Golden Retriever

  • Temperament Friendly, Kind, Confident, Trustworthy, Intelligent
  • Family Friendly Yes
  • Trainability Difficult to Train
  • Shedding Average
  • Group Sporting
  • Color Various Shades of Gold
  • Origin England (1800s)
  • Height 20-24 inches
  • Weight 55-80 lbs
  • Original Function Retrieving
  • Current Function Retrieving, Assistance, Obedience, Retriever Field Trials
  • Lifespan 10-12 years

Origin of the Breed

Golden Retrievers originally came from the United Kingdom, in the 1800's. The breed was created by Lord Tweedmouth of the Scottish highland, who crossed a Flat-Coasted Retriever dog with a Tweed Water Spaniel. He determined to have a dog who would join hunting parties, and could retrieve water fowl on dry land and in water without damaging the kill. He expanded the initial breed by mixing the Bloodhound, Irish setter, and again with the Tweed Water Spaniel. Tweedmouth had first called the breed the Golden Flat-Coat, but they were recognized by the American Kennel Club as the Golden Retriever in 1925. They are still one of America's most beloved breeds today.

Coloring and Size Variations

Golden Retrievers are typically blonde or golden, but can have amber or white hues.

Behavioral Tendencies

This favorite breed has often been categorized as one of the best family dogs. They are known for their cheerful dispositions, are eager to please, gentle and patient with small dogs and children, and are naturally social and energetic companions. They are highly responsive to obedience training, and have a keen instinct and sense of smell, making them ideal guide dogs, or dogs used to track and identify narcotics. They are skilled hunters, retrievers, trackers, and can learn a plethora of tricks. They are protective guard dogs, warning against intruders, with fierce loyalty to their owners.

Training Needs

Goldens function best under strong leadership and authority. They are fast learners, who submit easily to the "pack leader" when they understand their hierarchy in the home. They need to be taught boundaries, how to heel, as well as how to obey spoken commands, etc. If given consistent training and positive reinforcement, they will prove to be reliable pets. Be careful not to be too heavy handed, or this breed can become skittish and fearful around its master.

Health Complications

Golden Retrievers can have skin allergies, tumors, cancer, heart complications, eye troubles, hip dysplasia and joint pain, and can put on weight easily if their food intake is not carefully monitored.


Retrievers require long walks or runs, and enjoy working up a good sweat by jogging alongside moving bicycles. They thrive with challenges and tasks for their mind, such as being given "go fetch" commands, or playing frisbee and catching balls, etc. They are great dogs to take to rivers and beaches, as they are strong swimmers. Exercise is crucial to the happiness and well-being of these active pets.

Living Conditions

This companionable breed tends to be easily adaptable to both apartment and house living. If the living space is limited, they will need consistent and rigorous exercising to remain in good health mentally and physically. They are not typically rambunctious indoors, but are certain to thrive when provided a yard space to exert energy in, if they are going to be left for long hours each day.


Golden Retrievers require baths every few months, while brushing the long coat must occur daily. This breed tends to shed, and will need consistent brushing to lessen the affect. Their ears will need occasional wiping, to avoid any build up or increase the likelihood of an infection.

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