The Golden Retriever was developed in the early 19th century as an ideal hunting companion, able to retrieve birds on both land and water in the marshy Scottish countryside. Their friendliness and intelligence makes the both a popular family pet and an excellent working dog, well suited for being a service dog, therapy dog or for search and rescue.
The third most popular breed in the US, the American and Canadian Goldens are generally lankier and darker than their British counterparts. Their wavy, feathered topcoat is water resistant, their undercoat helps them with thermoregulation and both coats have a tendency for heavy seasonal shedding. Goldens need lots of exercise (especially when younger), and their love of play and water means their owners usually get a lot of exercise too!
In 2013, the 100th anniversary of Britain’s Golden Retriever Club, Goldens from around the world came made the pilgrimage to the breed’s birthplace in Scotland, where 222 of them posed in a single record-breaking photo. At the same time, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study was getting started in the United States, recruiting 3,000 Golden Retrievers for a lifetime study aimed at understanding how genetics, lifestyle and environment influences healthy aging and cancer risk in Goldens.
A Golden Retriever is also pictured in the Guinness Book of World’s Records for “Most tennis balls held in mouth” (with 15).
Explore some Embark dogs that share Golden Retriever ancestry.