Dog oa­sis for golden re­triev­ers only

Kapiti Observer - - FRONT PAGE - JOEL MAXWELL

They might just be man’s bet­ter best friend: a breed of dog renowned for in­tel­li­gence, kind­ness and ea­ger­ness to please.

But where can golden re­triev­ers, the good guys of the ca­nine world, go to re­lax?

A busi­ness on the Kapiti Coast has the an­swer. Lyn­naire Stock and Kristina Martinelli run a hol­i­day home for golden re­triev­ers only.

Since 2008, they have run Goldies Te Horo, which of­fers a breed-spe­cific home­s­tay for ‘‘goldies’’, which they say are sim­ply more com­fort­able with their own kind.

Martinelli said golden re­triev­ers were an ‘‘ab­so­lutely fan­tas­tic breed of dog’’ - they were sen­si­tive, gen­tle, and en­joyed in­ter­act­ing with their own breed.

‘‘In fact of­ten we’ll have own­ers say­ing to us that they were down walk­ing at the beach and the goldie will of­ten ig­nore other dogs, but if it sees an­other goldie on the beach it’s straight up to in­tro­duce it­self and play.’’

When they had tried in­tro­duc­ing other breeds at Goldies they found the ‘‘dy­namic’’ changed sub­stan­tially.

‘‘Be­cause they’re all very sim­i­lar in their looks, and their na­ture, their per­son­al­ity: there’s no mis­un­der­stand­ing of any sig­nals.’’

On Wed­nes­day they took out 14 golden re­triev­ers, plus a cou­ple of labradors tol­er­ated by the pack, for a run in the field be­hind the premises - some­thing the dogs loved.

Martinelli said they’d ini­tially wor­ried about re­mem­ber­ing the names of all the dogs stay­ing at Goldies at any one time - given their phys­i­cal sim­i­lar­i­ties.

‘‘It ac­tu­ally doesn’t taker long to be hon­est, even though they’re all goldies they do all have their own per­son­al­i­ties.’’

She said peo­ple were of­ten sur­prised to find there was a sin­gle­breed ken­nel - but golden re­triev­ers were pop­u­lar enough to sup­port their busi­ness.

Apart from the oc­ca­sional labrador, they to turn down re­quests to bring in other breeds.

Golden re­triev­ers come in three types, Bri­tish, Amer­i­can and Cana­dian, and Martinelli said they had seen an in­crease in goldies crossed with other breeds.

For Stock that re­triever-only dy­namic was a de­light­ful one.

‘‘They just love the cud­dles, the play, and be­cause they can all see each other, they just like the in­ter­ac­tion of the other dogs as well...they’re great dogs to work with.’’

PHOTO: ROSS GIBLIN

Kristina Martinelli of Goldies Te Horo with a pack of her golden friends.

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