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Golden Retriever Dog Breed Profile

Golden Retriever

Other Names
Dog Group Kennel Club
Breed Classification
The Golden Retriever is a very popular Gundog breed and is employed today for its compatibility in companionship, showmanship, obedience and field trials. The breed performs as well in water, due to its dense undercoat, and over land because of its long, powerful strides. These dogs are also used as seeing eye dogs and for therapy. 
Cost of Ownership
Average Food Cost
£4-7.50 per week
Feeding Requirements
The Golden is one of the easiest dogs to feed, being neither fussy nor prone to stomach upsets. However, they are a greedy breed and care must be given to ensure owners guard against excessive feeding in an effort to keep the dogs lean and healthy. 
Other Expenses
The price of a puppy is around £500 but it will vary depending on which part of the country you are purchasing it from. These dogs are relatively inexpensive to keep as they do not require any food additives on a regular basis. Good trimming scissors are a sound investment but with proper care will last a good few years. 
9 - 15 years
They normally live to 12 years, although it is not unheard of for a Golden to live until the age of 16 or 17. 
Average Litter Size
Litter sizes can vary from 4 to 12 puppies, although the average litter is 8. Normally the puppies are born without much interference from human resources. 
General Physical Description
This breed is known for its lustrous golden coat of resilient quality and medium length The Golden Retriever has a friendly and intelligent expression with perfect symmetry and superb flowing movement covering the ground with long powerful strides

Height Min Max
Bitch 51cm (20") 56cm (22")
Dog 56cm (22") 61cm (24")
Weight Min Max
Bitch 27kg (60lbs) 32kg (71lbs)
Dog 30kg (66lbs) 34kg (75lbs)
Size Category
Weight Height Range
Dogs' height at withers is normally between 56 - 61cms and bitches' between 51 - 56cms. The weight for dogs is normally between 30 - 34kgs and bitches 27 - 32kgs. 
If you choose your puppy from parents which have both been hip-scored and eye-screened with favourable results, the likelihood of your Golden being susceptible to the hips and eye problems is then greatly reduced. As puppies, without careful exercise management, they can be prone to OCD. In general, Goldens are a healthy breed. 
Common Ailments
Susceptibility To Illness
The Golden dates back to the latter half of the 19th century and owes much of its development to Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (Lord Tweedmouth). His records were meticulously kept and form a good basis of origins. Marjoribanks took a liking to the yellow colour and acquired a dog called 'Nous' of that colour from Brighton, England in 1865 and used him on a Tweedwater Spaniel bitch, which was an English retrieving dog, close & curly-coated and a light liver colour. These are now extinct. Through structured line breeding over a period of 20 years, and bringing in Labrador Retrievers, Red Setters and possibly a Bloodhound or two to improve scenting and add bone, the Golden was developed and in 1908 became registered and shown as Golden Flatcoats until 1913 when the listing was changed to Golden or Yellow Retrievers until, finally in 1920, they took the name they bear today. 
Goldens are extremely intelligent dogs with an intense desire to please. Therefore they make superb candidates for fieldwork, showing, obedience, companionship and assistance for the disabled. Never treat them harshly or harm can be done to their accommodating and sensitive natures.< 
Show Characteristics
All pigmentation should be preferably black. Coats should not be excessively long, open, limp or soft. Red or mahogany is not allowed. White markings and black hairs are not acceptable. The head is broad and arched with a well-defined stop. Jaws should be strong with a perfect, regular scissor bite. The eyes are medium large, set well apart with dark pigmentation. The ears should neither be small nor large and set on at the approximate level of the eyes. The neck is long, clean and muscular, and merges into well-laid-back shoulders. The body should be well-balanced and short-coupled with deep well-sprung ribs and a level topline. The forelegs should be straight with good bone and the hindquarters strong and muscular with good second thighs. Hocks must be well let down and straight when viewed from behind. The feet are round and cat-like and the tail set on and carried at back level, reaching to the hocks without curling up at the end. 
Country Of Origin
Great Britain 
Famous Examples
Shadow from 'The Incredible Journey' by Sheila Burnford 
Records Held
Overall Exercise
80 - 100 minutes per day.
Adult Goldens require a reasonable amount of exercise to keep them in peak condition and road work is ideal to keep them well-muscled and fit. As puppies, they can grow very quickly and their weight can soon be too heavy for the speed of which their bones are growing. For this reason do not allow them too much free-range exercise which could cause Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD), a bone problem causing lameness. 
Distress if Left Alone
Personal Protection
Guard Dog Suitability
Risk of Sheep Worrying
Tendency to Bark
Level of Aggression
Compatibility With Other Animals
Suitable For Children


General Character And Temperament
The Golden is a gentle dog with intelligence and a level disposition and because of this is an ideal dog to have as part of the family. They adore children and love to be involved in all family matters, whether indoors or outdoors. They are foremost a retriever and are therefore very orally fixated. Goldens will attempt to drag, pull or carry anything they can fit into their mouths. They also love water and care should be taken to ensure their safety when any form of water is nearby. Goldens are however worriers and great care should be taken during training, ensuring sensitivity is maintained at all times. 
Coat Length
Grooming Requirement
> Once a week 
Requires Professional Groomer
Because of the density of the coat, Goldens must be regularly groomed and trimmed. The undercoat, because of its water repellant nature, is extremely thick and must therefore not be allowed to matt, causing unnecessary suffering to the animal. The feathers on his front legs should be trimmed regularly as should the hair between his pads. The hair on the back legs up the hocks needs to be cut close and, again, the feathering under the tail should be trimmed. The tail should be trimmed in a crescent shape. The chest area should be kept relatively short in order to show off the length of neck. The top coat on the body only needs brushing and can be either flat or wavy. Whilst the length of the coat attracts water and mud, this is easily cleaned off once the coat has dried. 
The coat of the Golden Retriever can be any shade of cream or gold. Red and mahogany is also seen. 
Suffers From Allergies

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