Goldens Only

The Golden Retriever -
Friendly, reliable, and trustworthy. 
Golden Retriever - Friendly, reliable, and trustworthy.  Known for their reliable temperament, the Golden Retriever makes a great hunter, family pet or show dog.       

The golden retriever is a relatively young breed. It originated in Scotland during the late 1800s where it was developed by a British aristocrat, Lord Tweedmouth.  Since hunting provided both sport and sustenance on Scottish estates, Tweedmouth and other British lords sought to develop effective hunting dogs for upland game. However, because the original breeders were gentlemen, they demanded more than just practicality in their dogs.  They also sought to create handsome animals who were a pleasure to watch work. The result was the golden retriever, a breed with both hunting skill and beauty.

The foundation of the golden retriever was the now-extinct Tweed water spaniel.  Over the years, crosses were made to numerous other breeds, most of which differ significantly from the dogs we know today by the same names:

  • Red setters
  • Black wavy-coated retrievers
  • Labrador retrievers
  • Newfoundland or St. John's dogs
  • Bloodhounds

By the early 1900s, the golden retriever had developed into a superb hunting retriever. Its most distinguishing features were its luxurious golden coat and sweet disposition.

Today's golden retrievers are descendents of these companion hunters. Specifically, they are non-slip retrievers, dogs who walk quietly at heel or sit patiently in a blind until released on command to retrieve fallen game, on land or in the water. They are also used to search out game for walking hunters.  This purpose requires a dog of above average intelligence and trainability with moderate physical attributes.

First and foremost, non-slip retrievers like goldens need to be biddable dogs, willing to take direction from their handlers.  They must have natural intelligence and keen noses to efficiently find hidden or fallen game.  While they must be strongly driven to find and retrieve game animals, they also need soft mouths (to carry and deliver them gently) so the game is fit to eat. Finally, golden retrievers need to be confident, friendly dogs that can work well in large groups of hunters and dogs. 

However, coupled with these exceptional mental characteristics, the golden retriever also must be a dog of moderate physical attributes.  Hunting small game requires a dog of medium size, with the strength and athletic ability to pursue game through rough cover while not being too heavy or large to work all day or accompany the hunter into blinds and boats.  It needs a moderate energy level--enough to work all day in the field while remaining within range of the hunters' guns.  Finally, it must have a wash 'n wear coat that enables it and the hunter to focus on hunting. This means the coat cannot attract burrs and briers, and must shed dirt and water easily.

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