History of Golden Retrievers

By: Connie Glutyk

During the 1800’s British Lord Tweedmouth takes credit for developing the breed of Golden Retrievers we see today. He wanted to develop a breed of dog that was loyal, kind, energetic and spirited, one that loved the water with the ability to retrieve waterfowl which makes him a great hunting companion. There are a couple of dog breeds that make up the Golden Retriever which are the British, now extinct, Tweed Water Spaniel, the Newfoundland Irish Setter and a variety of water spaniels along with the Bloodhound. The spaniel is where the Golden Retriever gets the love of water from and the red or mahogany colour comes from the Irish Setter, a beautiful dog breed on it’s own that we don’t see much of today.

The Golden Retrievers intelligence and eager to please attitude makes him one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States today both for hunting purposes and as a search and rescue dog along with being a guide dog. The dog’s friendly, gentle temperament means it is unsuited to being a professional guard dog but does make it the third most popular family dog breed in the United States. Golden Retrievers are rarely fussy eaters do require lots of exercise are fond of play and easily trainable.

Official Standard General Appearance

According to the AKC Registration statistics there are general conditions that makes the Golden Retriever qualify for the name. These are such things as symmetrical, powerful, an active dog that displays a kindly expression and eager personality, alert and confident. Since he is bred to be a hunting dog by nature he should by strong have good balance, gait and purpose. There are certain specific weight and height to qualify as a standard show dog which are different for both males and females.

He must not be clumsy or long in the leg or have any other faults that would make him unsuitable for the breed’s purpose or character.

Head should be broad in the skull, muzzle is straight in the profile, eyes are friendly and intelligent medium large with dark rims. Ears are short, nose should be black or brownish black, neck is medium long, backline is strong, body is well balanced and deep through the chest. Tail should be thick and muscular in the base with a moderate upward curve. Forequarters are muscular along with a hindquarter that is also broad and strongly muscled. Feet are medium size, round, compact and well knuckled with thick pads. The coat is dense and water-repellent with a good undercoat. Colour should be rich and lustrous in various shades of golden.

The gait is free, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach. Temperament is friendly, reliable, and trustworthy.

The Golden Retriever was given separate breed status in 1913 and was know only as the “Retriever” but in 1920 the name was changed to “Golden Retriever”. Breeders have continued to keep the sporting instincts and beauty of the dog into a top winning show dog today which continues to grow in popularity. The Golden Retriever first registered in Canada in 1927 and today is among the only breeds that have fewer rejections as a guide dog for the blind.