The Kennel Club in the UK gave the Golden Retriever recognition as a specific breed back in 1908 as “Flat Coats” (not yet called Golden Retrievers) and, first shown at the Crystal Palace in London the UK The breed was officially called “Golden Retriever” 12 years later in 1920. They were then accepted officially by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925.
In Part 1 of this blog, we mentioned that there are not only golden, dark golden and light golden retrievers, but that there are also three “international” variations, English, American and Canadian Golden Retrievers, all classified under the same breed.
How do you know which Golden Retriever variation you have?
The first thing to do is assess their build and colour. The English Golden Retriever tend to be stockier with a light golden to white colouration. While American and Canadian Golden Retrievers have much the same build, you will notice that American Retrievers have a somewhat thicker coat than Canadian Retrievers.
To get a good idea of what colour coat your Golden Retriever puppy will have when it fully matures, examine its ears. The very tip of the pup’s ears will usually present the final coat colour once the puppy loses its puppy coat. It’s as easy as that!
The great thing about Golden retrievers is that all three international variants have wonderful, happy temperaments. Golden Retrievers are well known for being playful, calm and of a wonderful friendly disposition, as well as clever, with the ability to learn quickly. What they do learn, they do with consistency and reliability, retaining their obedience, as they exhibit an eagerness to please.
As we mentioned in Part 1, they get along famously with people of all ages as well as with other family pets. Surprisingly, they don’t really often bark in the way some smaller, “yappy” breeds do, and while they will notice, for example, some unexpected noise, they are not renowned as guard dogs.
Did you know, some very famous people have owned Retrievers?
Presidents Ford and Reagan both had Golden Retrievers while at the White House, with President Reagan having no fewer than six. TV host and comedian Jimmy Fallon, actress Emma Stone, singer Adam Levine, and Oprah Winfrey are or have been owners.
Golden Retrievers are not just superb pets
Golden Retrievers also make great working dogs, both for the likes of search and rescue and well as working companion dogs for the less able, such as those with sight or mobility issues. Like many dogs, they have a wonderful sense of smell that can, with training, be tuned to specific tasks such as finding missing people or detecting contraband such as drugs, plant or food products. They were used with success in the relatively recent earthquake tragedy in Turkey as well as after the collapse of the towers during 9/11 and in the aftermath of hurricanes around the world.
What care does your Golden Retriever require?
Training: As with most dogs, training your Golden Retriever ideally needs to be started when a puppy so that good habits and obedience can be instilled from the earliest age. They will enjoy any training as they are so eager to please.
Exercise: Golden Retrievers do require regular exercise, but once they receive that, they can adapt to living anywhere, which includes inner city living.
Nutrition: All dogs should receive a healthy, balanced diet related to both their level of activity and their age. However, they do require a high-quality diet with the avoidance of being fed too many human scraps.
Grooming: A regular brushing down to remove any tangles, dirt and hair your pet might be shedding,, as well as a regular (but not excessive!) bath.
The vet: as for any dog, you must keep up to date with vaccinations, but for an active dog such as the Golden Retriever it is important they have regular check-ups to identify any potential health problems that this very happy dog might otherwise attempt to hide.
The dog itself: Most importantly, ensure your Golden Retriever comes from an accredited and ethical breeder such as http://www.goldenretrieversandfrenchbulldogs.com, where you can find more information.
Do not be fooled by cheery, happy-clappy announcements of dogs for sale via, for example, social media.
In the first part of a two-part blog, we look at the origins of those wonderful dogs, Golden Retrievers.
We have to pop back to 1865 and the famous city of Brighton on the southeast coast of England. That summer, Sir Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks came across a dark yellow-coloured sporting dog (named “Nous”) while walking about the city. Sir Dudley was the 1st Baron Tweedmouth and a Scottish businessman and a Liberal politician who was originally an elected member of the House of Commons (the UK Parliament) between 1853 and 1880 before his elevation to the House of Lords (the Upper House) as Baron (or Lord) Tweedmouth.
He discovered that this particular dog was the only dark yellow-coloured dog from a litter of black Wavy-Coated Retrievers owned by a local shoe repairer. At the time, black dogs were considered the best hunters, so when non-black dogs were born, they were, very sadly – and we would nowadays say, rather criminally – just disposed of. However, Nous was to have a far more happy life altogether.
Lord Tweedmouth, took ownership of Nous and brought him back home to Guisachan, his estate in Scotland. In 1868, Lord Tweedmouth bred Nous with Belle, his female Tweed Water Spaniel. Belle produced four puppies, the first litter of Golden Retrievers in the world, meaning Nous had become the founding father of one of today’s most loved breeds of dog.
Today, apart from those who see dogs as somewhat of a fashion statement, people no longer are comfortable with “designer cross-breeds”, bred very much to pander to people’s desires that can sometimes extend beyond common sensibilities. However, if being totally honest, that is somewhat how the Golden Retriever came about.
The ultimate hunting dog
As a member of the British upper class, Lord Tweedmouth was very keen to breed the ultimate dog for hunting. His own grounds in Scotland were very rural, complete with marshes, ponds, and streams. He wanted a dog that could retrieve the proceeds of his hunting activities not just over dry land, but also over water. And as shooting paraphernalia was advancing, enabling shooting in more human-accessible locations, he wanted the ideal hunting dog to be able to accompany his endeavours more efficiently and effectively in terms of retrieving his game birds.
With the breeding of Belle and Nous to produce the first Golden Retriever, the rest is, well, history!
Lord Tweedmouth had bred a dog that with its waterproof, and quite substantial coat, is happy in any environment is very active and athletic and are great swimmers. With an exceptional sense of smell, they can track down game and have relatively gentle mouths that don’t ruin the game they retrieve.
As well as their excellent working abilities, ability to learn very quickly and with their overall intelligence, they are exceptionally loyal dogs, will guard their human families and are great with other household pets and farm animals. Their extremely friendly, approachable and affectionate personalities mean they also make exceptional family pets. Learning new Being so relatively easy to train means they also make great rescue dogs as well companions for those with disabilities.
While some may think all Golden Retrievers are simply “golden”, they not only exhibit three variations on the colour, namely golden, dark golden and light golden, there are three “international” variations, English, American and Canadian Golden Retrievers.
In part two of this blog, we’ll look at their characteristics in more detail.
History of The Golden Retriever:
Dogs and humans have a historic relationship that goes back hundreds if not thousands of years.
However, when you compare them to other dog breeds, the golden retriever’s history is relatively new.
Historically bred as hunting dogs in Scotland, they make excellent family dogs. They are a medium-sized breed that usually has a dark-golden coat and is renowned for their loyalty, kind eyes, and enthusiasm for life.
But, how did they come about and who is responsible for bringing us this lovely and intelligent breed?
Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks (also known as Lord Tweedmouth) was born in 1820 as the second son of a successful Scottish banker. As a teenage boy, he had a keen interest in dog breeding. Although at the time, dog breeding was considered an admirable hobby for socially-prominent prominent persons.
He kept records of his 50-plus years of dog breeding in a leather-bound book that survived until today and is securely preserved at the Kennel Club in England.
Like most successful men from his time, Majoribanks was a property investor. One of his earliest notable investments was the purchase of the Meux Brewery (formerly known as the Horse Shoe Brewery) with part of his inheritance.
This investment, along with his directorship in the East India Company, made him a wealthy and respectable man in society.
History of The Golden Retriever:
The history of The Golden Retriever is very unique. For many years, the prevailing story of the Golden Retriever’s origin claimed that Dudley Marjoribanks’ famous yellow-coated dogs were the offspring of a group of Russian circus dogs he purchased.
However, the earliest and best-kept records of History of The Golden Retriever are in the journals of Dudley Marjoribanks, which spans the year 1840 to 1890.
In the mid-1860s, Dudley Marjoribanks acquired a yellow wavy-coated retriever, named ‘Nous’, from a litter of dark-coated retrievers with Golden Retriever characteristics. Dudley Marjoribanks bred Nous to a Tweed Water Spaniel, named “Belle” producing 4 yellow puppies that formed the foundation of the breed.
Tweed spaniels are closely related to what is now known as the Irish Water Spaniels. And were associated with the fishermen of River Tweed Valley located on the Scottish-English border.
The combination was truly exceptional, as it created a robust hunter capable of navigating both land and water to retrieve partridge, grouse, and occasionally red deer.
The offspring from this combination were then bred from, occasionally out-crossing to further water spaniels, an Irish setter, Labrador retrievers and a couple more wavy-coated black retrievers.
A History of The Golden Retriever: For the most part, Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks developed this breed quietly and away from the general public’s attention. That’s until 1908 when Lord Harcourt exhibited a collection of dogs from the breed at the Kennel Club show. And they sparked in popularity.
It was at this time that the term “Golden Retriever” was first used to describe them, which is why Lord Harcourt’s name usually comes up in reference to the breed name.
Uk kennel History of The Golden Retriever: In 1903, the UK Kennel Club became the first to allow registration of Golden Retrievers, though they were registered as yellow- or golden-colored breeds with flat coats.
They got their first showing in 1908. Then in 1913, they got a separate status when the Golden Retriever Club of Great Britain was formed.
It took 7 more years before the Kennel Club, in 1920, recognised and allowed them to assume their present name, “Golden Retrievers.”
You can find the Golden Retriever’s history on the UK Kennel Club website.
American Kennel History of The Golden Retriever: A few specimens of Golden Retrievers made their way into the American canine world as far back as the early 1880s. However, it took a few decades before the American Kennel Club registered the first Golden Retriever in 1925.
And then in 1938, 25 years after their counterpart in the UK, the American Golden Retriever Club was formed. The breed has gained much popularity and love in the US.
You can find the Golden Retriever’s history on the American Kennel Club website.
Canadian Kennel History of The Golden Retriever: The Golden Retriever was first registered in Canada in 1927. Then in 1958, the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario was formed.
The Golden Retriever Club of Ontario became what’s presently the Golden Retriever Club of Canada.
When it comes to caring for a golden retriever, be prepared to live with plenty of dog hair. They have medium-length hair with a thick undercoat and an outer coat that’s water-repellent.
They shed heavily in the spring and fall, and moderately for the rest of the year. However, they should be brushed daily and will need a bath about once or twice a month.
You will need to trim your golden retriever’s claws once or twice a month to prevent them from splitting and causing foot problems. Your dog will also need help maintaining its oral health. Brushing its teeth once or twice a couple of times per week should do.
Since golden retrievers have droopy ears, they’re susceptible to ear infections. You need to inspect your dog’s ears regularly so you can treat an infection before it worsens.
Golden retrievers are active dogs that require thorough training and daily exercise to keep their minds healthy.
They work best when they have access to a play yard where they can run around and burn energy. If this isn’t available, then walking them a couple of minutes early in the morning and later in the day (to avoid hot asphalt burning their paw pads) should do. Or a trip to the free-run dog park.
Golden retrievers were bred to retrieve shot birds and small animals. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that they like to carry things around in their mouths. A few durable toys and chew bones will satisfy this oral fixation.
Golden retriever puppies have a fast growth rate. You need to monitor and feed them a low-calorie diet that will keep them from growing faster than they should, to avoid increasing their risk of bone disorders.
An adult golden retriever should be fed up to 1.5 cups of dog food, two times per day. However, the amount needed for your dog will vary depending on its size, activity level, age, and other factors.
You should always provide fresh, clean water at all times.
Obesity will shorten your dog’s life and expose its immune system to other health conditions. So be sure to monitor the dog’s weight. If your dog seems to be gaining an unhealthy amount of weight, talk to a vet.
They’ll advise you whether to exercise it more or reduce the quantity of each meal you feed the dog.
Golden retrievers love to be where the action is – and that’s with family rather than staying in the backyard alone. They’re not suited to be watchdogs because they’re friendly with all humans.
Socialization comes naturally to them. And, when properly introduced, they get along with other canines, cats, or pets in the household.
Golden retrievers are gentle and patient with kids, but their size means they can easily knock a little child over if they get too excited. This can scare little kids, especially visiting playmates that are not used to interacting with dogs.
When a golden retriever dog has been taught to play appropriately with kids, they become a good match for families with active kids.
As responsible breeders, Northern-Lites Golden Retrievers and French Bulldogs strive to maintain the highest breed standards established by the UK and American Kennel Club as well as DNA-testing our parent dogs.
Dogs that are DNA tested and bred by these standards are at less risk of inheriting or developing health conditions. Conditions to be aware of include:
You can check your local animal shelter and rescue groups for golden retrievers in need of homes.
Or check in with Northern-Lites Golden Retrievers and French Bulldogs. We’re a family-run training & breeding kennel dedicated to producing a small number of healthy field-bred puppies each year.
We make deliveries to dog-loving families in Phuket, Bangkok, Pattaya, and Chaing Mai.
Contact us today. We might have a puppy for your family.