The Golden Retriever

Quick Facts

- Fine for novice dog owners
- Good with children
- Good with other animals
- Large in size
- Medium - high exercise needs
- Medium - high shedding
- Low guard dog capabilities
- High ease of training

The origins of the Golden Retriever can be traced back to the 1870s. Lord Tweedmouth created the breed in Scotland. He designed the Golden Retriever to be both a stalwart hunting companion and a handsome and dignified family dog. The Golden Retriever we know today has not changed much from his Scottish ancestors.

Golden Retrievers are one of the most well known and popular dogs worldwide, and not without reason. They are exceptional all-purpose dogs, excelling in almost everything they do. They are so intelligent, trainable and adaptable they are regularly used for a variety of important jobs worldwide. They make excellent guide dogs for the blind and assistance dogs for the handicap. They are one of the more popular breeds used for search and rescue and due to their gentle demeanour make wonderful therapy dogs. Most of all, they are fantastic family companions.

Golden Retrievers are easygoing adaptable dogs. Given proper exercise, they can happily adjust to almost any living conditions from country to city, house to apartment. They are friendly outgoing dogs, who happily make friends with everyone they meet. They are far too amiable to be considered good guard dogs.

Golden Retrievers are extremely intelligent dogs that are eager to please and train easily. They are slow to mature and retain their puppy-like attitude until they reach 2-3 years old. This can make early training a little more difficult due to their enthusiastic nature. Training should be positive and reward focused.

Golden Retrievers are affectionate sweet-tempered dogs. They are fun-loving and like to be involved in everything their family is doing. They are quiet and well-mannered and can easily become a good canine citizen provided they are socialized, trained and exercised adequately. However, Golden Retrievers who are ill trained and not given proper exercise can become rowdy, high-strung and destructive. Their biggest sins are those of enthusiasm, jumping up, being easily distracted and pulling on lead.

Golden Retrievers are active energetic dogs. They are renowned for their determination and their tireless work ethic. They need at least an hour or two of daily exercise to keep them healthy and fit. They love swimming and retrieving and many become obsessed with balls and will plunge into any body of water they find, be it a pool, lake or large mud puddle. They are an excellent choice for anyone wanting to participate in any of the organized dog sports available. They excel at obedience and agility trials and enjoy participating in hunting trials, scent hurdles and conformation shows. Golden Retrievers also make excellent bicycling and jogging companions and are an excellent choice for those who enjoy hiking, camping, hunting, swimming or fishing.

Appearance and Grooming:
Golden Retrievers are large athletic dogs with soft slightly feather coats and a robust solid built. They weigh between 60-80 pounds and measure 20 - 24 inches at their withers. Their coat is weather resistant and comes in a light cream, dark red or a medium golden colour. They are moderately big shedders and need to be brushed at least twice a week.

Golden Retrievers are very popular dogs, and like most popular dogs, they have been over breed and exploited by bad breeders who were more interested in making money than in the betterment of the breed. Perspective owners should look for a breeder that breeds for quality not quantity. A breeder who offers a health guarantee and does all the necessary tests is best. Look for a breeder that offers puppies from OFA and CERF registered parents. Better yet, the parents should be VWD tested and have had their hearts cardio-examined to insure soundness.

Golden Retrievers are prone to allergies, eyelid/eyelash/retinal abnormalities, heart problems, PRA, hip dysplasia, cataracts, von Willebrand’s disease, skin conditions, epilepsy and cancer. Cancer is the most common cause of death for Golden Retrievers. Their average life span is 12-15 years.


Located in: Sporting