Meet the Golden Retriever

Breed Profile:

Well known for his wonderful temperament, the Golden Retriever is extremely friendly, sociable, trustworthy and devoted. The Golden is not a guard dog but a “people dog”. He thrives on human companionship and must be allowed to interact with people. This is a dog who is completely devoted to his family, always happy and forever trusting and forgiving.

As with many of the Retriever breeds, the Golden is slow to mature, both physically and mentally. At one year of age, he will have reached his full height but will continue to gain weight for the next year or two. Mentally, the typical Golden remains puppy-like up to the age of two or three and many maintain their playful personalities throughout their lives.

As a Sporting breed, the Golden is a great hunting companion, tracking dog, and field trial competitor. His gentle nature and reliable temperament also make him an excellent candidate to work as a service dog, as well as working in search and rescue. He is also successful in many dog sports, including the show ring, obedience competitions, and agility to name a few.

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Jengar Golden Retrievers

Jengar’s A Very Sweet Surprise “Avery”
Jengar Golden Retrievers

A Few Facts

~ Average Lifespan: 10 – 12 years

~ Ideal Height at the Shoulders:
Males: 23-24 inches (58-61 cm);
Females: 21-1/2-22-1/2 inches (55-57 cm).

~ Average Weight:
Males: 65-75 lbs. (29-34 kg);
Females: 60-70 lb. (27-32 kg).

~ The Golden Retriever adapts well to many types of living situations. However, this is an active breed that requires consistent daily exercise to maintain fitness, both physical and mental.

Golden Retriever Candle Holder

A Bit of Breed History:

Unlike many dog breeds, the development of the Golden Retriever is fairly recent and well documented. The breed originated from 1864 onwards when Lord Tweedmouth began a series of matings. First with a yellow coloured Flat Coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel (a breed now extinct). These offspring were then bred out with outcrossings of Irish Setters, other Tweed Water Spaniels and black Flat Coated Retrievers. Soon the dogs bred true to type and the beginnings of the Golden Retriever breed as he is known today was established.

By 1908, the breed was entered into a Kennel Club Show in a class for “Any Variety Retriever” and was described as a Yellow Flatcoated Retriever. The term “Golden Retriever” was also coined around this time. The breed was recognized by the British Kennel Club in 1913 and by the American Kennel Club in 1925. In Canada, the first Golden Retriever registered with the Canadian Kennel Club was in 1926.

For more indepth reading on the history of the breed, see The History of the Golden Retriever from the Golden Retriever Breed Council, Breed History from the Golden Retriever Club of America, and History of Goldens in Canada from the Golden Retriever Club of Canada.

Did you know?

· The first three dogs of any breed to achieve the AKC Obedience Champion title, first available in July 1977, were all Golden Retrievers.

· According to the CKC and the AKC, the Golden Retriever ranks 3rd most popular breed in Canada and the United States, based on registration statistics. The breed has held this spot for several years, right behind the German Shepherd who holds the number 2 spot and the Labrador Retriever who has held the top spot for over 20 consecutive years.

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For more information about the Golden Retriever breed, see For a list of breeders, see the Breeders page as well as the Breed Clubs page, and be sure to check out the Breed Rescues page where Goldens are occasionally available for adoption.

Dreamkeeper Goldens

Dreamkeeper Goldens –

Famous Golden Retrievers

As a breed, the Golden Retriever is not only beautiful but his intelligence and willing temperament make him the ideal dog for many varied functions. From show dog to service dog, hunter and retriever, search & rescue dog to the many dog sports that he excels at: agility, obedience, flyball, tracking and many more, the Golden is always ready to please and perform.

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The following are just a few Goldens who have been recognized for their heroic acts or have become famous in one way or another:

Hero Dogs

Golden Retrievers have been on the front lines of disasters such as the World Trade Center attacks, hurricane Katrina, the 2011 Tsunami in Japan, as well as many other natural and man-made disasters around the world. Here’s a brief outline of a few such dogs:


There were many dog and handler teams involved in the search and rescue efforts during the aftermath of the tragedies of 9/11. One dog was Riley, a Golden Retriever Search & Rescue dog with FEMA’s Pennsylvania Task Force 1. A photo of Riley suspended in a special harness while being hoisted across a 60 foot deep pit at Ground Zero was seen around the world. These dogs worked tirelessly to help in the recovery of the victims. When they were not in the rubble searching, the dogs offered vital comfort to the firemen, police officers, and the many volunteers simply by being there.


Austin was found and rescued as a puppy from the woods east of Houston, Texas. He was then turned over to a Greater Houston Golden Retriever Club’s rescue program, where he was purchased by Texas Hearing and Service Dogs. After testing and training, he was donated to the Austin Police Department. Austin went on to be certified in Tracking, Cadaver search, and Chemical-Biological Detection. On October 28, 2000, the mayor of Austin, Texas proclaimed that date to be “K9 Austin Day” for the city of Austin. On November 11, 2000, Austin was inducted into the Texas Animal Hall of Fame and that same year he was the recipient of the AKC Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) for Search and Rescue.


Jango, the Golden Retriever was inducted into the Purina Animal Hall of Fame in 2007. On any given day, Jango spends her time greeting customers at the family grooming business and working as a Therapy Dog visiting the elderly in Trail, British Columbia. During the night of January 22, 2006, however, Jango took on another role as family savior. After Darrell tucked his four-year old son Koby into bed, he settled down to watch television. At around 12:30 am, Darrell was awakened by Jango’s barking. Because Jango was usually a quiet dog, he realized within seconds that something was wrong and then noticed that the house was filled with smoke. After rushing to Koby’s bedroom, he noticed that Koby was unconscious and he himself was fading fast. Darrell picked Koby up while Jango continued to bark and led them both outside to safety. The family lost virtually everything in the fire but they feel very thankful to Jango for whom they credit saved their lives that devastating night.


A Golden Retriever named Brutis was seven years old when he received the National Hero Dog award in 2004 for his bravery. Brutis is credited in saving a young child’s life when he snatched up a coral snake that was slithering dangerously close to the child.

Celebrity Goldens

Golden Retrievers are also often trained to work in various movies and television shows, including Air Bud, Fluke, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, to name a few.


Buddy was found as a stray in the Sierra Nevada mountains when he was about a year old. After being trained to play basketball, chess, baseball, football, soccer and hockey, by his owner, Kevin di Cicco, he made his first appearance on America’s Funniest Home Videos and gained more fame dunking baskets on the Late Show with David Letterman. Buddy then went on to start his acting debut as “Comet” on the television show Full House and starred in the film Fluke. In 1997, he was cast as “Buddy” in the classic Disney movie “Air Bud”. Sadly this was to be his final acting role due to a diagnosis of synovial cell sarcoma whereby his right hind leg needed to be amputated. Complications from the cancer led to his death a year later when he died in his sleep on February 10th, 1998. The sequel to Air Bud, Air Bud: Golden Reciever was made in his memory.

Celebrities with Goldens

The Golden is also a popular dog among the rich and famous: Betty White, Mary Tyler Moore, Pamela Anderson, Shirley Jones — are said to have all had a rescue Golden at some time.

Other celebrities who have or have had Goldens include: Jackie Chan, Jimmy Buffet, Phyllis Diller, Sally Field, Ron Howard, Enrigue Iglesias, Tom Cruise, Anderson Cooper, Sheryl Crow, Joe Cocker, Jamie Lee Curtis, Neil Diamond, Bob Newhart, Paul Newman, Christopher Reeve (an Assistance dog), Dan Marino, Morley Safer, Jerry Seinfeld, Jimmy Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Martha Stewart, and many others.

The following video is of Jimmy Stewart as he reads his touching and heartwarming poem about his Golden Retriever, Beau, on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, in 1981:

Blackpool Goldens

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We would like to acknowledge and thank the many people who provided us with photos of their beautiful dogs to use in this Golden Retriever Spotlight page:

All photos are copyright to the dog owners or as indicated and used here with permission. It is strictly forbidden to copy, reproduce or otherwise use any of the photos without prior permission from the copyright holder.