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A Golden Gathering

Hundreds of golden retrievers and their families got together in Scotland for a special event celebrating the birth of the breed.

A large number of golden retrievers stand on grass in front of the ruins of a building as people stand to one side taking photos.

Professor Darren Stocker, Cape Cod Community College

Hundreds of golden retrievers attended the 2023 Guisachan Gathering!

It was a golden gathering! In 2023, almost 500 golden retrievers and their owners met up in Scotland. They were there to celebrate the greatness of golden retrievers.

If you’ve ever met a golden retriever, you might understand why so many people love these dogs. They’re friendly and full of energy, and they love everyone. Golden retrievers also have a talent for “retrieving.” If you throw a ball, most goldens will run after it and bring it back to you. Today, the golden retriever is one of the most popular dogs in the world.

But golden retrievers didn’t always exist. The breed was developed by a Scottish man named Sir Dudley Marjoribanks in 1868. That year, the first litter of golden retrievers was born. Their parents were two of Marjoribanks’s dogs: a Tweed water spaniel and a yellow wavy-coated retriever. Those first golden retriever puppies were loyal and adorable—just as golden retrievers are today.

Golden retriever owners, as well as people who just love golden retrievers, now come together about every five years for the Guisachan Gathering. The four-day event takes place at Guisachan House, the home in Scotland where Marjoribanks once lived. The gathering includes dog training classes, a golden retriever parade, and a chance to pose with a golden retriever statue in a nearby town.

It’s not a fancy event. The dogs get muddy and a little smelly in the rainy Scotland weather. Some of them bark when their owners aren’t right by their side. But that’s okay. It’s just how golden retrievers are. It’s why everyone loves them!

Professor Darren Stocker, Cape Cod Community College

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Fun Fact

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More than half of American dog owners have mutts—dogs that are a mix of two or more breeds.

Our Favorite Dogs!

Golden retrievers are a popular dog breed, but they’re not the most popular. The slideshow is a countdown of the top 10 dog breeds in the United States, as of 2022. Did your favorites make the list?

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How Great Are Goldens?

Two wet golden retrievers stand in the surf at a beach while sharing a stick.

 © Temele/Dreamstime.com

Are golden retrievers good swimmers? Do they make good pets? Find out at Britannica School!

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Word of the Day

retrieve

Part of speech:

verb

Definition:

to get and bring (something) back from a place

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