Breed of the Month–Golden Retriever

1July 2014

Golden Retriever

Color:  Various shades of golden or cream.
Height:  Males:  22-24 inches/  Females:  20-22.5 inches
Weight:  Males:  65-75 lbs/  Females:  55-70 lbs
Life Span:  10-12 years

Breed Health Concerns:  Hip and elbow dysplasia, cataracts, sub aortic stenosis, and progressive retinal atrophy.  

Coat:  Double coat.  Firm, dense, water-repellant outer coat…straight or wavy.  Ruff neck with good undercoat.
Country of Origin:  Great Britain

Visit the American Kennel Club for breed standards and more information.

Although yellow retriever have always been present in the breed line, the fashion in England in the 1850s was for black-colored Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers.  Sir Dudley Majoribanks is credited with developing the separate breed in the late 1800s.  The history of creating the Golden Retriever includes mixing such breeds as Labradors, red setters, possibly the Bloodhound, and Tweed Water Spaniels (now extinct).  Majoribanks worked for 20 years to refine the light-colored hunting dog, but it wasn’t until the 1920s that the breed got its name we now know, the Golden Retriever.  The Golden Retriever came to North America in the 1920s, but did not really gain popularity until the 1970s.  

Easygoing and lovable, the Golden Retriever has become one of the most popular breeds to own.  Goldens are smart, sociable, and want to please.  This breed gets along well with other breeds, other animals, and children.  A versatile dog that loves to learn, Goldens are often sought after by service dog organizations.

The Golden Retriever requires plenty of regular exercise throughout his life, but especially as a puppy.  Goldens love to swim, run, hunt, and play.  As long as you find a suitable daily exercise activity, your Golden will be happy.

The coat of the Golden Retriever requires regular brushing several times a week.  His long, wavy hair must be kept free of dirt and debris.  The ears on the Golden can be prone to infection and therefore should be cleaned regularly.  

Proven by its ever-growing popularity, the Golden Retriever is one of the most easily trainable breeds.  Training using positive reinforcement methods will quickly lead you to a happy, well-behaved companion.