Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Breed Profile: Golden Retriever

Given their sturdy beauty and affable nature, it is not surprising that the Golden Retriever is a popular family dog.

Some Golden Retriever Facts

-  height at shoulder:  22-24 inches

-  weight:  55-75 pounds

-  life span:  10-12 years

-  coat colors:  cream to reddish gold

Yes, they shed.  (They are, after all, mammals with hair.)  Golden Retrievers have a double coat.  The under coat is soft and provides insulation from both heat and cold.  The outer coat is not "water proof" but does have a water deflection quality - imagine the hairs like grass covered in dew.  This coat works well when the dog is retrieving game in water or cavorting with children in a kiddie pool.

Caring for the coat requires at least twice weekly brushing to avoid matts.

In mid 19th century England, desiring a retriever tough enough to handle rugged terrain and a strong swimmer with a good work ethic, some careful breeding was undertaken by Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, the Lord Tweedmouth.  Speaking of mouths, the retriever also required a "soft mouth".   In other words, the dog shouldn't damage the bird by carrying it.  An intact bird makes for better eating, don't  you know.

Sir Dudley began with a dog named Nous (a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever- a breed used by fisherman developed from Newfoundlands and Labrador Retrievers) and Belle (a Tweed Water Spaniel- a liver colored retriever with a curly coat).  This union produced four puppies. 

These dogs were then combined with assorted retrievers, more Tweed Spaniels, setters and Bloodhounds to develop what was then called the Flat Coated Retriever. 

In the early 1900's the breed came to the USA.  In 1927 the American Kennel Club officially recognized the Golden Retriever.

Golden Manifesto
-  everybody is my friend, I just haven't met them all yet
-  I will vivaciously participate in obedience, service work, search and rescue, hunting, agility, rally, therapy, nanny duty, whatever- all I ask is not to be left alone, I am a social creature
-  if you want a watchdog, get a Terrier (oh good!  I'll meet another friend!)
Golden Retrievers are strong, athletic and full of energy.  For best results, offer them plenty of exercise, play and something to do!


  1. My dad has one and I'm allergic to him. Too bad, too.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  2. Gorgeous dogs! I wanted one when I was 12 but my parents would not have a large dog, so I got a poodle instead.

  3. I want one, but the hair. I'm already overrun with feathers :(