The Dog Journal


Golden Retriever

One of the smartest and most well-known dog breeds in America is the Golden Retriever. These friendly puppies are loyal and have shiny coats. Golden Retrievers are easily manageable, always show friendly behavior even in adulthood, and are known for their medium-length luscious golden coat color. Because of their intelligence, they are quite good at hunting and fieldwork. Let’s take a closer look at the background of these friendly dogs and what makes them the breed we know today. 

The Dog Journal February/ March 2023

Story Credit: Writing by Raegan



Going back, the origin story of the Golden Retriever dates back to the 18th century. A man named Dudley Majoribanks began breeding his popular, yellow-coated dogs after purchasing a group of Russian circus dogs. In 1865, while walking with his son in Brighton, Majoribanks found a wavy-coated dog, Nous. But the odd fact was that Nous was gold-colored while his parents both had black-colored coats. Black sporting dogs were considered the best hunters during the 19th century and because of this, they did not usually keep dogs that had other colors. 

Three years after the adoption of Nous, Majoribanks was crossed with a Belle-a Tweed Water Spaniel. Tweed Spaniels have now become extinct. These dogs were liver-colored and were related to the fishermen of the River Tweed Valley on the Scottish-English border. They were considered kissing cousins to Irish Water Spaniels. The cross of a Retriever to a water spaniel was an amazing combination.

 This crossing aimed to create a strong hunter that was efficient enough to hunt red deer, grouse, and partridge on water and land. In 1908, the British Dog Show presented a gold retriever for the first time. It was then officially recognized as a distinct breed by the Kennel Club in England in 1911 and named “retriever-yellow or golden” but finally was named “Golden Retriever” in 1920. The breed reached the United States in 1910, and the American Kennel Club accepted it in 1932. Based on Majoribanks’ popular 1868 litter, the world’s first Golden Retrievers were named Crocus, Primrose, and Cowslip.

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Grooming Needs

The gorgeous coat of Golden Retrievers is usually thick and luscious. Even though a Golden Retriever has a double coat, they aren’t big shedders and only require some brushing throughout each week. They shed lightly throughout the year other than the two times per year that they shed their undercoat. During this time, more brushing will be necessary to keep up with the amount of fur that is being shed. Golden Retrievers don’t need to be bathed very often unless they happen to get dirty while playing outdoors. A thorough bathing schedule set to every 6 to 8 weeks is the recommended time frame to bathe them in order to keep them clean and unmatted. However, the feathery fur on the front legs of Golden Retrievers needs regular trimming. If they run outside a lot of times, this area is known to catch thorns, briars, dirt, and other debris. Keeping it trimmed can lessen this issue and keep it from becoming matted.

The nail trimming of these dogs is also important, at least once or twice a month. A good signal that they need their nails trimmed is when you hear them clicking on the floor. Unfortunately, Golden’s have fold-over ears that encourage bacterial and fungal growth, so check their ears regularly. To keep away any redness or bad order, clean their outer ear with a cotton ball with some type of dog-recommended ear cleaner to avoid infections. 

Before bringing these Golden’s to your house, it’s best to visit the breeder’s home if any of your family members have allergies. This visit will help him decide if this breed is right for your family. Even though the most common dog sources of allergens are saliva and dander instead of hair or fur, therefore “hypoallergenic dogs” can still cause allergies. But perhaps, a few dog breeds provoke an individual’s allergies more than others. That’s why it’s best to find out before bringing such puppies to your home. 

Working Dogs

Golden Retrievers are a very popular breed that may be goofy and playful but is a great breed to be trained to be service dogs. They are intelligent and highly trainable which usually leads to them performing every task perfectly and they are able to learn commands quickly.

Golden Retrievers are used in many fields including hunting, tracking, search and rescue, and various service dog areas. Many qualities make this breed a great fit for any job at hand. They are a loyal servant who can concentrate on any task that they are given and are known to be less likely to get distracted from what they are doing compared to their fellow canine friends. Golden Retrievers have a great memory that helps them stay on track on particular paths when they are on the job. They have always seemed to have a love for working and therefore are ready to on anything at all times. 

Famous Golden Retrievers

When it comes to Golden Retrievers being famous, there are a few that make the cut and really stand out. Susan Ford, the daughter of American President Gerald R. Ford, gifted him an 8-month-old puppy called “Liberty”. President Ford’s family became very found of Liberty, and it is still the most popular golden retriever in American History. One can spot Liberty in numerous photos of the white house and Camp David. 

Another well-known golden retriever, Pinkie,” was the winner of “Best in Breed” at the Westminster Dog Show. She got recognition worldwide and had a luxurious life. Pinkie was also a surrogate mother to three orphan tiger cubs, making her the most famous. 

One of the lovable Golden retrievers, “Buddy,” was famous as an actor who played two major roles in his life. The first role this dog played was of Comet on the hit television series many may recognize, Full House. In that role, Comet was a family member who was also considered a sympathetic shoulder for the younger cast whenever they had a problems in life. He also starred in the movie Air Bud, where Buddy gets excels in sports and as a basketball team member. These two roles led to buddy being considered a famous Golden Retriever. 

Buddy wasn’t the only Golden Retriever to become a star on television. “Brandon,” was the 1980’s television series’ main character named Punky Brewster. Brandon Served as the closest friend and Punky’s sidekick in all the television series episodes. Brandon learned numerous amazing tricks, including riding a skateboard. Lastly, as a blind golden retriever, “Ray Charles” enjoyed his life fully. And because of his enjoyment, even though he was naturally blind, he became an internet sensation. People loved to watch this cute dog while wearing pajamas or playing with toys. It was the message for thousands of people about how deeply a dog can enjoy life no matter how hard life is for him. 


Exercise is an important part of any dog’s day. After maturation and completion of the training, most Golden’s become less active depending on their lifestyle. Generally, doing a physical activity for at least two hours a day is crucial and this time should be split throughout the day rather than doing it all at once. They enjoy swimming, hiking, bike rides, and long runs. If you are someone who likes going on adventures and doing these activities, the Golden retriever would be a great companion to bring along….

Not enough exercise leads to undesirable behaviors in these dogs which includes chewing and digging. This breed finds mental challenges like playing with puzzle toys or learning tricks quite fun as well and should have these added to their daily routine. However, these challenges should not replace physical activity. During the initial years of their life, they should be given easier types of exercise. During this phase of life, you should avoid long runs or hikes for them and choose grass over concrete, as their growth plates are still in the developmental stage. Activities like jogging and biking are not recommended for young Golden’s until they are at least one year old.

In the Ring

The initial breeding of golden retrievers was helpful in wildfowl hunting. According to AKC (American Kennel Club) standards, Golden Retrievers should have a lustrous golden coat that can range from pale cream to reddish mahogany. Although puppies are born with a lighter shade, their coat color gets darker with time. Their wavy and water-resistant coat helps them in outdoor activities. Luckily, their coats can be maintained easily and need regular grooming and baths to stay clean. Three types of Golden retrievers are present, including the American, the British, and the Canadian type. Compared to the American type, British ones have a lighter color and are more muscular. In contrast, Canadian Golden Retrievers have darker and thinner coats and are taller. 

 Golden retrievers are popular for their calm and friendly temperament, no matter what type they are. Because of this, they are helpful in hunting and guiding someone who is visually impaired. They are also good for young children as they are not aggressive. The breed is famous for its loyalty, obedience, easy management, and friendly temperament

Wrap It Up

Bringing a Golden retriever into your home is a good decision, as they are friendly and easy to maintain. Their calm and confident temperament makes them suitable for service and therapy dogs but also makes them the perfect family dog. They need regular grooming as any dog does but when properly kept, they don’t require too much maintenance. If you are looking for a loyal companion to bring into the home, Golden Retrievers have proved to be just that and will fill your home with lots of love!

Popular Names for the Golden Retriever

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