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Golden Retriever

 Photo of Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Books

Group: Gundog - Breed Standard


When Lord Tweedmouth saw dogs in a Russian Circus he was very impressed with them, and it was between 1860 and 1870 that he first imported Golden Retrievers to his home in Guisachan, Invernesshire. The dogs proved themselves to be very hardy and easy to deal with, and he used them mainly for tracking deer. In order to improve their scenting ability and strength, he crossed them with other breeds, and henceforth you have the Golden Retriever of today.


Height at withers: dogs: 56-61 cms (22-24 ins); bitches: 51-56 cms (20-22 ins).

A medium sized well balanced dog that is active, sound and powerful. He has a broad skull and muzzle that is wide and deep, and a kindly expression. His dense, waterproof coat can be flat or wavy with good feathering. Their colour can be any shade of gold or cream, but shouldn't be mahogany or red.


The Golden Retriever possesses a natural working ability and is very biddable and intelligent. They are a kind and friendly dog, full of confidence and tend to treat their family and strangers alike. They make excellent family pets, being devoted to all the members of the family, and are very good with children. As with all animals though, children must be taught to respect them. They're very affectionate and require lots of love and attention from everybody. People often ask if bitches are more loyal or loving, but with the Golden Retriever there is no difference in the temperament between dogs and bitches. Both sexes are equally loyal and loving and a male dog will make just as good a pet as a bitch, the only difference being that he will obviously be bigger than a bitch.

Breed Health

As a breed the Golden Retriever are known to have a few hereditary problems such as hip dysplasia, hereditary cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) and multifocal retinal dysplasia (MRD) Responsible breeders always have their breeding stock hip scored and hold current clear eye certificates. The average life span of a Golden Retriever is 13 to 15 years.

Breed Care

Golden Retrievers require little grooming, and a regular brush will suffice to keep their coat healthy. Although it is not essential, if the feet are kept trimmed it will save mud and dirt being brought into the house. If the owner intends the dog to be shown, then he will need to be trimmed properly. Any good Golden Retriever Book will give advice on this. Golden Retrievers have been known to have substantial hair loss when moulting, however, a good vacuum cleaner will easily pick up the hairs, a pair of household rubber gloves will clean any hair from clothes and the car very easily! Bitches tend to moult just before their season, usually twice a year, while dogs generally moult just once a year.


A young puppy, as with all breeds, does not need a lot of exercise and short walks on a lead are enough. At about 8 months free running and longer walks can be commenced. Longer walks start after two years. On a daily basis an adult Golden Retriever needs a minimum of about two miles to keep him healthy.


They are quick to learn and are usually very easy to train. Although they can occasionally be stubborn, they are obedient and willing to please most of the time. They are quite food orientated, and therefore bribery with tit-bits works very well while training, especially on recall. The tit-bits should be discontinued once the dog is reliable. They are very easy to house train provided you keep a close eye on them and they soon realise what is needed. By about 4 months they will begin to go through the night without an 'accident'. See our books on training

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Last link added: 12 Mar, 2008