Golden Retrievers are a well-known, well-loved breed because of their calm demeanor, contagious smile, loving personality, playful energy, and keen intelligence. Their beauty and agility are greatly admired.
They are great companion dogs, hunting dogs, and family pets. Friendly to all, they know no strangers. You can’t depend on them to be guard dogs, their bark is more welcoming than defensive.
The Golden Retriever’s docile nature, intelligent mind, and ‘eager to please’ personality makes them easy to train. They are excellent guide dogs for visually impaired people, drug or bomb sniffers, water rescue/lifesaving dogs, and search and rescue dogs in earthquakes and other natural disasters.
Males are 23 to 24 inches tall and weigh 65 to 75 pounds. Females are generally 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall and 55 to 65 pounds. Golden Retrievers usually reach their full height by one year of age, and their mature weight by two.
Give a Golden two brisk walks each day, play a few games of fetch, take him out for a good run once a week, or take him out for a swim (Golden Retrievers love water), and he is adaptable to almost any lifestyle. A tired Golden is a well-behaved Golden.
There are two distinct variations in the Golden Retriever breed, one known as the American Golden Retriever, and the other as the English (Cream) Golden Retriever. The American Retriever usually has a light golden to a rich, dark golden (red) colour, and the English Retriever is usually very light cream (almost white), to a medium golden colour. The American Retriever stands a bit higher, is leaner, has a smaller, narrower head, with more of a slant to his eyes. The English Retriever has shorter legs, a broader build, blockier head, and round dark eyes.
There are varying opinions on pros and cons of owning an American Retriever versus an English Retriever. While statistics show that American Retrievers are more cancer prone, it also depends on their bloodline’s health history.
The question, “Which breed is better?” is answered in the eye of the beholder. Some prefer the beautiful blocky build, and lustrous cream coat of the English Retriever, while others prefer the more athletic build, and rich, dark coat of the American Retriever. Many websites will laud the one breed, and bash the other. There are strong biases on either side, and every one is entitled to his own opinion.
In the end, a Golden is a Golden. Both the English and American Retrievers have beautiful, expressive eyes, friendly smiles, and a fun loving, yet loyal spirit. We own and love both.