of Directors of the American Kennel Club has approved
the following revised Standard for Golden Retrievers
submitted by the Golden Retriever Club of America, Inc.,
to be effective September 1990:
-- a symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well
put together, not clumsy nor long in the leg, displaying
a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is
eager, alert and self-confident. Primarily a hunting
dog, he should be shown in hard working condition.
Over-all appearance, balance, gait and purpose to be
given more emphasis than any of his component parts.
Any departure from the described ideal shall be
considered faulty to the degree to which it interferes
with the breed's purpose or is contrary to breed
-- Males 23-24 inches in height at withers; females 21
1/2-22 1/2 inches. Dogs up to one inch above or below
standard size should be proportionately penalized.
Deviation in height of more than one inch from the
standard shall disqualify.
Length from breastbone to point of
buttocks slightly greater than height at withers in
ratio of 12:11. Weight for dogs 65-75 pounds; bitches
-- broad in skull, slightly arched laterally and
longitudinally without prominence of frontal bones
(forehead) or occipital bones. Stop well defined but not
abrupt. Foreface deep and wide, nearly as long as skull.
Muzzle straight in profile, blending smoothly and
strongly into skull; when viewed in profile or from
above, slightly deeper and wider at stop than at tip. No
heaviness in flews. Removal of whiskers is permitted but
and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark,
close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep
in sockets. Color preferably dark brown; medium brown
acceptable. Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes
detract from correct expression and are to be faulted.
No white or haw visible when looking straight ahead.
Dogs showing evidence of functional abnormality of
eyelids or eyelashes (such as, but not limited to,
trichiasis, entropion, ectropion, or distichiasis) are
to be excused from the ring.
-- rather short with front edge attached well behind and
just above the eye and falling close to cheek. When
pulled forward, tip of ear should just cover the eye.
Low, hound-like ear set to be faulted.
-- black or
brownish black, though fading to a lighter shade in cold
weather not serious. Pink nose or one seriously lacking
in pigmentation to be faulted.
-- scissors bite, in which the outer side of the lower
incisors touches the inner side of the upper incisors.
Undershot or overshot bite is a disqualification.
Misalignment of teeth (irregular placement of incisors)
or a level bite (incisors, meet each other edge to edge)
is undesirable, but not to be confused with undershot or
overshot. Full dentition, obvious gaps are serious
Neck, Topline, Body
-- medium long, merging gradually into well laid back
shoulders, giving sturdy, muscular appearance. Untrimmed
natural ruff. No throatiness.
line -- strong
and level from withers to slightly sloping croup,
whether standing or moving. Sloping back line, roach or
sway back, flat or steep croup to be faulted.
-- well-balanced, short coupled, deep through the chest.
Chest between forelegs at least as
wide as a man's closed hand including thumb, with well
developed forechest. Brisket extends to elbow. Ribs long
and well sprung but not barrel shaped, extending well
towards hindquarters. Loin short, muscular, wide and
deep, with very little tuck-up. Slabsidedness, narrow
chest, lack of depth in brisket, excessive tuck-up, flat
or steep croup to be faulted.
well set on, thick and muscular at the base, following
the natural line of the croup. Tail bones extend to, but
not below, the point of hock. Carried with merry action,
level or with some moderate upward curve; never curled
over back nor between legs.
-- muscular, well co-ordinated with hindquarters and
capable of free movement. Shoulder blades long and well
laid back with upper tips fairly close together at
withers. Upper arms appear about the same length as the
blades, setting the elbows back beneath the upper tip of
the blades, close to the ribs without looseness. Legs,
viewed from the front, straight with good bone, but not
to the point of coarseness. Pasterns short and strong,
sloping slightly with no suggestion of weakness.
Dewclaws on forelegs may be removed, but are normally
-- medium size, round, compact and well knuckled, with
thick pads. Excess hair may be trimmed to show natural
size and contour. Splayed or hare feet to be faulted.
-- Broad and strongly muscled. Profile of croup slopes
slightly; the pelvic bone slopes at a slightly greater
angle (approximately 30 degrees from horizontal). In a
natural stance, the femur joins the pelvis at
approximately a 90-degree angle; stifles well bent;
hocks well let down with short, strong rear pasterns.
Feet as in front. Legs straight when viewed from rear.
Cow-hocks, spread hocks, and sickle hocks to be faulted.
-- Dense and
water repellent with good undercoat. Outer coat firm and
resilient, neither coarse nor silky, lying close to
body; may be straight or wavy. Untrimmed natural ruff;
moderate feathering on back of forelegs and on
under-body; heavier feathering on front of neck, back of
thighs and underside of tail.
Coat on head, paws and front of legs
is short and even. Excessive length, open coats and
limp, soft coats are very undesirable. Feet may be
trimmed and stray hairs neatened, but the natural
appearance of coat or outline should not be altered by
cutting or clipping.
-- rich, lustrous golden of various shades. Feathering
may be lighter than rest of coat. With the exception of
graying or whitening of face or body due to age, any
white marking, other than a few white hairs on the
chest, should be penalized according to its extent.
Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with
white markings. Predominant body color which is either
extremely pale or extremely dark is undesirable. Some
latitude should be given to the light puppy whose
coloring shows promise of deepening with maturity. Any
noticeable area of black or other off-color hair is a
-- when trotting, gait is free, smooth, powerful and
well co-ordinated, showing good reach. Viewed from any
position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet
cross or interfere with each other. As speed increases,
feet tend to converge toward center line of balance. It
is recommended that dogs be shown on a loose lead to
reflect true gait.
friendly, reliable and trustworthy. Quarrelsomeness or
hostility towards other dogs or people in normal
situations, or an unwarranted show of timidity or
nervousness, is not in keeping with Golden Retriever
character. Such actions should be penalized according to
-- 1. Deviation in height of more than one inch from
standard either way. 2. Undershot or overshot bite.