Golden Retrievers are serious about their retrieving work, but they have just as much fun being silly. They like everybody. They are kids at heart and may take a little longer than some other dogs to settle into adult behavior. However, their great physical strength combined with their eagerness to please make them highly trainable.
The Golden was developed in Scotland, beginning with the crossing of a yellow English retriever and a rugged water spaniel. The smaller Newfoundland retrieving dog, Irish Setters, other water spaniels, and possibly a Bloodhound were added at various times. The dog has developed an excellent nose.
Goldens have thick and lustrous coats that range in color from deep to light honey gold. The Golden's lighter puppy coat deepens to its true color after about a year. It can be straight or wavy and needs brushing twice a week. The eyes are dark brown, and the tail is a lively plume that floats straight out or curls up slightly.
Excerpts from the Standard
General Appearance: A symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound, and well put together, not clumsy or long in the leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert, and self-confident.
Size, Proportion, and Substance: Height--males, 23 to 24 inches at withers; females, 211/2 to 221/2 inches. Length slightly greater than height. Weight--males, 65 to 75 pounds; females, 55 to 65 pounds.
Goldens are easy to train and strong, but their most outstanding trait is character. They are outgoing and devoted companions to all sorts of people, happy, and trusting. But they can also be protective. One infant's life was saved when her neighbor's Golden held the baby by the edge of her dress. The dog kept the baby from falling off a deck with a 50-foot drop until the dog's owners came to help.
Excerpted from The Complete Dog Book For Kids © 1996, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.