The Golden Retriever can be described as a medium-large gundog that was bred specifically to retrieve shot waterfowl (e.g. ducks) during hunting and shooting parties. The breed’s soft mouth means they can retrieve shot game intact. This is why the name “retriever” was chosen. Golden retrievers are friendly and love water. They can be trained to basic to advanced obedience standards. They are a long-coated dog with a dense outer coat which provides warmth for the outdoors. Their flattering outer coat repels water and protects their bodies. These golden retrievers are great for rural and suburban living. They shed often, particularly with the change in seasons. They require regular grooming. The Golden Retriever was originally raised in Scotland in mid-19th-century.

What Does a Golden Retriever Look Like?

The Golden Retriever breed is medium-sized and strong. It has a dense, water resistant wavy, thick coat. A Golden Retriever was originally pedigree-bred and has seen some variations over time. Because of this, the three subtypes have different dimensions and different coats. But all Golden Retrievers are either yellow, gold, or blonde in color. All subtypes are vulnerable to the same diseases.

What Does a British Golden Retriever Look Like?

  • The Golden Retriever was bred first in Scotland. British-type golden retrievers are larger than North American varieties and have thicker hairs.
  • British-type Golden Retrievers are common throughout Europe, Australia and elsewhere. The skull is longer and the muscles in the forequarters are stronger than in other types.
  • The muzzle has a well-chiseled, balanced appearance. The American varieties have a more light-colored coat. Males have a height of 22 to 24 inches (56-60 cm) at their withers.
  • Females have a height of 20 to 22 inches (51-6 cm) at their withers. The UK standard does no specify acceptable weights. However, the Kennel Club Standard requires that the topline be straight and the hindquarters should be straight.
  • The eyes are rounder and darker than American counterparts. British Golden Retrievers have the freedom to choose any shade of yellow or cream for their coat; mahogany and red are not allowed. Cream was initially considered unacceptable in the UK Standard. However, the standard changed in 1936 to include creamy.
  • At the time of the revision, cream was removed from the list of acceptable colors. However, the original “yellowā€¯ retrievers of the 19th-century were actually lighter in color than permitted by the existing standards. White is an unacceptable color in the showring.
  • The British Kennel Club standard applies in all countries, with the exception of Canada and the US. A result of their history as hunting and gundogs, golden retrievers have strong muscles with incredible endurance.

What Does a American Golden Retriever Look Like?

  • American types tend be more muscular and lankier that other types. Males can reach between 23 and 24 in (58-60 cm) at the withers. Females can reach 21.5 to 22.5in (55-60 cm) from the withers.
  • Their coats vary in color from dark brown to lustrous gold to moderate feathering.
  • They are agile, strong, free-running, and have a coordinated, fluid trotting style. The dog’s feet follow the line of balance when running.
  • American standards include requirements about proportion, substance of body, head and skull, topline, forequarters and hindquarters. In these respects, American-type Retrievers can be considered the same as Golden Retrievers conforming to national standards.
  • American Golden Retriever breeders sometimes import their dogs to Britain to experience the British temperament.

What Does a Canadian Golden Retriever Look Like?

Canadian Golden Retrievers stand taller because of their thicker and darker coats.

  • Males are 23 and 24 inches tall at the withers (58 and 61cm respectively); females 21.5 and 22.5in (55 and 57cm respectively). Males weigh as much as 29-34 kilograms (65-75 lb) while females weigh between 27-32 kilograms (60-70lb).
  • As their name implies, they can have coats in light to dark golden colors. The topcoat sheds little throughout the entire year and is water-resistant. It’s soft and keeps your retriever cool in summer. It sheds in autumn and spring. It should be flat against the belly. The Golden should not have a long coat, as this can make it difficult to retrieve the dog in the field. Golden Retrievers have light feathering at the backs on their forelegs and more feathering at the fronts on their necks, backs or thighs, as well as the bottoms on their tails.
  • The American Kennel Club (AKC), standard states that the coat must be a “rich and lustrous yellow of various shades”. They do not allow for extremely dark or light coats. This leaves the outside range of coat color to be judged in conformation contests. Also, black is not allowed. The Kennel Club UK also allows cream as an acceptable color for coats. Judges may also ban Goldens with pinky noses or ones lacking pigment.
  • The Golden’s fur can also be mahogany. This is called “redhead” but it is not accepted by the British show ring. As a Golden grows older its coat may get darker or lighter. Additionally, there can be noticeable whitening of the fur near the muzzle. A puppy’s adult coat will be lighter than its puppy one, although a puppy who has darker ear tips might indicate a darker adult.

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Golden Retriever Temperament

The Golden Retriever breed’s temperament is well-known. It is described in standard as “kindly and friendly” and “confident and confident”. Because of their patience with children, Golden Retrievers are great family pets. They are not “one man dogs” and can get along with anyone. They make poor guard dogs due to their trusting and gentle disposition. Unprovoked aggression or hostility to people, dogs, other animals or in the community is not acceptable in a Golden Retriever. Also, it is not appropriate for the breed. Golden Retrievers shouldn’t be too timid or nervous. The Golden Retriever temperament is calm, unaffected by external stimuli, intelligent and willing to please.

A Golden Retriever’s intelligence is also well-known. The breed ranks 4th in Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs. It follows the Border Collie/Poodle, German Shepherd, and the German Shepherd. The breed is also the brightest dog ranked according to obedience-command trainability.

Golden Retrievers can be active and enjoy life. They are also patient dogs that were trained to wait quietly in a blind for hours. Adult Goldens love to work and are skilled at focusing on a single task. They will work until death so be careful not to overwork them.

Other traits that are related to their hunting heritage include a large size and a great love of water. A Golden Retriever’s intelligence, athleticism and desire for obedience are what make them so highly trainable. They are also highly competitive in agility, and other performances events. Harsh training methods don’t work for Golden Retrievers. They respond positively to positive training styles.

Golden Retrievers can be paired with dogs, cats, or most livestock. They are known for their friendliness, calmness, and ability to learn. These dogs are used frequently to assist with mobility, rescue and guide tasks.