Golden retrievers fall into two very distinct types.  There are those bred for  showing and family pets and those bred for working.  The show and family pet types tend to be smaller and more stockily built than the working goldie. 

Working goldies are generally taller and much leaner and they have a keen instinct for work.  They are sometimes not even recognised as golden retrievers as the coat colour and general appearance can so different to the ones we see in the show ring.

Golden retrievers are very popular as family pets and thise with a good working instinct are often used for guide dog work, drug and explosives detection and tracking and obedience as well as gundogs.  It's no surprise then that you will also see golden retrievers, or goldies competing at agility shows all over the country.

Goldies are active and powerful dogs and they are fairly large.  The height is anything from 51 to 61cm and the weight is generally 26 to 36kg.  Their temperament is biddable and confident and as such they are one of the most popular breeds in the world.

An active and lively goldie can make quite good agility dogs. If you have a golden retriever and you're wondering whether to take up agility then I would suggest that you give it a go.  It may not suit every goldie but they are intelligent dogs and they do like to have something to do.

Comments from golden retriever handlers:


Hi ,I love the site. My golden retriever Ellie-Mai is very gorgeous and quite clever, but she hasn’t really got the hang of agility yet. She is only one so what are the best things to teach her ?

Pat comments: Golden retrievers need to be a bit careful of their joints when they’re young, but there are lots of things you can teach her. I would join a pre agility class to get some ideas on how to train for agility.  This will really help. Don't be in too much of a rush with this breed and good luck for the future.


I have got 2 golden retrievers, one who is nearly 9 years old and one who is 3 years old both do agility and both do it very well, they are a lovely breed and my girls are very much a 'me' person and go out of their way to please me, they have both been out on shoots and in her younger days my older one was pretty much as fast as a collie and even did the 60 weave pole challenge, 'now that's a challenge'



Hi - My Golden Retriever is pregnant. And dad is my gorgeous Jack Russell. Never thought it could happen, probably when my Retriever was lying down having a snooze!! What will the puppies look like?

Pat comments: The puppies will probably grow up to look something like Lizzie pictured above.  Lizzie is a labrador terrier cross.  She's around 17inches tall and a little whiskery round the face.

Geoff Symons:

Very quick to learn and easy to control, but likes to play with other dogs but is slowly growing out of playing and enjoys agility training. We are entered for a competition in November 2007

Pat comments: Good luck Geoff.


Anybody who is really keen to climb the agility ladder may not want a goldie as they are very fond of making their handlers look like fools (especially if there is a crowd watching). They like to jazz things up when they are bored, but, if you want a lovely, soft, FUN dog get a goldie

Annyetta (Old English Sheepdog/Golden retriever cross)

Even though he is difficult to train it makes it worthwhile as when he is going well he's as fast as a collie. I would go for a cross breed any time over a collie.

Isobel Crawford: 

Dogs within this breed are completely different, no two Goldens are the same, so subsequently I have been successful enough in training one of my Goldens to possibly start competing soon in agility, while with the other one is not bothered at all unless you wave a treat in front of her.

My Goldie has a half collie-half goldie brain, which is why I think she is not bad at agility compared to her sister who is totally Golden-laid back and doesn't show an interest in anything strenuous unless its on her terms.

I'm thinking about entering our first show at the end of May but I'll see how she goes in April first.

Here's one of Isobel's Goldens and I think she's lovely,.


Margaret Bradley (Collie/Golden cross):

Lovely to look at; lovely to train; lovely to live with. Have owned them since 1985; wouldn't have anything else.