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Head  To start at the business end of one of most popular breeds, the Golden Retriever has a famously friendly, alert expression, which is probably one of the reasons why they have found their way into so many of our family homes! They have a broad skull and a deep, straight muzzle that sits on a well-built, muscular neck. They have a nice, clean black nose that leads down to the inside of their jowls, which are also black, so when they pant or are waiting eagerly for you to throw a toy, they seemingly ‘smile’. Despite their size, they have relatively small ears, they don’t hang any lower than their cheek. They’re also typically covered in a slightly darker colour of soft fur compared to their face. We want a Golden to have bright, friendly eyes that sit square on their face, not set too close or far apart.  Body The overall appearance when looking at a Golden Retriever should be a symmetrical, powerful dog that is well put-together and alert. They were primarily bred as hunting dogs and their appearance reflects that. This breed sits on the line between a medium and large breed. Males can reach a healthy working weight of 30kg and stand up to 25 inches at the shoulder, females can be expected to be 27kg and stand at 23 inches. From their well-built neck, they have slender, laid back shoulders. They are sturdy dogs, with a deep chest and muscular physique. Their suitability to a family home is aided by their sturdy build and sure gait, meaning they’re more than comfortable with boisterous playtime with other dogs or older children! Their fore limbs are slighter long than their hind quarters, giving them a slightly sloped appearance, but this shouldn’t be too pronounced. They should be well coordinated when moving, they are historically a working dog so good movement is a key physical attribute! Coat Now their coat is arguably what is the most famous physical aspect of the breed. Who can deny their beautiful, wavy, golden fur? So, lets delve right in. Their undercoat is dense and water repellent, whereas their top-coat is soft, wavy and resilient against the elements. This is probably something to do with their history as a hunting dog up in the countryside of Scotland, they needed to be able to withstand the cold, wet climate. The feel of its fur should be neither silky nor coarse and it is permitted by the breed standard to be wavy or straight! Across a Golden’s chest, under its stomach, the backs of its legs and on the underside of their tail, the coat feathers out. This feathered fur tends to be a lighter colour than the rest of its body. Giving the dog an almost regal look!  All shades of rich golden tones are permitted. Extremely light or extremely dark variations are somewhat undesirable if you’re looking to breed. A fully white Golden Retriever is an uncommon and unrecognised colour according to the Breed Standard. Another fault to avoid for breeding stock is if you notice any obvious patches of dark or black fur. But if you are just look for a family pet, there is no reason to avoid pups with these ‘faults’ as they are purely aesthetic!  Overview So to recap, a Golden Retriever lives up to its name! It possesses a beautiful, wavy coat that comes in a wide variety of golden tones. It’s a sturdy, well-balanced dog that loves nothing more than rambunctious playtime with other dogs or their humans! They are built to be a part of any family; their size allows for a great cuddle buddy that can also withstand long walks off the beaten track. Keep in mind that their golden coat will need weekly grooming but that can just be incorporated with the evening’s downtime with your best four-legged friend!  It is important to remember that educating yourself on why a dog looks the way it does can be a good indication of the type of pet you’ll receive. Sometimes being ‘cute’ isn’t always the best reason to settle on a breed! 

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