About Golden Retrievers

After reading through the many different origins available concerning the golden retriever, the following is the best one I can find.  Feel free to visit the GRCA site to read through it if your interest is peaked.  Here is a direct link: ORIGINS

Concerning the personalities of these amazing dogs, I cannot say enough.  They are terrific family dogs, they love children, they are extremely gentle,  they are playful, but can also be calm.  Golden’s love to cuddle, are trustworthy, and extremely easy to train.  These dogs are wonderful companions and to them, most everyone they meet is a friend.

This breed is extremely pack oriented because they thrive off of companionship and attention. Since they are pack animals, they may not do well if left alone for long periods of time without companionship.  If you are someone who travels extensively or are rarely home, this may not be the dog for you. 

Golden’s do best with a family, whether that means one person who can spend significant time with the dog; one person who can spend a decent amount of time with a golden, but also has another dog; or a family of more than one person who can give this breed attention. Since these dogs are so social, they do best with a constant companion.


Golden puppies can sometimes be described as velociraptors on crack. Do not get me wrong, not all puppies are wild, hyper, fur-covered teeth and claws 24/7. Nonetheless, most puppies will go through this stage at some point between 8 months and 8 weeks. Just as with human children, all puppies have their own individual personalities. Some are relatively calm with short bursts of exciting energy while others are usually active with short bursts of calm.

Golden Retriever puppies need training and LOTS of exercise. If you do not have the time to have multiple 10 minute full play/run sessions a day, a golden puppy may not be the right match for the family unless you can take your pup to daycare or have a sitter/walker that can come by a couple of times a day.

At some point, your Golden puppy will drive you nuts. That is what puppies do. They are learning every day and they have to be shown what is right and what is wrong. With consistency and love, these pups grow up to be AMAZING adults.

20 Reasons Golden Retrievers are WONDERFUL companions:

1. They LOVE to be part of the family.

2. Extremely friendly.

3. Great activity companions.

4. Have “soft” mouths.  Very few golden’s will “snatch” something out of your hands.

5. Easy to Train

6. Long lifespan for large breed

7. Sweet and Loving

8. Fiercely Loyal

9. Attentive to owner

10. Obedient

11. Extremely tolerant of children.

12. Full of energy and happy to cuddle.

13. Great at retrieving everything from fowl to balls.

14. Good workers for scent, therapy, and special needs.

15. Get along well with other pets/animals.

16. Naturally well mannered.

17. They are highly adaptable to many different situations and living conditions.

18. They are eager to please.

19. These dogs, although great guard dogs, rarely bark.

20. Very trusting of their family.

Black Goldens?

On a side note, I would like to bring up the topic of the black golden retriever.  First, the origin story mentioned above does not it also backs up another point that I would like to make, there are NO BLACK golden retrievers.  I know that there are some of you who would think, “well, duh.”  However, believe me, I have seen people advertising them stating that a black is a “throwback” from the original lines.

Even if, somewhere in the 1800s, the breed was “created” with a golden colored pup from a black Flat-coat litter, this Flat-coat was not the only dog used in the creation of the breed. Today, black colored pups from a two golden mating is not possible UNLESS somewhere in the bloodline of the dam or the sire, reported or not, a breeder slipped a Flat-coated retriever or a Labrador into the lineage (if we give the breeder benefit of the doubt and assume the litter was created from two purebred dogs).  This will have had to happen in the last thirty or so years of the dog’s bloodline.

Is it a Flat-Coat or a Golden?

All of the photos above are dogs that could pass for a “black” Golden Retriever…they are not, they are flat-coated retrievers. It is thought that these two dogs come from many of the same lines. This is why it is so easy for people to pass them off a black goldens. According to the Golden Retriever Guide,

I am pointing this out to hopefully help those of you who might purchase a “black golden” believing you have pure golden bloodlines.  I have even found some sites that say that black is a recessive trait from the beginning of bloodlines.  However, if you research canine genetics, this is not possible in the Golden Breed.  According to Dog Genetics,

The “Short” of It

AKC only recognizes three colors for a golden retriever.  These colors are light, medium, or dark GOLDEN.  Blacks are not recognized or accepted by the parent club or AKC. To sum it all up. The reality is Goldens are Golden. That is my story and I am sticking to it. In the future, I am going to try to do some additional research by talking to a geneticist who has DNA-tested multiple goldens and flat coats. This is how I will be able to know if the lines are close enough for a golden/flat-coat mix to possibly test all golden.

Black Markings

This IS possible, but it is really quite uncommon. This mutation can be found in Golden Retrievers and yellow Labradors. The cause of this black spot is what is called a somatic mutation. This is a mutation that turns the e/e color genotype to an E/e color genotype. The e/e is the genotype that produces the yellow to red coat color in golden retrievers and yellow labs.  If they naturally had the E/e  or E/e genotype, they would either be black dogs or liver/chocolate dogs (this is the genotype found in the flat coat retriever.

According to doggenetics.uk,

If a pigment somatic mutation takes place during the development of the embryo, patches of another color may appear on the animal. This is often seen as black patches on [yellow] Labradors and Golden Retrievers. It is not certain why pigment mutations seem to appear in these breeds more than others, however it’s possible that the recessive red gene is unstable and particularly prone to mutation. All it takes is for one cell to mutate early on in development – then all cells descended from that one as the embryo grows will be the different color. Due to the mutation these patches effectively have a different genotype to the rest of the dog, and this is sometimes known as mosaicism.

This marking can appear anywhere on the body but it is not a “birthmark.” It’s just a somatic mutation that happens while the fetus is developing. Since this mutation is in the somatic cells, it is not passed on from generation to generation. Breeding a dog with these spots to another dog will not produce spotted puppies.

White Markings

These markings are much more common than the black markings that are noted above. Unlike the black markings, white markings are found in the genetics of the dog’s bloodline. Even if both parents have no white on their body, they can produce a puppy with one or more white marking if both are carrying the recessive gene.

In some instances, a white mark can be seen when the golden is a puppy, but when the coat changes, the white markings will disappear. However, this is not always the case. There are many adult goldens out there that have some white markings. Usually, these markings will be found on a golden’s feet or a small area on the chest. Nonetheless, there are goldens who have markings that have markings that are much more evident.

Although the white markings are not “preferred,” if you are not going to show your dog, they do not make your golden any less appealing. Goldens with white markings are still purebred goldens. As stated previously, these white markings stem from the heritage of the golden retriever. It is more commonly seen in the field lines as color was not as much of a focus in their lineage as the show line.

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