AKC Dog Breeds: Golden Retriever

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Sporting  Group
Height: 22-24 inches   Weight: 55-75 pounds  Color: Various Shades of Gold

The Golden Retriever, with its intelligence and eager to please attitude, is one of the most popular breeds in the United States. The working ability that has made the Golden Retriever such a useful hunting companion also make him an ideal guide, assistance and search and rescue dog. The golden-colored coat is the hallmark of this versatile breed, and can range from light to dark gold. The Golden Retriever originated in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800s and was used predominantly for hunting. The breed was developed by Lord Tweedmouth, whose goal was to create a superb retriever suited to the Scottish climate, terrain and available game. He crossed his original "Yellow Retriever" with the Tweed Water Spaniel (now extinct) found on his estate. Later integrations of Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and more Tweed Water Spaniel produced the retriever we know today.

General Appearance
The Golden Retriever is a beautiful, sturdy, well-proportioned dog with a feathered, medium-length, cream to golden-colored coat. (The coat is not suppose to be red.) The outer coat is water-repellent and the undercoat is dense. The head is broad, with a tapering, but wide, powerful muzzle. It has a scissors bite and a clear frontal stop. The nose is black and the kindly eyes are brown with dark rims. The ears are medium-sized and pendant. Its neck and thighs are muscular and the chest is broad. The tail is long, but never curled.

A very popular breed, the Golden Retriever is a dog that is stable, loving, eager to please, and gentle. These dogs make wonderful companions and family pets, and they love to give and receive attention. The Golden Retriever is a loyal and devoted dog, with mild manners, a responsive nature, and a playful streak. These dogs love the company of humans, and are not suited to those that cannot commit much time to their pet. They are quite energetic, and in particular they love to swim. These dogs have a real passion for life and for everything they do, and are extremely sociable dogs that will get along with almost everyone. Their love for just about everyone makes Golden Retrievers poor watchdogs, but the good news is that they get on well with children, strangers, and other pets. He loves to eat! Golden Retrievers suffer obesity because they eat and eat and eat and eat, so you must watch how much you feed him. These dogs do have a tendency to chew, and therefore should be provided with appropriate toys so that your own belongings and furnishings don't suffer. The Golden Retriever is a fast learner and a highly intelligent dog, which makes training easy and makes this breed suitable for inexperienced owners. He is a highly trainable dog. Positive obedience training with lots of praise and treats should begin from the moment you bring him home to ensure that he learns his manners. Trusting, obedient, sweet natured, and loving, the Golden Retriever is the perfect family pet and companion.


The Golden Retriever's double coat is important to brush on a daily basis. Many Golden owners complain about how much their dogs shed, particularly in the spring months. A strong brush will be your most prized tool when combating dog hair on your furniture, clothes and carpeting. Trimming can be done on occasion. Golden Retrievers have floppy ears that fold over. This as well as the activity level of the dog can allow it to be susceptible to yeast and bacterial ear infections. Because of this, it is important to be on the watch for any signs indicating an infection, such as head shaking or scratching, and know how to clean their ears carefully.

Health Problems and Life Expectancy

The life expectancy of the Golden Retriever is around 10-14 years, and there are a number of health problems that have been linked to this breed. This includes cataracts, entropion, allergies, thyroid problems, cancer, epilepsy, OCD, HD, and vWD.

Activity Level

While a youthful Golden Retriever is not as prone to weight issues as other breeds, it can still be a concern for older dogs as they become less active. They are an extremely active breed, and exercise is an important part of their daily care. They must be provided adequate room and time to play, beyond their outdoor potty breaks. Allowing them to retrieve balls, throwing sticks or Frisbees for them, giving them opportunities to play and socialize with dogs as well as a nice walk are all wonderful ways to ensure your Golden Retriever is well exercised. Some other activities your Golden may enjoy include swimming, hiking, jogging or biking. Mental exercise is also important. These dogs are eager to please, and enjoy having jobs to keep them busy and gain approval. Creating fun games or interesting things for your dog to do will keep them entertained and prevent them from becoming bored.


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