Golden Retriever

Type: Gun Dog

Height: Females: 20 - 22 inches; Males: 22 - 24 inches.

Weight: Females: 55 - 65 lbs.; Males: 65 - 80 lbs.

Life Span: 10 - 15 years.

Litter Size: 6 - 10 puppies

Country of Origin: Great Britain

Activity: Medium - High. Inside they can be calm and relaxed, outside they can become active and very playful.

Watch-dog: Medium

Guard-dog: Low. Golden Retrievers are very friendly with anyone.

Description: Golden Retrievers are among the most popular breeds in America, and for good reason. They are powerful, active dogs, sound and well balanced. Golden Retrievers possess a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident. A Golden Retriever is an ideal sportsman's companion, family pet, gundog, guide or service dog. Gentle with children, they enjoy the endless attention that children provide, as well as a high tolerance for children who are not so well-behaved.. Golden Retrievers love to swim and should be allowed to do so whenever possible. Though they will adapt well to a kennel environment, they prefer human companionship and are not happy in solitude. Golden Retrievers delight in learning and in pleasing their owners, and are known to have an incredibly affable personality. They do not do well as guard dogs, however large they are, because they are more likely to wag a tail than bare any teeth. Golden Retrievers are trustworthy, reliable dogs that have been bred for several different specific reasons, resulting in several lines of dogs meant for their specific duty. Some of these lines are bred for either retrieving and field skills, guides for the blind, or show dogs with family personalities. All are developed for their specific characteristics. Golden Retrievers are large dogs, from light pale yellow to burning golden sunset colors. They have generally flat or wavy fur that is medium length, furnishing featherings on the legs, chest, and underbelly. They are handsome dogs not only in appearance, but in personality alike.

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Other Names: Yellow Retriever, Golden Flat Coat

Colors: Any shades of golden or cream; from pale yellow to burning orange-gold. But neither red nor mahogany.

Coat: Flat or wavy coat with a good feathering on the chest, legs and underbelly. Golden Retrievers have a double coat; a dense, water-resistant undercoat, and a thick, straight or wavy outer coat.

Temperament: Golden Retrievers are responsive, alert, well-mannered, and very playful. They do very well with children and offer a high tolerance of them. They are rarely ever snappy, although some lines of Goldens may be snappy due to poor breeding. Always check the pedigree and the parents of the Golden Retriever you are considering purchasing. Golden Retrievers are also kind, affectionate and love to be in your attention. They are easily trained, very intelligent, and easygoing. They make pleasant indoor or outdoor pets. They have quick reflexes, an intense desire to please, but are not good guard dogs. They do well with other pets, and get along with everyone.

With Children: Yes, usually does very well with children. But it is best if they are supervised with younger children as they can be pushy with their affection.

With Pets: Yes, does well with other pets and gets along.

Special Skills: Field sports dog, guide for the blind and family pet.

Care and Training: Golden Retrievers shed a fair amount and should be groomed weekly with a firm bristle brush or comb. They should receive a few grooming sessions in the Spring, as that is their time to shed. Bathe as needed. Golden Retrievers need long daily walks and the opportunity to run freely, as they tend to become pudgy if not well exercised. They are eager to attend any activity you may have for them. They train easily, as they are eager to please.

Learning Rate: Very High. Obedience - High. Problem Solving - Medium.

Special Needs: Exercise and grooming.

Living Environment: A home with a fenced yard is essential either in the country or city for the Golden Retriever, as they will adjust to either environment as long as daily exercise is given. Golden Retriever do not do well as an apartment dog, nor as a companion for the elderly as they are an active breed and need excitement. An owner of a Golden Retriever needs to be willing to give them the attention they require. The best owner for this breed would be an active, attentive family or individual living in the country or suburban area with a yard to run in.

Health Issues: Hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, PRA (Progressive Retinal Atrophy), and epilepsy. Due to the popularity of the breed, some have been inbred and have increased the risk of inherited diseases such as skin diseases, cancer, ectropion (extroverted eyelids), entropion (inverted eyelids), and heart disease.

History: he story of the Golden Retriever is found in the recorded accounts of a man named Sir Dudley Majoribanks (later known as Lord Tweedmouth) in England. Rumors of the Golden's history said that Majoribanks (or Tweedmouth) happened to see a troupe of eight Russian sheepdogs performing in a circus in the seaside resort of Brighton, England. They say he was so impressed that following the show he offered to buy two of them, to which the owner denied this offer, saying that it would ruin the show if not all eight were present. To this Tweedmouth offered to purchase all eight dogs. The Golden Retriever's history is documented by handwritten records of Lord Tweedmouth. This rumor was circulated widely around the time the Golden Retriever came about, but all of Majoribanks' records do not indicate such an occurrence. He being the person who is credited with developing the breed, this rumor is likely not true. Lord Tweedmouth took a liking to the yellowish golden color and decided to expand on it. He bought a dog named "Nous" who was a Flat Coated breed. In 1868, Lord Tweedmouth mated a Tweed Water Spaniel (an extinct breed today that had a curly coat of light liver color) named "Belle" to Nous, and this resulted in the foundation of the definitive yellow breed now known as the Golden Retriever. Over the next 20 years he introduced more breeds into the mix, including the Labrador, Red Setter, and possibly a Bloodhound. In 1881 Lord Tweedmouth's son took two yellow retrievers with them to their family's Texas ranch. The name of the breed morphed several times. The breed was first exhibited under the name of Russian Retriever or Russian Retriever and Tracker, due to the story of the Russian performing troupe. In 1913 they were first shown as Golden Flat Coats, then they were called by the name of Golden or Yellow Retriever. In the 1920s, finally, the breed acquired its current name. Today the Golden Retriever is bred in certain lines for specific reasons: there is a line bred for retrieving and field trials, a line for performing in shows and for family, as well as a line produced specifically for guiding the blind. The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dogs of today, more popular in American than in its native country.

First Registered by the AKC: 1925

AKC Group: Sporting Group

Class: Gundog

Registries: AKC, ANKC, CKC, FCI (Group 8), KC (GB), UKC