With its intelligence and grace, the Golden Retriever is undoubtedly one of the most popular breeds today in the United States. Not only as a loyal companion to many families, the breed’s working abilities has made the Golden Retriever an ideal choice for obedience competitions, hunting or tracking, search and rescue, narcotics detection, and guidance for the disable or blind. With a warm friendly temperament and strikingly beautiful gold color, it is no surprise that Golden Retrievers have been features in various Hollywood hits, including Air Bud, Full House, Homeward Bound, Fluke, and Napoleon. Read on to discover more about this delightful breed to decide whether a Golden Retriever is the right fit for your household too.
|Size Type||Large Dog Breeds|
|Breed Group||Hunting Dog Breeds|
|Life Span||10-13 years|
|Temperament||Kind, Confident, Trustworthy, Intelligent, Friendly, Reliable,|
|Height||Female: 21–23 inches, Male: 23–24 inches|
|Weight||55 to 75 lbs|
|Colors||Golden, Dark Golden, Light Golden|
|Puppy Price||Average $1000 - $2000 USD|
As a sturdy, medium to large-sized dog, the Golden Retriever has a broad head with a straight muzzle that tapers slightly to a well-defined stop. Along with a black or brownish black nose, the breed has large dark brown eyes and teeth that meet in a scissors bite. Since the dogs have relatively short ears that hang adjacent to the cheeks, the tip of the ear should just cover the eye when pulled forward. While trotting, the dogs have a free, smooth, and powerful gait with a distinctive line of balance. Male Golden Retrievers often weigh between 60 and 80 pounds with a shoulder height of 22 to 24 inches, but the females are slightly smaller at a height of 20 to 22 inches and weight of 55 to 70 pounds.
As the breed’s name suggests, Golden Retrievers have a light golden to dark golden colored coat that is usually rich and lustrous of various golden shades. While the breed standards from the American Kennel Club allow cream or mahogany colorings as well, pure white, red, or black are unacceptable colors. As a general rule, puppy coats are much lighter and the coat will become darker as the Golden Retriever ages into adulthood.
Golden Retrievers possess a water-resistant coat that is dense with a firm outer coat of straight or wavy medium-fine hairs. While the topcoat sheds in small amounts throughout the year, the soft undercoat that keeps the dog cool in the summer or warm in the winter sheds each spring and fall. Golden Retrievers also have mild untrimmed feathering on the back of their forelegs, front of their necks, back of their hindquarters, underbelly, and underside of their tail.
|Good with Kids|
Due to the fact that the breed has a medium-haired double coat, it is essential that owners maintain a regular grooming routine of combing or brushing the fur with a firm bristle brush. Paying particular attention to the dense undercoat, it is recommended that Golden Retrievers are brushed at least once a week and daily during heavy shedding seasons. In addition to using dry shampoo when needed, most dogs need to be bathed at least once every two months to keep the coat in good condition. Ears must be cleaned regularly and toenails should be clipped on a monthly basis to ensure the Golden Retriever does not suffer discomfort or infection.
Originally bred in the Scottish Highlands in the mid-19th century for wildfowl hunting, the Golden Retriever was developed by Lord Tweedmouth who crossed the original yellow Flat-Coated Retriever with the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel. His goal was to create a superb retriever that was suited to the Scottish climate and terrain to retrieve drowned game from both water and land. As improvements were made to weaponry and guns throughout the late 1800s, more fowl were drowned during hunts at greater distances and increasingly challenging terrain, which led to the desperate need for more of these specialist retrievers. Continuing with his breeding program, Tweedmouth crossed more sporting dogs, including the Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and Newfoundland, to create the active and powerful Golden Retriever we know today.
Often considered the hallmark of the breed, the temperament of the Golden Retriever is usually described as kind, friendly, confident, intelligent, well-mannered, charming, patient, and energetic. As a popular family dog, Golden Retrievers are friendly with everyone, including dogs and other pets, due to the lack of guarding instincts. Although the dogs are unlikely to attack, Golden Retrievers serve as excellent watchdogs that will give a loud barking signal at a stranger’s approach. However, Golden Retrievers may become destructive, high strung, or hyperactive if lacking daily physical exercise. Therefore, it is highly crucial that owners take the dogs on a daily long brisk walk, jog, or run to burn off excess energy. Golden Retrievers are also hardwired to enjoy retrieving balls and other toys, so the breed excels best in a large, fenced-in yard with plenty of room to roam.