Golden Retriever

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The acknowledged ancestors of all golden retrievers are four puppies that were bred from a Wavy Coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel in the nineteenth century.  Today they are very popular as family pets but of course they are also working dogs.  Not only do they retrieve for the gun but they are also used for guide dog work, drug and explosives detection and tracking and obedience.  It's no surprise then that you will also see golden retrievers, or goldens competing at agility shows all over the country.

Goldens are active and powerful dogs and they are fairly large.  The height is anything from 20 to 24ins (51 to 61cm) and the weight is generally 60 to 80lb (26 to 36kg).  Their temperament is biddable and confident and as such they are one of the most popular breeds in the world.  

The goldens that I've known or met have usually fallen into two distinct types.  There are the ones that are active and make quite good agility dogs and there are others seem to lag behind a bit all the time.  I've noticed this in obedience classes as well as in agility.  I've also noticed that there are some agility people who have several goldens and they seem to manage them all on the lead quite easily.  If you have a golden and you're wondering whether to take up agility then I would suggest that you give it a go.  It may not suit every golden but they are intelligent dogs and they do like to have something to do.


 If you love golden retrievers you probably already collect lots of bits to do with the breed.  here's a few more things you might like to browse.  Further down the page there are a lot of comments from Goldie people that you may find interesting and useful.  More dog products can be found in the Agility Bits Doggie Shop

Thank you to Dee of Morguefile for this lovely photo of a golden retriever.

Thanks to Dawn Turner of Morguefile for this gorgeous goldie

Comments from golden 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. She needs a good recall and she needs to be generally obedient. Apart from that she can learn to go through tunnels. You can be a bit inventive here. Make tunnels out of blankets thrown over things and have lots of fun with her. One thing that she can learn and that will put her streets ahead of the other dogs is to walk along a plank. It doesn’t sound like much but if she can walk a plank about 6 to 8 feet long and at least 12 inches wide without jumping off it she’ll have more confidence when she starts to do her contacts. When she’s got the hang of this try putting the plank on a very gentle slope and get her to walk up and down it without jumping on or off. You can also balance the plank on a very small log so that it moves like a see-saw. If you join an agility forum there will be lots of people who can help you with ideas for training.

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? Has anyone else had this happen with a photo they could send me on?
Pat comments: Dad's friends probably put him up to it.  The puppies will probably grow up to look something like Lizzie, 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.  You really must join our forum and let us know how you get on.

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.

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

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. 


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.



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