About the Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever was originally intended to be a "gentleman's hunting dog" - a companion dog, a working retriever, and most importantly, a member of the family. The breed is well known for its versatility, willingness, intelligence and spirit, offering something for every dog fancier everywhere. These basic traits remain instilled in the Golden Retriever today due to the conscientious and dedicated people who have devoted their lives to maintaining this beautiful breed as it was meant to be.
In order to really "know" about the Golden Retriever, you need to understand their history. Where did they come from? What was their purpose? This knowledge will give you the sense of what the Golden Retriever is today and what we expect the breed to become tomorrow.

Lily and Aubrey - Hugs all the way around!

A little background - Based on the records kept by Lord Tweedmouth (the former Sir Dudley Marjoriebanks) in Inverness, Scotland, Lord Tweedmouth had acquired a yellow retriever puppy named Nous in 1865 - the only yellow in a litter of all black retriever puppies. Two years later Lord Tweedmouth received a liver colored Tweed Water Spaniel. This was Belle. Lord Tweedmouth was determined to breed a dog capable of handling the rugged field conditions of the Scottish and English coastal area. With this purpose in mind, he bred Nous to Belle and produced four yellow puppies - Ada, Crocus, Primrose and Cowslip. By the end of the 1800's, there fell into place a line of Yellow Retrievers popular in England, all based on the methodical planned breedings done by Lord Tweedmouth. During the 1890's Golden Retrievers were to be seen throughout the United States and Canada, with the first AKC registration of the breed recorded in 1925.

A casual moment with Geri and 8-week old Allie.

The Golden Retriever as we see it today remains the solid, versatile, working retriever that Lord Tweedmouth had originally conceived. Although they continue to run the field during the hunt, the new paths they have taken are as varied and limitless as can be imagined. Devoted guide dogs assist the blind and hearing impaired. Skilled companions provide aid for those physically challenged. Outgoing and charming therapy dogs offer their unconditional love to those who welcome their friendship through visits to hospitals and nursing homes.

These dogs can do it all.

Unfortunately, that leads to a downside for this beautiful breed.

With the popularity of the Golden at an all time high, there are many people producing dogs that no longer carry the qualities so long honored in the Golden Retriever. Due to indiscriminate breeding by the well-intentioned but inexperienced person or the breeding-for-profit of the Golden Retriever in a puppy-mill, the breed today is not always known for the gentle personality, willing and easygoing worker, or the loving family companion. There has been an increase in the rate of hip dysplasia, heart problems, epilepsy, genetic eye disorders and aggression within the breed. The soft-look and loving nature of the Golden Retriever is not to be found everywhere.

A wonderful family dog - Flag at 6 months.

It is important to understand the consequences of these aforementioned breeding practices.

If you research carefully, read thoroughly and ask questions, you can have a wonderful member of the family - the same Golden Retriever that Lord Tweedmouth had envisioned all those many years ago.

Read the official standard of the Golden Retriever as submitted by the Golden Retriever Club of America and approved by the American Kennel Club.





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