They’re one of the UK’s most popular breeds of dog, but how much do you know about the sweet-tempered Golden Retriever?
The last few years have seen many of us welcome a new four-legged friend into our homes, as the Kennel Club has seen dog ownership soar to record levels.
But with 221 different breeds of pedigree dog to choose from, there’s plenty of thinking to do before you select your perfect pup.
There’s even academic guidance to seek out, with Psychologist Stanley Coren’s book ‘The Intelligence of Dogs’ ranking breeds by instincts, obedience, and the ability to adapt.
One dog that often appears at the top of people’s canine wishlists is the Golden Retriever – they were one of the UK’s 10 most popular dog breeds in 2020 and have a range of positive attributes that make them a great family pet.
Here are 10 fun and interesting facts about the breed.
1. Loyal friends
Golden Retrievers are known for their loyalty. In 2002 a Golden Retriever called Orca was awarded the DSA Gold Medal, the highest award for outstanding bravery and dedication by an assistance dog, when he was just 17 months old. He spent hours successfully getting help for his owner who became trapped under her wheelchair in a water-filled ditch following an accident. Orca was also the first dog in the UK to be officially recognised as a carer, entitling him to an allowance for equipment and food. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
2. Playful pups
Most Golden Retriever owners will agree that their pets behave like puppies well into adulthood. There's a scientific reason for this - Golden Retrievers mature more slowly than most breeds of dog. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
3. Born to eat
There's also a scientific reason for Golden Retrievers always being hungry - the breed actually lack the gene that tells their brain when they are full. So if your pet is eyeing up your dinner minutes after it's eaten, it's not the dog's fault. Photo: Canva/Getty Images
4. A Highland gathering
Inn July 2006, the Golden Retriever Club of Scotland invited owners to attend a gathering at the breed's ancestral Highland home of Guisachan House. Photographer Lynn Kipps took a picture of 188 of the four-legged visitors, so holds the record for the most Golden Retrievers in one photograph. Photo: Canva/Getty Images