Sweet, charming and very mild-mannered, we haven’t met a Golden we didn’t like. Their eyes are full of love and devotion, and their soft muzzles always seem to be smiling. Goldens thrive on close human companionship, and want nothing more than to be petted, loved, and of course the odd treat here and there would be nice. They are very gentle and loyal dogs, it’s no wonder they are one of the most popular breed of dogs!
Golden Retrievers originated in the 19th century in Scotland when Lord Tweedsmouth purchased a male yellow wavy-coated Retriever and bred him with a Tweed Water Spaniel (a breed now extinct). This union resulted in four yellow puppies: the first Golden Retrievers.
Early Goldens were primarily used as hunting dogs to retrieve game, particularly waterfowl. They were bred with soft mouths so they could gently retrieve the waterfowl without damaging it, and they were bred to be water dogs as well. Because they are intelligent, adaptable, and quick to learn, working Goldens are used as guide and assistance dogs, and also for search and rescue, tracking, obedience, and drug detection.
The Golden’s coat is either flat or wavy and has a dense, water-resisting undercoat. Early Golden Retrievers were known as ‘Flat-coats’ and were defined by their yellow colour. A Golden, by UK Standards, can be either gold or cream-coloured, but red or mahogany-coloured Goldens are not ‘permissible’ colours.
In the early 20th century, the Golden Retriever was introduced to North America. American Goldens are often less stocky in build and quite a bit thinner than their British relatives. Both British and American Goldens are between 20-24 inches high, but a British Golden male generally weigh between 60-80 pounds, whereas an American Golden male is closer to 65-70 pounds. Interestingly, white or cream-coloured Goldens are not allowed in the show ring in the U.S (the opposite to that of British Standards).
The Canadian Golden Retriever is a fairly new type of Golden and is similar to an American Golden but with a lighter coat colour. The Canadian Golden’s coat is not as white or cream-coloured as their British relatives, but they are generally not as dark or red-coloured as the American Golden. Most Canadian Goldens are somewhere in between (ah, just like the typical Canadian!).
If you would like to read the rest of the article, please head on over to the article on the Happy Doggie Blog!