Golden Retriever Puppies For Sale In Pa

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Golden Retriever: History and Appearance


The Golden Retriever’s history begins with the popularity of hunting in 1800’s England and Scotland. It is believed that all retrievers can be traced back to the St. John’s Dog of Newfoundland, as it is the ancestor of the wavy coated retriever.

Retrievers were valued at the time for their ability to retrieve waterfowl from both land and water, and several breeders began improving or developing the breed. The first records of the Golden Retriever come from the 1800’s, when a single yellow pup from a litter of black wavy coated retrievers was purchased. The pup was purchased by the first Lord of Tweedmouth, and was named Nous. Nous was bred to a Tweed Water Spaniel, resulting in four yellow dogs. It is believed that these four yellow dogs are the foundation of the breed.

The Tweed Water Spaniel is a breed that is now extinct. It was native to Scotland and used to retrieve game and assist fishermen. The Tweed Water Spaniel was a “light liver’ color, but featured a short, somewhat curly, feathered coat.

Through several generations of careful breeding, a line of working retrievers was developed. Tweedmouth was careful to keep the breeding to the main line that descended from Nous. He crossbred this line with another Tweed Water Spaniel, several black wavy coated retrievers, and a red setter. Only the yellow pups were kept; with working ability, retrieving aptitude, obedience, and ability to withstand the rough terrain and deep cold considered the desired traits.

The retrievers that Tweedmouth bred were given to friends and family members, but the strain remained unknown until after 1900. In 1904, one of the Tweedmouth dogs sired the winner of the first field trials for retrievers.

“Yellow retrievers” were then registered with the Kennel Club of England as “Retrievers (wavy or flat coated.) They began appearing at dog shows in 1908, but were classed as “Flat Coats of any other color.” It was a Mrs. W.M. Charlesworth who recognized the “Goldens” and helped to change their classification.

Golden Retrievers were soon brought to America, and the breed was finally recognized in 1925 by the American Kennel Club. Golden Retrievers continued to be imported to the United States from England. They were established in several pockets of the United States before World War II. After the war, the breed’s U.S. population grew steadily. In the 1970’s, there was a surge of AKC registered Golden Retrievers, and the breed has continued to be desired as a pet since then.

The Golden Retriever Club of America was founded in 1938. As the strongest AKC parent club of the breed, it has well over 5,000 members and speaks to the popularity of the breed.

The Golden Retriever continues to be a dog that is frequently featured in show. The breed excels in the show ring, obedience trials, hunt tests and agility. As a working dog, the breed is employed as a guide dog, assistance dog, search and rescue dog, and tracking dog. The Golden Retriever is still a favorite among hunters, and is praised as a family pet.


The Golden Retriever should exhibit the strong physical appearance of a hunting dog. The males reach up to 24 inches in height at the withers. Females reach up to 22 ½ inches. The dog has wide foreface, with eyes that are friendly and intelligent. The eyes are medium large and preferably dark brown. The ears are shorter, set just above the eye, and fall to the cheek. The nose is either black or dark brownish black. The teeth meet in a scissors bite.

The body should be well balanced. The back is long and level. The chest is wide, and the abdomen does not have much of a tuck up. The tail is well set, thick, and muscular. It is carried high, level, or slightly curved upward. The legs should be muscular, well-coordinated, and capable of good movement. The Golden Retriever has medium sized feet that are well-knuckled and feature thick pads.

The Golden Retriever’s coat is the result of years of careful breeding. The Golden Retriever has a double coat that is dense and water repellant. The outer coat is firm and grows close to the body. It is a texture that is neither rough nor silky, but somewhere in between. The coat may be either wavy or straight. There is a natural ruff. The coat will have feathering on the backs of the legs, the underbody, the front of the neck, and underside of the tail. Depending on the location, the feathering may be light or heavy. The hair on the head, paws, and front of the legs is shorter. The Golden Retriever may be neatened up, but should retain its natural appearance. Slight trimming is preferable, but the dog should never be over-groomed or shaved.

The Golden Retriever’s coat is its signature feature. The coat comes in various shades of golden. There should not be any white markings, and it is preferred that the coat is not predominantly light or dark in color.

Showing a Golden Retriever

When showing a Golden Retriever, the dog should meet certain criteria. The coat should be golden, with some variations in shading, but should not be overly pale or dark. Any deviation in the dog’s height from the recommended standard is considered a disqualification. The dog should not have triangular, narrow, or abnormally shaped eyes; and the nose should not be pink. Both of these traits are considered to be serious flaws.

The Golden Retriever is expected to be presented in hard working condition, as he is considered to be primarily a hunting dog. The overall appearance of the dog should be the focus. Emphasis should be on the dog’s balance, gait, and purpose.

The dog should be smooth and powerful when trotting. At a run, the dog should have good reach. The temperament should be that of a companion hunting dog, and the dog should not show aggression or disobedience.

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