Golden Retrievers are gentle creatures known for their friendly disposition, devotion, and obedient nature. They make wonderful family companions and generally enjoy children. Goldens are active dogs with a powerful physique, but can be easily distracted during training. However, they are eager to please and enjoy learning. Goldens especially enjoy games that involve retrieving and love to carry toys and other items in their mouths.
Lord Tweedmouth is credited for developing the Golden Retriever breed in the mid-1800s, when interest grew for a dog that could push through heavy vegetation, brave cold water, swim strongly, and retrieve gently. Lord Tweedmouth bred a yellow wavy-coated retriever (a descendant of the small Newfoundland and the earlier Labrador breeds used by fisherman) to a Tweed water spaniel (a popular liver-colored retriever with a tightly curled coat). They produced four puppies, which showed promise of being outstanding upland bird dogs.
Subsequent crosses were made with other black retrievers, Tweed spaniels, setters, and even a bloodhound. The breed was first considered to be a yellow variety of flat-coated retrievers, but was recognized as a separate breed, the yellow or Golden Retriever, in 1912 and registered by the AKC as a separate breed in 1927. Goldens were originally valued for hunting, but later became popular as pets, show dogs, and obedience competitors and remain one of the most popular breeds in America.
A Golden Retriever has a double coat. The outer coat is dense and water repellent while the inner coat is warm and wooly. Feathering appears on the undercarriage, legs, and tail. These dogs require regular weekly brushing, and as their name suggests, they are a lustrous golden color but can vary from creamy yellow to a dark red golden hue.
Disposition and Exercise
The Golden Retriever needs daily exercise and human interaction. Challenging obedience lessons, active games, or retrieving sessions are all good ways to exercise the Golden's mind and body. The Golden Retriever is not intended to live as an outside dog. They are very people oriented and are miserable when separated from those they love. A lonely Golden may bark incessantly, dig up the back yard, or continuously escape to roam the neighborhood.
Males typically weigh 65 – 75 pounds, and females range from 55 – 65 pounds.