Partially named for the color of their coats, golden retrievers come in various shades of blonde. They range from a burnt orange to a milky vanilla color. Golden retrievers have a thick, water repellent coat. Theses features serve its purpose by protecting them in the marshy conditions the Scotts used to hunt in where goldens were originally bred. A Golden RetrieverÕs double layered coat usually needs grooming twice a week or more often when they are heavily shedding. While Goldens do not get completely clipped like some other dog breeds, they do require straggly hairs to be trimmed away. The golden retrievers full coat may be straight or slightly wavy but should lie flat against their body. Their tails contain fuller, longer and feathered fur that should be trimmed to keep a neat appearance.
Golden Retrievers are a large, powerful, active breed. Their bodies are quite muscular beneath their beautiful coats. Males can be 23 to 24 inches in height at the tallest point of their back and 65 to 75 pounds. Females can be somewhat smaller at 21 and a half to 22 and a half inches in height at the tallest point of their back and 55 to 65 pounds. Golden retrievers typically have a very sweet face.
A Golden Retriever has a deep and wide face and almost as long as his skull. His muzzle is straight when viewed in profile. It blends smoothly and strongly into the skull, and appears slightly deeper and wider at the base than the nose.
Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly, intelligent eyes. Their eyes are deep-set, medium sized, and dark brown.
Golden Retrievers have short ears with a front edge attached well behind and above the eye. The ears flop down, close to the cheek. When the ears are pulled forward, the tip of the ear just covers the eye.
The nose is either black or brownish black. Their noses fade to a lighter shade in cold weather, sometimes called a Òsnow nose. Ó Golden Retrievers teeth mesh together like scissors. The outer part of the bottom teeth aligns with the inner part of the top teeth.
Neck and Body
Golden Retrievers have medium long necks, which merge gradually into the back shoulder, giving them a strong muscular appearance. The backline of Goldens are strong and level with the withers and has a slightly sloping rear end. These features are noticeable whether the dog is standing or moving about.
The Golden’s well-balanced body is short through the chest. The chest is about the size of a grown man’s closed fist. The ribs are long and well sprung and extend well toward his hindquarters.
The tails of Goldens are well set. The tail is thick and muscular at the base, following the natural line of the bottom.
The front legs of Golden Retrievers are muscular, well coordinated with his back legs and quite capable of free movement. Additionally, his long shoulder blades are well laid back coming rather close together at the withers. The Òupper armsÓ as the Club describes them, appear to be similar in length to the blades; the “elbows” set back beneath the upper tip of the blades close to the rib.
The front and back legs are straight and muscular. The feet are medium sized, round, compact with thick pads.
Personality and Temperament
Golden retrievers have a friendly and confident personality. They are very trainable. They are patient enough to sit quietly for hours in a hunting blind. They can put their focus into a given task and work almost endlessly. Goldens make wonderful service pets. They do not make very good watchdogs because of their love for people and strangers. Golden Retrievers are loyal, fun and heartwarming dogs, with bouncy, upbeat personalities.
– Scott Hall