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Breed Library
Golden Retriever adult black and white

Golden Retriever

Friendly and affectionate, the gentle Golden Retriever is one of the worlds most popular family dogs.

About the Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers make fantastic family pets, but they’re also versatile sporting and working dogs.

In sports they excel in disciplines as varied as obedience and agility; they also serve as search-and-rescue and guide dogs; not to mention their outstanding ability as trackers and retrievers on the hunt. Golden Retrievers have a host of qualities to justify their worldwide popularity.

Source: key facts and characteristics sourced from Fédération Cynologique Internationale (FCI)

Breed specifics

Country
United Kingdom
Group
FCI Group 8, AKC Sporting Group
Size category
Large
Avg life expectancy
10–13 years

Intelligent / Even-tempered / Lively / Loving / Friendly / Confident / Loyal

Key facts

  • Makes a great family dog
  • Makes a versatile working dog
  • Needs moderate training
Golden Retriever adult black and white

Origins of the breed

The origins of the breed go all the way back to a yellow retriever by the name of Nous, bought by Lord Tweedmouth in 1865. The breed was then crossed a number of times, notably with a now defunct breed, the Tweed Water Spaniel, and later with the Bloodhound and the Irish Setter. 

Eventually, the breed was recognised by The Kennel Club as a “yellow” or “golden” Retriever in 1913. When the Golden Retriever Club was established in 1920, the official breed name was changed to the Golden Retriever.

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