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American Golden Retrievers Overview

Updated on September 29, 2010

Golden Retriever Photo

Photo Courtesy- Sarah Maravelias
Photo Courtesy- Sarah Maravelias

Golden Retriever Basic Information

According to 2005 statistics from the AKC (American Kennel Club), Golden Retrievers were the second most popular dog breed. Golden retrievers have been popular ever since they were recognized as a breed. There are many reasons. Find out why Golden Retrievers are so beloved.

Golden Retrievers originated in Scotland. They were bred to be retrievers for bird hunters. There are varying opinions on which breeds were crossed to develop the Golden Retriever. The majority of experts believe that Golden Retrievers were originally crossed with a Tweed Water Spaniel and a yellow colored retriever dog breed.

If you don't know how to recognize a Golden Retriever, you don't have to look far. Some famous Golden Retrievers include Duke from Bush's Beans commercials, Shadow from the "Homeward Bound" movies, "Air Bud" movies, "You've Got Mail" movie, and Comet from television's "Full House".

There are two types of Golden Retrievers- American and English. Their only difference is in their appearance. English Golden Retrievers have a lighter yellow coat, sometimes almost white. They are broader than American Golden Retrievers, but shorter. American Golden Retrievers more resemble hunting dogs with their slim builds and long, lanky legs. The American Golden Retriever's coat is darker than the English, sometimes almost red.

Golden Retrievers get to their full size and weight at around age two. They are about two feet high at the shoulders or a little shorter. The average weight for a Golden Retriever is about seventy pounds.

Besides being popular pets, Golden Retrievers are useful in many ways. Golden Retrievers are excellent gun dogs for hunting, and of course they are used for retrieving. The breed is used for guide dogs for the blind, in search and rescue missions, and as therapy dogs. Golden Retrievers also score very well in obedience and agility contests.

If you want to base your decision on temperament when picking a breed, it's hard to beat a Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers are least likely to bite than virtually any other breed. They are extremely patient dogs. Golden Retrievers love humans, and are very easygoing with children. This dog breed is very friendly, playful, and intelligent.

Golden Retrievers are a handful when they are puppies. Be prepared to give them lots of attention. For that matter, Golden Retrievers require lots of attention and companionship throughout their lives in order to be happy. They remain active and playful throughout their adulthood. Because of their breeding bloodlines, Golden Retrievers love two things- retrieving and water. The combination of a Frisbee and a day at the beach is a Golden Retriever's idea of heaven.

Golden Retrievers are a low maintenance breed compared to most dog breeds. However, Golden Retrievers need lots of daily exercise. They are very active dogs. Preferably, they should be exercised at least twice a day for thirty minutes or longer. Their coat needs to be brushed daily.

If you are thinking about buying a Golden Retriever, there are some health problems of which you should be aware. If buying from a breeder, ask around and find one with a solid reputation. Have the parents examined for common health problems that are present in the breed.

Hip dysplasia is very common in Golden Retrievers. Be sure to have the parents examined for hip disease. Other common diseases and health problems in Golden Retrievers are cancer, cataracts, heart disease, and hot spots.

Golden Retrievers have always been, and probably always will be, popular dogs. They are one of the best choices for a family dog. If you decide to get a Golden Retriever, please consider one of the volunteer rescue organizations. There are lots of great Golden Retrievers that desperately need a home.

A website with lots of information about Golden Retrievers is located at-

Golden Retrievers Comments

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    • fancy puppy store profile image

      Fancypuppystore 3 years ago from 530 Hidden Valley Pkwy #102 Corona, CA 92879

      Nice hub dear.

    • profile image

      Deanna Ballard 5 years ago

      Denise - goto and they will explain to you that there is a such thing.

    • profile image

      Deanna Ballard 5 years ago

      Denise Atkinson is are rude! Such language on this site. Love the dogs and keep your nasty mouth to your self.

    • profile image

      Denise Atkinson 5 years ago

      You don't know what the hell you are talking about. I have 3 goldens from field lines. There is no such thing as British and American standards. So such thing as English Golden. They are were came from Tweedmouths lines. Several other breeds to include Irish Setter, Newfie, Curly coated retrievers were crossed back into the lines to make them more hardy. I have a curly coated red field golden who comes form the real source. There is no difference in the lines. I have owned goldens in the 80's. You are full of shit.

    • Alexander Mark profile image

      Alexander Silvius 7 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      Loved learning about this seemingly mundane animal. Everyone wants one, for the same reason I want one! If I get one, I'll definitely go to a rescue center, and hopefully find a mix as I am also fond of Border Collies. How about mixing one with a wolf? Maybe I'll add another hub about wolf hybrids that are mixed with Retrievers. Thank you.

    • profile image

      Wendy 8 years ago

      I have two Goldens. One is 10 years old, an English Golden and as sweet as can be. The other golden is American and she is two years old. The American is wild and crazy. She hates water but loves bringing in the paper every morning. The English one loves water and playing ball but doesn't want to have a job. It is funny but they are just like the English/American stereotype. The English are relaxed and laid back. The Americans are always on the go and needs to be busy.

    • profile image

      Monica_Steven 8 years ago

      First thanks for sharing. Glad to know more Golden Retrievers specially the fact that low maintenance and active.Helping both ways.

    • profile image

      sylvia 9 years ago

      my dog a golden retriver is about 13 years old and is deaf. and now i believe that she is going blind as well. there is a cateracs starting to build up in both of her eyes. i need any information on this topic that i can get. i want to know how long does she have till she is completly blind, and how ,much time she has to live in general. any information would be good. thanks sylvia

    • profile image

      not telling my name 9 years ago

      I wish I had a golden retriever. My mom says they cost a lot of money and we don't have time to spend the whole day with them. You guys are so lucky. When I get older I'm going to get a golden retriever. I'm 12 now. Feb 6th is my birthday.

    • profile image

      Maitreyee 9 years ago

      I am gonna have one and i am so excited

    • profile image

      sabauan 9 years ago

      Golden Retriever is my favourate breed. I always had a pair of them

    • joblot profile image

      joblot 9 years ago from Ringwood

      When I was growing up we had a Golden Retriever - far and away my favourite breed of dog! They are prone to going deaf and blind though - I can remember we used to shout for Mac and if he managed to hear you, he'd run around in circles trying to work out where you were!!

    • profile image

      Posao 10 years ago

      My grandma has a golden retriver. His name is Lordy. I love him! He is like a big kid. Just playing whole-day :)

    • marisuewrites profile image

      marisuewrites 10 years ago from USA

      See,  even dogs are individuals....My mother's guide dog was a black lab...highly bred....short slick hair and the smartest animal i've ever known.  I think she could read minds....certainly my mother's  --  in training, one day Bonnie, the Guide Dog gave my mom a signal to stop.  Mom didn't (it takes time to learn to trust your four legged "eyes.")  soooo  Mom fell off the curb, Bonnie got busy fetching her spilled purse items...and the trainer who had been walking behind mom helped Mom to her feet --- once everyone knew the others were ok...Mom kept saying  " I shudda minded her..."  meaning the dog.  After that, for the rest of their lives together...everytime Mom got the signal to stop from Bonnie -- Bonnie would also place her left front paw over mom's foot briefly and push against her with her left shoulder as if to say "You're not moving, lady."

      Mom and that dog had a beautiful relationship and read each others minds everyday.  San Rafel Guide Dogs for the Blind only uses Golden Retrievers and Labs for their Guide Dogs -- at that time they used some Shepards, but in later years just went with the Labs and Retrievers.  Highly intelligent, companionable dogs...part human, in my opinion.ha    

      Sooo,  if the retriever doesn't want the water or the fetch game....she probably feels she's above such  gotta' love em....our little black dach-a-cock-apoo has no idea he's a dog and I don't plan on tellin' him. 

      lol    Marisue

    • proudgrandpa profile image

      proudgrandpa 10 years ago from Charlotte, NC

      This brings back memories of our one and beloved Golden Retriever. Thanks for the memories and the great information.


      PS. Amen on the handful comment.

    • Sally's Trove profile image

      Sherri 10 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

      "Golden Retrievers love two things- retrieving and water."

      Just to share with you all, my pure-bred Goldie doesn't give a hoot about retrieving. I can throw a frisbee, she'll watch where it goes, maybe bring it back once, but basically she'll look where it landed and then head off in some other direction. It's not that she's not capable, it's just that she doesn't care for the game. And she detests, I mean detests water. A trip to our local lake means absolutely nothing to her. She won't so much as get her toes wet, even when her best buddy, Avi, is splashing along, wishing he could get to the opposite shore. A lawn sprinkler? Heaven forbid she should get within an acre of one! And don't ask her to drink out of a hose: she'll back away from it just far enough to turn in the opposite direction without wetting her back or tail, and then take off running.

      Lovely hub, Angela, and a gorgeous picture!

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      yessenia,A photo would help determine if a dog has Golden Retriever in it, but can't really pinpoint if a dog is 100% full-blooded Golden Retriever.

      amandaandangel, the Goldie pic is courtesy of Sarah Maravelias.

      beta1070, yes, those are USA statistics for Golden Retrievers.

      Chris, thanks, but I can't take the credit!

    • profile image

      Chris Miller 10 years ago

      That is a great picture

    • beta1070 profile image

      beta1070 10 years ago from UK

      Hi Angela, are the AKC figures from the US only?

    • amandaandangel profile image

      amandaandangel 10 years ago

      i have a question on how you got the pic before the writing on your te way love the page if i ever need info on labs ill come to your page to find my answers!!!!

    • amandaandangel profile image

      amandaandangel 10 years ago

      i have a question on how you got the pic before the writing on your te way love the page if i ever need info on labs ill come to your page to find my answers!!!!

    • amandaandangel profile image

      amandaandangel 10 years ago

    • profile image

      yessenia 10 years ago

      May I send a picture of my dog and can you tell me if he's full breed?

    • Angela Harris profile image

      Angela Harris 10 years ago from Around the USA

      A photo would help. Some Golden Retrievers do have a bit of wave to their hair, but it definitely shouldn't be curly. Maybe she is a Labradoodle- part Labrador, part Poodle. They are very popular right now and VERY expensive as well.

      And I apologize for the delay in responding. I have been on an extended trip with very little access to the internet.

    • profile image

      kayla 10 years ago

      ok umm i have a golden retriver!!! and she is really curly and i dont know if she is a full bloded or what my parents say that she is full bloded!!! i really want to know what she is so can you tell me


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