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Golden Retriever History

In 19th century Scotland, a surplus of waterfowl and game—along with improvements in long-range firearms—created the need for a medium-sized dog that would do well in wild-fowling, both waterfowl and upland game.. Golden Retrievers were the result.  Lord Tweedmouth, of Inverness-shire, Scotland, bought his first Yellow Retriever in the mid-19th century. The location of Tweedmouth’s estate on the Tweed River had a direct bearing on the program pursued by the Lord to produce the characteristics he desired in his Yellow Retrievers. Along the shores of this river was the light-colored Tweed Water Spaniel, the hardy type of spaniel used for retrieving and known for their intelligence, courage and ability. The Tweed Water Spaniel had tremendous influence on Tweedmouth’s developing breed. Later on down the line, cross-breedings integrated Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and more Tweed Water Spaniel to obtain the Golden Retriever we recognize today.  First registered as “Flat Coats – Golden” by England’s Kennel Club in 1903, they eventually received AKC recognition in 1925 and are today one of the most popular breeds in America.


Things You Should Know

Golden Retrievers love tasks and challenges. They are also quick learners and eager to please. But, keep in mind: Goldens will keep going until they collapse. Be sure to monitor their fatigue levels, whether they’re hunting, retrieving or performing obedience trials.

Never the types to fixate on a single person, Goldens get along with the whole family and are especially patient and outgoing with children. However, a high-energy Golden Retriever (especially a young one) can accidentally bump into or knock over a child during play.

Like most dogs their size, Golden Retrievers normally live between 10-12 years. Common health problems include hip dysplasia and skin allergies. Plenty of exercise and moderate rations of food will keep them healthy for years to come.


What They’re Like to Live With

If you like playing fetch (and, especially if you like playing it for hours), you’ll love having a Golden Retriever. Eager, loving, intelligent and playful, these dogs have boundless energy and very few behavior problems.

Golden retrievers are loaded with confidence and good vibes. They are not particularly aggressive, territorial, manipulative or destructive. However, like Labrador Retrievers, they can be a little boisterous and intense as puppies, chewing furniture and retrieving an endless assortment of unwanted objects. Not to worry: These traits will mellow after a few years.

The best way to manage this hyperactivity is to keep them running. Golden Retrievers love to play outdoors, swim and fetch balls and sticks, not to mention roll around in the mud. And they’re always game for a cross-country run or to follow you during a bike ride.

Goldens love to carry things around in their mouths – and not just tennis balls. If they find something they like, e.g., a stick, a toy or a shoe, they’ll carry it around for days. Inevitably, these objects will become very slobbery.

Not the best guard dogs, Golden Retrievers are friendly and wide-eyed with strangers. But, they have been known to bark once or twice when someone comes to the door.


Trademark Traits

Handsome and proportioned

heartSoft, golden coat

heartFriendly and fun

heartLively and energetic

heartLoyal and obedient

heartEasily trained

heartSometimes hyperactive


Some Ideal Human Companions

Sportsmen and hunters

heartSuburban families

heartOutdoorsy types

heart“Fetch” fanatics



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