About Golden Retrievers                     
History of Goldens

Click here for a brief but wonderful slideshow of the History and Origin of the Golden Retriever:

Breed Standard

A breed standard is a set of guidelines which is used to ensure that the animals produced by a breeder conforms to the specifics of that breed.  The Golden Retriever breed standard was devised by the GRCA (Golden Retriever Club of America) and approved by the AKC and is written to reflect the use or purpose of the Golden Retriever.  Breed standards help define the ideal animal of a particular breed and provide goals for breeders in improving stock. In essence, a breed standard is a blueprint for an animal fit for the function it was bred - i.e. retrieving, herding, etc. 

Breed standards cover the externally observable qualities of the animal such as appearance, movement, and temperament.  A Golden that closely matches (conforms to) the GRCA breed standard is said to have good conformation. 

The following link is the Golden Retriever breed standard: http://www.grca.org/history_breed/breed_standard.html

History of Goldens

Click here for a brief but wonderful slideshow of the History and Origin of the Golden Retriever:

Why Show Dogs in Conformation?

The primary purpose of showing both bitches and dogs in conformation is to validate, or confirm, that it meets the breed standard as set forth by the GRCA.  Judges who are licensed by the AKC and are knowledgeable with the breed take many factors into consideration:  size, structure, condition, movement, coat and expression.  Dogs are shown multiple times to a variety of judges and if it is the winning dog or bitch of its breed that day, will earn from 1 to 5 points, depending on the number of dogs entered on that particular day.  Once the dog has earned 15 points, it receives its Championship (CH) title.

This Championship title is only a stamp of approval from those various judges that the outward physical appearance and movement of the dog conforms to the GRCA standard of the Golden Retriever.  It is then the breeder’s responsibility to obtain and maintain health clearances:  (hips, eyes, heart, and others as the breed warrants), while ensuring that the dog or bitch also exhibits the pleasant temperament and athleticism so typical of the Golden Retriever. 

The Golden Retriever is a sporting breed, known for its affectionate nature, trainability and natural retrieving instincts.  It is well-recognized for health and longevity, as well as being a wonderful companion for hunting, obedience, agility and family time.


In an effort to produce healthier dogs, health clearances provide breeders with valuable information which is used when making breeding decisions.  The primary health clearances for the Golden Retriever consist of:
Golden Retrievers ~ Golden Puppies ~  Atlanta, Georgia
Hip x-rays taken at >24 months are sent to Orthopedic Foundation for Animals
(www.offa.org) and are graded as:
Normal (Excellent, Good, Fair), Borderline, or Dysplastic (Mild, Moderate or Severe)

Elbow x-rays are also taken at >24 months, sent to OFA, and graded as:
Normal or Dysplastic

In order to maintain a current eye clearance, screening exams are performed yearly by a board certified veterinary ophthalmologists. 
These exams are designed to detect abnormalities in the eye such as cysts, Glaucoma, or Pigmentary Uveitis (the latter being a current concern with our breed).

The heart exam is performed by a board certified veterinary cardiologist for the purpose of confirming that the dog is phenotypically normal prior to use in a breeding program and there is no heart murmur detected (or he identifies an “innocent” heart murmur).  This particular clearance cannot screen for developmental inherited cardiac diseases (such as SAS and Cardiomyopathy).