A beautiful gold coat, loveable nature and kind face. Golden Retrievers are a much-loved dog breed that's stolen the hearts of the public. If you're a fan of this breed, or simply want to find out more, read on to discover their nature and characteristics.
Which group does the Golden Retriever belong to?
The ever-popular Golden Retriever belongs to the gundog group. Spanning four subcategories, they are specifically classed as retriever dogs - as you could probably guess from the name. Pooches in this classification worked alongside hunters and fishermen retrieving nets, game and other animals - either live or those that have been hunted.
They're also keenly used in waterfowl hunting, which means retriever dogs are expected to wait patiently in small boats until given the command to retrieve. You'll see many gundog traits in a Golden Retriever including alertness, intelligence and a great sense of smell which makes them great at tracking.
Golden Retriever breed history
The Golden Retrievers we see today originated in the mid-19th century in the Scottish Highlands. The first Lord Tweedmouth was looking to develop a calm-natured yet talented retriever dog and starting his own breeding programme.
After yielding a yellow puppy from crossing the black Wavy-Coated Retriever and the now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, he began to breed the golden coated pooches who eventually developed into the trusty, sweet Golden Retrievers we see today. It's thought that along the way there was a mixture of setters, bloodhounds and Newfoundlands too. The resultant dog is an eager retriever in the field and calm & loving in the home - much like the Tweed Water Spaniel.
Known as a bit of a nanny dog, Golden Retrievers are gentle, nurturing and affectionate yet strong & hardworking.
At a glance, Golden Retrievers are:
- Quick learners
- A ffectionate
What are Golden Retrievers bred for?
They were essentially bred to be mans best friend; an exceptional worker, tracker and retriever who also doubled as the perfect, loving companion. The golden-hue of their coat was also a major factor in the lineage with it being one of the defining factors in their breed standard today. Their intelligence, sense of smell and patience was also key for their role in retrieving waterfowl and game. Something they still use today in roles such as search-and-rescue and explosive and substance detection. Coupled with their sweet nature, they are also one of the most popular assistance and guide dogs alongside Labradors.
What sort of owner do Golden Retrievers suit?
Golden Retrievers will make the perfect companion to a first-time dog owner given their easy-going nature, obedience and trainability. Though as a whole they don't like to be left on their own for long periods of time as they get bored and a little sad; fur-parents who can dedicate time at home with their new golden pup will be rewarded greatly.
They're incredibly energetic which means active households who enjoy long walks and the great outdoors will be well suited. If there's time to train and work with them on agility courses then that's an incredible bonus. Their playful nature can sometimes mean they make a bit of a clown out of themselves, but this endearing trait coupled with their gentleness makes them great dogs for children, especially when socialised from a young age.