Breed profile: All about Golden Retrievers

Traditionally bred as gundogs and waterfowl retrievers, Golden Retrievers are known for their athleticism and love of water. They are incredibly social and affectionate and make friends wherever they go. If you are considering bringing a Golden into your family, it is important to understand their unique personalities, potential health concerns, and grooming and exercise needs.


Golden Retrievers are appropriately named for their gold-colored coat and their skill for retrieving waterfowl. The breed originated in the Highlands of Scotland, where Lord Tweedmouth, an outdoorsy hunting fanatic, began breeding them as gun dogs in the mid-1800s. Tweedmouth wanted a talented retriever with a strong nose and an attentive attitude. Goldens were also bred to be a loyal, even-tempered companion.

The Golden Retriever was officially recognized by the Kennel Club in England in 1911, and by the American Kennel Club in 1925. In the United States, Golden Retrievers really gained popularity in the 1970s when President Gerald Ford’s Golden, named Liberty, lived with the first family at the White House and had eight puppies! These dogs are now one of the most popular dog breeds in the U.S.

Size and appearance 

Golden Retrievers are considered medium-to-large-sized dogs. They are sturdy and muscular, famous for their beautiful and dense coat of gold.

The three types of Goldens—American, English, and Canadian Golden Retrievers—have only subtle differences in their physical appearance. American Goldens are slightly more petite and are usually a darker red or copper color, while English Goldens are often a very light cream color. Canadian Golden Retrievers, in comparison, are typically taller in stature.

  • Male Goldens typically stand about 23 to 24 inches tall and weigh between 65 and 75 pounds.
  • Females are slightly smaller, about 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall and between 55 to 65 pounds in weight.



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