Are you the lucky owner of a retriever, or is the cheerful dog high on your wish list? Then you should read along here. We come up with a lot of fun and interesting facts about the retriever and all its characters that you might not know about. Whether you're a retriever expert or not, we're sure you can never get enough knowledge about the furry friend.
Did you know, for example, that the golden retriever is the dog that has been used the most times in movies? We also come up with five reasons why we love retrievers.
What really characterizes a retriever?
When you think of the retriever breed, a friendly and furry dog probably comes to mind. The dog that features in most Hollywood films and is known for its golden fur and cheerful disposition.
Both the Labrador Retriever and the Golden Retriever are on the top list of popular dog breeds. And there are a lot of good reasons for that. However, the list of retrievers is somewhat longer.
The complete list of retrievers includes a total of six different types:
- golden retriever
- labrador retriever
- nova scotia duck tolling retriever
- flat coated retriever
- Chesapeake Bay Retriever
- curly coated retriever.
Retrievers have more in common than you think
If we have to come up with a common feature for all the retriever types, it is that they are exceptionally good at retrieving. For example, did you know that this is why they have the surname retriever? It is the English word for "to retrieve", which the dog is used for in most forms of hunting.
This characteristic is also why retrievers have such soft mouths. Retrievers can in principle carry a raw egg in their mouths without smashing it, as they initially had to carry the shot birds in their mouths without harming them.
The reason for their great popularity also lies in their gentle and sociable nature. All six retriever breeds simply love being around people and other animals.
5 reasons why we love retrievers:
- They have some big hearts
Retrievers are good at comforting people in crisis in one way or another. They are often seen as "comfort dogs". It is a versatile dog breed that can work with all ages – adults and children – and can handle many things in many situations.
- They are patient and quick to learn
This means that they can learn to please you in no time, and it is very easy to train them compared to other dog breeds.
- They are eager to please people
The retriever is known for being both tolerant and loyal, and what they have in common is that they love their owners with all their big hearts.
- They are always ready to play
We can't get over the fact that retrievers are always in on the fun. Due to their hunting nature, they also love to retrieve things when you throw them. Can't stand the wagging tail and big dog eyes either? Play can always enhance both the wagging tail and the happy eyes.
- Retrievers are super intelligent
One of the reasons retrievers are so quick to learn is that they are super intelligent. Did you know that a golden retriever can recognize up to 250 words? This is also why it can respond to verbal commands when you say its name.
Learn more about the different retriever breeds
Although the different types of retrievers have many things in common, they have personality traits, looks and temperaments that set them apart when we take a closer look.
We will make you even more knowledgeable about the most popular retriever breeds below. It's fun and interesting dog reading - both for you who are already the lucky owner of a retriever, and for you who are considering getting one. Maybe you can learn something you didn't already know about the lovable dog breed.
Golden retriever – the family dog above them all
There are three different types of golden retrievers – British, American and Canadian golden retrievers. It is typically the British golden retriever, which is found in Denmark and can be recognized by its light fur. The American Golden Retriever is known for being less muscular and has a more orange coat. The Canadian golden retriever has both a darker and thinner coat than the other two.
The color of the fur can therefore be very different, depending on which type you choose. You can get it in the light cream color you know, but also in colors like golden and almost orange.
A large dog with a gentle temperament
The Golden Retriever is a relatively large dog that can be between 56 and 61 cm tall. The female dog is slightly shorter and weighs between 30 and 40 kg. Only the FT goldens are slightly smaller.
Although it is a large dog, don't be fooled. The Golden Retriever has a very gentle temperament, which means that it can easily get along with people, children and other animals. Basically a dog with a big heart who is very human loving. You won't get a better dog for those of you who have children and just want the ideal family dog.
The Golden Retriever requires a lot of exercise, so don't choose the breed if you don't have the time or opportunity to take it on long walks and exercise it.
One of the most responsive dogs out there
A golden retriever loves to be with and please you as an owner. You won't get a dog more responsive than the golden retriever. It also loves to learn and is therefore incredibly easy to train compared to other dogs. The Golden Retriever adapts easily to all everyday situations and always wants to be part of your daily activities. On the other hand, golden retrievers can also be very stubborn if they want to.
5 things you (maybe) didn't know about the golden retriever
- The Golden Retriever was originally bred as a hunting dog to retrieve birds. This also means that it is really good at swimming and is very fond of water.
- This is also the reason why it loves to carry things in its mouth. So let it carry your things for you in its mouth.
- The Golden Retriever is often used as a service and therapy dog because it has such a gentle mind and is very eager to learn new things.
- The Golden Retriever is one of the dog breeds that have been used the most times in films over time.
- On the list of the most popular dog breeds in Denmark, the golden retriever is in a solid third place and has done so for a long time - and we understand that very well.
Labrador retriever – one of the most popular dog breeds in the world
The Labrador is one of the most widespread dog breeds in the whole world. There are two different varieties of the Labrador retriever. One is FT (also called Formula 1), and the other is simply called the old-fashioned type. There is a difference between the two breeds, but it can be difficult to see with the untrained eye.
The FT is often seen as a smaller and lighter type than the regular one, but some FT Labradors are quite large, and you can therefore not tell the difference just by looking at the size of the dog. You must be aware that you also cannot see which type it is on the dog's pedigree. But most professional growers know the difference, so if you want to know for sure, that's where you should go for advice.
FT came to Denmark in the 1970s and is bred with English and Irish field samples. The old-fashioned type is the common Labrador, which came to the country before the Formula 1 dog.
A child-loving dog
There is no doubt that the Labrador retriever is the perfect dog for you who have children. Like the other types of retrievers, the Labrador loves its people everywhere on earth. And the children are valued even higher in your Labrador's eyes.
The Labrador generally has a very childlike and playful behavior that matches the playful behavior of children. It's the perfect match. In addition, they are friendly and can easily get along with children without being too violent.
However, Labradors and Goldens can often fall victim to their child-friendly reputation and get a lot of unwanted attention from children, which can result in bites. Therefore, it is important to state that children must also learn how to play with a dog. It is important that the dog has space.
4 fun facts about the Labrador:
- The Labrador is a real water dog
The Labrador is a fishing dog and its coat is therefore resistant to water. The short coat insulates and keeps the dog warm, while not dragging the dog down when it gets wet.
The Labrador is faster than you think
Although the Labrador is not the fastest dog breed, it is still very fast. It can run up to 20 kilometers per hour.
- The Labrador was at one time on the verge of extinction
Imagine a world without Labradors – it's a terrible thought, isn't it? It almost became a reality in the 19th century, when you had to pay tax if you wanted to own a dog, and it became too expensive for many. Fortunately, the Labrador was such a good hunting dog that many in England kept it. If it hadn't been for the English's love of hunter labs, the breed would no longer exist.
- The oldest Labrador was 27 years old
Labradors live an average of 12 years. But the labrador retriever Adjutant lived from 1936 to 1963 – that's a whole 27 years. Adjutant is also the seventh oldest dog in history out of all dog breeds.
Make sure to give your Labrador plenty of exercise
A Labrador retriever is first and foremost a working dog that needs to be activated and have room to move. If you want a happy dog, you must therefore give it plenty of space, give it the opportunity to move freely and play with it.
Because it is also a hunting dog, it is also about activating its retrieving instinct. So never step on sticks or toys that you can throw. It's the perfect recipe for a happy lab.
With a Labrador, it is not enough to simply take a few small walks around the house. Also consider whether you should involve your dog in dog sports, which can be anything from obedience training to hunting trials. It is a really good way to make your Labrador physically and mentally strong.
Nova scotia duck tolling retriever – a master at retrieving
Even if you can quickly get scratched by the long name, there is a meaning to the madness. The name Nova Scotia derives from the breed's origin on the Canadian peninsula of the same name. The rest of the name, duck tolling, simply refers to the type of hunting that the dogs are used for – hunting ducks and geese.
The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever differs from the Golden Retriever because it is more of a mental and physical commitment. You must therefore make sure to stimulate it mentally and physically. With that said, it has a lot of good features. It is both intelligent, outgoing and sensitive.
A red-haired darling
The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever can be recognized by its red fur and is therefore perfect for those who love red tops. The red fur and its overall appearance may bring to mind a fox. The red coat does not require much care. You just need to clean it with water and then dry it relatively quickly. The fur is water-repellent, which is super smart. It goes even faster if you have a drying blanket for the dog.
A Toller (as it is also popularly called) is relatively small compared to some of the other retrievers. Females are approximately 50 cm tall and weigh around 20 kg, while males are slightly larger. It is also a breed that is reasonably muscular and has a strong bone structure.
Don't be fooled by its slightly sad facial expression. As soon as the publican gets a task or is allowed to retrieve, the joy clearly shines through.
3 fun historical facts about the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
- The Mi'kmaq Indians, who were the original population of the Nova Scotia Peninsula, used the dog to lure ducks.
- The Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever lived for 75 years on the Nova Scotia Peninsula before spreading to the rest of Canada and the United States.
- Before the breed got its current name, it was called the little river duck dog because it both caught seabirds and was so fond of water.
A nova scotia duck tolling retriever is for you who love activity. The toller only gets a good life if it has the opportunity to move and be activated often. If you have a toller, it is obvious to train it in relation to both hunting, tracking, obedience and problem solving.
One of the things that can set the Toller apart from the other retrievers is that it can be a bit reserved around strangers. However, it just needs to get going and will always be kind and loving to people it knows.
Flat coated retriever – the most elegant retriever
We must not forget one of the most elegant retriever breeds in existence – namely the flat coated retriever with its shiny, black coat. It often has a completely majestic and strong look.
The hunting instinct is a little more obvious in the flat coated retriever compared to the golden retriever and the labrador. You can handle this through the correct training and education. But that is why it is incredibly important that the dog is activated and employed in different ways.
It especially loves to use its strong nose, so be sure to keep it busy with stimulation and sniffing tasks and clues.
You (perhaps) don't know this about flat coated retrievers:
- The breed got its name in 1870 and until then was called the wavy coated retriever because of the wavy and shiny coat.
- The Flat Coated Retriever has been called Peter Pan because its being is so puppy-like and playful.
- Flat coated retrievers are often used in dog shows because they are so good at finding things with their strong sense of smell.
- The breed is one of the oldest retriever breeds in existence.
Are you the lucky owner of a retriever?
If you want to spoil your retriever at home, you can buy a lot of dog equipment and toys that can help to activate your dog and make sure that it uses its energy positively. Regardless of which one of the breeds you have or would like to have, you are sure that you will get a beautiful, friendly and playful dog.
We hope you have learned more about the retriever breed or at least had fun while reading it.