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Subject: rec.pets.dogs: Golden Retrievers Breed-FAQ
This article was archived around: 21 May 2006 04:22:20 GMT
Posting-frequency: 30 days
Last-modified: 15 Sep 1998
There are many FAQ's available for this group. For a complete
listing of these, get the "Complete List of RPD FAQs". This article
is posted bimonthly in rec.pets.dogs, and is available via anonymous ftp
to rtfm.mit.edu under pub/usenet/news.answers/dogs-faq/faq-list, via
the Web at http://www.k9web.com/dog-faqs/lists/faq-list.html, or
via email by sending your message to firstname.lastname@example.org with
in the body of the message.
This article is Copyright 1997 by the Author(s) listed below.
It may be freely distributed on the Internet in its entirety without
alteration provided that this copyright notice is not removed.
It may NOT reside at another website (use links, please) other
than the URL listed above without the permission of the Author(s).
This article may not be sold for profit nor incorporated in other
documents without he Author(s)'s permission and is provided "as is"
without express or implied warranty.
* Cindy Tittle Moore, email@example.com
with significant feedback and comments by
+ Bobbi Newman, firstname.lastname@example.org
+ Helen Redlus, email@example.com
+ Edell Marie Schaefer, firstname.lastname@example.org
+ Susan Todhunter, email@example.com
+ Plus the original Goldens mailing list, especially Eric
Johnson, Barbara Kissack, Ed Morrow, and Paul Popelka.
Handouts from the GRCA also contributed overall to this article.
Copyright 1994-1996 by Cindy Tittle Moore.
* Date Created: June 30, 1994
* Additional information: December 15, 1994
* GRCA comments and corrections added: March 26, 1995
* AKC Standard removed August 5, 1995.
* Comment on GRCA's proposed Code of Ethics added Oct 1995
* Online information added Nov 1995
* Minor typos, etc. corrected Mar 1996
* General editorial cleanup, updating/correction of addresses,
addition of new mailing lists, books, etc, Mar 1997
Table Of Contents
* Characteristics and Temperament
* Medical Problems
* Frequently Asked Questions
* The Golden Retriever Club of America
* The Golden Retriever Club of Canada
* Breed Clubs
* Hunting Clubs
* Golden Retriever Rescue
* Online Information
During the nineteenth century, there was an ongoing quest among the
British gentry for the perfect hunting dog. As a result, most of
today's retrievers and many other hunting dogs have their roots in
these early efforts. Many attempted this goal by acquiring and
breeding good hunting dogs, using outcrosses to other breeds in an
effort to bring in other desirable qualities. Sometimes this worked,
more often it did not. That the exact origins of several of the
retriever breeds is unclear is due to the somewhat haphazard or
occasionally secretive methods used at the time.
The origin of the Golden Retriever, in contrast, lies in the careful
work of one man, Sir Dudley Marjoribanks (later the first Lord
Tweedmouth) who also set out to breed a good hunting dog. A colorful
folk tale has him buying Russian circus dogs, reportedly 100+ lbs., 30
inches at the shoulder, pale blonde and extremely intelligent as the
foundation for his breed. This fanciful story even appears in the
GRCA's _Yearbook_ as late as 1950. However, examination of his Stud
Book, covering the years from 1835 to 1890 and finally made publicly
available in 1952, records no such purchase but instead details a
careful line-breeding program unusual at that time and place for dogs.
In 1865, Lord Tweedmouth purchased a yellow retriever "Nous" from an
unregistered litter of otherwise black Wavy-Coated Retrievers. Nous
was later bred with "Belle", a Tweed Water Spaniel, and the resulting
litter produced four bitches that were instrumental to his breeding
program. One of them, "Cowslip," he bred back to for over twenty
years. Over the years, several outcrosses, to black Wavy Coated
Retrievers, an Irish Setter, and later a sandy-colored Bloodhound
occurred as he sought to improve and fix his new breed. The coat
textures of the Goldens of this time reportedly varied, as did the
color, which ranged from fox red to light cream.
The Wavy-Coated Retrievers were the ancestors of today's Flat-Coat
Retriever and they in turn were developed from crossing setters with
the lesser St. John's Water Dog of Newfoundland. The Tweed Water
Spaniel, now extinct, came from early water dogs crossed with land or
field spaniels to develop Water Spaniels. These spaniels were
developed in the Tweed River area and were described by contemporaries
as a small liver-colored retriever ("liver" at the time signifying any
shade from yellow to brown).
The Kennel Club of England accepted the first Goldens for registration
in 1903. At the time, they were registered as "Flat Coats -- Golden".
By 1904 the first Golden placement at a field trial was recorded.
Among the first shown in conformation were Culham Brass and Culham
Copper. In 1911, they were recognized as a separate breed, at first
called "Yellow or Golden Retrievers," but within several years the
"Yellow" was dropped from their name.
The first Golden in Canada seems to have been brought over by Hon.
Archie Marjoribanks in 1881. The Canadian Kennel Club first recognized
the breed in 1927. In 1928, Mr. M.M. Armstrong of Winnipeg took an
interest in the breed and his Gilnockie kennel was started. At his
death, Gilhockie was transferred to Col. Samuel Magoffin's kennel in
Denver, Colorado, and from this he eventually imported his first
Golden, Am/Can CH Speedwell Pluto.
The Golden Retriever Club of Canada was formed in 1958 with the
original name of the Golden Retriever Club of Ontario. In 1960 it
became the Golden Retriever Club of Canada and to this day has grown
Goldens have been in the US since about 1890, with the earliest
recorded dog being Hon. Archie Marjoribanks's "Lady" in 1894. The
first AKC registered Golden was Robert Appleton's Lomberdale Blondin.
But there was no serious interest in them until about 1930 when
Magoffin's import, CH Speedwell Pluto, captured widespread interest.
The Golden Retriever was subsequently recognized by the AKC in 1932.
At that time, they were a rare breed.
In 1938, a group of Golden Retriever fanciers formed the Golden
Retriever Club of America (GRCA) which is today among the largest of
the parent breed clubs in the AKC, numbering over 5000 members.
Characteristics and Temperament
Dogs in general are pack-oriented animals. They need to interact with
their pack on a regular basis to be secure. Goldens in particular have
been bred through the years to make an excellent companion for people
- whether it is to sit quietly in a duck blind until it is time to
retrieve or as a service dog or in any other capacity. Because of
this, they, even more so than some other breeds, need to interact with
their people. Goldens are particularly forgiving dogs and will allow
you to make many mistakes while still wanting nothing more than to
please and be acknowledged for it with a scratch behind the ear. As a
testament to their desire to please, the first three dogs to obtain
Obedience Trial Championships were Golden Retrievers.
Because Goldens are such people-oriented dogs, it's important that
they live WITH their owners. A Golden relegated to the backyard while
his family is in the house is an unhappy Golden. It is imperative that
your Golden be regularly included in family activities. Once fully
grown, they are a robust dog and will enjoy many activities with you
such as walking, hiking, jogging, hunting, etc.
As is common with the retriever breeds, this is a breed slow to fully
mature both mentally and physically. At a year of age, they will have
their full height, but their full weight will be another year or two
in coming. Mentally, they remain puppies for a long time (up to two or
three years of age) and many retain a very playful and clownish
personality for most of their lives.
Because of their kindly and easy going nature, Goldens are a popular
breed. Many people, in hoping to cash in on this popularity, breed
Goldens without regard to their temperament or other good attributes.
You should be very selective in picking out a puppy from a breeder.
Your best sources for Goldens are from a breed rescue organization
that carefully screens its dogs, or from a reputable breeder who is
dedicated to the overall improvement of the breed. The choice you make
now will be one you live with for the next decade, so choose
The term hip dysplasia means poor development of the hip joint, and
describes an inherited developmental disease in young dogs of many
different breeds. Unsound hip joints are a common problem in many
breeds, and hip dysplasia can be a serious problem in any dog that is
to be trained for a demanding activity.
Hip dysplasia may be diagnosed by x-ray between six months and one
year of age, but this is not entirely reliable, and dogs intended for
breeding should be x-rayed when fully mature. Two years of age is
considered to be the minimum age for accurate determination of sound
The Orthopedic Foundation for Animals is a organization with trained
veterinarians that examine thousands of xrays and grade the hips they
see. Dogs that are past a minimum age and have good hips are certified
Fair, Good, or Excellent; hips that show signs of arthrosis and hip
dysplasia do not get certified. Needless to say, both parents of the
puppy you are considering should have OFA certification. The more OFA
numbers in the pedigree (including littermates of the parents,
grandparents, and previous offspring of either parent), the better off
your puppy is. However, as the inheritance of hip dysplasia involves
multiple genes, breeding only OFA certified dogs only _lessens_ the
chances of HD in the puppies, not _eliminates_.
Dogs not intended for breeding but who will be active in obedience,
agility, hunting, etc. should be screened between 6-12 months of age.
This way if there is a problem that shows up this early, you have
several options for corrective surgery that are best done at this age.
And if your pup shows no signs of hip dysplasia at this point, you can
more comfortably continue with your planned activities without
worrying that you are making a problem worse down the line.
If your puppy has a persistent, unexplainable limp, he should be
xrayed to determine if hip dysplasia or something else is the cause.
On the other hand, Goldens and other retriever breeds often seem to
have high pain thresholds and do not show signs of pain. An x-ray does
not always show you how your dog feels, as many dysplastic Goldens are
completely asymptomatic, especially when younger. Others that do
display symptoms can often be helped with either medicinal or surgical
intervention to alleviate the pain.
Some Goldens carry genes for Central Progressive Retinal Atrophy
(CPRA) which is a progressive deterioration of the light-receptive
area (retina) of the eye, and may result in complete blindness at a
Hereditary cataracts are also common eye problems in the Golden
Retriever. Examination by a Board-certified veterinary ophthalmologist
is necessary to determine if the cataract is of concern from a genetic
standpoint. If there are any questions, the dog should not be bred.
Golden Retrievers used for breeding stock should be examined annually
until at least eight years of age or longer, as hereditary eye
problems can develop at varying ages.
Dogs that have undergone examination by a Board-certified veterinary
ophthalmologist and found to be free of hereditary eye disease can be
registered with the Canine Eye Registration Foundation (CERF). _Note
that not all forms of cataracts disqualify a dog from getting a CERF
number; you should ask to see a copy of the paperwork the vet filled
out (the original is sent to CERF)._
The breeder should be able to show you the paperwork on both parents
for eye examinations. It's important to verify that the dogs are being
examined annually and not just once. If the breeder has older dogs,
ask if they are still being examined as well.
Seizure disorders may arise from a variety of environmental factors
including viral infections, other diseases and trauma. While an
isolated seizure does not necessarily constitute a problem, dogs
subject to recurring seizures should not be bred. Veterinarians can
prescribe medication to control recurring seizures, however medication
is not always completely effective. Epilepsy generally does not affect
a dog's health or longevity, but all such dogs should be immediately
neutered and not used for breeding stock: if it's hereditary, you
don't want to pass it along to the pups'; if not, pregnancy increases
the risk of a seizure, endangering both her and the pups' lives.
Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis (SAS)
SAS, a hereditary heart disease, is known to occur in the Golden
Retriever breed. There is no registry for screenings for SAS, however,
breeders have begun to have their dogs screened by Board-Certified
Veterinary Cardiologists, and OFA is setting up a Heart Registry
program as of mid-1996. The usual screening is auscultation (listening
to the heart with a stethescope). If there is any suspicion in the
cardiologist's mind, an echocardiogram is run to rule out any
problems. The typical proof that a breeder has had their breeding
stock screened for SAS is a letter signed by a Board-Certified
Veterinary Cardiologist indicating that the animal is, in their
opinion, free from SAS.
Hypothyroidism is characterized by atrophy or malfunction of the
thyroid gland. Clinical symptoms include obesity, lethargy, and/or
coat problems. Affected animals may also have various reproductive
problems including irregular or absent heat cycle and lack of
fertility in both male and female.
Diagnosis of hypothyroidism is by laboratory tests measuring levels of
T3 and T4 (produced by the thyroid gland) in the blood. Treatment
consists of daily administration of oral thyroid supplement. When
treated successfully the prognosis is excellent and the dog's lifespan
is normal. Lifelong thyroid supplementation may be required.
Many clinically normal, healthy Goldens may test slightly under the
accepted range of "normal" T3 and T4 levels and it is quite possible
that the normal values for this breed may be slightly lower than the
values used for the general canine population.
There are some dogs that will have epileptic attacks when hypothyroid
and stop seizuring when put on thyroid. While there is a link, the
hypothyroid condition does not cause epilepsy, and the dog should
still be monitored for epilepsy.
Skin allergies are very common in Golden Retrievers and the offending
allergens are numerous - a flea bite, airborne pollen, dust, mold,
food. Symptoms can range from constant biting, licking and scratching
to constant, chronic ear infections. In many cases diet can play a
large role in the allergic dog. If you suspect you have an allergic
animal, consult with a canine allergist to determine the actual extent
of the problem.
Allergies coupled with low thyroid levels are commonly seen and it is
often worth testing for the other if you see the one in your dog.
Because of the Golden's coat, you _must_ regularly groom your dog.
Such grooming will also help reduce the amount of overall shedding and
prevent painful mats from occuring.
You should be sure to start grooming in puppyhood even when it's not
strictly necessary so that he quickly learns to enjoy the process and
not to put up a fuss.
If you groom regularly, about once a week or two, the whole procedure
will take about 1/2 hour. Brush a little daily while your dog is
shedding and that will help control the amount shedded. Also if your
Golden picks up burrs and other nasties while outside, take a few
moments right away after you return to comb them out.
Start with a thorough brushing. Use a pin brush on the featherings,
chest, ears, and tail. Use a slicker on the rest of the body. After
brushing, you can use a comb to remove more loose coat. Use this
opportunity to check for fleas, ticks, and incipient skin problems.
Goldens seem to be especially prone to hot spots. Inspect and clean
ears at this time too, and trim your dog's nails.
If you plan to bathe your Golden, brush him thoroughly first: wet
tangles only become tighter and painful. Always use a shampoo
formulated for dogs since shampoos for humans will dry the skin out.
Goldens are double coated breeds and should not be bathed often to
avoid losing the undercoat. In many cases, you can simply wash the
legs and undersides if they are dirty, wait for the dirt to dry and
brush it out, or (after brushing) rinse the dog off with plain water
and no shampoo. A properly textured and maintained coat should clean
Goldens with the proper coat texture should not have problems with
matting if they are regularly groomed. However, a coat that is softer
and silkier than the desired standard will mat easily: some owners
have reported the overnight appearance of mats. Smaller mats may be
picked out with a metal comb, if the dog is patient enough. Larger
mats will need to be removed. Don't use scissors as it is too easy to
injure the dog if he moves at the wrong time. Commercially available
are mat breakers (check the mail order catalogs) which can safely cut
through mats and make them easy to remove. Places to look for mats
include behind the ear, along the feathering, especially in the rear,
and the tail. For dogs with persistent problems, you may need to brush
the problem areas more frequently, or even trim them to some extent.
It may help to find a groomer you like and trust and ask them for
advice. Since mats grow larger, and tighten the trapped fur, they are
eventually painful to your dog. They also serve as an excellent area
for fleas and skin irritations to start, so keeping your dog mat-free
Tips: Using a flea comb is a good way to check for fleas on your dog,
remove undercoats, keep tabs on the skin's condition and minimize
mats, all in one! If you get your puppy from a breeder, ask the
breeder to demonstrate grooming techniques (most good ones will insist
on doing so anyway).
Frequently Asked Questions
_How much do they shed?_
Goldens shed a lot. They have an abundance of coat as well as
feathering and they will produce a more or less constant amount of
hair in your house. Some of this can be alleviated with regular and
thorough brushing, but if you have an aversion to dog hair in your
house, a Golden will not be a good choice.
_Are they good with kids?_
Most Goldens are wonderful with kids, especially when they have
been regularly exposed to well-behaved children as puppies.
However, they are large and excitable and may easily knock children
over if they jump up to lick their faces or propel a toddler along
with a solid whack of their tails. Never leave very young children
and dogs together unattended. Just as the dog could easily
accidentally hurt the children, so could they hurt him by poking
him in the eyes or ears or pulling his tail.
_How much exercise do they need?_
They are a sporting breed and as such need plenty of exercise. They
will benefit best from regular periods of high intensity activity
once they are fully grown. This includes a quick session of
fetching, romping with other dogs, running along the beach and so
on. You do need to be careful with puppies under 18 months or so;
while they need exercise, it must not be forced or sustained. For
example, you cannot take them jogging or biking with you until they
are fully grown, or you will damage their joints
_How about swimming?_
Most Goldens love to swim, and it's excellent exercise for them,
even when young. Introduce them to water and let them explore on
their own. If they are unsure about the water, you might get in and
swim out a bit to encourage them, but let them take their own time.
Younger puppies might be more standoffish to water than they would
be in another month or two; that's normal. Never toss a dog into
water that doesn't want to go in! Sometimes a water crazy older dog
is perfect to have along to help teach your dog to appreciate
swimming. You might also try tossing in a toy for him to get, but
be prepared to go out and retrieve it yourself if he doesn't!
If you have a swimming pool, just remember that the dog hair in the
pool will mean you need to clean the pool more frequently if you
dog goes in it a lot. Be sure that your dog knows how to get out of
the swimming pool; it's not a good idea to leave him unattended
with access to the pool.
_Do they bark a lot?_
Not typically, but they can if they are bored.
_How do they do in hot weather?_
As long as they have access to shade, free moving air, and water,
they will do just fine in the heat. Don't exercise them in the heat
of the day, and be sure you have water with you when you do
exercise them later.
_They're supposed to be good in the obedience ring, aren't they?_
Goldens are typically very eager to please their owners. This
translates into their being both relatively easy to train for
obedience and to having a good attitude in the ring. While not all
Goldens make good competitive obedience dogs, you will see many of
them in the obedience ring.
_Are they any good as hunting dogs? In field trials?_
Goldens do not do as well as Labradors in the field trials which
are, in all fairness, biased toward the sort of work the Labrador
was bred to do. But many Goldens make excellent hunters in real
_Is there a split in hunting and show lines? What should I look for?_
There is something of a split between show, field, and even
obedience lines. As with any sport that becomes highly competitive,
the specialization intensifies. With Goldens, that means the show
dogs will have more coat and bone and be more laid back. The field
dogs generally have less coat, more drive and be intensely "birdy"
(interested in birds) with good noses. The obedience dogs often
have less coat and a high drive but may or may not be birdy. You
should consider carefully the differences between the different
lines when picking your own dog out so that there are no surprises.
Looking at the parents and any of their previous offspring is a
But no matter which lines you are interested in, you should try to
find the puppies that are well balanced with correct structure and
conformation as the base. Whether you are interested in pet, show,
hunting, etc., will determine other characteristics that you want.
But an unsound dog does not make a good show dog, hunting dog,
obedience dog, or pet!
_Do males or females make better pets (what are the differences)?_
Besides the physical differences, personal preference is probably
the only big one here. Many people think that the males are
slightly more "teddy-bear like" than the females. Neither should
show any type of aggression (including dog aggression). If left
unaltered, females will sometimes show a change in personality when
they are coming into heat and when they are in heat. Most often,
they seem to become a bit more clingy. During this time, they may
not tolerate males sniffing around them or they may be extremely
interested in males. If a male is left intact and used for breeding
purposes and there is another intact male and a bitch in heat, the
males might show some competitive aggression. However, neutered
males and females will mostly differ in size (the females will be
smaller) and their individual personalities. Both males and females
are good with children. For your best predictor of personality, be
sure to ask about and try to meet and interact with the puppy's
sire and dam. There are tests that can be done to help determine
the puppy's dominance, independence, and abilities. Be sure to ask
your breeder about these. Also, socializing the puppy and general
obedience training are always important.
_What genetic screenings should you look for when puppy hunting?_
The "big three" in Goldens are OFA, CERF, and SAS. The parents of
the puppies you are considering should be cleared for at least
these three. (For further information on these and other problems,
see the Medical Problems section.)
Other things breeders should or may take into consideration in
their breeding stock include: Von Willebrand's, epilepsy,
allergies, skin disorders. You should ask your breeder about these.
_Why do your two Goldens look so different?_
The Golden is supposed to be a mid-to-large size dog, suitable for
sitting in a duck blind all day with, as well as small enough to be
able to haul over the side of a boat all wet (after a retrieve).
The standard has a range of acceptable sizes, for females it is 21
1/2-22 1/2 inches at the shoulder, for males it is 23-24 inches at
the shoulder, with an inch allowance either way. So, just in size,
if you have a small female (which could be 20 1/2 inches, about 45
pounds) and a large male (which could be 25 inches, about 95
pounds) there is a BIG difference. Now, if you add variations in
coat, which may come from the "type" of breeding, you can get quite
a physical difference. Through the years, breeders have bred for
different qualities. Some breeders are interested purely in
physical appearance for show purposes. Since "big and hairy" looks
stunning in the show ring and wins, these breeders have bred for
those characteristics. Other breeders have bred only for field
ability. Since the smaller (and often darker colored) dogs have
been the ones that are faster and flashier in the field, these
breeders have tended to breed for those characteristics. There are
other types, as well, but these are the most common. Just because a
dog is of the "conformation" type does NOT mean that it cannot work
in the field, just as being of the "field" type does NOT mean that
that dog cannot win in the show ring.
_When do they grow up?_
Physically, Goldens are completely mature by 2 years of age.
Mentally, well, that depends on the individual, but usually not
before 3 years of age. Even though Goldens are physically mature by
2, you may notice changes in them well past that time. Remember, by
nature Goldens are fun-loving and happy-go-lucky, so their
perceived maturity may be less because of it.
_What are hot spots?_
They look like open, oozing sores about the size of a quarter or
larger on the dog. Treatment involves keeping the sore clean and
dry until it heals. Shaving the area promotes air circulation; both
Sulfodene and witch hazel have been recommended as astringent
cleaners. You should avoid ointments and other topical applications
which would keep the area moist.
Hot spots are often caused by allergies. This can be allergies to
fleas (most common), allergies to food, or hormonal (including
thyroid, adrenal, and even testosterone levels) imbalances.
Goldens, especially those with allergies, seem to be subsceptible
to hot spots. A book that is often recommended in helping to deal
with allergies is Dr. Plechner's _Pet Allergies_ (see
The Golden Retriever Club of America (GRCA)
The GRCA was started on May 6, 1938 when it was incorporated in the
state of Colorado. Today, the club is one of the oldest and largest
breed clubs in the United States with over five thousand members.
The GRCA has an open membership policy. Some clubs have restricted
membership, but the GRCA decided that the way to promote the well
being of the breed was by encouraging membership.
Currently the GRCA is considering a Code of Ethics for its members.
The proposal is being debated and the decision whether to adopt it has
not yet been made.
The GRCA has several programs:
* A kennel registry. This was started in the late 1989's by an
individual who was frustrated to discover that another person had
adopted an identical kennel name. The kennel registry is not
official, and registering a name doesn't automatically prevent
duplication, but the fact that it's registered gets it published
and people seem to actively avoid duplication. The registery
currectly has over 950 active and historical kennel names.
* The Versatility Certificate program.
* The Public Awareness Letter (PAL). This is a pamphlet freely
available from the club and is also mailed out to persons
registering their Golden Retrievers with the AKC.
* Club funding of a Public Education Coordinator (PEC) on Prodigy;
PEC's on other forums may soon follow.
* WC and WCX certificates for Golden Retrievers. These are basic
tests of a dog's hunting ability.
* Pamphlets and Booklets available:
+ "An Introduction To The Golden Retriever," 1987, $5 For the
new or prospective Golden Retriever Owner. Information on
selection, care, training, breeding and exhibiting. 75pp,
+ "Yearbook", yearly editions, The GRCA puts together
"yearbooks" that list dogs achieving titles. Those that
achieve more advanced titles have pictures and 3-generation
pedigrees. These are available from 1938 onwards.
+ A list of Golden Retrievers with CERF/OFA ratings.
GRCA Membership Information
Must submit a new member application to Deborah Ascher, 102 North
County Road 21, Berthoud, CO 80513 (you can also request
applications). There is an application online that you may print out
and fill in at http://www.grca.org/grca-app.htm
* Single dues $50.00 (includes dues, subscription to GRNews and
* Family dues $55.00 (includes dues, subscription to GRNews and
* _First Class Mailing of GRNews (optional): $25.00 additional_
These figures are for those in the United States; dues differ for
other countries, or membership may be optionally requested without the
Linda Willard, c/o 9900 Broadway, Suite 102, Oaklahoma City, OK
GRCA Breeder/ Puppy Referrals/
GRCA Breed General Information/
GRCA Breed Standard
Brigitte Konrad 703-341-7356 or Ann Grundy 313-281-0814
GRCA Public Education
Gloria Dittman 708-438-3346
Gloria is active on Prodigy and Internet and can be reached at
The Golden Retriever Club of Canada (GRCC)
Brenda Wilson, Sec'y, Membership
6266 Island Highway W., Qualicum Bay, B.C. V9K 2E4
John MacDonald, President
The Golden Retriever Club of Canada's "So, You Want To Buy A Golden!"
(a guide for the prospective Golden owner) and a list of breeders by
province may be obtained by contacting Cheryl Whittle at 905-679-2267.
Write or phone your national breed club for information on your local
Golden Retriever breed club. Even if you are not interested in
breeding or showing in conformation, contact with such a club will
help you keep well informed and you may find other events of interest.
If you are primarily interested in hunting or obedience, it's still a
good thing to join the club to help reduce the separation between the
different interests. The more diverse a club's members are, the more
knowledge that is pooled, the more well rounded its dogs can be.
North American Hunting Retriever Association
P.O. Box 1590
Stafford, VA 22555
(they can direct you to clubs in your area)
NAVHDA (North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association)
Arlington Heights, IL 60006
NSTRA-GD (National Shoot To Retrieve Association)
226 North Mill Street #2
Plainfield, IN 46168
Quail Unlimited National Headquarters
P. O. Box 610
Edgefield, SC 29824-0610
For information about starting your own local chapter, if one does not
already exist in your locale, direct your query to Winona Overholt,
Assistant Director of Chapter Development at the same address or phone
Golden Retriever Rescue
There are many active chapters on Golden Retriever Rescue throughout
the nation. GRCA publishes a list of rescue programs at the beginning
of each year. You should also try contacting your local breed club for
information as well.
For a state by state listing of Golden Retriever Rescue groups the URL
For a listing of Golden Retriever Rescue groups who can be reached via
email, the URL is: http://www.golden-retriever.com/online.html
Finally a list of Canadian Golden Retriever Rescue contacs can be
found at http://www.golden-retriever.com/can-resc.html.
The Golden Retriever Mailing List
You can subscribe to this list by sending email to
in the body of your message (not the subject line) where you should
replace (including the brackets) with your own real name. For example,
subscribe golden Cindy Moore
The list is maintained by Wade Blomgren (firstname.lastname@example.org). There
are many active and knowledgeable people on this list and it has a
very friendly atmosphere.
Other Mailing Lists
Mailing lists include:
* WORK_GOLD, for those who seriously work and exhibit their dogs.
Contact email@example.com for an application to join.
* The GoldenRetriever-H mailing list sponsored by Hoflin. Send email
to GoldenRetriever-H@h19.hoflin.com with SUBSCRIBE in the subject
* The Hunting Retriever mailing list. Send email to
firstname.lastname@example.org, with subscribe HUNTING-RETRIEVER in the
body of the mail message to join.
* The Gundog-L mailing list (gatewayed to rec.hunting.dogs). Send
email to email@example.com with subscribe GUNDOG-L yourfirstname
yourlastname in the body of the mail message to join.
The Golden Retriever WWW page
There is a Golden Retriever WWW page which includes information on
Golden Retriever rescue groups, breeders, pointers to other Golden
Retriever related information available on Internet as well as
pictures of several Goldens.
The URL for the Golden Retriever WWW page is:
The Golden WWW page is maintained by Helen Redlus
Other Web Sites of Interest
* Working Retriever Central, at http://working-retriever.com/
* North American Hunting Retriever FAQ, at
* Orthopedic Foundation for Animals, at http://www.offa.org
* The Obedience FAQ, at
Bauer, Nona Kilgore. _The World of the Golden Retriever: A Dog for All
Seasons_; TFH Publications, Inc.; Neptune City, NJ; c1993; 480pp;
indexed; illus.; bibliography; ISBN 0-86622-694-X.
The most thorough book available to date on Golden Retrievers.
Covers history, the standard, conformation, performance events
(including but not limited to obedience, agility, field, tracking),
working dogs (service dogs, therapy dogs, guide dogs, drug
detection, arson detection, search and rescue, hearing dogs),
genetic and helath disorders, the breed in other countries, and
Golden rescue. This book is very well illustrated and has
up-to-date information on present day dogs and breeders. Well worth
this high purchase price; coffee-table size with hundreds of full
Fischer, Gertrude. _The New Complete Golden Retriever_; Howell Book
house; New York, NY; c1984 - 2nd edition; 304pp; illus.; bibliography;
A "bible" for the breed. The 2nd revised edition contains a
detailed history of the breed, an analysis of the standard by
Rachel Page Elliot; information on field training by Forrest
Flashman and Ann Walters; British field trials by Dora Gostyn; a
short history of obedience dogs from 1945-1983; novice and tracking
training tips from Eidth Munneke, and chapters on conformation,
care, grooming, and puppies. There is also a chapter on guide dogs
and children and Goldens. This book focuses on text, even though it
has very nice black and white photos.
Pepper, Jeffrey, _The Golden Retriever_; TFH Publications, Inc.
Neptune City, NJ; c1984; 320pp; illus.; indexed; ISBN 0-87666-668-3.
This book covers similar topics to those of Bauer and Fischer with
more emphasis on specific dogs and kennels. There are very
worthwhile chapters on purchasing a puppy, grooming, and breeding.
Wonderful color and black and white photos.
Schlehr, Marcia, _The New Golden Retriever_; Howell Dog Books, 1996.
WRitten by a noted breeder and judge of Goldens. Diagrams and
drawings by the author of good and bad dogs, also wonderful
photographs of Goldens, well written. An all around must have book
for the serious Golden person.
The above mentioned authors have over 100 combined years of experience
Foss, Valerie. _Golden Retrievers Today_. Howell Book House. 160 pages
Nicholas, Anna Katherine, _The Book of the Golden Retriever_.
Great photos of great Goldens from the past, some history on older
kennels (some still existing, others not). Good for researching
Sawtell, Louise. _All About the Golden Retriever_. Pelham Books Ltd:
Chapters on Goldens worldwide.
Schneider, Evelyn M., _The Golden Retriever_; Denlinger's Fairfax, VA;
c1986; 96pp.; illus.; ISBN 0-87714-122-3.
Not much substance or depth; nice black and white illustrations.
Recommended only for those people who have to have EVERYTHING
written on the breed.
Shaul, H. Edwin; _The Golden Retriever_; Indian Springs Press, Boston,
MA; c1954; 119pp.; illus.; no ISBN, out of print.
The first book written on the Golden Retriever in the US. Some
information on the history of the breed, but deals mostly with
general dog care and training.
Tudor, Joan; _The Golden Retriever_; Popular Dogs, Londong, England;
c1974; 245pp.; few illus.; index; no ISBN
Written by a pillar of the breed, this text includes substantial
chapters on the origin of the breed, its history from 1900-1939 and
post war. Appendices include lists of postwar registrations and
title holders. There are the usual chapters on breeding, showing,
training, and health.
Tudor, Joan; _The Golden Retriever Puppy Book_; Medea Publishing Co.,
Washington DC; c1986; 111pp,; illus,; ISBN 0-9110-08-2.
A better summary of the Golden Retriever than her previous book.
Includes purchasing a puppy, raising a puppy, breeding, whelping,
puppy care from birth to weaning, breed standards (British,
American, Canadian); history of the breed (in England, America,
Canada, and other countries). A fairly good overview.
Twist, Michael; _The Complete Guide to the Golden Retriever_; Boydell
Press, Suffolk, England; c1988; 183pp.; illus,; ISBN 0-85115-507-3.
More field oriented, there are excellent chapters on early training
as well as more advanced. Chapters are also included on showing,
obedience and agility, British Veterinary Association and Kennel
Club, Hereditary Eye Defects, and Hip Dysplasia Schemes, epilepsy,
_Breeders Directory To Golden Retriever Pedigrees 1971_; Purebred
Associates, Inc., Melrose Park, PA, c1971; 56pp.; illus.; no ISBN, out
A collection of photos and pedigrees of historical interest for
_Breeders Directory To Golden Retriever Pedigrees 1974_; Purebred
Associates, Inc., Melrose Park, PA, c1974; 57pp.; illus.; no ISBN, out
Similar to the 1971 edition.
_Golden Retriever Top Producers 1965-1988_; HIS Publications, Fresno,
CA; c1988; 253pp.; few illus.; no ISBN, out of print. edited by Irene
Castle Schlintz and Harold Schlintz.
A statistical presentation of top producers that provides
information on offspring. Similar information is available in the
GRCA Yearbooks in a different format.
Magazine special issues from GRCA that provide approximately 150
pages of advertising, feature articles, and photos -- many in full
color. Discontinued when GRCA started providing full color in the
bimonthly newsletter. Still available for purchase through GRCA.
_Solid Gold_. Write to Deni Elliott, Royal Ok, MI, c1977; 36pp.;
illus; no ISBN, out of print and privately printed.
Similar to _Breeder's Directory_ above -- full page collection of
photos and pedigrees.
Related, useful books
Bailey, Joan. _How to Help Gun Dogs Train Themselves_. Swan Valley
Press 2401 NE Cornell Rd., # 140 Hillsboro, OR 97124 (1-800-356-9315)
Good coverage of the first year in the life of versatile and
Free, James Lamb. _Training Retrievers_.
A classic. It outlines the long-standing training methods for field
dogs. A good book even if some of it is outdated. An excellent
description of training a dog to handle.
Plechner, Alfred, DVM. _Pet Allergies: Remedies for an Epidemic_.
While Dr. Plechner is not universally acclaimed by the veterinary
community, his book does contain a number of suggestions diagnose
problems with allergies.
Rutherford,, Clarice and Cherylon Loveland. _Retriever Puppy Training:
The Right Start for Hunting_, Alpine Publications, 1990.
Good step-by-step training methods, explained and illustrated
Rutherford, Clarice, Barbara Brandstad, and Sandra Whicker. _Retriever
Working Certificate Training_, Alpine Publications, 1986.
Spencer, James B. _Training Retrievers for the Marshes and Meadows_.
Denlinger Publications in Fairfax, VA.
It starts with puppy selection and goes on up to advanced marks and
blinds. It is oriented toward the amateur gundog trainer and is
well written aand comprehensive.
Spencer, James B. _Retriever Training Tests_. Prentice Hall Press.
Helps you to set up training situations and teaches you how the dog
should react to things like hills, cover, land-water-land
retrieves, how the wind affects them, etc. Lots of good problem
* _The Golden Retriever World_, Hoflin Publications, 4401 Zephyr
St., Wheat Ridge, Colorado 80033. $40/year ($44 outside the US).
* _Golden Retriever News_. Published by the GRCA and available only
to members. Many educational articles and issues of concern.
* _Golden Retriever Review_. 1017 North Currier Ave, Simi Valley, CA
93065; firstname.lastname@example.org. Color magazine put out six times a year
by Cathie Turner. It's focus is mainly conformation. $40/year/US,
Golden Retriever FAQ
Cindy Tittle Moore, email@example.com