It always seems achievable and straightforward when you think of getting a dog, but things start to become a little confusing when you have to select a specific breed, given the extensive amount of dog breeds there are in this world.
Most first-time owners tend to pick a dog breed that has the nicest appearance, but there is more to a dog than their looks. Mind you; every dog breed has a different temperament, behavior, and overall personality. It is likely that a handsome dog that you are planning to invest in may not have the innate characteristics best suitable for you or your family. This is why it is crucial that every pet owner does an extensive amount of research before getting a particular dog.
Many of you may be thinking of getting a golden mountain dog; if that is so, great! But before you make this happen, it is necessary that you learn everything that is important to know about this adorable dog breed. In this blog post, we have gathered indisputable facts and details about the golden mountain dog so that you make the most informed decision at the end of the day.
Origin of Golden Mountain Dogs
To understand the origin of the golden mountain dog, it is necessary to know that this dog breed is not a purebred animal. It is a mix of a golden retriever and the Bernese mountain dog. One of their parent dogs – the golden retriever – came into this world during the mid-1800s. Lord Tweedmouth – a nobleman in Scotland – wanted a loyal, attentive, and friendly dog and hence created a dog breed with these characteristics. Initially, it was simply called the “retriever” but it was only in 1920, this yellow-haired beauty was named “golden retriever.”
On the other hand, the Bernese mountain dog first originated in Bern, Switzerland. This breed of dog worked on farms as cattle drivers or protectors of the stock against pests. A Kansas farmer imported this dog breed to America in 1926, where it rose to popularity as both a farm dog and a friendly house pet, and was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1981.
While it is unclear exactly when and where the golden mountain dog originated, this much is clear that it is the product of the cross between the golden retriever and the Bernese mountain dog. And owing to this fact, these dogs possess certain characteristics common to their parents.
Physical Appearance of the Golden Mountain Dog
The golden mountain dog is an impressive breed that grows up to 26 inches tall. It has a well-proportioned body, densely covered with a fluffy, straight coat, and enduring legs covered with soft, hairy paws. It is impossible to ignore this breed’s distinguishing long, floppy ears which make this pet adorable beyond measure.
Their eyes are almond-shaped, mostly brown in color and deeply set in the face. Their nose is small and usually black, and their tail is moderately long. When it comes to their coat color, the possibilities are plenty; it could be in any color from brindle to brown to white to black to a mix of any of these colors.
Since these dogs are meant to guard or haul heavy things around, it is befitting to see them heavy and large. They are similar-looking to their parents as their drooping lips are inherited from the Bernese while their strikingly shaped mouth reminds us of the golden retrievers.
Temperament and Behavior
Just like their parents, golden mountain dogs are loyal, affectionate, and good-natured pets that love human company and are always eager to impress/please their owner. Owing to their pleasant and caring disposition, they make for ideal family dogs; especially if the owner has a large family with kids and other dogs. They are, indeed, easy to get along with. They crave attention and like to be involved in house activities such as helping in the yard work or playing games with the family.
Besides being a family dog, this breed also makes for a great watchdog. If an intruder or a stranger enters your house, it will bark to alert you. But otherwise, it is a calm and quiet breed that doesn’t cause any sort of nuisance. Golden mountain dogs may not be friendly to guests, but that doesn’t mean they are shy or aloof. They need to be properly trained in order to help them socialize with strangers. Training these dogs doesn’t require a lot of hard work, considering how intelligent and smart they are.
These dogs are fond of food and are eager eaters, which is why they can quickly gain weight. Pet owners need to be careful of their daily food intake and should ensure that their treats are always kept to a minimum. Also, note that the golden mountain dog has a low tolerance for extreme temperatures. If you live in warm climatic regions, then this dog breed may not be ideal for you as they function well only in colder areas.
All in all, golden mountain dogs are cuddly, loving, and easy to get along with. We don’t see why you shouldn’t choose them as your ultimate pet.
Exercise and Activity Requirements
Since golden mountain dogs are a giant breed, it is crucial that you don’t over-exercise them when they are growing and developing. Otherwise, it can put a lot of stress on their sensitive bones and joints, leading to orthopedic issues as they age and mature. Once fully developed, golden mountain dogs like to be active and engaged and therefore, a walk twice a day is necessary. You can walk your lovely pet around your neighborhood, in the park, or by the river or beach; any place is ideal as these dogs aren’t too picky or demanding as long as the place allows them to walk freely.
As these dogs belong to a working stock, they prefer a healthy dose of daily exercise such as running up and down the stairs, getting them on the treadmill, or letting them play games like fetching food or tug of war. Even a trip to a park is a great activity as it helps them become more social. These activities will help them stay both physically and mentally active and prevent them from lazing indoors, which they absolutely despise.
Since they are compulsive eaters, daily exercise and engaging activities will prevent them from suffering from obesity – a complex eating disorder. Make sure that you have varied forms of activities planned out for these dogs as this will give them an opportunity to do different things and learn new tasks every day. Be cautious during hot and humid weather as their heavy coats can overheat their bodies. To cool them off, swimming is a good option – after which, your golden mountain dog must be taken out in the sun to dry its wet body.
Training and Feeding
While many dogs are tough to train, golden mountain dogs are fun and easy learners. Since they have an active personality and like to feel involved, training them is a breeze. Pet owners can begin training as soon as these dogs arrive home, with as basic commands as “sit” or “run.” It is not hard to learn these commands and move on to more complex ones, given that this dog breed is inherently quite intelligent.
Having an ability to perform multiple disciplines, train them to perform as many roles as possible, from being friendly companions to house guards to playful friends. Try doing so, and you will be amazed by their versatility. If you are getting a golden mountain puppy, expose your pet to other animals, kids, and people so that it learns to be friendly and social. Also, groom your puppy from the beginning so that it doesn’t find the idea alien as it matures.
Feeding is as essential as grooming and training golden mountain dogs which is why it is important to ensure that their diet comprises of quality dog food with at least 18 to 26% protein and a fat content less than 15%. Consider giving fresh food like eggs, fish, yogurt, and raw or cooked meat to them. Fruits like banana, pear, and apple and veggies like squash, broccoli, carrots, or cooked pumpkins are also healthy choices. The golden mountain dog also likes having dry dog food so you can give 3 to 4 cups of it daily.
Care and Maintenance
As a golden mountain dog has a thick, long, and lush coat, it requires maintenance on a regular basis. It is essential to brush their fluffy coat at least once a day – a grooming task that must be done outside the house, given that this dog breed is a heavy shedder. Having this dog at home demands regular vacuuming, but with such a lovely companion, most pet owners don’t find the chore that big of a deal.
While brushing their coat, make sure to check their ears and teeth as well. Most dogs tend to get ear infections and inflammation that is easily treated if detected early. Use a damp cloth to clean their ears and avoid inserting anything sharp or heavy into their ear canal. Harmful bacteria can easily attack their teeth, leading to toothache, bad breath, or weak/bleeding gums. When scrutinizing a golden mountain dog’s teeth, look for these signs and symptoms of tooth problems. These problems can easily be avoided if you regularly brush your pet’s teeth from a young age. Trimming nails is also a crucial grooming step that should be done every four to six weeks.
Daily bathing is optional; a better option is to bathe these dogs only when they are extremely dirty. Use gentle dog soap, making sure it is deprived of harsh ingredients and chemicals as it helps preserve their original, soft coat. Moisture-based shampoos can also be used to help maintain their gentle body and add a sheen to their fur.
Bear in mind that golden mountain dogs may show resistance to regular care and grooming if they are not used to it. This is why it is imperative to introduce brushing, cleaning, and nail clipping from a tender age.
Research shows that crossbreeds tend to enjoy better health than purebreds, but unfortunately, the golden mountain dog can be prone to health conditions if it is not well taken care of. Watch out for the following health problems that may lessen their lifespan and damage their happy lifestyle:
Cancers like histiocytoma, osteosarcoma, and haemangiosarcoma are more commonly seen in the golden dog breed than in any other breeds. Pet owners must be extra vigilant and must look out for unexpected changes in their pet’s behavior or unusual growths like a limp that doesn’t go away.
This only occurs when the golden mountain dog is overfed or under-exercised. This, in turn, affects the pet’s lifespan and stains their quality of life. Many veterans offer weight clinics where they take in these dogs and help them lose extra calories.
Hip dysplasia results in weak mobility and chronic body pain among golden mountain dogs. This disease is hereditary in nature, but that being said, it may also be an unfortunate result of obesity that often puts a lot of stress on an animal’s bones and joints.
Bloating causes the dog’s stomach to swell up with gas and may put an insane amount of pressure on its diaphragm, causing breathing problems. Hence, affected golden mountain dogs must be taken to a vet and treated immediately.
The golden mountain dog makes for an adorable, mild-mannered, and energetic pet that loves to play with kids and other animals. While this breed may be needy for attention and exercise, it’s definitely worth taking time out of your day to take this beauty of a dog for a walk. After all, it is only a golden mountain dog that can keep the house chirpy and alive like no one else. And hence, getting one for yourself and family will prove to be an excellent choice.