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Golden retriever sitting outside on the ground

Few dog breeds are as recognizable and loveable as the golden retriever. If you’ve ever owned one of these dogs, you’ll know just how loyal, sweet, lively, and intelligent they really are. However, there’s much more to the golden retriever than meets the eye. These dogs have a long, rich history not only as “man’s best friend,” but also as skilled hunting dogs – and their friendly disposition makes them a perfect movie star.

Here are 10 golden retrievers facts that show just how wonderful these beautiful dogs are and why we love them so much:

Golden retriever on rocks with a blue sky in the background

1. They are named ‘golden retrievers’ because they were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl shot by hunters

Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland originally bred golden retrievers in 1864 by mating a wavy-coated yellow retriever with a tweed water spaniel. The resulting dogs had a striking golden, highly water-resistant coat that allowed them to retrieve game from ponds and rivers for wealthy Scottish hunters – hence the name golden retriever!

2. Golden retrievers have very gentle mouths

A golden retriever’s soft mouth is the result of selective breeding. When hunting, golden retrievers were able to pick up injured waterfowl, like ducks, and carry them back to their hunters without causing any damage. In fact, their grip is so gentle that they can carry an egg in their mouths without cracking the shell! Saying that, these dogs can become destructive chewers as the result of separation anxiety, because they are a naturally social breed. Therefore, you need to make sure someone is home for most of the day if you plan to add a golden retriever to your family.

Golden retriever with a ball

4. Golden retrievers hold several titles in the Guinness Book of World Records

In 1979, a golden retriever named Trepp held the record as the world’s top police dog. During his service, he recovered more than $63 million worth of narcotics! More recently, golden retriever Charlie produced the loudest bark, measuring a whopping 113.1db in Adelaide, Australia. In 2020, a golden retriever called Finley Molloy smashed the record for the most tennis balls held in the mouth by a dog. He managed six balls in total!

5. Golden retrievers are skilled swimmers

Whether it’s at a dog-friendly beach, countryside lake, or backyard swimming pool, golden retrievers love a splash in water. These high-energy dogs are well equipped for this type of exercise because of their history as waterfowl retrievers. They also have webbed feet to give them the endurance to swim long distances quickly. Plus, it’s a great way for them to keep cool in hot weather.

Golden retriever swimming with a stick in its mouth

6. Golden retrievers love to eat

Golden retrievers are known to pile on the pounds because they don’t seem to have an off button when it comes to eating. So, owners need to monitor their food intake, especially treats.

There are plenty of healthy dog treats, so offering these instead of high-calorie treats will help to keep their weight down. You can even try making your own.

Pet obesity can exacerbate existing health issues such as hip dysplasia and increase the risk of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, so it’s important to keep weight gain in check.

7. Golden retrievers have achieved fame in movies and TV series

Golden retrievers have appeared in countless films, especially in the 1980s and 1990s. Some of their most famous starring roles include characters in the family films Air Bud, the Parent Trap, and Homeward Bound. They have also appeared in popular tv series like Full House and In the Dark.

8. Golden retrievers rarely use ‘ear language’

Golden retrievers have long, floppy, fold-over ears, so they aren’t as expressive as the ears of many other breeds. Like other floppy-eared breeds, golden retrievers can pin their ears back when they are nervous or afraid. However, they also tend to use their mouths to convey their emotions by showing their teeth, licking their lips, or holding their muzzles open or closed.

👉 Golden retrievers are prone to developing ear infections because of their large, floppy ears and love of water. Check and clean their ears regularly to keep them dry and infection free.

Golden retriever laying on back on patio

9. Golden retrievers stay young at heart

Golden retrievers mature slower than many other breeds. This means their exuberant, happy-go-lucky playfulness will last well into adulthood! This is just one of the reasons why golden retrievers make great companions and playmates for children of all ages.

10. Golden retrievers are prone to a condition called snow nose

Snow nose is a skin condition that causes a dog’s nose to change color or lose its pigment. Vets are not certain what causes it, but genetics and seasonal changes are thought to be contributing factors. Luckily, snow nose is a short-term cosmetic issue so it won’t generally cause your pup any harm. However, look out for more severe symptoms such as bleeding from the nose, or ulcers around the area which can sometimes accompany depigmentation.

Frequently asked questions

What makes golden retrievers so special?

Golden retrievers have consistently been one of the most popular dogs in the United States for years and for good reason! These beautiful dogs are adored for their bubbly yet gentle personalities and incredible devotion to their owners. They are also very eager to please and easy to train.

Do golden retrievers have a high IQ?

Golden retrievers are the 4th most intelligent dog breed according to Stanley Coren’s dog intelligence test. Studies have shown that these dogs can understand up to 150 words and even intentionally deceive people to get more treats.

What are golden retrievers best known for?

Golden retrievers are best known for their stunning golden coats and gentle, playful attitudes. As a result, they have been used in many working roles from guide dogs for the blind and therapy animals to search and rescue workers and police dogs.