Everybody loves Golden Retrievers and it’s not hard to see why! This friendly, enthusiastic dog consistently ranks amongst the top 5 breeds on the American Kennel Club’s annual list of most popular dog breeds.
The Golden Retriever gets its name for its ability to bring back or ‘retrieve’ game that was hunted for sport. Their soft mouths allowed this breed to carry the game back without damaging it.
The Golden Retriever breed loves to be on the water and is extremely comfortable in this sort of environment as well.
They are happy dogs that are the ideal pets for families and children. Similar to German Shepherds and Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers make excellent guide dogs and therapy dogs.
This article will take you through everything that you need to know about the Golden Retriever breed, covering everything from important information to fun facts.
Golden Retriever – About the Breed
The Golden Retriever is considered a medium-sized dog. This breed of dog is muscular and strong. Golden Retrievers have thick, long coats. Their inner coat helps them stay warm while their outer coat serves the functional purpose of repelling water. The outer coat lies flat against them.
As the name of the breed suggests, these dogs have coats that come in three colors, that is, golden, blonde, or yellow.
As is commonly seen with most dog breeds, Golden Retrievers have variations found in different countries.
These are classified as follows:
1) British Golden Retrievers: This type is characterized by a broader skull and front body. They also tend to have slightly lighter-colored coats.
2) American Golden Retrievers: Dogs that fall under this type are generally lankier than their British and Canadian friends. They are also slightly less muscular.
3) Canadian Golden Retrievers: In contrast with the other major types, this breed has a thinner coat that’s usually darker in color.
According to the American Kennel Association, the average weight for this breed is 65 to 75 pounds for males and 55 to 65 pounds for females.
In terms of height, male Golden Retrievers generally stand at 23 to 24 inches, while females are around 21.5 to 22.5 inches.
When it comes to life expectancy, this breed lives between 10 to 12 years on average.
History – Where did Golden Retrievers Originate?
Golden Retrievers were originally bred in Scotland. Chronologically, this breed of dog finds its inception around the time Queen Victoria ruled over the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Hunting for sport was common amongst the Scottish upper class — especially hunting for wildfowl that lived on the water. However, an issue that commonly arose was the inability to retrieve this fowl from the water once hunted.
Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth, is the person who developed the breed in the Scottish Highlands. Lord Tweedmouth is known to have kept painstaking records of breedings in order to create the perfect gundog that he could keep at his estate in the Highlands of Inverness-shire.
According to these records, Lord Tweedmouth was in search of a breed of dog that was well suited to the rainy weather and rough terrains of the Scottish Highland. From a lineage point of view, Golden Retrievers are thought to be a mix of Yellow Retrievers, now extinct Tweed Water Spaniels, Irish Setters, and Bloodhounds.
The breed began appearing at dog shows in Britain around 1908 and found its way to the United States via Canada at roughly the same time.
The American Kennel Club classifies dogs into seven groups. Dogs are assigned a group based on the original work that each breed was developed to perform.
Golden Retrievers belong to the Sporting Group. Similar to what is mentioned above, dogs like terriers and hounds were originally bred to help hunters while they captured feathered game for sport.
Much like other dogs from the Sporting Group, Golden Retrievers can attribute their muscular bodies to the hunting capabilities of their ancestors.
What to Expect When Caring for a Golden Retriever?
Simple answer – expect joy! Golden Retrievers are one of the easiest kinds of pets to have, especially for families with children. They are easy to train and are inherently obedient.
They are comfortable with both country living and suburban households. They love running around and playing and require a fair amount of daily exercise for their physical and mental wellbeing.
They are gentle, kind, and loyal dogs which makes them less than ideal as guard dogs. However, don’t be surprised if you see these intelligent pups feature as members of search and rescue teams.
Golden Retriever – Temperament and Living Needs
This breed of dog has kindness as its stand-out quality. The American Kennel Club describes Golden Retrievers as being intelligent, friendly, and devoted. They are known to be extremely patient with children, which is the reason that they’re so perfect as family pets.
They also get along with other pets, so if you’re worried about a dog that doesn’t get along with your house cat, consider bringing a Golden Retriever into your home.
Golden Retrievers shed quite a bit, so cleaning up can be a bit of a process. Brushing them twice a week helps in preventing fur from accumulating around your house.
Golden Retrievers are not fussy eaters and require everyday exercise to stay fit and healthy.
Golden Retriever – Personality Traits
Golden Retrievers are a breed that can be described with a range of positive adjectives such as happy, outgoing, loyal, loving, kind, trusting, caring, and friendly.
Golden Retriever – Adaptability and Trainability
Golden Retrievers are not difficult to train at all. On the contrary, their intelligence means that they are instinctively obedient and tend to take very well to training, especially when it involves positive reinforcement. They do not require harsh training and care should be taken to ensure this is avoided to prevent a negative mental impact.
Golden Retrievers – Fun Facts
There are plenty of famous Golden Retrievers, including:
- Liberty, President Gerald R. Ford’s pup.
- Victory, President Ronald Reagan’s pet dog.
- Bailey, U.S Senator Elizabeth Warren’s Golden Retriever who also featured in her presidential campaign.
Golden Retrievers are also a Hollywood favorite, playing roles in iconic movies like Air Bud and Homeward Bound.
The shortcut to happiness lies in the wagging tail and the gleeful smile of a Golden Retriever. To have one in your family is to have a loyal, loving, and devoted best friend.