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National Golden Retriever Day – Fun Facts about Golden Retrievers

It’s time to celebrate National Golden Retriever Day! This February 3 national day is dedicated to one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States, the golden retriever.

Keep reading for fun facts about golden retrievers, ways to celebrate the day, golden retriever history, themed events, famous golden retrievers and more!

We’ve even included a free golden retriever coloring page at the bottom of this post. It’s a great way to get the whole family involved in celebrating National Golden Retriever Day.

You can read the golden retriever facts below to your kids, and have them write their favorite one on their coloring page!

National days like National Golden Retriever Day are a fun way to celebrate a variety of topics. Be sure to check out this national days guide for more information about the history of national days and why we celebrate them.

If you’re looking for more animal themed national days, be sure to check out National Black Cat Day, National Ferret Day, Cuddly Kitten Day and National Groundhog Day and National Love Your Pet Day.

Text in black lettering about golden retrievers that reads "Celebrate National Golden Retriever Day, facts about golden retrievers, golden retriever origin, famous golden retrievers, golden retriever colors, types of golden retrievers" next to a golden retriever dog with his head hanging out the window of a car on a road during the daytime.

History of Golden Retriever Day

National Golden Retriever Day is a relatively new national day. Kristen Shroyer, from the blog I Heart Golden Retrievers, created the day in 2012.

Though there are many dog related national days during the year like National Rescue Dog Day and International Guide Dog Day, Kristen realized there wasn’t a national day dedicated to golden retrievers yet. 

This led her to create National Golden Retriever Day which falls annually on February 3. She chose February 3 because it was the birthday of her golden retriever named Quincey.

Sadly, Quincey died from cancer at seven years old. Even though Quincey is gone, the day is still celebrated by many! 

Origin and history of golden retrievers

The golden retriever origin dates back to the Scottish Highlands in the mid 1800s. Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Lord Tweedmouth, wanted to create the perfect gun dog to retrieve game from his hunts.

For 50 years, between 1840-1890 he kept meticulous breeding records. He crossed his own yellow retriever with a tweed water spaniel (a breed which is now extinct).

Irish setter and bloodhound were also added to the breed’s mix. This breeding, and years of breeding after Lord Tweedmouth’s time, resulted in the golden retriever.

A color coded map of Scotland with text naming each of the different areas.

1908 marks the first appearance of golden retrievers in a dog show. The dogs, listed as “flat coats” made their debut at the Crystal Palace show in England. 

The history of golden retrievers in the United States didn’t begin later, when goldens were brought to the US by way of Canada. The American Kennel Club didn’t register its first golden retriever until 1925.

Popularity of golden retrievers soared in the 1970s when President Gerald Ford introduced the world to his golden retriever named Liberty.

Golden retriever facts for National Golden Retriever Day

Brush up on your knowledge of National Golden Retriever Day with these fun facts about golden retrievers. Some may surprise you!

A golden retriever puppy sitting in the back of a truckbed.

  • Golden retrievers have webbed toes and are excellent swimmers. This is one of the qualities that makes them great hunting dogs.
  • They have a double coat to keep them warm in the winter (which explains why they shed a lot).
  • A golden retriever’s double coat has a naturally water-repelling effect. 
  • They are naturally mouthy dogs, and like to carry items in their mouth. With a golden you have to be careful what you leave out.
  • One of the reasons they were bred to retrieve game animals is because they have soft mouths. Goldens can retrieve animals like ducks without damaging them.
  • The average male golden retriever height is 23-24 inches and the average female golden retriever height is 21.5-22.5 inches.
  • The average male golden retriever weight is 65-75 lbs and the average female golden retriever weight is 55-65 lbs.
  • Golden retrievers are great with kids and other pets. The golden retriever temperament is sweet, loving and friendly. They are considered smart dogs which are eager to please.
  • Because of their temperament, golden retrievers make a great choice for service dogs. They are often trained as seeing eye dogs, therapy dogs and search and rescue dogs.

Famous golden retrievers

Throughout history, there have also been several famous golden retrievers to set world records.

The record for the loudest bark belongs to Charlie, a golden retriever from Adelaide, Australia. His bark was 113.1 decibels, which is as loud as a chainsaw!

Finley Malloy is a golden retriever who holds the record for most tennis balls held in the mouth by a dog. The New York pup set the record with a whopping 6 tennis balls.

A happy golden retriever holding an orange tennis ball next to a human petting him holding a ball launcher, showing that the golden retriever temperament is happy, energetic and loving.

As golden retrievers are a breed of working dog, there have also been famous golden retrievers honored for their service.

Bretagne, the last surviving rescue dog from the September 11th attacks, has a statue devoted to her. The bronze statue, made in her likeness, is outside of the Cy-Fair Volunteer Fire Department in Texas. 

This statue honors not only her service searching for survivors at the World Trade Center site, but also the numerous other disaster recovery missions including Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ivan.

Presidential dogs – Liberty the dog

One of the most famous golden retriever was Liberty, President Gerald Ford’s dog. In 1974 she moved into the White House and became a member of the Ford family.

Liberty even gave birth to a litter of 8 puppies while living at the White House.

A photo of the white house from the front lawn with a fountain in front of it, and red flowers in the foreground.

People could write in to the White House and request a “pawtograph” from Liberty, which was a photo of her and the president signed with her paw print. The pawtographs were so popular that the White House had a rubber stamp made from her paw to sign them.

President Ford is not the only president to have a golden. President Ronald Reagan also had a golden retriever named Victory.

However, unlike Liberty, Victory did not live at the White House. He lived at the president’s ranch in Rancho Del Cielo, California.

Mayor Max – the mayor of Idyllwild, California

In addition to these presidential pets, there have been other famous golden retrievers in politics. The unincorporated town of Idyllwild, California has a golden retriever for a mayor!

In 2012, a golden named Mayor Max was elected from a constituent pool of 15 dogs and 2 cats. The mayoral race was a $1 per vote contest which raised $30,000 for the Animal Rescue Friends of Idyllwild.

Sadly in the middle of his second term, Mayor Max died of old age.

His owner, Phyllis Mueller searched for another dog from his bloodline and found three sweet pups. She named them Max II, Mitzi and Mikey.

Cartoon mountains with the words "Idyllwild California" under them.

Max II became the second Mayor Max when he was only 2 months old. Mitzi and Mikey were also made deputy mayors to help Mayor Max with this duties.

In 2014, the town of Idyllwild, CA elected Max II as mayor of Idyllwild for life.

Mayor Max takes his job seriously. He can often be spotted riding around town in his mayoral vehicle wearing a necktie, of which he owns over 100!

This famous golden retriever’s duties include things like being posing for photos, interacting with his constituents, visiting schools and being present at town events and ceremonies (to the best of his ability).

In 2022, Mayor Max III took office, accompanied by his sister Meadow. Follow this mayoral monarchy of puppies on their Instagram page.

More facts about golden retrievers

Want to learn more about goldens for National Golden Retriever day? Check out the golden retriever facts below! Some may surprise you.

A lawn with trees in the background with seven golden retrievers (of various golden retriever colors) running towards the front of the photo.

  • Golden retrievers are always at the top of the AKC’s list of most popular dog breeds. For decades, they’ve held the number three spot!
  • There are three types of golden retrievers; American golden retrievers, Canadian golden retrievers and British (or English) golden retrievers.
  • There’s a breed called “miniature golden retrievers” which are actually a cross between several breeds (golden retrievers, cocker spaniels and sometimes poodles). They are 12-15 inches tall and weight between 25 and 50 pounds.
  • As golden retrievers age, their coat changes color. It gets darker as they get older.
  • There are three golden retriever colors registered with the American Kennel Club: golden, dark golden and light golden.
  • The average litter of golden retrievers has 8 puppies, though most litters can have anywhere from 4-12 pups.
  • According to the Morris Animal Foundation, 60% of golden retrievers are impacted by cancer.
  • Despite their disposition to cancer, the average golden retriever lifespan is between 10 and 12 years.
  • Golden retrievers ear language (the way they communicate with their ears) is not as strong as other dog breeds due to the large and floppy nature of their ears.
  • The first ever photo on Instagram was of a golden retriever belonging to Kevin Systrom, one of the founders of the app.

Golden retriever movies and TV shows

Because of the temperament of golden retrievers, they have made many appearances in movies and television. Chances are, if you’re a golden retriever fan, you’ve probably seen quite a few of their movies and tv shows.

One of the many famous golden retrievers sitting at a desk against a green background with a microphone pointed at him, and a smartphone recording him.

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While golden retrievers have had many on screen appearances, the list below are some of the more notable golden retriever movies. In each story, a golden retrievers play a central part in the plot.

  • Air Bud, a family friendly movie made in 1997, centers entirely around a basketball playing golden retriever named Buddy.
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain (based on a book by the same name) gives us a glimpse of lovable golden retriever Enzo’s inner thoughts on life, love and what it means to be human.
  • In Homeward Boundloyal golden retriever Shadow leads bulldog Chance and Siamese cat Sassy on an emotional journey back to their family.
  • A Dog’s Purpose explores the meaning of life by following a dog’s who lives several different lives through reincarnation. The life where we first meet him is as Bailey, a golden retriever.

Some other movies with golden retrievers are The Parent Trap, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, and You’ve Got Mail.

If you want to watch TV shows with golden retrievers in them, check out Full House, Hawkeye, Smallville, and Archive 81.

Colorado golden retriever festival

The town of Golden, in Colorado, loves golden retrievers so much that it holds a yearly golden retriever festival. The Colorado golden retriever meet up is called “Goldens in Golden”. 

An overhead view of the arch that says "Welcome to Golden" stretching over an empty street in Golden, Colorado where every year hundreds of Colorado golden retrievers (and visiting retrievers) gather for National Golden Retriever Day.

It’s hosted by the City of Golden and the Golden Retrievers Rescue of the Rockies (GRRR). Each year, hundreds of Colorado golden retrievers (and visiting retrievers) attend the Goldens in Golden meetup.

The event falls around National Golden Retriever Day. Take a look at their website to check the date for the current year

Some activities the pups and their humans can look forward to are pup cups (filled with whipped cream), giveaways, vendor booths and of course the giant group photo under the “Welcome to Golden” arch.

How to celebrate National Golden Retriever Day

Happy National Golden Retriever Day!! Would you like to celebrate this February 3 national day in a special way? Try one of these ideas.

Two types of golden retriever wearing cowboy hats sitting on a concrete path in front of a lake with trees around it.

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  • Plan a trip to Golden, Colorado to see hundreds of Colorado golden retrievers (and visiting golden retrievers) gathered for the event “Goldens in Golden”.
  • Print out our free golden retriever coloring page here, or scroll down to the bottom and print it from the project card at the bottom of the page.
  • Get your golden retriever a special toy to celebrate their day! Since they were bred to retrieve birds, you could even get them a bird shaped dog toy.
  • Donate (your time or money) to a local golden retriever rescue or animal shelter. 
  • Brew yourself a some coffee to keep up your energetic golden. You can even pour it in a golden retriever mug.
  • Take your golden retriever to do something they love, like a taking a long walk or a swim in the lake.
  • Play fetch with your golden today. If your arms get tired you can always try using a tennis ball launcher.
  • Take your golden to the groomer to pamper them today, after all, this day is all about them!
  • Show your love for goldens with clothing. Use today to buy a new golden retriever shirt, socks, or pajamas.

Share this post with golden retriever facts with your friends on twitter:

If you had fun learning about National Golden Retriever Day don’t forget to share these facts about golden retrievers with your friends. Here’s a tweet to get you started:

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More February 3 national days

Did you enjoy learning about National Golden Retriever Day? Well you’re in luck, February 3 is host to more than just one national day! 

February 3 on a calendar with a hand writing "happy day" and drawing a sun on the day to celebrate the February 3 national days.

Here is a complete list of all the February 3 national days:

  • National Golden Retriever Day
  • National Carrot Cake Day
  • National Day the Music Died Day
  • National Women Physicians Day
  • National Missing Person’s Day
  • National Wedding Ring Day
  • American Painter’s Day
  • Elmo’s Birthday
  • Take a Cruise Day

More national days in February

There are close to 2000 national days in the year and over 150 of them are celebrated in February. To discover them all, have a look at this post with the national days in February.

Those who enjoy doing puzzles will love our new February word search printable of national days.

Plus we’ve got holiday word searches for February too like this Valentine’s word search and this Groundhog Day word search.

The words "hello February" in white text on top of a pink background with a Cupid's arrow under the words, and three red hearts surrounding them.

Is food your thing? Each day of the month has a food or drink associated with it, too. You’ll find all the February food holidays here.

Be sure to also check out these national days in February:

Pin this post with facts about golden retrievers for National Golden Retriever Day

Would you like a reminder of this post for National Golden Retriever Day filled with golden retriever facts? Just pin this image to one of your national day boards on Pinterest so that you can easily find it later.

You can also watch our video about the national days of February on YouTube.

A golden retriever puppy with a purple collar sitting on the beach with a text overlay above him that reads "Celebrate National Golden Retriever Day, Learn facts about golden retrievers and ways to celebrate the day on Always the Holidays".

Jess author photoAbout the author

Since graduating from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Jess has been living and working in Los Angeles, CA. She is a freelance writer, specializing in content related to fashion, food and drink and film industry topics. Find out more about Jess here.

Yield: 1 Coloring Page

Golden Retriever Coloring Page for National Golden Retriever Day

A square golden retriever coloring page for National Golden Retriever Day, which has text at the top, and a golden retriever with a mandala design on its body.

Want to celebrate National Golden Retriever Day in a fun way? We've got you covered with this golden retriever coloring page.

You can use colored pencils, markers, or even crayons to fill in this drawing.

The golden retriever coloring page has a mandala drawn over the dog and and text for National Golden Retriever Day at the top that you can color in!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Active Time 30 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Difficulty easy
Estimated Cost $1


  • Colored pencils
  • Printer paper


  • Computer
  • Printer


  1. Load your computer paper into your Deskjet printer.
  2. Choose portrait layout and if possible "fit to page" in your settings.
  3. Print the golden retriever coloring page and color with markers, crayons or colored pencils.


A golden retriever coloring page for National Golden Retriever Day, which has text at the top, and a golden retriever with a mandala design on its body.

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