The Golden Retriever is a breed that was started in Scotland and bred primarily for retrieving of waterfowl such as ducks. They are breed for their soft mouth and double coat.
I find it amazing that some dog breeds can be traced back to their origins through breeding records. The golden was developed at the estate of Sir Dudley Marjoribanks through crossing a yellow-coloured Retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel bitch named Belle. The resulting litter contained four pups that were used for the basis of the breeding program. The breeding program included the St. John’s Water Dog, the Bloodhound, the Irish Setter and two black wavy-coated Retrievers. Marjoribanks had a vision of what the ultimate sporting dog would be and the results of his work is a truly great dog, the Golden Retriever.
The breed was known as Flat Coats – Golden to the Kennel Club of England until 1920 when they were reclassified as the Golden Retriever. In 1881 and 1894 respectively the breed was introduced to Canada and America. The breed was recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925.
The British Golden retriever has medium length legs similar to the British Labrador retriever, a stocky body and a head that is wide and block like. The American Golden retriever and Canadian Golden retriever are both taller, thinner, with a thinner head and a slightly different coat. The standards of the Golden retriever in the American Kennel Club are based on the American Golden.
The colour of the Golden retriever is as the name suggests different shades of gold. There are dogs with lighter (some to white) and darker (edging towards red or mahogany). The AKC only accepts colours of gold for the standard in the show ring. The British standards accept cream as a colour for judging while the AKC does not.
The coat is a water repellent double coat that is long and can be straight to wavy. The coat differs in the national varieties of the breed.
The nose can be black to pink with black the accepted AKC standard.
Goldens as a breed can develop joint issues especially hip dysplasia. Purchasing from a reputable breeder and keeping the dog at or around ideal weight will help lessen the chances of problems later. Goldens are also prone to cancer, degenerative eye issues, heart conditions and skin allergies.
Golden Retriever as a Pet
Never have I met a golden retriever that was not friendly and willing to please everyone they met. The golden is an incredibly gentle and patient breed. Their patience makes them an excellent hunting breed as does their eagerness to work and please. Goldens are very gentle around children and other animals therefor making them one of the greatest family dog breeds available. The intelligence of the goldens are right up at the top of the list right behind border collie, German shepherds and poodle making them ideal candidates for guide dogs, assistant dogs and therapy dogs.