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Golden Retrievers are graceful and elegant with lustrous coats that come in beautiful shades of gold and cream. Their outer coats are water repellant. Their heads are broad with powerful muzzles. They have black noses and friendly brown eyes with dark rims. They also have medium sized ears and long tails. Male dogs are typically 22-24 inches tall (56-61 cm) and they weigh between 60 and 80 pounds (25-32 kg). Females are slightly smaller at 20-22 inches tall (51-56 cm) and they weigh 55 to 70 pounds (25-32 kg). The life expectancy for these dogs is around ten to twelve years.

Their hair lies flat or is slightly waved around the neck, shoulders, and hips with an abundance of feathering. It is easy to groom their smooth double coat. Regular brushing is recommended with special care to the dense undercoat. Dry shampoo can be used regularly but Golden Retrievers should only be bathed when necessary. They shed a moderate amount of hair but proper grooming can keep them looking sharp.

Calm, affectionate, and well-mannered are all terms to describe the temperament of Golden Retrievers. These dogs are intelligent, easy to train, and make great companions. They are lovable, loyal and particularly patient and gentle with children. They make good watchdogs by barking loudly when strangers approach but are not likely to attack unless threatened. If left alone for long periods of time these dogs become very mischievous. They are very easy to train and have a tremendous ability to learn with the proper guidance. Golden Retrievers are good at tracking, retrieving, obeying commands when trained to do so, and performing tricks to please their owners. They have made wonderful companions, guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the disabled and assistants with therapy sessions.

Golden Retrievers adapt well to urban living but need plenty of space. Apartment living is ok for these dogs but medium to large yards may be preferred. They are very active dogs that enjoy vigorous exercise and strenuous duties. Long daily walks, running free, and swimming are wonderful recreation for these dogs. Golden Retrievers love to swim and should have the opportunity available to them frequently.

No special dietary restrictions or feeding requirements are needed for Golden Retrievers. However, they have certain health problems that may occur. These dogs are susceptible to hip dysplasia and genetic eye diseases. Skin allergies are common and should be treated immediately by a veterinarian.

The ancestry of Golden Retrievers is hard to trace but some of these dogs exhibit characteristics that are found in Bloodhounds and Water Spaniels. They make excellent gundogs because they have very keen tracking abilities. This breed is thought to have been developed 150 years ago or so by Lord Tweedmouth of the United Kingdom. There is not enough information available to confirm this though. They are classified as gun dogs and make great bird hunting dogs on land or in the water.