The Golden Retriever is a gundog, originally developed as a hunting companion to retrieve wild fowl. The breed is intelligent and biddable. Generally calm and relaxed the Golden Retriever makes an unlikely watchdog. They have a great desire to please and an aptitude for training in many different activities. They have retained their instincts for retrieving and are still capable of doing the work they were originally bred for -- to locate and retrieve game for the hunter.
The Golden Retriever is not too difficult to look after in terms of their size and the amount of care required for their coat. However they will shed a quantity of hair throughout the year and they require regular exercise.
Because of their heritage the Golden Retriever has a strong natural instinct to retrieve. He will delight in collecting and carrying articles around the house, presenting them to you and visitors. This natural instinct should not be discouraged. Golden Retrievers love to retrieve and will have the greatest fun in retrieving any object - a ball, a stuffed sock or a toy. He has also inherited a love of water and loves to swim and participate in other kinds of water activity, which includes finding every muddy puddle.
Because the Golden Retriever was also developed as a companion dog, they are also excellent companions, adapting to the requirements of their household. They are sensible, affectionate dogs who enjoy the company of their human family and are sensible with children and the elderly. It is important that your Golden Retriever is a part of the family. He will want to be included in your family activities - even if the activity at the time is watching television.
The adult Golden Retriever is a large dog. The mature male is 56 to 61cm (22 to 24 inches) high at the shoulder and weighs between 29 to 34 kilos. A female is 51 to 56 cm (20 to 22 inches) at the shoulder and weighs between 25 to 29 kilos. The build is sturdy and muscular, but neither massive like a Newfoundland, nor refined like a setter. The head is broad and well proportioned with a kindly expression. The coat is one of the features of the breed, a double coat with a thick weatherproof topcoat and a dense soft undercoat. There are featherings of longer hair on the backs of the legs, on the front of the neck and chest, and on the tail. The coat can be flat or wavy.
The adult coat may range in colour from cream to a dark gold, and the darker dogs can have a lighter feathering. A predominant colour of either white or setter red or white markings on the head, feet and chest are not desirable in the show ring but have no effect otherwise on the dog. Golden Retriever puppies are born much lighter than their adult colour. Even a pale coloured puppy will probably become quite gold if his ears have a gold colour.
© Fernamber Golden Retrievers 2002-2008