5 Things You Didn't Know About Golden Retrievers

Noble, Smart and Friendly

Kind and confident, trusting and gentle. Golden retrievers have “friendly” written all over their fuzzy faces. They even get along with cats and other animals like horses, cows, goats. Highly sought after for both its easy-going nature and high intelligence, the golden retriever has been a popular dog breed for hundreds of years.

Here are five things you may not have known about golden retrievers.

1. Nobel Roots

Blue-blood, you said? Why, yes: the golden retriever has aristocratic roots. Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth, also known as the Lord Tweedmouth developed the golden retriever in Scotland during the mid- to late-1800s. The now-extinct Tweed water spaniel and the flat-coated retriever were cross bred to create the golden retriever, which was originally called the golden flat coat.

2.  The Trifecta of Retrievers

Did you know there are three types of golden retrievers? There’s the British golden retriever, the American golden retriever and the Canadian golden retriever. The difference? In a nutshell, the British and American types have different-looking muzzles (the British has a “boxier” head) and the American golden retriever is darker and taller — although not as tall as the Canadian golden retriever which is also thinner and has an even darker coat.

Golden retrievers

3. Does Color Really Matter?

There are a variety of “official” color variations when it comes to the golden retriever: light golden, gold and dark golden. According to breed standards, there isn’t a “white” golden retriever or a “red” golden retriever, just variations of their official colors, although the British golden retriever has accepted “cream” as a color of the breed.

4. Members of Doggy Mensa

Golden retrievers are considered to be one of the smartest dog breeds, behind the Border collie, poodle and German shepherd dog.*

5. Common Health Concerns for Golden Retrievers

Golden retriever

The most common health conditions for the golden retriever breed, based on Nationwide pet insurance policyholder claims in 2015 are, in order of pervasiveness:


* Stanley Coren's The Intelligence of Dogs