Golden Retrievers can have a coat colour of any shade of gold or cream. The topcoat is water-resistant and slightly wavy, and sheds in small amounts throughout the year. The undercoat is soft and keeps the retriever cool in summer and warm in winter. It sheds in Spring and Autumn and usually lies flat against the belly.
The temperament of the Golden Retriever is a hallmark of the breed, and is described in the standard as "kindly, friendly and confident". Golden Retrievers make good family pets, particularly as they are patient with children. They are not "one-man dogs" and are generally equally amiable with both strangers and those familiar to them. Their trusting, gentle disposition makes them a poor guard dog. The typical Golden Retriever is calm, naturally intelligent and biddable with an exceptional eagerness to please. Golden Retrievers are also noted for their intelligence. A Professor of Canine Psychology at the University of British Columbia, Stanley Coren, wrote a book "The Intelligence of Dogs". In this book, the Golden Retriever ranks fourth as one of the brightest dogs ranked by obedience-command trainability.
About the Breed
The Golden Retriever is a large, strongly built breed with a dense, water-repellant wavy coat. The undercoat is soft and keeps the Retriever cool in summer and warm in winter. They shed copiously, particularly at the change of seasons, and require fairly regular grooming.
This Gundog was bred to retrieve shot waterfowl such as ducks and upland game birds during hunting and shooting parties. The breed was named 'retriever' because of its ability to retrieve shot game with a soft mouth and ensure that it was taken to the hunter undamaged. They are are well suited to residency in suburban or country environments. Being a "high energy" breed, they need substantial outdoor exercise. They also need a securely fenced garden due to their tendency to roam.
Typically, Golden Retrievers are active and fun-loving animals. Adult Goldens love to work, and have a keen ability to focus on a given task. They will work until they collapse, so care should be taken to avoid overworking them.
Other characteristics related to their hunting heritage is their instinctive and passionate love of water. Golden Retrievers are exceptionally trainable due to their intelligence, athleticism and desire to please their handlers and they excel in obedience trials. They are also very competitive in agility and other performance events. Harsh training methods are unnecessary, as Golden Retrievers often respond very well to positive and upbeat training styles.
Golden Retrievers are compatible with other dogs, cats, and most livestock. They are particularly valued for their high level of sociability towards people, calmness, and willingness to learn. The Golden Retriever's intelligence makes them a versatile breed and allows them to fill a variety of roles. They are commonly used as guide dog for the blind, hearing dog for the deaf, mobility assistance dog, hunting dog, detection dog and search and rescue participant.
The breed is also one of the most popular dogs in the show ring.