Posts Tagged ‘Chewy’

Here are some working type goldens.

The first video is of Zomarick golden retrievers in Quebec.


Just to prove to you that this type of golden can relax and make an excellent house pet, here’s some footage of a golden named “Chewy.” 

The darker colors do NOT necessarily mean that a golden has been crossed with Irish setter, although crosses with Irish Setters do resemble red goldens. The main way to tell the difference is that the setter coat is dominant. Setters do not have as thick an undercoat as goldens do. A pure golden will have a very thick undercoat. Even the darkest goldens have some yellow shadings or even a slight yellow tinge to the coat, which shows up when the light hits the coat at a certain angle. Most goldens have cream-colored “breeches” (the long feathering on the backside up the upper part of the dog’s hindlegs), while setters will be uniformly red all over.  Setter-golden crosses do vary, especially if the setter is a field bred Irish setter, which are a lighter red than the show type. These lighter red dogs also have smaller ears and may have a larger head (making them look like goldens, too!). But most setter-golden crosses are probably working type goldens, because Irish setters are not as common as they once were. Goldens DO have setter in them, and it was an important outcross in the development of the breed.

The original goldens imported to North America, including “Lady,” the golden who worked on the Marjoribankses’ Texas ranch in the 1890’s, were dark in color. The really light colors were not popular until relatively recently in the US and are considered faulty under the AKC breed standard. (The really dark ones are, too).

For some reason, the lines that produce working type goldens tend to be darker in color. This is probably the result of a “founder effect” in these bloodlines. This means that the dogs that founded these lines were probably quite dark in coloration, and this color passed down into their offspring. Dark color probably secondary to working retriever behavior, and there are some working goldens that are light gold in color.  In these lines, it is not unusual to find dark goldens with splashes of white on them, too. White spots on the chest are very common, as are white tail tips and white feet. It’s not unusual to see the odd  white blaze running between the eyes either. Many of the early goldens had white markings on them. For some reason, it’s very unusual to see light-colored goldens with any white on them.  It’s also not unusual to have brown skin pigmentation on working goldens, with brown noses, brown lips, and yellow or amber eyes. Even those with black noses will occasionally have brown noses in the winter months in what is called a “winter nose.”

In addition to these quirks, a tiny minority of working goldens wll develop a “water spaniel coat,” which is short and very curly.  This is throwback to the Tweed water spaniel, which played such an important role in the development of the breed.

Keep in mind that working dogs are bred largely for work, not for looks. Some working goldens are big and muscular, while others are lighter and more setter-like. These traits can appear in the same litter.  Divergence in type occurs in all dogs that are bred for behavioral traits. Border collies and Jack Russells are just the two breeds in which this is most celebrated. (Jack Russell purists wouldn’t even call their breed a breed. It’s a type.)

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