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Golden Retriever Breed Standard

Last updated: 23 Jan 2015

Golden Retriever Drawing

A breed standard is the guideline which describes the ideal characteristics, temperament, and appearance of a breed and ensures that the breed is fit for function with soundness essential. Breeders and judges should at all times be mindful of features which could be detrimental in any way to the health, welfare or soundness of this breed.



Kennel Club, London 1994

FCI Standard No 111



Group 3 (Gundogs)


General Appearance

Smaller than medium sized. Strongly built for his size, slightly longer than the height at the withers. The coat is long and dense.
Important Proportions: The depth of chest is approximately half of the height at the withers. The muzzle is slightly shorter than the skull. The skull is slightly longer than broad, the depth is the same as the breadth.



Biddable, intelligent and possessing natural working ability.



Intelligent, courageous, calm and docile. Friendly and faithful.


Head And Skull

Balanced and well-chiselled, skull broad without coarseness; well set on neck, muzzle powerful, wide and deep. Length of foreface approximately equals length from well-defined stop to occiput. Nose preferably black.



Dark brown, set well apart, dark rims.



Moderate size, set on approximate level with eyes.



Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.



Good length, clean and muscular.



Forelegs straight with good bone, shoulders well laid back, long in blade with upper arm of equal length placing legs well under body. Elbows close fitting.



Balanced, short coupled, deep through heart. Ribs deep, well sprung. Level topline.



Loin and legs strong and muscular, good second thighs, well bent stifles. Hocks well let down, straight when viewed from rear, neither turning in nor out. Cowhocks highly undesirable.



Round and cat-like.



Set on and carried level with back, reaching to hocks, without curl at tip.



Powerful with good drive. Straight and true in front and rear. Stride long and free with no sign of hackney action in front.



Flat or wavy with good feathering, dense water-resisting undercoat.



Any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany. A few white hairs on chest only, permissible.



Dogs 56-61 cms (22-24 ins) at withers
Bitches 51-56 cms (20-22 ins) at withers



Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree and its effect upon the health and welfare of the dog, and on the dog’s ability to perform its traditional work.



Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.

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