Golden Retrievers are perhaps one of the most recognizable breeds of any dog. Their friendly personality and happy disposition are the standards by which many pets are judged. We see these dogs in movies, on television, working jobs, and of course, living comfortable lives with loving families. But how much do you really know about the Golden Retriever? Check out these 6 facts about one of America’s favorite breeds!
- The First Ever Golden Retriever was a Mistake (Sort Of)
In the early 1800’s, Retrievers were a popular breed in Scotland and England. According to the AKC, this was due to the prevalence of game that could be hunted. Hunting was still a popular way to get meat and a popular sport as well.
The first Golden Retriever was a small yellow puppy – the only yellow dog in a litter of black Wavy-Coated Retrievers. Though his yellow coloring was a bit unusual, the dog was still purchased in 1865 by a Scotsman named Dudley Marjoribanks, first Lord of Tweedmouth.
It was Lord Tweedmouth who decided to breed this funny yellow puppy. The puppy, which he named “Nous” was to be bred with a female Tweed Water Spaniel named “Belle” – a breed that is now extinct. According to the Golden Retriever Club of America, Lord Tweedmouth was interested in developing a breed that was well-suited to the Scottish climate.
Nous and Belle produced two litters and four yellow puppies, which became the foundation for the Golden Retriever as we know it today.
- They are Equal Parts Smart and Silly
Golden Retrievers today are known to have one of the best temperaments of any dog breed. It’s no wonder they are ranked by the AKC as the 3rd most popular dog breed in the United States! The AKC lists friendly, reliable, and trustworthy as the chief traits of the breed. In fact, their personalities are so agreeable, that the official breed standard states that, “quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever character.” In fact, if a Golden Retriever demonstrates these unwanted characteristics in a show ring, that could be grounds for deduction in points!
Along with their agreeable personality, the Golden Retriever is known for being playful and silly and probably why the AKC refers to them as “the Peter Pan of dogs!” But they aren’t just golden goofballs. These retrievers are naturally very intelligent and eager to please.
- But They Still Need Training!
Just because they have a wonderful personality by nature, doesn’t mean you can forget about training! The AKC cautions that they are an active breed, and need to be given proper exercise and attention. Golden Retrievers are also big people pleasers, and love to have a job to do! Train your Golden on basic commands, and practice them every day. They will love how happy it makes you to see them perform even the simplest of jobs. And it will definitely be a job well done.
It’s also important to socialize your puppy from the start. Goldens are naturally very adaptable to many situations, but it’s essential to start this from a young age.
- They are Pretty Much Good at Almost Everything They Do
When you think of any job a dog can have, you’ve probably seen a Golden Retriever doing it. Whether it’s search and rescue, hunting, being a therapy dog, or being the guiding eyes for a blind person, Golden Retrievers are excellent at any job they set their mind to. The AKC states that they are incredibly hard workers whose physical strength aids in their ability to perform their duties well.
Though their capabilities certainly have a lot to do with intelligence, their excellent job performance can also be credited to their amazing adaptability. As the GRCA puts it, a Golden Retriever is “equally comfortable with a hike, swim, romp in the snow, snuggle on the sofa, or taking up most of your bed at night!” Any situation a Golden is presented with they will adapt to comfortably and eagerly – so long as a devoted human is by their side!
- Being a Guard Dog is the Exception
Perhaps the only job a Golden Retriever might be bad at is being a guard dog. After all – they are super friendly! You may not want to trust your Golden Retriever to protect your home.
Golden Retrievers are first and foremost devoted to their families. If an immediate threat was obvious, they may certainly step in. But when a stranger comes to the door, the typical reaction of a Golden is to bark until the new person comes to greet them. And before you know it, the new person has quickly become a new friend – no matter who they are!
This is in part due to the fact that Golden Retrievers do not do well alone. It is recommended that Golden Retrievers never be left home alone for more than 7 hours at a time. In fact, for all the positive rankings Golden Retrievers receive on the AKC website, only 53% of owners agree that they do well left alone.
- They Have a Face for Fame
With their wonderful personalities – and good looks too! – it’s no wonder we are constantly seeing Golden Retrievers on the big screen. Movies like Homeward Bound or Air Bud and television shows like Full House all feature lovable Golden Retrievers.
In fact, one Golden Retriever in particular stole the hearts of America for a time. Buddy was perhaps the most famous Golden Retriever in the United States during the mid 1990’s. Buddy famously played Air Bud in the original “Air Bud” film and also played Comet the dog on the tv show “Full House.” Sadly, Buddy has since passed away. But his legacy lives on in these timeless stories.
Do you have a beloved Golden Retriever in your life? Share a photo or a story with us!