Dogs 101: Golden Retriever Facts Most Popular Dog Breeds

101 Fun Interesting Facts and Photos Homeward Bound

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 dogs. They draw admiring looks – and usually loving pets – from almost everyone they meet. Welcome to Animal Facts. I’m Leroy. Today, let’s meet the loyal and intelligent darling, the iconic Golden Retriever. Let’s get started.

Golden Retriever Dogs 101a10. 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 century. 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 trophies. They’re so gentle, in fact, that some can be trained to hold a raw egg in their mouths without breaking it.

9. GOLDEN RETRIEVERS HAVE AN EXCELLENT SENSE OF SMELL. 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 dog breeds. 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.

8. 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 Retriever Dogs 101a7. 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.

6. While living in the White House, President Gerald Ford had a golden retriever named Liberty. She came from Minneapolis and was originally named Streaker. 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 side. The paw print signatures were originally the real deal, but as requests increased, they had to switch to a rubber stamp.

5. There’s a Kangaroo in named Dusty who believes his “mum” is a Golden Retriever named Lilly. 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.”

4. Golden retrievers are highly intelligent and easy to train. As a result, they’re frequently used in television and movies. 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 ). The popular family films “Homeward Bound” and “Air Bud” also starred golden retrievers.

3. 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 disabilities. 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.

2. 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 .

1. 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. We really appreciate you spending time with us and if you like this video, please take a moment to like and subscribe. Also, check out the videos linked next for more fun Animal Facts. And as always, catch ya next time.

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