The Golden Retriever originates from Great Britain, so it is logical that the standard of the breed was written in that country. We all know at first glance what a retriever looks like and it is simply amazing how easily this breed manages to completely delight us and how quickly we are able to fall in love with it. However, little attention should be paid to what defines this race.
Right at the beginning, it is necessary to say that there are slight variations between the European, American and Canadian standards, and those differences mostly concern the size of the dog and the color of the coat. The European standard favors larger dogs with wider jaws, deeper breasts and shorter tails. The American standard describes the dog as somewhat less stocky than the European variant. The Canadian standard, for example, allows, among other things, a slightly darker color for the dog’s hair.
So let’s start with the presentation of the standard golden retriever.
Golden Retriever breed standard
General appearance: Symmetrical, active, strong, uniform movement, calm dog with a benevolent character.
Characteristics: Obedient, intelligent, has an innate ability to work.
Temperament: Good-natured, sociable and reliable.
Size: Height of golden retriever males 56 – 61cm, Height of golden retriever females 51 – 56 cm
Head and skull: Proportional head with a broad, slightly rounded skull that is well set on the neck. Muzzle strong, broad and deep. The length of the muzzle is approximately equal to the length from the well-defined foot (the part of the skull that starts at the end of the muzzle, and climbs to the beginning of the forehead) to the “protrusion of the mind” (slightly protruding bone at the end of the nape).
A black nose is desirable, but it is possible for the nose to lighten in the winter or in females in cyclical periods (under the influence of hormones), and never to regain its original color (which is not the rule).
Eyes: Dark brown, relatively wide set, medium size.
Ears: Medium, moderate in size, approximately at the same height as the eyes.
Mouth: Strong jaw with perfect, regular and complete (42 teeth) teeth, scissor bite (upper teeth must pass over the lower ones, slightly touching them, upright in the jaw).
Neck: Good length, muscular and “clean” (no sagging skin).
Anterior region of the body: The front legs are straight, with good bones, the shoulders lie far back, the elbows are placed close. The shoulder blade and upper arm should be the same length (at an angle of 90 degrees), so that the legs are placed quite deep under the body.
Body: Balanced, with a strong chest. The ribs are deep and well rounded. The back line is straight.
Hind region of the body: The paws and legs are firm and muscular. The knees are well bent. The ankles are low, they do not go outside or inside. Cow stance is undesirable.
Paws: Round, feline.
Tail: Set and carried at back height, it should reach to the ankles.
Movement: It should be strong but light, without any effort. Straight and secure, looking both front and back. The steps should be long and free without raising the front legs high.
Hair: Straight or wavy, with many fringes and a thick waterproof undercoat.
Color: Any variant of gold or cream color, never red or mahogany color. A few white hairs on the chest are allowed.
Note: Males should have two seemingly normal testicles fully descending.