Golden Retrievers are similar to Labrador Retrievers in overall traits. They tend to have a happy-go-lucky, calm, or easy-going nature, although some can have a high amount of energy, and a few may be characterized as nervous. Their calm nature combined with their athletic tendencies and stamina make Golden Retrievers good hunting as well as service dogs, primarily in search and rescue, tracking, and disability assistance. However, this athleticism means the pet Golden Retriever needs to be provided with physical and mental stimulation by its family. Retrieving items such as tennis balls and floating toys can provide this while taking advantage of the Golden Retriever's excellent swimming ability. Because Golden Retrievers are commonly quite food motivated, learning and training is easier. Rewarding the Golden Retriever with food for dropping items can help manage retrieving tendencies for items not intended for play.
Golden Retrievers are very popular dogs that can trace their lineage back to nineteenth-century Scotland. They were bred as hunting dogs, used to locate and retrieve game from land and water. Initial efforts to breed the Golden Retriever were conducted by Sir Dudley Majoribanks, Lord of Tweedmouth, who spent twenty years secretly developing the breed. He began with a yellow dog from Brighton and an English retriever with a liver-colored curly coat called a Tweedwater Spaniel, now extinct. He later introduced Labrador Retrievers, Newfoundlands, Red Setters and Bloodhounds into the mix. The breed was accepted by the Kennel Club of England in 1903 as the "Golden Flat Coat" and they were first shown in an English dog show in 1908. Golden Retrievers were introduced to the United States in the late 1890's and the name Golden Retriever was given to them in 1920. The American Kennel Club recognized the breed in 1932.