Golden Retrievers gain their name from their ability to retrieve game for hunters. The Golden Retriever was originally bred in Scotland to assist in wildfowl hunting. They were developed by Dudley Marjoribanks, the Baron of Tweedmouth, in order to create the perfect dog that would hunt well on both land and water. In 1865, a tweed water spaniel was bred with a generic yellow retrieving dog, and their first litter became the basis for Marjoribanks’ breeding program that would eventually create the Golden Retriever
The yellow color of the first sire of a Golden Retriever became a signature part of the breed. According the the American Kennel Club standards, Golden Retrievers ought to have a lustrous golden coat, ranging from pale cream to reddish mahogany. Often, puppies are born a lighter shade, but their coat will darken over time. The somewhat wavy, water resistant topcoat of a Golden Retriever was developed so that it could work outdoors. The coats of Golden Retrievers are not high maintenance, and they only require regular grooming and baths to remain clean.
Golden Retrievers come in three different types: the British type, the American type, and the Canadian type. British Golden Retrievers tend to be a bit lighter in color and more muscular than American ones, and Canadian Golden Retrievers are taller and have a thinner, darker coat. Regardless of what specific type they may be, Goldens retain the breed’s iconic friendly and calm temperament.
Though they were originally bred as hunting companions, the friendly, confident, and patient temperament of Goldens makes them well suited in a variety of roles, from working with a hunter to guiding a blind person. Since Retrievers are not aggressive or timid, they are suitable for young children. Their heritage as hunting dogs has led to a level of athleticism and focus which works well with an active lifestyle. Golden Retrievers are known for being loyal, obedient, and easy to train, so it is no surprise that they are the third most popular dog breed for families to own.