There are different standards for what defines our Golden Retriever
Did you know that . . .
registration of a Golden Retriever by the American Kennel Club was in November 1925.
The most complete
records of the development of the Golden Retriever are included in the record books that
were kept from
1835 until about 1890 by the gamekeepers at the Guisachan (pronounced Gooeesicun) estate of Lord Tweedmouth at
Inverness-Shire, Scotland. These records were
released to public notice in Country Life in 1952, when Lord Tweedmouth's
the sixth Earl of Ilchester, historian and sportsman, published material that had been
left by his ancestor. They
provided factual confirmation to the stories that had been
handed down through generations.
The first three
dogs of any breed to achieve the AKC Obedience Champion title, first available in July 1977, were all Goldens.
The first (Ch. Moreland's Golden Tonka) was a bitch, the
others were males.
were first shown in England at the Crystal Palace show in 1908, and were listed as Flat
Golden Retrievers are . . .
Renown for their
reliable temperament, making a great family pet or show dog.
adapt to living in a small apartment although they need to be given plenty of exercise daily.
Dogs with a dense water repellent coat that ranges in color from light to dark shades of gold.
Golden Retriever Breed Standards
United States AKC Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever Breed Standard
Golden Retriever Breed Standard
United States AKC Golden Retriever
A symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy nor long
in the leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager,
alert and self-confident. Primarily a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard working
condition. Overall appearance, balance, gait and purpose to be given more emphasis than
any of his component parts. Faults--Any departure from the described ideal shall be
considered faulty to the degree to which it interferes with the breed's purpose or is
contrary to breed character.
Size, Proportion, Substance
Males 23-24 inches in height at withers; females 21½-22½ inches. Dogs up to one inch
above or below standard size should be proportionately penalized. Deviation in height of
more than one inch from the standard shall disqualify. Length from breastbone to point of
buttocks slightly greater than height at withers in ratio of 12:11. Weight for dogs 65-75
pounds; bitches 55-65 pounds.
Broad in skull, slightly arched laterally and longitudinally without prominence of
frontal bones (forehead) or occipital bones. Stop well defined but not abrupt. Foreface
deep and wide, nearly as long as skull. Muzzle straight in profile, blending smooth and
strongly into skull; when viewed in profile or from above, slightly deeper and wider at
stop than at tip. No heaviness in flews. Removal of whiskers is permitted but not
preferred. Eyes friendly and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark,
close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep in sockets. Color preferably dark
brown; medium brown acceptable. Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes detract from
correct expression and are to be faulted. No white or haw visible when looking straight
ahead. Dogs showing evidence of functional abnormality of eyelids or eyelashes (such as,
but not limited to, trichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or distichiasis) are to be excused
from the ring. Ears rather short with front edge attached well behind and just above the
eye and falling close to cheek. When pulled forward, tip of ear should just cover the eye.
Low, hound-like ear set to be faulted. Nose black or brownish black, though fading to a
lighter shade in cold weather not serious. Pink nose or one seriously lacking in
pigmentation to be faulted. Teeth scissors bite, in which the outer side of the lower
incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors. Undershot or overshot bite is a
disqualification. Misalignment of teeth (irregular placement of incisors) or a level bite
(incisors meet each other edge to edge) is undesirable, but not to be confused with
undershot or overshot. Full dentition. Obvious gaps are serious faults.
Neck, Topline, Body
Neck medium long, merging gradually into well laid back shoulders, giving sturdy,
muscular appearance. No throatiness. Backline strong and level from withers to slightly
sloping croup, whether standing or moving. Sloping backline, roach or sway back, flat or
steep croup to be faulted. Body well balanced, short coupled, deep through the chest.
Chest between forelegs at least as wide as a man's closed hand including thumb, with well
developed forechest. Brisket extends to elbow. Ribs long and well sprung but not barrel
shaped, extending well towards hindquarters. Loin short, muscular, wide and deep, with
very little tuck-up. Slab-sidedness, narrow chest, lack of depth in brisket, excessive
tuck-up to be faulted. Tail well set on, thick and muscular at the base, following the
natural line of the croup. Tail bones extend to, but not below, the point of hock. Carried
with merry action, level or with some moderate upward curve; never curled over back nor
Muscular, well coordinated with hindquarters and capable of free movement. Shoulder
blades long and well laid back with upper tips fairly close together at withers. Upper
arms appear about the same length as the blades, setting the elbows back beneath the upper
tip of the blades, close to the ribs without looseness. Legs, viewed from the front,
straight with good bone, but not to the point of coarseness. Pasterns short and strong,
sloping slightly with no suggestion of weakness. Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed, but
are normally left on. Feet medium size, round, compact, and well knuckled, with thick
pads. Excess hair may be trimmed to show natural size and contour. Splayed or hare feet to
Broad and strongly muscled. Profile of croup slopes slightly; the pelvic bone slopes
at a slightly greater angle (approximately 30 degrees from horizontal). In a natural
stance, the femur joins the pelvis at approximately a 90-degree angle; stifles well bent;
hocks well let down with short, strong rear pasterns. Feet as in front. Legs straight when
viewed from rear. Cow-hocks, spread hocks, and sickle hocks to be faulted.
Dense and water-repellent with good undercoat. Outer coat firm and resilient, neither
coarse nor silky, lying close to body; may be straight or wavy. Untrimmed natural ruff;
moderate feathering on back of forelegs and on underbody; heavier feathering on front of
neck, back of thighs and underside of tail. Coat on head, paws, and front of legs is short
and even. Excessive length, open coats, and limp, soft coats are very undesirable. Feet
may be trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural appearance of coat or outline
should not be altered by cutting or clipping.
Rich, lustrous golden of various shades. Feathering may be lighter than rest of coat.
With the exception of graying or whitening of face or body due to age, any white marking,
other than a few white hairs on the chest, should be penalized according to its extent.
Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with white markings. Predominant body
color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark is undesirable. Some latitude
should be given to the light puppy whose coloring shows promise of deepening with
maturity. Any noticeable area of black or other off-color hair is a serious fault.
When trotting, gait is free, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good
reach. Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or
interfere with each other. As speed increases, feet tend to converge toward center line of
balance. It is recommended that dogs be shown on a loose lead to reflect true gait.
Friendly, reliable, and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or hostility towards other dogs
or people in normal situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or nervousness, is not
in keeping with Golden Retriever character. Such actions should be penalized according to
Deviation in height of more than one inch from standard either way. Undershot or
U.K. Golden Retriever Breed Standard
Symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, level mover, sound with kindly
Biddable, intelligent and possessing natural working ability.
Kindly, friendly and confident.
Dark brown, set well apart, dark rims.
Moderate size, set on approximate level with eyes.
Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. upper teeth
closely overlapping lower teeth and set to the jaws.
Good length, clean and muscular.
Forelegs straight with good bone, shoulders well laid back, long in blade with
upper arm of equal length placing legs well under body. Elbows close fitting.
Balanced, short coupled, deep through heart. Ribs deep and well sprung. Level
Loin and legs strong and muscular, good second thighs, well bent stifles. Hocks
well let down, straight when viewed from rear, neither turning in nor out.
Cowhocks highly undesirable.
Round and cat-like.
Set on and carried level back, reaching the hocks, without curl at tip.
Powerful with good drive. Straight and true in front and rear. Stride long and
free with no sign of hackney action in front.
Flat or wavy with good feathering, dense water-resisting undercoat.
Any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany. A few white hairs on chest
Height at withers: Dogs 56 - 61 cms (22 - 24 ins); Bitches 51 - 56 cms (20 - 22
Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the
seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact
proportion to its degree.
Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into