What age were you and how did you become involved in the world of Dogs?:
My fathers a vet so I was exposed to the welfare and care of animals from a very early age. Dogs obviously were my favorite. We always had dogs in our house but I bought my first dog, a springer spaniel age 14, I sold my drum kit to finance the purchase.
What Breeds of Dogs have you had over the years?
My springer spaniel Bracken, was my first dog, but over the years I have owned and bred Great Danes, English Bulldogs, Golden Retrievers and Mini Schnauzars.
What Breeds of Dogs have you got now?
Lolmar Goldens concentrate solely on Golden Retrievers and mini Schnauzars now, both fantastic breeds and we love working with them every day.
What would you consider to be your main breed and the one people associate you with?
I suppose people would associate me with Golden Retrievers more so than the Schnauzars but mainly because of the retrievers popularity, mini Schnauzars obviously aren’t as popular but that is rapidly changing, the Schnauzars popularity has rocketed in recent years in Ireland and long may it continue as they are an exceptional breed to own.
What attracted you to this breed?
Who doesn’t love Golden Retrievers, they are the quintessential family dog and with 2 small kids growing up in our house a retriever was a no brainier. They are exceptionally loyal, intelligent which makes them easy train and I’ve yet to meet one with a questionable temperament, all round top dog in my opinion.
What advice would you offer to anybody that is interested in becoming an owner of the breed?
Go for it, you’ll never regret adding one of these fantastic companions to your family, but you need to be prepared to make sacrifices, like with any other breed, the dog must come first. I’ve seen many families get their first puppy over the past 12 months and I wonder sometimes if they appreciate the commitment involved. My advise would be to do your research on the breed, speak to reputable breeders and any affiliated societies and gather as much information as possible about the breed.
Does the Breed have any specific requirements by way of exercise & grooming?
Retrievers require regular exercise the same as any other breed. Bored dogs can become destructive and you can arrive home to find your shoes chewed beyond recognition or the leg of your kitchen table in a million pieces on the floor. Dogs need positive stimulation and exercise is one of the best ways to stimulate a dog. Regarding grooming, if you’re a house proud owner, the retriever may not be the breed for you. They shed a lot and you must be prepared to put in the hours to keep their beautiful coats in good condition.
Does the breed have any specific health tests that should be done before a Dog or Bitch is used at stud or bred from?
Absolutely, unfortunately the breed is susceptible to a number of hereditary conditions:
* Eye Disease – retinal dysplasia, hereditary cataract and Progressive Retinal Atrophy to name a few. Your breeder should ensure that their dogs are eye tested annually by a qualified Opthramologist.
* Hip Dysplasia – Unfortunately Golden Retrievers, amongst a few other breeds, are predisposed to a degenerative disease known as hip dysphasia. Should this disease go untreated, it could severely impact both their overall health and well-being as well as cutting short their lifespan. The parents of your puppies should be hip and elbow scored and have favourable scores.
How would you sum up the characteristics of this breed and what type of household would they best be suited to?
Golden Retrievers are very versatile dogs. They are used for a variety of activities, sport, search and rescue, service dogs and assistance dogs and of course family pets. They are very intelligent dogs and posses a natural working ability. They are kind, friendly and confident. Males should measure approx 56-61cms in height (to the withers) bitches slightly smaller (51-56cms). Males should weight between 35 to 40kg, females slightly lighter.
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