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Canadian Golden Retriever: Breed Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

Chantelle Fowler

By Chantelle Fowler

canadian golden retriever standing by the cliff


Canadian Golden Retrievers are not a separate breed of dog but a subtype. They are one of the three varieties of Golden Retrievers alongside the British and American Golden Retrievers. The difference between the three types is very minimal and lies mainly in the coat type.

Keep reading to learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the Canadian Golden Retriever.

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The Earliest Records of Canadian Golden Retrievers in History

The Golden Retriever is believed to have been developed in the mid-19th century in Scotland. They were bred out of necessity as wealthy men needed assistance in hunting game and fowl.

Sir Archie Marjoribanks, the son of Scottish businessman and politician Dudley Marjoribanks, is believed to have been the first person to import a Golden Retriever from Great Britain to Canada. The importation process occurred in 1881, and this first Canadian Goldie, Lady, grew up on his brother-in-law’s ranch in British Columbia.

Most people believe that the lineage of many Canadian and American Golden Retrievers can be traced back to Lady.

Canadian Golden Retriever
Image Credit: Anrita1705, Pixabay

How Canadian Golden Retrievers Gained Popularity

There doesn’t seem to be any information about the rise of the Canadian Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers of all types became popular after the First World War. This was when the breed began to spread throughout the Western world. Its popularity hasn’t stopped growing since then. Hunters loved how functional the breed is, dog show enthusiasts loved the beauty and style, and families loved the sweet temperament.

Golden Retrievers became exceedingly popular in the 1970s when President Gerald Ford and his Golden, Liberty, took a spot in the White House. They have starred in famous movies and TV shows such as Air Bud, Punky Brewster, and Full House.

Today, Golden Retrievers are among the most popular breeds in the Western world. They took third place in both the AKC’s popular breed list for 2021 and Canada’s most popular breed list.

Formal Recognition of Canadian Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever was officially recognized by the Canadian Kennel Club (CKC) in 1927, though it’s likely that Goldens were in Canada well before that time.

The world’s biggest kennel clubs, such as the American Kennel Club, the United Kennel Club, and the Canadian Kennel Club, recognize all varieties of Golden Retriever as a single breed. This does not mean that Canadian, American, or British goldies are not legitimate Golden Retrievers or are unregistrable. All types of goldies can participate in sporting events and conformation at any of the kennels mentioned above.

It should be noted, however, that some clubs and judges favor Golden Retrievers as they’re considered “more desirable.” The Canadian Kennel Club, for example, will allow goldies with a coat color in any shade of gold. The American Kennel Club, on the other hand, considers goldies with pale or very dark gold shades as undesirable.

Canadian Golden Retrievers are more favored in CKC-sponsored events simply because they’ve been bred to fit the club’s standards.

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Top 3 Unique Facts About Canadian Golden Retrievers

1. Canadian breeding standards allow all colors.

One of the most significant differences between the Canadian Golden Retriever and its British and American counterparts is that the Canadian breed standard allows for all shades of gold. However, unlike the American breeding standard, no shade is less desirable than the next.

2. They are prone to some health conditions.

As with all Golden Retrievers, the Canadian variety is prone to some health conditions.

If your Goldie loves to swim, it may be at risk of developing hot spots, areas of inflamed and infected skin. This occurs most often in warm and humid environments post swimming as moisture can become trapped near your pet’s skin in its thick coat.

Golden Retrievers are also predisposed to atopic dermatitis, another skin condition marked by itchy skin. This condition can lead to secondary infections that are bacteria or yeast-based in nature.

Some Goldies are born with congenital hip dysplasia, and others can develop it in their later years. This orthopedic condition occurs when the top of the femur doesn’t sit where it should in the hip joint. It can cause arthritis and hip joint deformities.

3. Canadian Golden Retrievers have small yet distinct differences in appearance.

While all three types of Golden Retrievers are very similar in temperament and appearance, there are some slight differences.

The Canadian variety has a darker, shorter, and thinner coat than its American and British counterparts. They also tend to have less feathering on their forelegs, tail, and necks. Their fur is less wavy than an American Goldies and may not be as water repellent.

Canadian goldies are often taller than the other varieties by as much as two inches.

Does the Canadian Golden Retriever Make a Good Pet?

Canadian Golden Retrievers make fantastic pets. They are affectionate towards their family members and love to please their owners. They are brilliant and know when they need to turn on their guard dog skills. Yet, since the breed is known for its gentleness, it’s also an excellent pick for families with children.

This breed can get along swimmingly with other dogs and other species. They will get along best if introduced at a young age and socialized together. You may need to keep a close watch on your Goldie around smaller pets as their hunting instincts may kick in, but this behavior can be managed with training and patience.

Canadian Golden Retrievers are highly active and unsuitable for inactive or lazy owners. They need regular long-distance walks or hikes to stay happy. Their high activity level is perfect for outdoorsy families as they’ll play fetch, hike, and swim alongside you.

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While Canadian Golden Retrievers are very similar in temperament to British and American Goldies, the minor differences in appearance may make them desirable to some dog owners. In addition, Canadian Goldies are found in all types of gold coloring, which makes them unique from the other varieties.

Any Golden Retriever owner will tell you just how unique the breed is, not only in appearance but in personality. They make fantastic family pets and are sure to bring many years of joy to your household.

Featured Image Credit: EB Adventure Photography, Shutterstock

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