Posted on Sunday, August 4th, 2013

A Brief History of the Golden Retriever

golden retrievers

Golden Retrievers are often thought of as the quintessential American family dog. Docile, friendly, intelligent, loyal and huge fans of playing fetch, Goldens are delightful dogs. But where did this breed start out?

The ideal hunting dog. According to the American Kennel Club, it’s all in the Golden Retriever’s name. One of the most popular sports of the 19th century was hunting, especially throughout England and Scotland. Whether it was a means to get dinner or a gentlemanly afternoon activity, folks took to the countryside in search of fowl, foxes and other critters. While plenty of small dogs filled the need for canine hunting companions, there was a paucity of medium-sized pets that could swim after waterfowl. As the story has it, sometime in the mid 1800s, Lord Tweedmouth of Inverness-Shire, Scotland, bought a Yellow Retriever. His estate being on a river, Tweedmouth hoped to breed a dog that could effectively hunt on land and in the water. He began by breeding his Yellow Retriever with another breed, the local Tweed Water Spaniel. Within several generations, more crossbreeding introduced Irish Setter and Bloodhound genetics as well, all of which came together to produce the Golden Retriever as we know it today.

The AKC reported that Goldens became very popular in England toward the end of the 19th and start of the 20th centuries. Making their first dog show appearance in England in 1908 – under a different name, Golden Flat-Coats – they arrived in North America shortly thereafter in the ’20s.Today, the Golden Retriever is still popular with hunters. In general, Goldens love spending time outdoors, and their long coat keeps them warm in a variety of climates. However, they’re popular with suburban families as well, partially because Golden Retriever qualities coincide with that demographic’s lifestyle. As Dogster pointed out, Goldens are easily trained, handsome dogs with soft fur. And provided you’ve got a yard and plenty of tennis balls, they’ll have all the room they need to run around!

Hoping to adopt a dog of your own soon? A Golden Retriever could be the perfect pet. But before heading to a breeder, consider looking around at local shelters or contacting pet adoption services. You may just save a life! Talk with an expert at the shelter or with the adoption organization to find a dog that fits your lifestyle perfectly. This content post is provided by the pet experts at Hartz.