The Golden Retriever was developed in late 19th Century Scotland and England primarily by crossing Flat- and Wavy-coated Retrievers, Tweed Water Spaniels, and a red Setter. The Golden was bred by British aristocrats to be a dual-purpose dog, able to retrieve waterfowl and upland game birds and also to be a companion. Lord Tweedmouth produced some of the early foundation stock by mating a yellow Wavy-coated Retriever named Nous to his Tweed Water Spaniel, Belle. The Golden Retriever’s friendly disposition, attractive appearance, and high level of trainability have made this breed one of the most popular in the United States. Today, Goldens are found at field trials and dog shows, in family homes and nursing homes, leading the blind and serving as ears or hands for handicapped persons.
The Golden Retriever was recognized by the United Kennel Club in 1956.
The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized, well-balanced dog with a distinctive golden-colored coat; small, drop ears; and a natural tail carried level with the back or with a slight upward curve. The correct relationship of length of body to height is 12:11. The Golden Retriever is a dog without exaggeration. The Golden Retriever should be evaluated as a working gun dog, and exaggerations or faults should be penalized in proportion to how much they interfere with the dog’s ability to work.
The breed’s most readily identifiable characteristic is its rich, lustrous golden color. Another essential characteristic is proper temperament. A Golden Retriever is friendly, calm, compliant and compatible with people and other dogs. Goldens are particularly good with children. The Golden Retriever’s friendly temperament is reflected in his kindly expression. The Golden Retriever is a powerfully built dog, with a good nose for tracking, a soft mouth, and an eagerness to learn.