Dogs 101: Golden Retriever Facts Most Popular Dog Breeds -Animal Facts
A few wild dogs took it upon themselves to
watch over man: to bark when he’s in danger,
to run and play with him when he’s happy,
to nuzzle him when he’s lonely.
That’s why they call us man’s best friend.
– Shadow, The Golden Retriever from the movie
Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey
Cheerful, easy to train and eager to please,
the Golden Retriever is what you see in the
dictionary when you look up “Perfect Family
Goldens love everyone, especially children,
and get along well with new people and strange
They draw admiring looks – and usually loving
pats – from almost everyone they meet.
Welcome to Animal Facts.
Today, let’s meet the loyal and intelligent
darling, the iconic Golden Retriever.
Let’s get started.
The noble golden retriever has truly aristocratic
roots, being the brainchild of Dudley Marjoribanks,
1st Baron Tweedmouth.
Lord Tweedmouth developed the breed in his
native Scotland during the mid-to-late 19th
Golden retrievers were bred from flat-coated
retrievers and Tweed water spaniels (a breed
that is now extinct).
Goldies were originally bred for hunting Wildfowl.
This required a dog that could traverse both
land and water, due to the numerous wetlands
and rivers where hunting typically took place.
Goldens also have “soft mouths,” meaning
they can carry things in their chops without
damaging them — an important skill for canines
tasked with retrieving their masters’ hunting
They’re so gentle, in fact, that some can
be trained to hold a raw egg in their mouths
without breaking it.
GOLDEN RETRIEVERS HAVE AN EXCELLENT SENSE
As their name suggests, golden retrievers
were intended primarily as hunting dogs to
retrieve felled game in the field.
Therefore, they were bred to possess an extremely
powerful sense of smell, and indeed their
olfactory skills are among the best of all
Thanks to their intelligence and their sharp
sense of smell, Golden Retrievers excel in
search and rescue operations and as therapy
or guide dogs.
Their hardworking, attentive natures help,
as Goldens can maintain their focus and follow
their noses wherever they lead.
This breed’s name went through a small bit
of evolution early on in its existence.
At first, the golden retriever was listed
as the golden flat coat, and was regarded
technically as a color variation of the flat-coated
retriever rather than a breed unto itself.
Golden retrievers gained their own identity
in 1913 along with the founding of the Golden
Retriever Club in the U.K.
Golden retrievers earned American fans almost
from the beginning of their history in the
late 19th century, but it took a few decades
for the American Kennel Club to recognize
the breed officially.
They finally did so in 1925.
The breed’s popularity only took off from
there, as it found favor among American families
and hunters alike, due to the excellence of
their personalities and physical abilities.
While living in the White House, President
Gerald Ford had a golden retriever named Liberty.
She came from Minneapolis, and was originally
The pampered pooch had a live-in trainer and
even gave birth inside the White House.
Liberty received a lot of fan mail, which
was answered by Ford’s daughter Susan.
Eventually, Ford’s secretary began mailing
back “signed” pictures of the president
and his dog with an inked paw print on the
The paw print signatures were originally the
real deal, but as requests increased, they
had to switch to a rubber stamp.
There’s a Kangaroo in Australia named Dusty
who believes his “mum” is a Golden Retriever
Says Dusty and Lilly’s caretaker: “He’s
always grooming her, they’re always together,
and if Lilly goes out of the yard, he pines
for her and sort of hops up and down the fence
until he’s let out to go with her.”
Golden retrievers are highly intelligent and
easy to train.
As a result, they’re frequently used in television
The breed enjoyed especially notable popularity
in 1980s and 1990s TV sitcoms.
Golden retrievers featured prominently on
“Punky Brewster” as the titular character’s
dog, Brandon; on “Full House” as the Tanner
family’s dog, Comet; and on “Empty Nest” as
the Weston family’s dog, Dreyfuss (although
Dreyfuss was half Golden Retriever, half Saint
The popular family films “Homeward Bound”
and “Air Bud” also starred golden retrievers.
The intelligence and physical skill originally
bred into golden retrievers to make them excellent
hunting dogs remains in demand today, though
less often for hunting and more often for
more modern applications.
In particular, golden retrievers are prized
as assistant dogs for people with various
Assistance-dog organizations like Assistance
Dog International,Canine Companions for Independence
and Paws With a Cause all train golden retrievers,
Labrador retrievers and Lab-golden crosses
for the job almost exclusively.
The American Kennel Club introduced its official
obedience trials in 1977, and its first three
obedience champions were golden retrievers.
The very first was a female named Moreland’s
Golden Tonka, aka Tonka.
During Tonka’s career, she earned eight perfect
scores and 176 “High in Trial” awards.
Based on the AKC’s official rankings, the
golden retriever is the fourth-most intelligent
dog breed—right behind the German shepherd
and just ahead of the Doberman pinscher.
In 2010, an 18-month-old Golden Retriever
named Angel saved his 11-year-old owner, Austin,
from a cougar attack.
He threw himself between the boy and the cougar
and the two animals fought until a constable
arrived and killed the cat.
While it was initially believed that Angel
had been mortally wounded in the attack, according
to the boy’s mother, he eventually sucked
in a “big breath of air and then got up
[and] walked to Austin, sniffed him to make
sure he was all right, then sat down.”
He went on to make a full recovery.
Well, there you have it.
These facts are Golden.
Can you retrieve any facts we may have missed?
Leave them in the comments below.
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