Golden Retriever Facts – 40 Amazing Things You Never Knew

1. Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in the world.

They have been used since ancient times for hunting purposes and they were considered as “the best hunters”. There are many myths and legends about them. One of those stories says that when there was a great famine, a shepherd boy named Samos saw a flock of golden eagles flying over the mountains. He thought it was a sign from god and he decided to follow the birds so that he could get some of their food. After following the golden eagle, he found out that the eagles had left him some kind of fruit which they gave to all animals.

That’s why today we call these fruits “golden” because they contain lots of vitamins and minerals.

2. Golden Retrievers are very loyal dogs with strong loyalty towards humans.

They love to please humans and will always obey commands. Their loyalty is such that they never attack other dogs or humans unless provoked.

3. Golden Retrievers are known as “The Best Hunters” among all dog breeds due to their ability to track down prey even at great distances without any human assistance.

When chasing rabbits, squirrels, mice, etc. a Golden Retriever can run four times faster than a horse which is about 48km per hour. They love to fetch objects that are thrown for them, even if it means going to a river or a lake.

4. The coat of a Golden Retriever changes color all the time and this process is known as “Blending”.

It may be due to heat, cold or even due to emotions. The hairs on the tail, legs and ears of a Golden Retriever contain only a few pigments and they will be white in color.

5. The lifespan of a Golden Retriever is between 10 and 12 years on average.

Some can live up to 15 years, but this is rare.

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6. For a long time, Golden Retrievers were known as the “duvet dog” because they like to curl up and sleep on big soft beds that look very much like a duvet.

7. There are several colors of Golden Retriever: lemon, golden and cream.

He weighs anywhere between 45 and 83 pounds (20 to 35 kilograms) on average.

8. There are many types of Golden Retriever: modern, traditional and flat-coated.

The “modern” type of golden was developed in the 19th century when some breeders decided to make it shorter and stockier. The “traditional” golden retrievers are taller and thinner than the modern ones. The “flat-coated” retrievers are the oldest type of them all. They were recognized as a separate type of golden only in the 1960s.

9. The average litter size of a Golden Retriever is 5 pups.

It usually takes around 63 days before they are ready to face the great world.

10. The coat color of a golden retriever doesn’t influence its personality. It’s just a matter of chance, like with humans.

11. There is a total of around 90,000 followers on Instagram of the most well-known golden retrievers.

12. The first kennel club was created in 1898 specifically for the Golden Retriever breed. It was located in England.

13. In 1901, the first dog show was held just for this breed in America. It was called the “Benwood Dog Show”.

14. Although it is popularly known as a family dog, the Golden Retriever was actually first bred to help in hunting purposes.

15. The only two countries that have not used this breed for hunting at all are Ireland and Scotland.

16. The first time a Golden Retriever was shown on TV was in a show called “The Johnny Carson Show” which was in 1968.

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17. The average Golden Retriever can run at a speed of 19 miles per hour (30 kilometers per hour).

18. The most well-known golden retriever is named “Buddy”. He has appeared in several TV shows and movies such as “Air Bud” and “Snow Buddies”. He is now retired, though, and living happily with his owner.

19. A well-known police dog named “Gero” served with the police for around 10 years. He was a Golden Retriever and was known to be a very good policeman.

20. The first dogs to visit Antarctica: in 1987, a team of dogs led by a Golden Retriever walked on the Antarctic continent for the first time.

21. There is no limit to how much a Golden Retriever can eat at one time.

22. The most popular kibble for this breed is the Eukanuba brand.

23. Many people think that this breed originated in Scotland, but it actually came from Scotland. It was actually brought from Canada to Scotland by a man called Dudley Marjoribanks in the 19th century.

24. The Golden Retriever is the most popular dog in the USA: it holds 23% of the market.

25. The average lifespan of a Golden Retriever is 10 to 13 years.

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26. The coat of this breed does not change from puppyhood to adulthood.

27. Some people believe that all golden retrievers have an almost never-ending supply of patience and friendliness. Sadly, this is not true for all dogs of this breed. In fact, some of them are downright vicious.

28. The Golden Retriever is the third most popular breed of dog in England, just behind the Labrador Retriever and the Terrier.

29. This breed has a great sense of smell that is much more advanced than that of other breeds. They are used by police forces for this reason. Their sense of smell is being used to detect cancer in people as well as drugs and explosives.

30. The coat of a Golden Retriever is thick, water-resistant and resilient to weather. It also repels dirt, so this dog does not need to be brushed or taken to a groomer too often. However, many owners like to do it anyway just to make their pets look pretty!

31. The Golden Retriever is one of the heaviest dogs of its height.

32. It was once believed that this dog was a cross between a Retriever and a Setter, but it is now known that it has been bred consistently for over a century.

33. A female Golden Retriever can have between three and seven puppies at one time.

34. Male Goldens are usually taller than their female counterparts.

35. During World War I, the Canadian forces used a Golden Retriever to pull messages from the trenches to the command center located behind the lines. He was able to recognize when it was safe to deliver a message and when it wasn’t by an officer’s uniform.

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36. Before he became famous as an NFL coach, Bill Belichick was a assistant coach for the New York Giants. He took his Golden Retriever, Nash, to every training session.

37. In the 1950s, a female dog called Pal was trained to detect the smell of Tuberculosis in patients. She was so good at her job that she was hired by more than 300 hospitals and health organizations. Her nose was so sensitive that it could detect the smell of the Tuberculosis bacillus even when it was present only in one part in a hundred million.

38. The Golden Retriever’s eyes are kind and gentle-looking, but if you get on their bad side they will not hesitate to take a bite out of you.

39. The coat of this dog is never going to grow past a certain length. If you cut it or even trim it, it will immediately begin to grow back to its original length.

40. Contrary to popular belief, the Golden Retriever is not the breed of dog that is most likely to help you hunt. Although they have a great sense of smell and were originally bred for hunting, other dogs like Beagles and Terriers are much better at it nowadays. The Golden Retriever is still used to hunt though, just not as much as other dogs.

41. Goldens are very protective of children and became popular as Nanny Dogs because of this. They will fiercely defend their young charges from any threat, no matter how big or small.

42. The first registered Golden Retriever was called Blenda and was born in 1903. She was bred by an English Earl who wanted a dog that would help with duck hunting.

Sources & references used in this article:

Phenotyping of aggressive behavior in golden retriever dogs with a questionnaire by L Van den Berg, MBH Schilder, H De Vries… – Behavior genetics, 2006 – Springer

Mistakes that Worked: 40 Familiar Inventions & How They Came to Be by CF Jones – 2015 –

Estimated incidence rate and distribution of tumours in 4,653 cases of archival submissions derived from the Dutch golden retriever population by KM Boerkamp, E Teske, LR Boon, GCM Grinwis… – BMC Veterinary …, 2014 – Springer

The golden retriever model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy by JN Kornegay – Skeletal muscle, 2017 – Springer

Golden Retriever vs Labrador–Two of the Most Popular Dogs to Choose by M Story –

Muscular dystrophy-related quantitative and chemical changes in adenohypophysis GH-cells in golden retrievers by MH Bonham – 2005 – Penguin

Extensive and breed-specific linkage disequilibrium in Canis familiaris by AR de Lima, JR Nyengaard, AAL Jorge… – Growth Hormone & IGF …, 2007 – Elsevier

Comparative genomics of X-linked muscular dystrophies: the golden retriever model by NB Sutter, MA Eberle, HG Parker, BJ Pullar… – Genome …, 2004 –