The American Kennel Club Official Standard for the Golden Retriever
See website (as cited by interviewee) for complete standards
SIZE, PROPORTION, SUBSTANCE HEAD
NECK, TOPLINE, BODY
GAIT TEMPERAMENT IDEAL
•Symmetrical, powerful, active • Sound and well put together • Kindly expression; eager, alert and self-confident personality • Emphasis is on overall appearance, balance, gait, and purpose
• Males 23 to 24 inches in height at withers; females 21½ to 22½ inches. • Length from breastbone to point of buttocks slightly greater than height at withers in ratio of 12:11. • Weight for dogs 65 to 75 pounds; bitches 55 to 65 pounds.
• Muzzle straight in profile, blending smooth and strongly into skull • Eyes (preferably dark brown) friendly and intelligent in expression, medium large with dark, close-fitting rims, set well apart and reasonably deep in sockets. • Ears 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. • Nose black or brownish black • Teeth: scissors bite
• Neck: medium long, merging gradually into well laid back shoulders, giving sturdy, muscular appearance. • Body well balanced, short coupled, deep through the chest. • Tail well set on, thick and muscular at the base, following the natural line of the croup.
• Muscular, well coordinated with hindquarters • Shoulder blades long and well laid back with upper tips fairly close together at withers. • Legs, viewed from the front, straight with good bone • Feet medium size, round, compact, and well knuckled, with thick pads.
• Broad and strongly muscled. • In a natural stance, femur joins pelvis at approximately a 90-degree angle; stifles well bent; hocks well let down • Legs straight when viewed from rear.
• Dense and water-repellent with good undercoat. • Outer coat firm and resilient, lying close to body • Coat on head, paws, and front of legs short and even.
• Rich, lustrous golden of various shades. • Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with undesirable white markings.
• When trotting, gait is free, smooth, powerful and well coordinated, showing good reach. • Viewed from any position, legs turn neither in nor out, nor do feet cross or interfere with each other.
• Friendly, reliable, and trustworthy. FAULT
• Not clumsy nor long in the leg
• 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.
• Slant eyes and narrow, triangular eyes • Low, hound-like ear • Pink nose or one seriously lacking in pigmentation • Undershot or overshot bite; misalignment of teeth or a level bite are both undesirable but not the same as an undershot or overshot.
• Roach or sway back • Flat or steep croup • Barrel-shaped ribs • Slab-sidedness • Narrow chest • Lack of depth in brisket • Excessive tuck-up
• Splayed or hare feet
• Cow-hocks • Spread hocks • Sickle hocks
• Excessive length • Open coats • Limp, soft coats
• Predominant body color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark. • Any noticeable area of black or other offcolor.
• Quarrelsomeness • Hostility towards other dogs or people in normal situations • Unwarranted shows of timidity or nervousness