Dog Breeds 101: Golden Retriever

Dog Breeds 101 - Golden Retriever - WP
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When humans began hunting with guns, the retrieving of game became as important as hunting itself. The dogs given this task are known as gun dogs and need to be strong enough to carry game as well as small enough to crawl through bushes and other vegetation. This need sparked the beginnings of the Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers are medium to large dogs that are believed to have originated from Scotland. Originally, the Retriever was black but in the 1860s one of these dogs had a litter of puppies, all of which were black except for one. This dog was bred to be the Golden Retriever we know today. [1]

The Golden Retriever is one of the world’s best known dog breeds and is now the third most popular dog in the US, eighth in the United Kingdom, and fifth in Australia. As a gun and hunting dog, this breed is muscular and possesses an impressive endurance level.

Due to its innate intelligence and versatility, this breed is able to perform various tasks including hunting, guiding, participating in search and rescue missions and aiding detective operations. Most of these dogs are born light yellow and darken as they age. A dark brown puppy, on the other hand, will be almost red as an adult. [2]

Golden Retrievers are found to be lovable, charming, and well mannered. They are also noted for their gentleness and patience with children. These dogs are known for doing all they can to please their owners.

Despite their limited guarding instincts, Golden Retrievers can be effective watchdogs. This dog will never hesitate to alert its family of a stranger approaching. Furthermore, these dogs get along with any other household pet. Also, this dog was bred to swim and is likely to do so whenever possible. This breed’s intelligence and willingness to please makes this dog more trainable than others. [3] Check out this Golden Retriever training page.

Golden Retrievers can live in apartments if they are provided daily exercise. This will be necessary if the owner wishes to avoid the repercussions this dog’s hyperactivity. Also, lack of mental stimulation may trigger this breed to become over-exuberant, distracted and destructive.

Considered to be an average shedder, the coat of Golden Retrievers should be combed and washed regularly. These dogs should be taught to be brushed at an early age. It is important that these first experiences are positive ones or the Golden Retriever may avoid it from there on out. [4]

Research shows that Golden Retrievers are susceptible to various health problems such as cancer, allergies, congenital eye defects, Von Willebrand’s disease, hip dysplasia, and heart disease. On average, a healthy Golden Retriever can live for 10 to 12 years.


[1] Charlotte Wilcox, The Golden Retriever (Capstone, 1996), p.13-15.

[2] D. Caroline Coile, The Golden Retriever Handbook (Barron’s Educational Series, 2009), p.31-32.

[3] Nona Kilgore Bauer, Golden Retrievers For Dummies (John Wiley & Sons, 2011).

[4] Gerilyn J. Bielakiewicz and Paul S. Bielakiewicz, The Everything Golden Retriever Book: A Complete Guide to Raising, Training, and Caring for Your Golden (Everything Books, 2004), p.248.

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