The breed standard below is that which is used in Australia.

GENERAL APPEARANCE - Symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, level mover; sound with kindly expression.

CHARACTERISTICS - Biddable, intelligent and possessing natural working ability.

TEMPERAMENT - Kindly, friendly and confident.

HEAD AND SKULL - Balanced and well-chiselled, skull broad without coarseness; well set on neck, muzzle powerful, wide and deep. Length of foreface approximately equals length from well-defined stop to occiput. Nose preferably black.

EYES - Dark brown, set well apart, dark rims.

EARS - Moderate size, set on approximate level with eyes.

MOUTH - Jaws strong, with a perfect, regular and complete scissor bite, i.e. Upper teeth closely overlapping the lower teeth and set square to the jaws.

NECK - Good length, clean and muscular.

FOREQUARTERS - Forelegs straight with good bone, shoulders well laid back, long in blade with upper arm of equal length placing legs well under body. Elbows close fitting.

BODY - Balanced, short coupled, deep through heart. Ribs deep, well sprung. Level topline.

HINDQUARTERS - Loin and legs strong and muscular, good second thighs, well bent stifles. Hocks well let down, straight when viewed from rear, neither turning in nor out. Cowhocks highly undesirable.

FEET - Round and cat-like.

TAIL - Set on and carried level with back, reaching to hocks, without curl at tip.

GAIT/MOVEMENT - Powerful with good drive. Straight and true in front and rear. Stride long and free with no sign of hackney action in front.

COAT - Flat or wavy with good feathering, dense water-resisting undercoat.

COLOUR - Any shade of gold or cream, neither red nor mahogany. A few white hairs on chest only, permissible.

Height: Dogs 56-61 cms (22-24 ins) at withers
Bitches 51-56 cms (20-22 ins) at withers

FAULTS - Any departure from the foregoing points should be considered a fault and the seriousness with which the fault should be regarded should be in exact proportion to its degree.

- Male animals should have two apparently normal testicles fully descended into the scrotum.


Anatomical Detail of a Golden

I have sourced an number of  excellent articles in order to produce this page.

They are listed below:

Suggested Book : BreedStandard - Canine Terminology - by H.R. Spira



  • BACK: The portion of the topline between the loin and the withers.
  • CROUP: The muscular area above and around where the tail connects to the body.
  • DEWCLAW: A fifth claw which is located in the inside of the front feet, and is higher than the other toes. (dewclaws can get ripped or torn - always keep your golden's dewclaws trimmed short).
  • HOCK: The joint on the rear of the back legs, between the rear pastern and stifle.
  • LOIN: The section of the body located on both sides of the backbone between the ribs and the hips.
  • MUZZLE: The front part of the jaws.
  • PASTERN: The section of the leg below the knee of the front leg or below the hock of the hind leg.
  • STIFLE: The knee joint of the hind leg. "Hindquarter Angulation" refers to the angle formed at this joint.
  • STOP: The frontal portion of the skull between the eyes and the top of the head.
  • WITHERS: Located just behind the base of the neck. A dog's height is measured at the withers.


The following sketch will enable you to recognize the almost perfect conformation of a Golden Retriever and eventually understand when a judge notices straight shoulders or stifles.


The standard doesn't mention anything about Height / Length proportions.

The dog must be slightly longer than it is tall, with a 11/12 ratio.

The sketch below shows a golden with such a ratio.


The breed standard calls for " Any shade of gold or cream, the coat can be neither red nor mahogany. A few white hairs are permissible but only on the chest." As a result there can be a large variation in the colour of golden retrievers.





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Serngold Golden Retrievers - South Australia


 Lydia Sernecki
ph:  (08) 82485264