The Golden Retriever is a large-sized breed of dog bred as gun dogs to retrieve shot waterfowl, such as ducks and upland game birds, during hunting and shooting parties, and were named ‘retriever’ because of their ability to retrieve shot game undamaged (soft mouth). Golden retrievers have an instinctive love of water, and are easy to train to basic or advanced obedience standards. They are a long-coated breed, with a dense inner coat that provides them with adequate warmth in the outdoors, and an outer coat that lies flat against their bodies and repels water. Golden retrievers are well suited to residency in suburban or country environments.
The Golden Retriever is a medium-large, strongly built breed with a dense, water-repellant wavy coat. As a dog with origins in pedigree breeding, and owing to its widespread historical popularity, some regional variations have emerged in the breed; therefore, the three subtypes of the Golden Retriever reflect the typical variations in dimensions and coat.
As indicated by their name, their coats occur in light golden to dark golden colors. 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.
The average lifespan for a Golden Retriever is about 11 to 12 years. The breed is susceptible to specific ailments, so pets should be taken to a veterinarian for yearly checkups.