When you hear the word “dog,” one of the breeds that might automatically come to mind is the Golden Retriever. In fact, it’s found to be one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S., as their friendly and gentle disposition makes them great family pets.
If you’re looking to adopt a Golden Retriever or just curious to learn more about this wonderful breed, we’ve rounded up a couple of important facts to get you started!
Origins of the Breed
Golden retrievers were developed in the mid to late 1800s by the first Lord of Tweedmouth, Dudley Marjoribanks. An avid hunter of waterfowl, Marjoribanks was on a mission to create the ideal gundog, one that would be suited to the rainy climate and rugged terrains. He bred the dogs for more than 50 years, crossing his “yellow retriever” with a now-extinct breed, the Tweed water spaniel.
In 1911, the Golden Retriever was officially recognized as a distinct breed by The Kennel Club in England, though they were classified as “retriever – yellow or golden” then. It was in 1920 when the breed name was officially changed to what it is today.
Notable physical characteristics
Golden Retrievers derive their name from their most distinctive feature, the color of their coat, which ranges from light golden to cream or dark golden to golden. Adult males can grow up to 75 pounds, while females typically reach between 55-65 pounds. All Golden Retrievers also have feathery tails carried with, as breed fanciers describe, a “merry action.”
Bred to be active, this breed’s physique varies from broad and dense to leaner, sportier body types, with a dense and water-repellent outer coat. Golden Retrievers also have a thick undercoat, and their coats vary in texture, from wavy to straight.
What to expect for owners
Golden Retrievers are known to be gentle, intelligent, and highly social. Great with kids and protective of their humans, it’s no surprise that Golden Retrievers are a highly preferred breed among families! Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Ryan Steen even goes so far as to say that “from a personality perspective, you’ll be hard pressed to find a more loving, outgoing, eager-to-please companion.”
Because of the breed’s origins, Golden Retrievers are best suited for owners with an active lifestyle, as they require a lot of physical activity. This is why they thrive best in homes where someone can keep them company during the day.
Golden Retrievers are also happiest when they live indoors, where they can be with the people they love the most. Extremely loyal dogs, they view themselves as part of the family. Fortunately, Golden Retrievers are not sensitive to noise and activity, which makes them behave well even with children at home. They also don’t mind living with other pets and can be trusted with other dogs and other animals!
When trained properly and taken care of well, Golden Retrievers can become a beloved addition to your family for many years. If you’re interested in owning a member of this breed, it’s still best to do your own research, to ensure a happy and fulfilling companionship!