5 Fun Facts About Golden Retrievers: National Golden Retriever Day - PetFirst
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5 Fun Facts About Golden Retrievers: National Golden Retriever Day

by MetLife Pet Insurance
10 months ago

National Golden Retriever Day is February 3rd, and in honor of this pet holiday, we’re sharing a little trivia about this popular and beloved breed. Read on to learn five fun facts that you might not know about the popular Golden Retrievers!

The Breed Originated in Scotland

The Golden Retriever breed was developed by Lord Tweedmouth, who lived in the Scottish Highlands in the late 1800’s6. Lord Tweedmouth wanted to develop the perfect gundog — one that could handle the damp weather and rough country where he lived. To that end, Tweedmouth bred his yellow retriever with the Tweed Water Spaniel (a breed that later became extinct). Throw in some Irish Setter and Bloodhound for good measure, and Golden Retrievers were the result. 

The first time a Golden Retriever was shown at a dog show was in 1908 in Britain. Goldens later started arriving in America in the early 20th century. This breed became more popular in the States during the 1970’s, when President Gerald Ford was in office with his dog Liberty by his side7.

Not All Goldens Are Alike

Did you know there are several different types of Golden Retrievers? There are three main varieties of this dog breed: the Canadian Golden Retriever, the British (or English) Golden Retriever, and the American Golden Retriever8

Golden Retrievers also come in a wide range of different hues. You’ll find Goldens that are so pale they look almost white; Goldens that are a deep, burnished auburn color; and every shade in between. There are even black-furred Golden Retrievers. Golden Retrievers also have a double coat — a thicker undercoat and an additional top coat, which helps them stay warm in the water. 

They Are Hollywood Stars

You’ve probably noticed that Golden Retrievers frequently show up on the silver screen. Air Bud, Homeward Bound, and Full House are just a few of the popular movies and TV shows that feature a Golden as man’s best friend. But there’s a reason Golden Retrievers are regulars in Hollywood — and it’s not just because of their good looks and pearly white “smile.”

Golden Retrievers are often used on film sets because they’re so friendly and easy to train

Many films that cast dogs use multiple animals to get all of the shots. Sometimes, however, movies work with only one dog. And occasionally, one dog is so good at what he or she does that they’re used on screen for multiple projects. Buddy, the Golden who played Air Bud, also played Comet — the Tanner family’s dog on Full House9. Buddy was found as a stray and was taught to play sports. Like other Goldens, his easygoing, friendly nature and eagerness to please made him a hot commodity in Hollywood.

They Have Webbed Toes

Remember, Golden Retrievers were bred as hunting dogs. Part of their job was retrieving birds from the water. This is why Goldens are commonly known to be strong swimmers.

Golden Retrievers actually have webbed feet that help them swim, acting almost like flippers10 . The “toes” on their paws are connected by thin webs of skin. This helps Goldens move through the water easily and efficiently. 

Goldens Are Extremely Popular

If you’ve ever interacted with a Golden Retriever, you don’t need us to explain why this affable breed regularly ranks at the top of the “Most Popular Dog Breeds in America” list11. They’re beautiful, friendly, and easy to train. In short, they’re likely to be a great breed to welcome into your home.

Golden Retrievers are regularly recommended for families with small children or first-time dog owners. These intelligent, empathetic dogs are also commonly used as working dogs — searching for and locating missing people, working as guide dogs to assist those who are visually impaired, providing a listening ear for children struggling to read, and so much more. 

There’s no doubt about it: Golden Retrievers are a special breed of dog. If you’re looking to adopt a new pet, a Golden might be a great fit for you.

Here at MetLife1, we know accidents and illnesses can happen to all pets. MetLife Pet Insurancecan help cover unexpected vet visits2 and can provide peace of mind. MetLife has cat and dog insurance policies2 to fit every budget. Consider getting pet insurance for your furry friend today.

We wish you and your pup a happy National Golden Retriever Day!


1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2Like most insurance policies, insurance policies offered by MetLife Pet Insurance contain certain exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force.  

6American Kennel Club: Golden Retriever dog breed info 

7American Kennel Club: Golden Retriever dog breed info 

8All Golden Retriever: What are the 3 types of Golden Retrievers?, Anything Golden Retriever team

9Rover: 7 things to know about dogs in movies 

10My Golden Retriever: Do Golden Retrievers have webbed feet?

11American Kennel Club: Most popular dog breeds — full ranking list, March 28, 2019, AKC Staff

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