All about goldens
We created our “All About Goldens” page as a resource for you in answering some of the most commonly asked questions about our dogs, puppies and Golden Retrievers in general.
We hope that you will find this page helpful.
Questions & Answers
- 1. Health Guarantee
- 2. Standard of Excellence
- 3. Where did the Golden Retriever breed come from??
- 4. Children & Golden Retrievers
- 5. What is the temperament of a Golden Retriever?
- 6. Female vs. Male Golden Retrievers
- 7. How can I reserve a puppy from North Star Golden Retrievers?
- 8. How far in advance can I make my puppy reservation / place my deposit?
- 9. What is the difference between an English Crème Golden and an American Golden?
- 10. Are the English-American Blends, still purebred golden retrievers?
- 11. Call Names & Registered Names
- 12. Will there be an adjustment period when I first bring my new Golden Retriever home?
- 13. Feeding your new Golden Retriever puppy
- 14. Vaccinating and worming your Golden Retriever
- 15. How much water does my Golden Retriever need?
- 16. Treats for my Golden Retriever puppy
- 17. How long can my puppy hold his potty?
- 18. What is "Crate Training"?
- 19. "Crate Training" - Readers Digest version
- 20. Do Goldens shed?
- 21. How long do Golden Retrievers live?
- 22. Do Golden Retrievers make good Companion or Therapy dogs?
- 23. What is the North Star Golden Retriever "Puppy Care Packet"?
- 24. What is AKC?
- 25. Will my Golden Retriever puppy be registered with the AKC?
- 26. Where do your breeding lines come from?
- 27. Other Resources - Puppy Training DVD
1. Health Guarantee All of our puppies are vet certified and come with a two-year health guarantee.TOP
2. Standard of Excellence Located on the pristine slopes of the Wasatch Mountain Range, North Star Golden Retrievers is home to our English Crème Golden Retrievers, our All American Goldens and English-American Blends. With over five acres of property and a creek nearby, our Goldens have plenty of room for running, romping and playing. As serious hobby breeders, our main goal is to achieve by selective breeding, Golden Retrievers that possess the soundness in health, temperament and beauty reflected in the breed standard.TOP
3. Where did the Golden Retriever breed come from?TOP
“The Golden Retriever can trace its ancestry back to a single breeding and the first pair of yellow retrievers destined to be called “Golden.” The fancy is indebted to a Scotsman, the former Sir Didley Majoriebanks, first Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan at Inverness, Scotland, and the first “breeder” of our golden dog. “Typical of 19th-century aristocracy, Tweedmouth was an avid sportsman and waterfowl enthusiast. His passion as a hunter was equaled only by his dedication to the sporting dog. During the 1850s he turned his attention to the moderate sized retriever varieties who were the “water dogs” of that era. They possessed great courage, strength and temperament and not surprisingly, a superior nose. Although color was unimportant to most sportsmen, Tweedmouth was a true vanguard of his time and was bent on developing a yellow retriever strain. “Tweedmouth purchased his first yellow retriever in 1865, a dog named Nous (the Greek word for wisdom).” Nous is shown to be a large and handsome dog with a very wavy medium-color coat, very much resembling the modern Golden Retriever. Later, Tweedmouth’s cousin presented him with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle, which was the preferred hunting dog of that region. “Belle was destined to become the foundation of Tweedmouth’s plan to develop a yellow retriever breed. In 1868 the now-famed breeding of Nous and Belle resulted in four yellow pups.” "This produced the foundatin stock from which all of today's Golden Retrievers decend. Goldens were first brought to North America in the late 1890's and were first registered by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925."
4. Children & Golden RetrieversTOP
Golden Retrievers and children go together like cheese and pizza! Golden Retrievers were originally bred as a hunting dog. Some of the qualities this wonderful breed embodies are things like a “soft mouth”, which means they don’t damage the game when they retrieve it. As a domestic pet this is a big plus while interacting with children. As other breeds are unpredictable, the Golden Retriever is predictably gentle and very patient with being mauled and laid upon in child’s-play. Although Goldens have an excellent reputation with children, keep in mind children must be taught how to interact with dogs; and Goldens are no exception. Some dog training schools offer classes just for kids to get involved. Others have no age limitations and will leave it to the good judgment of the parents as to when their child is old enough. The big thing with getting your child involved with a Golden is consistency and responsibility. Raising a puppy should never be left to a child. Ultimately, the adults must assume all of the responsibility in caring for and training your new Golden Retriever.
5. What is the temperament of a Golden Retriever?TOP
The Golden Retriever is well rounded in their temperament and is among the calmest of breeds. In fact, there is not another breed which rivals this quality in the Golden. This is probably why they consistently rate among the top 5 most desired breeds in the world. Golden Retrievers become highly attached to their masters. They are highly motivated by praise. They are polite and very eager to please. If you let them, they will prove to be a very loyal companion for the rest of their lives. They are eager to learn new tricks such as “shake” and roll over. Goldens are natural “retrievers” (hence their name) and love to fetch a ball or a stick. Unlike a lot of breeds out there, Golden Retrievers tend to be easy to train and they retain their lessons well.
6. Female vs. Male Golden RetrieversTOP
I get asked this question all the time. In my experience with Golden Retrievers, I can truly say that temperamentally there is little to no difference at all between the sexes. This may not apply to other breeds, but with Golden Retrievers, this is very much the case. So many people want a female Golden, with the anticipation that she will be very motherly and sweeter, calmer or what have you. This is simply not the case at all. It is like making a blanket statement that women (humans) are much gentler, sweeter and laid back than men. This is untrue. As we all have experienced, it’s about 50/50. Some women are a lot more feisty and high strung than men and vise versa. There are some seriously calm men out there. So back to the male Golden Retriever vs. the female; there is little difference between the genders in Goldens. Neither sex is easier to house train and both are equally as intelligent, affectionate and calm. Both males and females are excellent with children, and they both make excellent companions, therapy, hunting or working dogs. Males of other breeds may demonstrate problems with aggressiveness; this should NOT occur with our even-tempered Golden Retriever. The most noticeable and obvious difference between the male and female Golden Retriever is the size. Male Golden Retrievers when full grown, will typically weigh around 20 pounds more than a female Golden. My thought is that if you’re going to go “big dog” then go big! Secondly, you may notice behaviors such as mounting and marking may be exhibited by some male Goldens, particularly if other males are present of if the male has been used for breeding. However, neutering a male before a year old will definitely help to alleviate these problems and will also eliminate the risk of testicular cancer. Spaying a female will also eliminate the risk of ovarian and other reproductive cancers as well.
7. How can I reserve a puppy from North Star Golden Retrievers?TOP
Puppy reservations are made on a first come basis, to qualified families, in the order deposits are received. First, you will need to contact us via phone or email and tell us your story. Once you are qualified, then you will need to fill out the Puppy Purchase Agreement and send it in with your deposit.
8. How far in advance can I make my puppy reservation / place my deposit?TOP
If you qualify, you may place your deposit for any litter whether it has been born or not. In fact, some families, once they have decided on which parents they would like their puppy lineage to come from, place their deposits up to a year in advance.
9. What is the difference between an English Crème Golden and an American Golden?TOP
The first difference you will notice is the coloring. The English Crème’s range in color from a soft crème to snowy white. The American Goldens range in color from a very blond honey to a dark copper color. Very striking; all variations! Then to the more trained eye, more subtle differences will become noticeable. For instance: the English Goldens have a blockier bone structure and tend to have a boxier head. Their pigmentation also tends to be darker, but not in all instances. The all-American Goldens tend to have a more slender, sleek, body structure with more petite facial features. So if you love the coloring of the classic golden retriever, but want the blockiness of the English Crème, then a gorgeous, North Star blend would be the best match to meet your criteria.
10. Are the English-American Blends, still purebred golden retrievers?TOP
Yes. Absoulutely. English Crème Goldens are purebred golden retrievers and so are the all-American Golden Retrievers. So if you mix the two together you still get a purebred Golden Retriever. It’s kind of like breeding a Chocolate Labrador to a Yellow Labrador; the pups would still be purebred Labs, just different colors.
11. Call Names & Registered NamesTOP
Your puppy’s “registered” name will likely be different than her “call name”. For instance you may call your puppy “Abby” but her registered name (with AKC) would be something like, “North Star Sweet Abby-Ann”. We add North Star to the beginning of all of our puppies to keep track of our lines.
12. Will there be an adjustment period when I first bring my new Golden Retriever home?TOP
Yes. Your puppy will go through an acclimation period. Keep in mind that all puppies (and adult dogs) when changing environments or owners, will go through this. This time period typically can take anywhere from 3-30 days for your puppy to fully adjust. The duration differs between each individual puppy, depending on his or her personality. Some puppies bounce right into their new environments as if there was no change at all. Others will take the transition a bit harder. The key thing is be patient! (with the puppy and with yourself!) Along with your puppy getting used to his “new pack”, there are a lot of changes taking place in your life right now with adding a new member to your family. During this “acclimation” period your puppy may experience any or all of these symptoms: loss of appetite, loose stools, a lot of barking and/or “crying”/whining, or the “doggie blues”. All of these things are normal. The most important thing you must be mindful of is keeping your puppy hydrated.
13. Feeding your new Golden Retriever puppyTOP
The best way to introduce or change your puppy’s food is to do it slowly. Mix his old food (samples enclosed with the North Star Golden Retriever Puppy Care Packet) with his new food over a period of several days. If you change his food to quickly, your puppy may experience diarrhea, which could dehydrate your puppy. If you suspect that your puppy has become dehydrated, consult your veterinarian right away. When choosing a new food for your puppy, a “Large Breed- Puppy Food” should be selected. It is best to avoid any foods with corn fillers (this is just a filler; hence less nutritious and more poop to clean up). There are many good choices in large-breed dog food on the market today. Your veterinarian will be able to recommend the right food for your new puppy. You may also consider going with a “raw food diet” with your Golden Retriever. If you choose to go this route however, you must stick with it for your dog’s entire lifetime. Once you get started on this it would be too big of a shock to your dog’s system to ever go back to a kibbles diet. There is a lot of information on the web about this method with both pros and cons.
14. Vaccinating and worming your Golden RetrieverTOP
For your ease in transitioning your puppy over to a new veterinarian we have provided his shot and worming records. It is important that you keep your puppy current on his shots. The first shot is given around 6 weeks of age and should be continued in 3 week interval until your puppy is approximately 18 weeks of age; a total of 5 baby shots. Consult with your veterinarian about annual adult booster shots and other shots which are necessary along the way (i.e. Rabies after 12 weeks). With worming, it is important to worm your puppy to keep the parasite load down. All dogs (and humans) have parasites. The growth and development of your puppy could be inhibited with a heavy parasite load. We worm our adult dogs regularly once a month. Our puppies are wormed at least 2-3 times before leaving our kennel. Ask your vet what is best for your new puppy.
15. How much water does my Golden Retriever need?TOP
Always keep fresh water readily available for your Golden Retriever to drink. This is very important and should NEVER be restricted. On average, the adult Golden will drink about 1 gallon of water per day.
16. Treats for my Golden Retriever puppyTOP
Here at North Star we highly encourage giving treats and praise for positive reinforcement when your Golden Retriever does something noteworthy. When giving treats to your puppy, make sure that the treats are small enough that your puppy won’t have to sit down and have a small meal each time she does something praise worthy. A treat should be small enough that your pup can devour it within a second or two. If in the middle of a “lesson”, and too much time lapses, she may lose focus of the lesson.
17. How long can my puppy hold his potty?TOP
Small puppies should not be expected to hold their bowels for longer than 3 hours at a time. As they grow older the holding time will increase. Keep in mind when we say “small puppy” we mean younger than 3-4 months old. A dog is technically a “puppy” for the first 18-24 months of his life. As a rule of thumb, a puppy will need to relieve himself every 2-4 hours until they are at least 6 months of age. Puppies will generally defecate 5-6 times a day and urinate even more frequently. You will need to get up during the night to take your puppy out. An easy way to figure out how many hours a puppy can be expected to control their bladder is to take the puppy’s age in months and add 1. For example, a 4 month old puppy will need to go out every 5 hours.
18. What is "Crate Training"?TOP
Crate Training is a very effective way to “potty train” your new Golden Retriever puppy. In fact, we highly recommend crate training as the most effective way to “potty train” your puppy. Our puppies will go to their new homes mostly potty trained. However keep in mind during the acclimation period your puppy’s stools may become loosened because of stress, therefore affecting his ability to “hold his potty”. We absolutely do NOT recommend scolding your puppy if he has an accident. The best and most effective way to train your puppy (to do anything) is by POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT! This can be accomplished through treats and praise. Your voice is your greatest training tool! When (crate) training your dog, always use the same command, for example: “go potty” or “potty time” etc. Be sure you are consistent in your use of words so as not to confuse your puppy. If children or other adults are “commanding” your puppy, make sure they know the “correct command word”. Always use praise after she does her business- this is positive reinforcement. Dogs instinctively will not eliminate in the same area as where they sleep. This is very unnatural and counter to the way they are wired. This is why crate training is so effective. As long as the crate is only big enough for the puppy to lie down and sleep (AND NOTHING ELSE, except for drinking water) he will hold his potty for as long as he is physically capable. Small puppies should not be expected to hold their bowels for longer than 4 hours at a time. As they grow older the holding time will increase. Keep in mind when we say “small puppy” we mean younger than 3-4 months old. A dog is technically a “puppy” for the first 18-24 months of his life. As a rule of thumb, a puppy will need to relieve himself every 2-4 hours until they are at least 6 months of age. Puppies will generally defecate 5-6 times a day and urinate even more frequently. You will need to get up during the night to take your puppy out. An easy way to figure out how many hours a puppy can be expected to control their bladder is to take the puppy’s age in months and add 1. For example, a 4 month old puppy will need to go out every 5 hours. At first your puppy will not want to be in his crate. He will demonstrate this by crying and whining or barking excessively. As long as all of his needs are met before hand (food, water, potty, attention), he will be fine; no matter how much he doesn’t like being in there. A rule of thumb when crate training is, if your eyes can not be on your puppy, then put him in his crate. This will prevent him from having an “accident” on your carpet. Remember, it’s about preventing the “bad” behavior in the first place. If you are buying a crate for the first time, we recommend getting a large one that can be partitioned off. If the crate doesn’t already come with the equipment to partition it off then put a box or something dog-safe, yet big enough to leave just enough room for sleeping. As he grows bigger, (and Goldens grow quickly), you will adjust his sleeping space to accommodate his size. If you start out with a crate too large for your small puppy, he will sleep in one portion of the crate and do his business in the other portion of it. Not so nice when you’re the one cleaning it up. If your puppy was shipped to you, then you have already purchased a crate for his flight home. This crate will be plenty adequate for his crate (potty) training. When it is potty time, make sure not to make it playtime. This will speed up the process in the future when you take her out to do her business, right before bedtime on a cold, snowy night! You will be thankful that “potty time” means potty time and not playtime! There are three things that will cause your dog to want to eliminate; 1- physical activity (playing, running, walking, training etc.) 2- just after a nap (puppies sleep between 15-20 hours a day. They are growing so fast they need the rest) 3- eating and drinking. These are your warning signs that your puppy will need to eliminate. Be on alert- remember, prevention is better than correction. Puppies have such short attention spans that correction/scolding rarely ever works. Over time, your puppy’s crate may become his “safe place” where he will want to go to get away (from kids, visitors, other dogs, etc.). To encourage him to like his crate, reward him with a small treat each time he goes into it. This will condition him to really love it! To create a cozy den-like environment, you may cover the crate with a towel or blanket; just be sure to leave plenty of openings for ventilation. Last but not least- just a word from experience, most of the time your puppy will first look for a spot to urinate, then find a different spot to do the big stuff; I have no idea why. Just be patient and make sure she is really done. So these are the basic steps to crate training. Let’s review: 1- Start out with the proper size crate 2- Have water accessible from inside crate 3- Make sure puppy’s needs are met before crating him 4- When your eyes are off puppy- put him in crate to eliminate accidents 5- Try to ignore his whining, because you know his needs are met and he’s okay 6- Potty time is potty time- not playtime 7- Be consistent in your “potty” command- use it EVERY time 8- When business is complete- use your voice and/or a treat for POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT 9- Remember the 3 things that will activate your puppy’s bowels 10- When they “go”, make sure they are really done
19. "Crate Training" - Readers Digest versionTOP
Here is a condensed - quick reference to crate training: 1- Start out with the proper size crate 2- Have water accessible from inside crate 3- Make sure puppy’s needs are met before crating him 4- When your eyes are off puppy- put him in crate to eliminate accidents 5- Try to ignore his whining, because you know his needs are met and he’s okay 6- Potty time is potty time- not playtime 7- Be consistent in your “potty” command- use it EVERY time 8- When business is complete- use your voice and/or a treat for POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT 9- Remember the 3 things that will activate your puppy’s bowels 10- When they “go”, make sure they are really done
20. Do Goldens shed?TOP
Yes. Golden Retrievers shed a little all year round. Then about twice a year they lose most of their coat. To keep the hair around your home to a minimum, I recommend a good brushing daily or weekly at minimum. This will help with flyaway hairs while shedding. My Goldens love this! They roll over and purrrr like some big, over-grown kitten. This is a real treat for them especially if you use a long wire brush that gently scratches their scalp. They love it!!
21. How long do Golden Retrievers live?TOP
A well-bred, well-cared for Golden will live on average 10-12 years. We wished they lived forever! This is why when considering purchasing your Golden Retriever puppy you must think of it as a long term commitment.
22. Do Golden Retrievers make good Companion or Therapy dogs?TOP
For decades Golden Retrievers have assisted thousands of people with disabilities. There are wonderful stories about Golden Retrievers that have rescued small children and babies, or warned their owners of impending danger. In fact I was just reading about a Golden that was certified in Search and Rescue who would help troubled kids with their reading when he was off duty. I thought this was so touching. The children’s reading scores started to climb because they got to read to a friend (a happy dog who just loved being around people) who wasn’t going to criticize them for reading to slow or for missing words. What therapy! Golden Retrievers are also used as Seeing Eye dogs, Search and Rescue, for people with epilepsy, MS and many other situations where they can be of life-saving assistance.
23. What is the North Star Golden Retriever "Puppy Care Packet"?TOP
We send a Puppy Care Packet home with each one of our Golden Retriever puppies. In your North Star Puppy Care Packet we have included a few items to make you and your new puppy more comfortable during the “acclimation period”. You will find a little puppy blanket with “mommy’s scent” on it, a small sample of the dog food he was enjoying while with us, all of his vaccination and worming records, his AKC (American Kennel Club) papers, Veterinarian Certification and educational brochures and a booklet which may be helpful for you.
24. What is AKC?TOP
“The American Kennel Club (or AKC) is a registry of purebred dog pedigrees in the United States. Beyond maintaining its pedigree registry, this kennel club also promotes and sanctions events for purebred dogs.”
25. Will my Golden Retriever puppy be registered with the AKC?TOP
Yes. You are purchasing a purebred, papered dog! This is one of the things which makes your dog so valuable. In the Puppy Packet you will find the paperwork to register your dog with the American Kennel Club. This is a very simple process. The paperwork will tell you exactly how to do this. You may register by sending your paperwork through snail mail or you may go online to: www.akc.org.
26. Q: Where do your breeding lines come from?TOP
A: Our breeding stock comes from Multi-International Champions of the World with bloodlines from Denmark, Germany, England, France, Canada, Spain, Ireland, Russia, Poland, and the United States. With top-notch pedigrees for looks and confirmation, our Golden Retrievers are health certified with perfect temperaments.
27. Other Resources - Puppy Training DVDTOP
There is a fantastic puppy training DVD that I highly recommend. It is one of the best training videos on the market. You can order it from this website: www.leerburg.com. The title is something like, “How to Train Your Puppy From 8 Weeks to 8 Months”. It is approximately 2 hours in length and very comprehensive and entertaining! If you have kids, they may even enjoy watching it along with you. This way the whole family will be on the same page when it comes to reinforcing good behavior with the new puppy. Note: Leerburg’s website is very extensive; he boasts over 10,000 pages, so just look under training DVD’s- you should be able to find it.