National Golden Retriever Day on February 3rd celebrates one of the most popular dog breeds in America. Loyal, friendly, intelligent and playful, golden retrievers make for the perfect furry best friend and family dog! Plus, because of all these qualities, they are also great service dogs for people with disabilities and can be trained to aid in search and rescue. As you can see, golden retrievers are great companions and can even save lives, so no wonder there is a whole day dedicated to them!
National Golden Retriever Day was founded by Kristen Shroyer in 2012. A dog lover and golden retriever owner, Shoyer thought there needed to be a day to honor these furry companions, who have so much to offer to us humans. She picked February 3rd to observe this date in tribute of her late golden retriever pal, Quincy, who lost his life on this day.
How were Golden Retrievers first Bred?
The origins of golden retrievers as a breed date all the way back to 19th century Scotland. With the improvement of guns, hunters were able to shoot their game and wildfowl from much greater distances, in areas that were swampy. They quickly found out that their common hunting dogs could not retrieve the felled game over land and water without losing or maiming them.
They needed a dog that was great at fetching and that had a soft mouth, so as to not maim their prey. They tried and failed to train other breeds to act as retrievers, but it was clear they needed a special retriever. So, they crossed water spaniels with retrievers, and the Golden Retriever was born!
In the United States, golden retrievers were officially recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1925. They are the second most registered breed at the AKC, after the Labrador Retriever.
Golden Retriever Traits and Characteristics
Packed full of friendliness and intelligence, it is no wonder that golden retrievers are such a popular breed in America, and so many families choose them as their companions. Here are some of their main traits:
- Golden retrievers are extremely friendly and calm dogs! They are affectionate, great with children, and get along with other dogs and strangers.
- Because they are so intelligent, they are very easy to train, which is why they are great dogs to provide assistance and hunt.
- They can be quite energetic dogs and they need at least two walks a day, for around 45-60 minutes. They are also very playful and enjoy their owner's attention! This obviously changes according to their age.
- On average, a golden retriever's life span is of 10-12 years, so your family will have plenty of time to give them all your love and cuddles!
How to Celebrate National Golden Retriever Day
If you have a golden retriever treat them to all their favourite things on this day. Take them for a run on their favourite park, play some fetch, and make them a special meal for dinner! Golden retrievers love company, so the best thing you can do for them today is to spend the whole day with them, playing and cuddling.
If you've been thinking about getting a golden retriever for a while, let this day inspire you to take the plunge. Always consider adoption first, do your research and visit different shelters to see if they can match you with your new best friend. If you can't find a golden retriever for adoption, make sure you get one from a reputable breeder who is registered with the American Kennel Club.