Golden Retrievers look the way they do because they were built in a certain way to perform a certain job. Originally, the breed was created as a working breed, with function as its main priority. But the breed’s founders also combined other desirable ingredients to mold the dog into what it is today.
Because the breed originated in Britain, the standard used to judge the breed there is also the one used to judge the breed throughout much of the world.
General Appearance: Symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, and a level mover.
Characteristics: Intelligent and possesses natural working ability.
Temperament: Kindly, friendly, and confident.
Coat: Flat or wavy with good feathering, dense water-resistant undercoat.
Color: Any shade of gold or cream, and only a few white hairs on the chest are allowed.
Height: : males are 22-24 in (56-61 cm); females are 20-22 in (51-56 cm).
General Appearance: A symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident. Primarily a hunting dog, the Golden should be in hard working condition.
Size: Males should be 23-24 inches in height at the withers whereas females should be 21 ½ – 22 ½ inches. Weight for males should range between 65-75 pounds and 55-65 pounds for females.
Coat : The Golden’s coat should be dense and water-repellent with a good undercoat. The outer coat should be firm and resilient, neither coarse nor silky, lying close to the body. It may be straight or wavy. The feet may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of the coat or outline should not be altered by cutting or clipping.
The real beauty of this breed’s coat lies in its ability to protect the dog from cold, water, and brambles. Too little coat won’t provide adequate protection; too much coat can become weighted down or entangled with water and debris or cause overheating.
Color: Desirable color is rich, lustrous golden color of various shades. Feathering may be lighter that the rest of the coat. With the exception of graying or whitening of face or body due to age, any white marking, other than a few white hairs on the chest, are not part of the breed standard. Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with white markings. Predominant body color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark is considered undesirable.
Temperment: Ideally, the Golden is friendly, reliable, and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility toward other dogs or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not typical of Golden Retriever character.
The most beautiful, sound, functional Golden Retriever ever created is no credit to the breed if it is lacking the most essential trait of all: the distinguished Golden Retriever personality.
The ideal Golden Retriever is a versatile and adaptive dog, calm around the house, playful when the opportunity presents itself, intense when working, and always amiable, sensitive, and responsive.
Please note: This article is part of a collection of dog-related content that we purchased the rights to. Opinions expressed may or may not agree with those espoused by Master Dog Trainer Adam G. Katz. When in doubt, please refer to the advice given in Adam’s dog training book. This article is provided for your enjoyment, only. It’s relevance to real world working dog training may be limited.