Who doesn’t love a Golden Retriever?
What’s not to love about a Golden Retriever? These sweet family dogs are massively popular for many good reasons. Weighing in at about 65 pounds, the Golden Retriever is a “large medium” or “small large” dog with a happy personality and a gorgeous golden/red coat from which it gets its name.
Originally developed in Scotland during the mid-1800s, the Golden is a fun, useful, and beautiful addition to any home or farm. Need a few more reasons to consider the breed? How about six...?
1. They’re the #3 dog
The American Kennel Club ranks dog breeds by registration statistics, and while the always-popular Labrador Retriever has topped the list at #1 for more than two decades (we’ve covered this lovable breed in a previous column), the Golden Retriever ranks close behind. In fact, the Golden Retriever has ranked #3 (of 196 breeds!) on the AKCs list for several years, demonstrating the breed’s longstanding and overall appeal in America.
2. They’re athletic
Swimming, retrieving, playing in the yard, or just taking a simple walk down the road—the Golden Retriever is ready and willing to do all of these activities and more. That’s because these are athletic dogs that were bred with a passion to work hard, originally to retrieve waterfowl for hunters, and later excelling in events like obedience and agility.
Goldens also love biking with their owners, dock diving, hiking, and plenty of other outdoor activities. Obviously, many Goldens thrive in homes where regular physical activity is available. The AKC places Goldens in the Sporting Group for a reason!
3. They have hearts of ‘gold’
Golden Retrievers may be large and physically active dogs, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t lovable! Goldens are beloved for their loyalty and devotion and as a low-key, fun-loving, family-focused dog. Just ask the millions of Golden Retriever owners, or the millions of movie-goers who watched (and cried over) the saga of Shadow in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.
Goldens are not just affectionate with family, they’re often friendly with strangers. For these reasons, Goldens might not be the ideal choice for a guard dog—they’re probably more likely to shower any potential “intruder” with a silly expression and tons of tail wagging, although Goldens do have a deep bark and can be trained to sound the alert if something is unusual.
4. They’re perfect for the outdoorsman
If you own acreage, you might have woods, meadows, streams, or ponds suitable for bird hunting, and if so, you’ll find the Golden Retriever to be an excellent companion for the sport. With their water-repellent outer coats and warmth-retaining inner coats, Goldens are only too happy to dive into water to fetch downed fowl. They’re also comfortable out in the field for cold-season hunts.
For added value, many Goldens come factory-installed with a “soft mouth,” which means they’ve been bred to instinctively retrieve game with a gentle grip that won’t cause damage.
5. They’re smart!
Natural athleticism is great in any dog, but it’s much more useful when the dog has the smarts to go with it. Fortunately, Golden Retrievers are blessed with good intelligence (one study ranked them as the 4th smartest dog out of 138 breeds). Part of this high ranking had to do with the breed’s ability to learn a new command in as few as five attempts.
6. They lend a helping hand
Of course, we can’t close without mentioning the Golden Retriever’s amazing contribution as a service dog. Whether they’re working as Seeing Eye dogs, doing search and rescue work, visiting hospitals as therapy dogs, or using their noses to keep airports safe, Golden Retrievers perform a lot of important jobs in the world.
Goldens have abundantly earned their place as one of the most loving, family-friendly breeds and their exquisite golden coloring is just the icing on the cake!
About the author
Samantha Johnson writes about the happy things in life—pets, home, family, food, and gardening—and thinks Mondays are the most wonderful day of the week. She fills her rare spare moments by crafting to-do lists and fulfilling the commands and demands of her bossy Corgi. View her portfolio at samanthajohnson.contently.com
When Goldens love you too much—a fun look!