golden retriever, breed of large sporting dog developed primarily in Scotland in the mid-19th cent. It stands about 23 in. (58.4 cm) high at the shoulder and weighs from 60 to 75 lb (27.2–34.1 kg). Its golden-brown, water-repellent coat is made up of a dense undercoat and a longer, straight or wavy outercoat that lies flat against the body. There is a moderate to heavy fringe, or feathering, of hair on the chest, back of legs, and tail. A dog of great endurance, the golden retriever was originally developed as a retriever of waterfowl. However, it has been widely used to hunt upland birds as well, and has been successfully trained as a guide dog. See dog.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.