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Adopt a Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Dog Breed

Picture: Kent and Donna Dannen


gundog, retriever

Area of origin:


Original function:


Average size of male:

Ht: 23-24, Wt: 65-75

Average size of female:

Ht: 21.5-22.5, Wt: 55-65

Other names:

yellow retriever

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    Friendliness towards dogs

  • Friendliness towards other pets

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    Friendliness towards strangers

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    Ease of training

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    Watchdog ability

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    Protection ability

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    Cold tolerance

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    Heat tolerance

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Golden Retriever Dog Temperament

Everybody's friend, the golden retriever is known for her devoted and obedient nature as a family companion. She is an apt sporting retriever as well and yearns for a day in the field. Ignoring her active nature and powerful physique can lead to behavior problems, and she needs daily physical and mental exercise. She tends to be overly exuberant and boisterous, and her enthusiasm for everything often distracts her during training; however, she is eager to please and enjoys learning. The golden's achievements in competitive obedience are remarkable. She especially enjoys games that involve retrieving and loves to carry items in her mouth.

Golden Retriever Dog Care

The golden retriever needs daily exercise and human interaction. Challenging obedience lessons, active games or retrieving sessions are all good ways to exercise the golden's mind and body. She is such a social dog that she is best when she shares her life with her family. The coat does not tend to mat but needs twice weekly brushing.

Golden Retriever Dog Health

Major concerns: CHD, elbow dysplasia, cataract
Minor concerns: entropion, distchiasis, trichiasis, cataract, pyotraumaticdermatitis, subvalvular aortic stenosis, OCD, allergies, vWD, cardiomyopathy
Occasionally seen: gastric torsion, epilepsy, CPRA, osteosarcoma
Suggested tests: hip, elbow, eye, cardiac, (blood)
Life span: 10-13 years

Interested in the history of the Golden Retriever dog breed?

One of the best documented and most fortuitous efforts to produce a breed resulted in the golden retriever. The man responsible for the breed was Lord Tweedmouth, who lived just north of the Scottish border along the Tweed River. With an increasing interest in retrieving dogs in the mid-1800s, a dog that could push through heavy vegetation, brave cold water, swim strongly and retrieve gently was in demand. Lord Tweedmouth bred Nous, a yellow wavy-coated retriever (a descendant of the small Newfoundland and the earlier Labrador breeds used by fisherman) to Belle, a Tweed water spaniel (a popular liver-colored retriever with tightly curled coat). They produced four puppies, which showed promise of being outstanding upland bird dogs. Subsequent judicious crosses were made with other black retrievers, Tweed spaniels, setters and even a bloodhound. The breed was first considered to be a yellow variety of flat-coated retrievers, but was recognized as a separate breed, the yellow or golden retriever, in 1912. A few of these dogs had come to America by way of Lord Tweedmouth's sons by 1900, but the AKC did not register them as a separate breed until 1927. The breed was valued for the hunting abilities so ably produced by the careful blending of foundation stock. She only later became popular as a pet, show dog and obedience competitor. After she made the transition, however, her rise to the height of popularity was meteoric, and she remains one of the most popular of all breeds in America.

Copyright © 1998, 2005 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc. based on

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Some animal welfare organizations with Golden Retrievers ready for adoption:

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