The Golden Retriever is a large, strongly built breed with a dense, water-repellant wavy coat.As a dog with origins in pedigree breeding, and due to its widespread historical popularity, some regional variations have emerged in the breed; therefore, the three subtypes of the Golden Retriever reflect the typical variations in dimensions and coat. However, all Golden Retrievers are blonde, yellow, or gold in colour and all subtypes are susceptible to the same health problems. Golden Retrievers also are very smart dogs that are loyal and friendly to their caregivers.
Overview of Golden Retriever Breed Information
Golden Retrievers were bred as hunting dogs designed to retrieve fallen quarry. Like most retrievers, the Golden Retriever has a soft mouth and a love for water. They are energetic but do not mind relaxing on the couch from time to time if the mood is right.
Exercise is a must for these dogs but a trip to the lake or an energetic run in the park twice a day is usually enough. Golden Retrievers are great family pets and are intelligent and versatile enough to make great guide dogs, rescue dogs, and general working dogs.
Golden Retrievers are even tempered and friendly even to strangers. Trusting and loyal, these dogs are well loved and not generally prone to serious behavioral complications. On average, Golden Retrievers can weigh up to 75 pounds and are well known for their lush coat and bright eyes.
Varieties of Golden Retrievers
English Golden Retrievers, for example, are stockier than their American or Canadian counterparts. Also called English Cream Golden Retrievers these types tend to have a lighter color to their coat. Canadian Golden Retrievers are leaner and their coat is thinner. The American kind is lean as well but with a thick coat.
The eyes are round and dark, which is in contrast to the triangular or slanted composition of their American counterparts. British Golden Retrievers can have a coat color of any shade of gold or cream; red or mahogany are not permitted. Originally, cream was an unacceptable color in the UK standard, but the standard was revised in 1936 to include cream. At the time of this revision, the exclusion of cream as a color was agreed to as a mistake, as the original “yellow” retrievers of the 19th century were actually lighter in color than was permitted by the standards used before 1936. As with American lines, white is an unacceptable color in the show ring. The British Kennel Club standard is used in all countries except the USA and Canada. Golden Retrievers have muscular bodies with great endurance, owing to their origins as hunting and gundogs.
American types are lankier and less muscular than other types
- males stand between 23 and 24 in (58 and 61 cm) in height at the withers
- females are 21.5 to 22.5 in (55 to 57 cm) tall
Their coats are darker in color and occur in various shades of lustrous gold with moderate feathering. When trotting, they have a free, smooth, powerful, and well-coordinated gait; as the dog runs, its feet converge towards the center of the line of balance. The American standard also makes requirements about the proportion, substance, head and skull, neck, body, topline, forequarters, and hindquarters; in these respects, the American-type Retriever is the same as Golden Retrievers that conform to other national standards. American breeders of Golden Retrievers sometimes import their dogs from Britain to take advantage of the temperament and appearance of the British types.
The Canadian Golden Retriever has a thinner and darker coat and stands taller than other types.
- Males stand 23 and 24 in (58 and 61 cm) in height at withers; Weight for males is between 29–34 kg (65-75 lb)
- Females 21.5 to 22.5 in (55 to 57 cm). Weight of females between 27–32 kg (60-70 lb).
Coat and color
As indicated by their name, their coats occur in light golden to dark golden colors. The topcoat is water-resistant and slightly wavy, and sheds in small amounts throughout the year. The undercoat is soft and keeps the retriever cool in summer and warm in winter; it sheds in the spring and fall. It usually lies flat against the belly. The Golden’s coat should never be too long, as this may prove to be a disservice to it in the field, especially when retrieving game. Golden Retrievers have mild feathering on the backs of their fore legs and heavier feathering on the fronts of their necks, backs of their thighs and the bottoms of their tails.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) standard states the coat is a “rich, lustrous golden of various shades”, disallowing extremely light or extremely dark coats. This leaves the outer ranges of coat colour up to a judge’s discretion when competing in conformation shows. Therefore, “pure white” and “red” are unacceptable, as is black. The Kennel Club (UK) also permits cream as an acceptable coat colour. Judges may also disallow Goldens with pink noses, or those lacking pigment. The Golden’s coat can also be mahogany, referred to as “redhead”, although this is not accepted in the British show ring.As a Golden grows older, its coat can become darker or lighter, along with a noticeable whitening of the fur on and around the muzzle. Puppy coats are usually much lighter than their adult coats, but a puppy with darker ear tips may indicate a darker adult color.