Young girl with golden retriever walking away
Cleo's Blog | Hunting Dogs | Popular | Retrievers | Sporting

Golden Retrievers #3 In Popularity #1 In Our Hearts


Golden Retrievers have consistently ranked as one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States according to AKC rankings.    If you have ever met a Golden, you can understand why it is such a popular dog.    They are beautiful dogs and make great family pets.  Goldens are playful, reliable, and eager-to-please family dogs.


History of Golden Retrievers

Like some other great dogs breeds, the Border Collie for instance, the story of the Golden retriever has roots in the Scottish Highlands.  I believe the Scots have a special talent, passion and success in developing dogs!

A Scotsman, Lord Tweedmouth, developed the breed in the Scottish Highlands between 1840 and 1890. Tweedmouth kept detailed records of his efforts to create an ideal gundog for use at his estate in the Highlands.  Bird hunting was a popular pastime, and he wanted a dog that could retrieve on land and also the water.  He cross bred a  yellow colored retriever with a Tweed Water Spaniel  and also included an Irish Setter and Bloodhound in the mix.

The Golden Retriever has been popular in the United States for a long time, but its popularity really took off in the 1970s because of President Gerald Ford and his beautiful Golden named Liberty.  Gerald Ford was not the only President to admire Goldens.  President Reagan owned a Golden Retriever named Victory.

Other famous persons who owned Golderns:

  • Adam Levine — Charlie & Frankie Girl
  • Nick Jonas — Elvis
  • Oprah Winfrey — Gracie  & Luca
  • Jackie Chan — JJ
  • Pamela Anderson — Jojo
  • Jackie Chan — Jones
  • Betty White — Pontiac
  • Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone — Renn


Golden Retrievers have also starred in movies.  Here are a few:

  • Parker (Enzo) from The Art of Racing in the Rain (2019)
  • Beau from Wargames (1983)
  • Shadow from Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993)
  • Fluke from the movie Fluke (1995)
  • Bud from Air Bud (1997)
  • Brinkley from You’ve Got Mail (1998)
  • Rosebud from Air Buddies Series (2006)
  • Mud bud from Air Buddies Series (2006)
  • Dug from Pixar’s Animated movies Up and Dug’s Special Mission (2009)
  • Bingo from Salt (2009)


Golden Retrievers are great family pets.
Two young girls hugging golden retriever in the park

The Golden Retriever is a medium-large (55 to 75 pounds) gun dog  with a life expectancy between 10 to 12 years.  It is an intelligent dog that was bred for hunting but also is used as a guide dog for the blind and a hearing dog for the deaf.  They are good at detection dog and a search and rescue. They are too friendly and gentle to be dogs, but that also makes it a great family pet.  They are not a “one-man dog” and are generally equally friendly with both strangers and their owners.



The “Goldendoodle” is designer dog created by breeding a Golden Retriever with a Poodle. They are a fairly popular mixed-breed dog, but are also a bit controversial. Devotees of the pure bred Goldens offer this opinion:

The Golden Retriever Club of America is opposed to cross-breeding of dogs and is particularly opposed to the deliberate crossing of Golden Retrievers with any other breed. These crossbreds are a deliberate attempt to mislead the public with the idea that there is an advantage to these designer dogs. The crossbred dogs are prone to all of the genetic disease of both breeds and offer none of the advantages that owning a purebred dog has to offer. — Golden Retriever Club of America

While I understand their opinion, it is also to me a bit ironic. Afterall, the Golden Retriever would not exist today if Lord Tweedmouth had not mixed several different breeds.