages.

However, the Golden Retriever is often a demanding dog, in respect of time and attention, so if you spend much of the day away from the home then this is probably not the dog for you. However, for a big active family who love the great outdoors and who are willing to spend time and attention on their dog, then the Golden Retriever is perfect and he will love to join in with everything that the family does.

Time and Patience – Training the Golden Retriever

Although the Golden Retriever is very intelligent, he is in fact rather slow to grow up; indeed some owners will tell you that their dog never did! This means that training can take a lot of time and patience, rather like teaching a young child! Lots of short training sessions are more effective than long ones. Use lots of praise too as the Golden Retriever loves to please and you can use this trait to your advantage!

If the dog does not behave correctly or just does not get the training, don’t lose your temper or shout. This never helps and will in fact make matters worse. The best policy is to ignore your dog if he is naughty, again playing on his wish for attention. He will hate it if he does not get attention, but will soon learn that you will only make a fuss if he is good!

The Basic Commands

Plan out your training step by step and make sure the household knows the commands. It is no good if one person uses one word for come here, and someone else uses a different command. So write out the commands you are going to use and pin them up in the kitchen or hall, so everyone is working together!

When the puppy is very young, begin with name recognition training and then move on to the ‘come’ command as he starts to recognize his name. Once he has the hang of coming when called you can easily move on to making him ‘sit’ when he comes. Hold a treat above his head and as he looks up, gently touch his bottom so that he naturally goes into the sit position.

Immediately praise him, just as his rear touches the floor, then he will connect the command to the action. Remember, all this will take time and there will be many failures. However, if you praise him every time he does it right, his natural wish to please will make your Golden Retriever catch on to the commands.

Once these commands are mastered then you can move on to the next stage. When your dog has ‘come’ and you have made him ‘sit’, then the next command is ‘stay’. Keep him in the sit position and raise your hand, palm out, towards him and say ‘stay’.

Move back just one step and repeat the command. As he obeys the ‘stay’ command then start to move further and further away. If he is doing ok, then try turning your back on him and walking away. This is difficult for any dog, especially a Golden Retriever, as he feels you are leaving him!

Once you have both mastered these commands and you are confident that in any situation he will obey you, then you can progress with advanced training and have lots of fun learning new skills together. However, if you are finding these basic commands difficult, don’t despair.

Dog or puppy obedience training classes are held all over the country and could be the way to start off your training, if you feel a little out of your depth. They are also a good way of socializing your Golden Retriever with other dogs so that he will be quite relaxed when meeting other dogs and people.

If you are looking for advice on training for your golden retriever or house breaking your golden retriever visit Doggy Dan’s it is a goldmine for information on everything related to dog training and golden retrievers.

Hereditary Health Problems Associated with the Golden Retriever

  • Eye disease is very common with Golden Retrievers. Many Golden Retrievers will have hereditary cataracts, which is a common eye problem. An eye test, when your pup is about one year old, will be able to find out if there are any congenital eye conditions. If cataracts are suspected, then breeding is not recommended.
  • Golden Retriever breeds have been known to carry genes for CPRA (Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy), which affects the retina, and can result in permanent blindness at a young age. There are other types of eye defects as well, such as retinal dysplasia. Make sure you take your Golden Retriever for an annual eye test to make sure all is well, as eye disease can strike at any age.
  • SAS (Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis) is the most common and widespread form of heart disease within the Golden Retriever breed. If you are thinking of breeding from your Golden Retriever, you should have him examined for heart disease by a certified veterinary cardiologist. If the cardiologist detects a heart murmur, he will recommend more tests for your dog. If a Golden Retriever has any type of heart disease, you should not use the dog for breeding.
  • Hip dysplasia is a condition of the hip joints, whereby the joint cartilage erodes causing pain and lameness. With larger breeds, such as the Golden Retriever, hip dysplasia is common. Hip dysplasia is an inherited condition and gets progressively worse with age, often resulting in arthritis in the later stages. Although there is no cure, there are a range of treatments which will relieve the condition, and one of the most important is to keep the weight of your dog down as obesity will make the condition worse.

Other Health Problems

Like other dog breeds, Golden Retrievers are susceptible to a range of health issues and conditions. Many of these conditions such as skin and ear infection, parasites and dental issues can all be spotted early on with regular examination of your dog. This is best achieved during grooming, when you should look closely at your dog’s overall condition to spot any problems.

Check for fleas and ticks as these can lead to more serious health problems for both your dog and yourself. Look inside your dogs’ ears for signs of infection. If there is any discharge, redness or a foul smell then there is almost certainly an ear infection. Also check your dogs’ mouth and teeth for signs of disease or decay. Internal parasites are not so easy to spot, but these are potentially serious, so get to know the signs and take action if you suspect a problem.

Having a retriever around your home is indeed safe and incredibly enjoyable. So do not miss the opportunity of acquiring one for your family. There are often  golden retriever dogs and puppies up for adoptions at shelters do the right thing and look there first to help out dogs in need. But make sure you get the right training for it.

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