Golden Retriever Pictures and Information

The Golden Retriever is an impressive dog that has a well-defined body. The coat is moderate in length and should be gold or cream in color.


All modern Golden Retrievers can trace their ancestry back to the late 1800s breeding program of Sir Dudley Majoribanks (Lord Tweedmouth) incorporated on his Guisachan estate in Scotland.

Lord Tweedmouth decided to breed two different breeds of dogs he had acquired in 1866. The male was a yellow colored, Wavy Coated Retriever named “Nous” (Greek for wisdom) and the female, a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. The results of this breeding in 1868 were four yellow pups which were named “Ada”, “Crocus”, “Cowslip”, and Primrose”. Deciding to keep Cowslip, Lord Tweedmouth bred her to “Tweed”, another Tweed Water Spaniel. At a later date, he also bred her to “Sampson” a Red Setter. This Red Setter union was to enhance the color and the nose of his dogs.

Years later in 1884, a second “Nous” was whelped. This Nous was also a yellow dog and the result of Lord Tweedmouth breeding “Jack” (a son of Sampson and Cowslip) to “Zoe”(a daughter of Tweed and Cowslip).

Later, this Nous was bred to “Queenie and produced two yellow puppies named “Prim” and “Rose”. It is from these two dogs that all modern Goldens can be traced to.

The first Golden Retriever registered with the English Kennel Club was in 1904 and it was listed with the Wavy and Flat Coated Retrievers. It was in 1913 that the breed was known as Golden or Yellow Retrievers and “Golden Retriever” became the official term in 1920.

Golden Retrievers were known to be in the United States as early as 1890. Photographs exist showing Lord Tweedmouth’s son, the Honorable Archie Majoribanks at a ranch in Texas with a Golden named Lady.

It wasn’t until 1925 that the first Golden Retriever was registered with the American Kennel Club. This dog, Lomberdale Blondin was imported from England by Robert Appleton of East Hampton, Long Island. Mr. Appleton also imported a female Golden Retriever named “Dan Hill Judy” and the breeding of these two dogs produced the first registered litter for the breed in December 1925.

Although registered for several years, it wouldn’t be until 1932 that the AKC shows would separate the Golden Retrievers from the Labrador Retrievers.

Another major event for the breed occurred in 1932 when Col. Samuel Magoffin of Vanover, British Columbia imported a male Golden from England named “Speedwell Pluto.” Pluto became a champion in both Canada and the United States and went on to be the first Golden in history to win a Best in Show award. Speedwell Pluto was not only beautiful in the show-ring he was an exceptional hunting dog. Pluto is also considered to be the foundation sire for the Golden Retriever breed in America.

It took until 1939 for an official club, The Golden Retriever Club of America to be formed by mid-western breed fanciers.

When the American Kennel Club first offered Obedience Trial Championship titles in the early 1970s, the first three recipients were Golden Retrievers. Although continually seen at shows and field trials, the Golden remained in virtual seclusion from the general public until 1974.

It was in this year the Golden Retriever came into the national limelight when President Gerald Ford acquired a young female named “Liberty”. When Liberty produced puppies in the Whitehouse, nationwide publicity ensued and caused an almost overnight popularity.  Registrations skyrocketed and the Golden Retriever became one of the top five most popular breeds.   

Other famous people who have owned Golden Retrievers are Chevy Chase, Bob Newhart, Ed McMahon, Frank Gifford, Mary Tyler Moore, Bill Blass, Jimmy Stewart, and Oprah Winfrey.

The breed standard, which was approved by the AKC in October 1981, calls for an active dog well put together without being clumsy or long in the leg. He or she should display a kind expression and have a personality that is alert, eager and self-confident.

Males should be 23-24 inches at the withers and females 21.5-22.5 inches. Any deviation in the height standard of more than one inch will disqualify the dog.  Dogs should weigh 65-75 pounds and bitches 55-65 pounds.

The head is broad in skull without prominence of frontal or occipital bones. Eyes are friendly, intelligent, medium sized and medium to dark brown. Nose should be brownish black to black.

A Golden’s neck should be medium long and merge gradually into well laid back shoulders. The dog should have a sturdy, muscular appearance but not ponderous.  The back is level from withers to a slightly sloping croup.

The Golden Retriever has a wide, deep chest, a heavily plumed tail with bones that just reach the point of the hocks. A coat that is dense and water-repellent as well as having a good undercoat is desired. The outer coat is firm but not coarse. The dog’s coat can be straight or wavy with colors that vary from a rich reddish gold to almost blonde. With the exception of a few white hairs on chest and graying around face due to aging, white hair is penalized accordingly.

Golden Retrievers normally have a friendly, reliable, trustworthy and outgoing personality. Any sign if quarrelsomeness, hostility, timidity or nervousness is undesirable and will also be penalized accordingly.

The automatic disqualifications in a conformation class are undershot or overshot jaws as well as a deviation in height of more than one inch of the standard.


American Kennel Club
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Golden Retriever Club of America
2005 N.E. 78th St.
Kansas City, MO 64118

The Golden Retriever World Magazine
Hoflin Publishing Inc.
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Wheat Ridge, Colo. 80033-3299

Choosing a dog that is right for you can be a difficult choice.  Each breed has its own set of standards and qualities that you must look at.  Especially if you are planning to use the dog for future breeding or for showing, you must be very selective in what you choose.  Golden retrievers are one of the most popular of dog breeds for any purpose.

Golden retrievers belong to the sporting group of dogs.  They were primarily used as hunting dogs and have an instinct to bring things back to their master.  Goldens are a very active breed and are very eager to please.  They originated back in the British Isles from cross breeding several other types of dogs.  These dogs are used for anything from hunting to helping disabled people.

As far as size, this varies between males and females.  Males will reach a shoulder height of between 23 and 24 inches while females will be between 21 ½ and 22 ½ inches.  If you plan to show the dog, a deviation of no more than an inch either way is acceptable.  Males will weigh between 65 and 75 pounds while a female will weigh between 55 and 65 pounds.  You can expect a life expectancy of about 10 to 12 years for either male or female.

Golden retrievers are probably most well known for their beautiful coats.  The color ranges from a cream up to a golden brown with feathering behind their legs and on their chest.  Goldens rank about in the middle as far as shedding their coat goes.  They have black noses and brown eyes ranging from a medium to a dark shade.  They also have medium sized ears, falling to their cheeks.  

These dogs are a very popular breed for families especially those with younger children.  Goldens have a very easy going temperament and can easily be trained to be gentle.  These dogs enjoy making their owners happy and rely on human contact.  When left alone for a long period of time, a golden retriever will become mischievous.  They do not have guarding instincts, but will protect the family by loudly signaling the approach of a stranger, although they are unlikely to actually attack.  In fact, these dogs love to interact with other people and even other dogs.  

One of the major concerns with this breed of dog is hip dysplasia.  This is very common in larger dog breeds.  This disease is where the hip joints become somewhat disjointed causing the dog pain.  Another common concern for goldens is congenital eye defects.  Skin allergies can also be a problem for the golden breed.

Having a large area for this type of dog to exercise in is also extremely important.  They will be happy in any environment as long as they receive the proper exercise, but it is always best to have more room for them.  Goldens should be walked daily and also should be involved in other activities as well.  One of their favorite activities is to play fetch.  This can be done with a stick, a ball, or a Frisbee among other things.  It is also important not to overfeed the dog, since goldens can gain weight quite easily.

Golden retrievers are a great type of dog to get no matter what you would like a dog for.  They do great with families, even those with small children.  Goldens are often found at the top for dog shows and can also be trained very easily to help the handicapped.  

Golden Retriever Description

The coat of a Golden Retriever should never be red, as it is considered to be a fault. While the external coat of the Golden Retriever is resistant to water, the undercoat is thick. These dogs have wide heads, and their muzzles should be broad. The teeth of the Golden Retriever should form a scissors bite. The Golden Retriever has brown eyes that convey a kind expression. The ears should be moderate in size, and they will have the shape of pendants. While the tail of the Golden Retriever should belong, it should never curl.

Golden Retriever


Next to the Labrador Retriever, the Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. These dogs have excellent manners, and they are extremely intelligent. Their intelligence allows them to be trained easily, and they have an exceptional amount of loyalty to those that care for them. The Golden Retriever is the perfect dog for the family. It is excellent for children, and they will work hard to please their owners. Golden Retrievers have consistently performed well in obedience tests. They are friendly with virtually everyone and will get along with other dogs. While they are not guarding dogs, they are good watchdogs.

Health Problems

These dogs may develop eye disorders, and hip dysplasia is a common problem as well. They may also suffer from skin allergies or heart issues. The Golden Retriever has a maximum life expectancy of 12 years.


It is important for owners to make sure this dog is given consistent amounts of exercise on a daily basis. As the name implies, these dogs are retrievers and enjoy retrieving toys or other objects. It is important to make sure these dogs are not fed too much, as they can gain weight quickly. These dogs can live in apartments or medium-sized yards.

Special Grooming Needs

The Golden Retriever has a moderately long coat that features a smooth texture. It should be combed or brushed whenever it is needed. These dogs will shed a standard amount of fur, and they should only be bathed when it is needed.