The Golden Retriever is a large-sized breed of dog, bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties, and were named ‘retriever’ because of their ability to retrieve shot game undamaged. Golden Retrievers have an instinctive love of water, and are easy to train to basic or advanced obedience standards. The Golden Retriever is a large, strongly built breed with a dense, water-repellant wavy coat.
Golden Retrievers are blonde, yellow, or gold in colour and are very smart dogs that are loyal and friendly to their caregivers.
British-type Golden Retrievers are prevalent throughout Europe and Australia, and are distinguished from the North American lines by the official breed standards. American Golden Retrievers are taller than the British type, but retain its thick coat. The Canadian Golden Retriever has a thinner and darker coat and stands taller than other varieties.
As indicated by their name, their coats occur in light golden to dark golden colours. The topcoat is water-resistant and slightly wavy, and sheds in small amounts throughout the year. The undercoat is soft and keeps the retriever cool in summer and warm in winter; it sheds in the spring and fall.
The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed, and is described in the standard as “kindly, friendly and confident”. Golden Retrievers make good family pets, particularly as they are patient with children. They are not “one-man dogs” and are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them. Their trusting, gentle disposition makes them a poor guard dog. The typical Golden Retriever is calm, naturally intelligent and biddable, and with an exceptional eagerness to please. Adult Goldens love to work, and have a keen ability to focus on a given task. They will work until they collapse, so care should be taken to avoid overworking them. They are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and willingness to learn.
Golden retrievers are prone to Hip dysplasia and obesity is also common in the breed. Also congenital eye defects and skin allergies are known. Most puppies are screened for the disorders before being sold (by reputable breeders).