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Retriever Golden

Key Breed Details

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·       Golden Retrievers are among the most reliable and trustworthy breeds around
·       Extremely adaptable and fits in with most people’s lifestyles
·       They remain very puppy-like well into their golden years
·       Always eager to please and biddable making them the perfect first dog for novice owners
·       Highly trainable thanks to their intelligence and keenness to please
·       Very social by nature and gets on with everyone including other dogs, animals and pets

Do Consider……
·       Can be a little mouthy which is a trait that needs to be gently curbed when Golden Retrievers are still young and before it turns into a real problem
·       High maintenance on the grooming front
·       Can have a “doggy” smell about them
·       They need a lot of exercise and mental stimulation
·       Easily distracted by things that go on around them
·       Golden Retrievers shed a lot of hair all year round and even more so in the Spring and Autumn

General Background

Golden Retrievers have consistently remained one of the most popular choices of pets here in Ireland and the world over for many years and for good reason. These dogs boast wonderfully calm natures which paired to their intelligence and trainability make them the perfect choice as family pets. Originally bred to retrieve “game”, many Golden Retrievers are still seen in the “field” because they are so highly valued for their working skills.
However, it’s in the home and workplace that Golden Retrievers really shine, they are marvellous with children and other pets. They are renowned for being one of the best breeds used a guide dogs. They excel at other jobs they are asked to do which includes detecting bombs, tracking and competing in obedience classes. They are one of the top choices of dogs used in search and rescue situations. They boast loyal and affectionate natures whether they are working dogs or family pets thanks to their loyal and trustworthy personalities.

Where & When did the Golden Retriever Originate?

For a long time, the breed’s origin was a little confusing, but today most enthusiasts believe these lovely “golden” dogs came about all thanks to Lord Tweedmouth who set about producing a gundog capable of retrieving game from water and marshlands. Yellow Retrievers already existed as working dogs in the field, but it was the Lord’s endeavours that produced the Golden Retrievers we see today.
There is some thought that the ancestors of Golden Retrievers were first seen when they performed in a Russian Circus and that it was Lord Tweedmouth who first saw them when the circus was in town in Brighton during the mid-1800’s. The dogs the Lord watched perform had wavy, thick coats and they stood at around 30-inches at the withers. Their coats ranged from a cream to light biscuit in colour and the Lord liked the look of them so much, he purchased the dogs which he then took to his estate in Scotland where he used his dogs to track down deer and other game.
Later, in the early 1950’s the Lord’s great nephew, the 6th Earl of Ilchester claimed that these dogs did not originate from a Russian circus and provided a stud book that had been kept since 1835 proving these dogs had been used on the estate since that date and that the first “yellow” dog had been purchased in Brighton in 1864 from a cobbler. The puppy was one of a litter produced by black wavy-coated Retrievers and was called “Nous”.
The first time Golden Retrievers were ever shown at the Crystal Palace was in 1908 by Viscount Harcourt and then a year or so later at Crufts. He started the “Culham” line using dogs bred by the Earl of Portsmouth. The dogs that were exhibited were referred to as “Flat Coat (Golden)”, a name they retained right up till 1913 only being called Golden Retrievers in 1920, but they were officially recognised as a breed by the Kennel Club in 1903.

Some facts about the breed…….
·       Is the Golden Retriever a vulnerable breed? No, they have consistently been one of the most popular breeds in Ireland and elsewhere in the world
·       There is a story that Golden Retrievers were originally used as performing dogs in the Russian circus although there is no actual proof of this
·       Golden Retrievers adore swimming and like nothing more than to take the plunge whenever they can
·       They are one of the best therapy dogs in the world
·       Golden Retrievers have a tremendous sense of smell and are known to be brilliant tracking dogs
·       They are one of the smartest dogs on the planet
·       Their double coats are extremely water-repellent

What Should My Golden Retriever Look Like?

Height at the withers: Males 56 – 61 cm, Females 51 – 56 cm
Average Weight: Males 29 – 34 kg, Females 25 – 29 kg
Golden Retrievers are well-balanced, powerful looking dogs that boast an intelligent and ultra-kind expression. Their heads are well proportioned in relation to their bodies. They have strong muzzles which are deep and wide with a black nose. Their eyes are deep set and dark brown in colour with black rims, and they are set well apart. Their ears are medium in size which dogs hold level to their eyes giving them the kind and intelligent expression the breed is so well known for.
A Golden Retriever’s mouth is strong boasting a perfect bite, yet Golden Retrievers are very soft mouthed. They have strong, muscular necks and nicely formed forequarters with shoulders well laid back. A Golden Retriever’s body is well-balanced and nicely proportioned boasting a deep, well sprung ribcage and nicely level sleek topline. Hindquarters are strong and muscular with powerful back legs and feet that are very cat-like in appearance.
When it comes to their coat, Golden Retrievers have either a wavy or flat extremely water-resistant double coat with a good amount of feathering. The accepted Kennel Club breed colours are as follows:
·       Cream
·       Gold
·       Golden


When a Golden Retriever moves they do so with tremendous drive and power always being true and straight both in their forequarters and their hindquarters. Every stride is free-moving with dogs covering a lot of ground.
The Kennel Club frowns on any exaggerations or departures from the breed standard and would judge a fault on how much it affects a dog’s overall health and wellbeing as well as their ability to perform.
Male Golden Retriever should have both testicles fully descended into their scrotums and it’s worth noting that a Golden Retriever could be a little taller or shorter and slightly heavier or lighter than stated in the Kennel Club breed standard which is given as a guide only.

Does a Golden Retriever Have A Good Temperament?

To describe a Golden Retriever in a nutshell, these dogs are confident by nature as well as being extremely kind and affectionate which is why they have become one of the top choices of family pets the world over having been at the top of the list when it comes to popularity both in a home and working environment. They are not known to be the best watch dogs simply because they are too kind and rarely would a Golden Retriever show any sort of aggression towards people or other animals.
Known to be highly intelligent, Golden Retrievers are easy to train and they love working and being given “jobs” to do whether in a home environment, as working dogs or out in the field. However, they are more relaxed than Border Collies and are quite happy to chill out too. Their kind natures and even temperaments shine through no matter where they are or what they are trained/asked to do.

Is a Golden Retriever a good choice for first time owners?

Golden Retrievers are a great choice for first time owners because they are so biddable and easy going by nature which makes them easy to train. However, they hate being left on their own for long periods which means owners need to have enough time to dedicate to their canine companions for them to be truly happy in a home environment.

What about prey drive?

Golden Retrievers are confident, laid-back dogs by nature and although they are extremely good working dogs in the field, they do not have a high prey drive, preferring to get on with other animals and pets they meet.
What about playfulness?
Golden Retrievers remain very puppy-like well into their senior years and thoroughly enjoy playing interactive games. Being so intelligent, they learn new tricks extremely quickly which is why they are so good at many canine sports including agility which is an activity they are known to excel at and which they thoroughly enjoy.

Do Golden Retrievers Suffer From Separation Anxiety?

Golden Retrievers are known to suffer from depression if they are left on their own for too long which is why they are better suited to households where one person stays at home when everyone else is out so they never spend a lot of time on their own.


Are Golden Retrievers Adaptable Dogs?

The Golden Retriever is a highly adaptable dog and therefore they fit in to most people’s lifestyles. With this said, they need enough space to express themselves as they should which means they are better suited to living in houses rather than apartments. There is nothing a Golden Retriever enjoys more than being able to romp around in a secure back garden whenever they can so they can really let off steam.

Do They Bark a lot?

Golden Retrievers are not “barkers”, however, any dog that’s left to their own devices for long periods of time would show their distress by barking. Because Goldens are known to suffer from separation anxiety, when they are left unattended for more than a few hours, not only would they suffer from depression, but they may start barking incessantly to get someone’s attention. It would be their way of showing how unhappy they are about the situation.

Do Golden Retrievers like Swimming?

Golden Retrievers have a real affinity with water and will jump in whenever they can and they are strong swimmers. Their double coats offer them a tremendous amount of protection because they are so water repellent. Anyone who shares a home with one of these lovely dogs should always take great care when walking their pets off the lead anywhere near more dangerous watercourses just in case they decide to leap in.

Are Golden Retrievers good watchdogs?

A Golden Retriever would always tell their owners when strangers are about, but thanks to their kind and friendly natures, they are not the best watchdogs. Anyone looking for a more impressive watchdog would do better to choose another breed.

Are they easy to train?

Golden Retrievers are extremely intelligent dogs which is paired to the fact they are always keen and eager to please. This makes them ultra-easy to train which is one of the reasons why Goldens excel at so many things including fieldwork. When correctly handled and trained, these dogs excel at so many different disciplines and they are frequently used as assistant dogs for the disabled. However, Golden Retrievers are sensitive by nature and therefore do not respond well to any sort of harsher training methods or correction. They do respond to positive reinforcement and will be more accommodating and sensitive to this type of guidance and direction.
Golden Retrievers are one of the top breeds to take part in Field Trials. Working Tests, Obedience, Working Trials, Agility, Heelwork to Music and Breed Shows all of which they excel at. They are also used as Dogs for the Disabled, Hearing Dogs, Guide Dogs and Therapy PAT dogs thanks to their intelligence and kind, placid natures.
It’s all too easy to spoil a Golden Retriever puppy because they are so adorably cute. However, their education must start as soon as they arrive in their new home with the first commands they are taught being as follows:
·       Come
·       Sit
·       Stay
·       Quiet
·       Leave it
·       Down
·       Bed

Are Golden Retrievers Safe With Children and Other Pets?

Like all other breeds, when Golden Retrievers are socialised from a young age when they are puppies, they embrace and adapt to all sorts of different lifestyles. The instinct to “nurture” is very strong in the breed which is a trait that has made them such popular family pets. They are extremely tolerant when around children of all ages. However, dogs and children should always be supervised when they are together, not because a dog might misbehave, but rather because a toddler or younger child might get a little too boisterous around with their canine pet.
Golden Retrievers are also known to be very good around other pets and dogs, rarely showing any aggressive behaviour towards them. However, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on introductions to new dogs and pets to make sure everything stays calm and friendly although rarely would a Golden Retriever ever instigate a fight, preferring to back away and keep their distance.