Are Golden Retrievers Athletic in Built?

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From the desk of Sharda Baker.

Hi and Welcome Everyone!

This is Sharda with another Golden Retriever newsletter!

As a sport dog breed, you might ask: “Are Golden Retrievers athletic in built?”

The Golden Retriever is a very well-proportioned dog, that should look very athletic without appearing bulky or cobby in appearance.

They should have a good disposition and should be energetic, intelligent and obedient while not appearing timid or shy in any manner.

The breed standards for the Golden Retriever include the amazing personality that these dogs have.

The Golden Retriever Dog should appear to be energetic and intelligent as well as eager, alert and self-confident.

A Golden Retriever should not appear timid, anxious or aggressive in the show ring.


  • The head of the Golden Retriever should be broad and slightly rounded, with a well-balanced appearance between the muzzle and the head.
  • There is a noticeable stop or drop between the eyes and the muzzle, and the eyes are not protruding or sunken, rather they are moderately deeply set, round in appearance and medium to dark brown.
  • There should be no white visible around the eyes and the rims should be close fitting, not baggy appearing like the hound breeds.
  • The muzzle should be strong and blunt in appearance, without heavy flews (top lips). The teeth should meet in a scissors bite, and either an overbite or under bite is considered a disqualification.
  • The nose is wide and well developed, and should be dark brown to black in colour.
  • The ears are lower on the sides of the head, and fold over close to the cheek. The tip of the ear should reach the outside corner of the eye when pulled forward.


  • The neck should flow naturally into strong shoulders and an athletic body.
  • The chest should be well developed, but not massive or extremely deep, rather the appearance should be balanced.
  • The topline is relatively flat from the shoulders (withers) to the hips, with the croup slightly sloping.
  • The back should not be arched or hollowed looking, nor should there be a noticeable slope towards the rear of the dog.
  • The hindquarters are strong and sloping, with stifles that are well bent giving an appearance of readiness for action.
  • The back legs, like the front legs, should be very straight forward without bending in or out at the knees or elbows.
  • The feet should be rounded and very compact looking, with the toes closely positioned together when the dog is standing or moving. Feet that are elongated, called hare feet, or splayed toes are considered a fault.
  • The tail is very broad at the base, and gradually narrows to a rounded end. It is carried naturally following the slope of the croup, and then curves up at the end.
  • The natural fringe or feathering on the tail will hang down when the tail is carried horizontally, providing a wide profile.
  • When the dog is in motion or interested and alert, the tail may be carried almost horizontal but never curled up over the back. The tail should also not be drooping or carried between the hind legs.


  • The coat of the Golden Retriever is long and straight, or somewhat wavy.
  • There is a natural increase in length of the coat at the ruff, across the underbelly, on the legs and the tail.
  • The coat is actually a double coat, and is water resistant as well as very warm, allowing the breed to be comfortable in most types of weather.
  • The coat is not silky or rough to the touch, and should be thick and abundant unless the dog is seasonally shedding.
  • The Golden Retriever should be a golden colour, with extremely light or dark colours other than gold unacceptable.
  • The breed cannot have any white anywhere on the body, except the natural whitening of the muzzle as the dog ages. Any white hairs mixed with the golden colour on the coat are considered faults, and will result in penalties in the show ring.
  • Golden Retrievers are not allowed to have any black in the coat whatsoever.
  • The furnishings or long hair on the legs, tail and underside may be somewhat lighter than the solid colour on the coat, but should not be significantly lighter as to appear white or light yellow.


  • The fully mature Golden Retriever must measure at no difference than one inch from the breed standard.
  • For males, the height standard is 23-24 inches at the shoulders, and for females it is 21 ½ to 22 ½ inches at the withers.
  • The weight range for show standards is 65-75 pounds for males, and 55-65 pounds for females.

That’s it for today.

I hope you learned something from today’s newsletter.

I’ll be back for more about Golden Retrievers.

Until then!

All the best and take care

Sharda Baker