The breed was bred in the UK a little over 100 years ago as a hunting dog, whose tasks were to find and bring game to the hunter, often from reservoirs. Therefore, the distinctive features of Golden Retrievers are a soft bite, a coat that does not get wet for a long time, and a love of water. A soft bite is evidenced by the fact that dogs of this breed can easily learn to carry an egg in their mouths and not crush it.
Thanks to their attractive appearance and trainability, golden retrievers are one of the most common breeds in the world. An illustration of this is the American saying: a typical American family should consist of parents, children and a golden retriever.
The Golden Retriever is a truly versatile dog: in addition to hunting, Golden Retrievers are used as guide and therapy dogs, emotional support dogs (at airports), work in the police, rescue services, customs, and are also excellent companion dogs. The photogenic nature of retrievers has made them the favorites of filmmakers, and they are now often seen in commercials and movies. Perhaps the only area where golden retrievers have not succeeded is security. Due to their good-natured disposition, Goldens are not able to show aggression and fight back.
There are two breed standards: English (adopted by the International Canine Organization (FCI)) and American. In many ways, the description of the breed in them is the same, but there are differences, for example, regarding color, completeness of teeth, topline.
What does the breed look like?
Harmony and balance are the characteristics that can describe the appearance of golden retrievers: they are proportional, symmetrical, they do not have any overly pronounced features.
Height and weight: according to the English breed standard, height at the withers for males is 56 – 61 cm, for females 51 – 56 cm, weight for males is 26 – 41.5 kg, for females 25 – 37 kg.
Retrievers are dogs with a pronounced gender: females are more graceful, much smaller in weight and size, while males, on the contrary, look more powerful, more courageous.
Head and Muzzle: The head is in proportion, the muzzle is broad but not coarse, the eyes are dark brown, the eyelids are well pigmented. Black nose preferred. Very important in the appearance of retrievers is their pleasant friendly and welcoming look.
Coat, Undercoat: Retriever coats are a real gem. It is straight or slightly wavy, with a good outer coat and a dense waterproof undercoat.
Body, back, tail and limbs: balanced body (the height of the dog at the withers should be equal to the distance from the withers to the base of the tail), the retrievers have a level topline, without bends or slopes in the back. The tail is straight, without bends, it should be a continuation of the back (the dog should carry the tail at the level of the back, without lifting it up).
The forelegs are straight, with strong bones, well placed under the body. The hind limbs are strong, muscular, when viewed from behind, they stand straight, not reduced to each other, not widely spaced. Paws are round, cat-like. The dog runs easily, strongly throwing forward the forelimbs, but not tossing them high up.
Colour: All shades of golden or cream.
Red, auburn (setter) colors, mahogany (mahogany color) and absolutely white are not allowed. A few white hairs or a large white spot are allowed on the Golden’s chest. In America, Golden Retrievers tend to have a more intense bright, rich golden color, and in Europe they are a classic medium golden and even light, almost white color.
Character and habits
Retrievers are active, playful, but at the same time quite balanced dogs, they are excellent communicators, friendly and good-natured with others; self-confident, not shy; obedient, with natural abilities and motivation to study and work; intelligent, inquisitive and intelligent; devoid of aggression.
They are friendly with people, human-oriented, sensitive to the emotional state of the owner, with a pronounced desire to please. Many owners note that retrievers subtly capture the state of a person and adapt to it. These dogs need a person, they do not tolerate isolation, ignoring, prolonged loneliness.
Golden Retrievers are truly family dogs, accepting all family members and loving children. In games with children, as a rule, they are careful and patient.
They get along well with any other pets, they are non-conflict, they will not provoke other animals to aggressive behavior.
On walks they are active, hardy, emotional, expressed interest in the game. The dog needs physical activity, fairly long walks, with the ability to run in the mode chosen by the dog. Retrievers also love water and swimming.