Looking for fun facts about golden retrievers? From undying loyalty to patient obedience, check out these paw-some golden retriever facts!
Golden retrievers have been a family favorite for decades. Known for their unflinching loyalty and playful disposition, families in the United States have made the golden retriever one of the most popular dog breeds of all time.
Golden retrievers are often more than family pets. They have also excelled in entertainment as show dogs and actors. From Buddy in Air Bud to Shadow in Homeward Bound to Comet in Full House, generations of children have grown up with a golden retriever right in their living room.
If you love dogs and especially this gorgeous breed, then keep reading to discover some fun facts about golden retrievers.
Being good actors mean that golden retrievers are highly trainable and obedient. This leads to another strength of the golden retriever. They are one of the most intelligent breeds of dog and are often used in bomb sniffing, drug seizures, and search and rescue.
Golden retrievers have been a part of many people’s lives. There are an astonishing 500,000-750,000 goldens retrievers currently registered in the United States making them a top-3 most popular breed in the country.
Let’s discover some more fascinating golden retriever facts on one of our favorite breeds of dog!
Also, don’t forget you can check out these fun facts about dogs that might surprise you!
17 Fun Facts About Golden Retrievers
1. A pup of Scottish origin
The first ever documented golden retriever was born in the village of Tomich, Scotland, in 1898. Back then the breed was referred to as a yellow retriever and it is unclear when the name changed to golden.
The fur color is most commonly described today as golden or cream-colored, with a lesser number of goldens sporting a reddish coat.
2. When a spaniel met a retriever
The golden retriever breed was a result of an encounter between a tweed water spaniel and a wavy-coated retriever.
These two dogs were brought together in the hopes of creating a waterfowl hunting dog that could be useful on both land and water. And it worked! The golden retriever of today has a reputation of being an enthusiastic water lover.
3. We’re number 4!
In the most recent list of the most popular dog breeds in the United States from the American Kennel Club, golden retrievers currently rank at number four and have never dropped out of the top five in popularity.
The breeds currently ahead of the golden retriever are the labrador retriever, German shepherd, and French bulldog.
4. We’re number 4…. again!
Okay, so not only are golden retrievers one of the most popular dog breeds, they’re also one of the most intelligent. In the book, The Intelligence of Dogs, golden retrievers rank as the fourth smartest breed coming up just behind border collies, poodles and German shepherds.
Golden retrievers are known for their trainability and can be taught many impressive and complex tricks.
5. Put on your running shoes
The golden retriever is one of the most athletic and energetic dog breeds in the world. They need at least 1 hour of exercise everyday. Without this essential exercise the golden retriever can be prone to depression and health issues.
This is a dog that will hike with you up a mountain or run around the park until you say it’s time to stop. And all with that signature smile on their face.
6. A long life for Augie
August, also known by her nickname Augie, was the world’s oldest golden retriever at 20 years old. She celebrated her 20th birthday with her family and friends and a dog-friendly carrot cake.
Sadly, on March 31st, 2021 Augie died peacefully at 20 years and 11 months old. Incredibly this makes Augie the 19th oldest dog ever in recorded history.
7. A world-class sniffer
The unbelievable level and accuracy of scent detection in golden retrievers is legendary. They have become some of the most relied upon working dogs today, often sniffing out drugs and explosives and aiding in search and rescue efforts.
They are employed to sniff out survivors of building collapses and avalanches. A golden retriever’s sense of smell is known to be 10,000 times more powerful than a human’s. For us, this is definitely one of the most interesting facts about golden retrievers!
8. A contrast of joyful play and intense focus
A golden retriever can be playful and goofy one minute and intently focused the next. If a golden is given a task after the right training, it will doggedly work to find the solution.
Their ability to concentrate on the task at hand makes goldens one of the most popular working dog breeds. They also enjoy being trained and want to impress their owners. In the end, the golden retriever really is a people pleaser.
9. That is a lot of babies
Golden retrievers are known for giving birth to a large number of puppies per pregnancy. The average number of puppies born in a golden retriever litter comes in at a whopping 8!
But some golden retrievers have been known to birth up to 12 or 13 puppies per pregnancy. That must be one tired mama!
10. An irresistible face for Hollywood
With their friendly, comical face and easy trainability, golden retrievers are one of the most popular dogs in television and movies.
Some of the most recognizable roles have been Shadow, the wise leader of a group of lost pets in Homeward Bound, Comet, the lovable family pet in the sitcom Full House, and Buddy, the jock basketball playing dog from Air Bud and its numerous spin offs.
11. Lending a helping paw to the disabled and blind
Known for their loyalty, intelligence, and friendliness, golden retrievers are well suited to being trained as a guide dog for the blind or a service dog for people with disabilities.
Not only will this companion cuddle you and make you feel good, they will also help you cross the road safely or retrieve you a soda from the fridge. They are retrievers after all!
12. Murphy the survivalist Golden
A golden retriever named Murphy went missing on a camping trip in California. The family searched for days through the wilderness but were unable to find Murphy and packed up and left without him.
In an unbelievable twist, it was two years later when Murphy was found alive and well, with no one knowing what he had been through to survive the previous two years.
13. Have we mentioned the webbed feet?
Golden retrievers are also excellent swimmers. Initially bred to swim and retrieve waterfowl for hunters, the golden retriever has a water-repellant double coat and webbed feet making ponds, rivers and lakes a second home.
A ball thrown into the center of the lake will be joyfully chased down by a retriever so he can jump in again. Just watch out where he shakes off his coat!
14. A dog fit for the president
When President Gerald Ford took office August 9, 1974 after the resignation of Richard Nixon, he was sure to bring along his golden retriever, Liberty.
Liberty was the first golden retriever to live in the White House and also had a litter of 9 puppies there as well. Ronald Reagan in the 1980s also had golden retrievers.
15. The nationals champs in obedience
The AKC National Obedience Championships test dogs in their ability to obey commands, complete complex tasks, and out-perform the other dogs in the competition.
Golden retrievers excel in obedience and have been the national champion several times. The 2021 National Obedience champion is Juicy, a six-year old golden retriever.
16. Golden retrievers are a little chubby
It is estimated that 61% of golden retrievers are overweight. Goldens have the reputation of an insatiable appetite. A golden retriever will eat whatever it can get its mouth around including entire cakes or plates of thawing chicken.
Not only is exercise important for keeping golden retrievers healthy, so is keeping them away from foods they think are delicious, but that can harm their health.
17. The softest mouth in the animal kingdom
The golden retriever was initially bred for retrieving waterfowl from lakes and ponds. They would swim out and place the bird between their delicate mouths, not damaging the meat of the bird as they swam back to shore.
Today, golden retrievers love to carry sticks and balls and toys in their mouths, often refusing to put it down, but then gallantly retrieving it when they decide to let go.
What was your favorite of our fun facts about golden retrievers?
If you’ve got any other facts you think we missed, let us know in the comments below and we’ll add it to our golden retriever facts!