Get ready to celebrate a furry friend, because National Golden Retriever Day is every February 3! The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the US, and for good reason. The calm temperament, intelligence, and playfulness make them ideal best friends for any dog lover. Plus, they make great disability assistance animals, like seeing eye dogs for the blind and hearing dogs for the deaf. They’ve ended up saving lives in these roles—no wonder they have a holiday named after them. Read more and you might just have to go out and adopt a Golden yourself!
History of National Golden Retriever Day
While the holiday itself only began in 2012, Golden Retrievers have a long and storied history starting all the way back in Scotland in the mid-19th century. Here’s a quick dip into the origins of this beloved canine.
A need for the breed arose when common hunting dogs of the day were proving inadequate for retrieving felled game over land and water. Guns had improved by the early 1800s, so Scottish hunters were shooting from much greater distances over swampy marshland and finding their dogs were losing or maiming their precious birds. They needed a dog with a soft mouth and excellent fetching capabilities, so they bred their best water spaniels with retrievers, and voila! The first Golden Retriever was born.
Nowadays, Golden Retrievers have evolved well beyond retrieving felled fowl. Not only do they make great disability assistance dogs, but they also specialize in detection and search and rescue efforts due to their stellar sniffing abilities. Their patience and gentleness makes them perfect for children or hectic households.
National Golden Retriever Day was founded when a woman named Kristen Shroyer realized there was no day set as a tribute for these dogs. She set the date, March 3, as the birthday of her late Golden, Quincy, who was sadly lost to cancer at only 7 years old.
In modern times, you might recognize Goldens in famous roles movies like Air Bud, Homeward Bound, and Napoleon. And as recently as 2019, a Golden Retriever named Kira went viral for saving two dogs trapped in frozen ice, fetching them and rounding them up for her owner, all captured on video. They truly are a one-of-a-kind breed!
National Golden Retriever Day timeline
- February 3, 2019
Hundreds of Goldens Celebrate in Golden, Colorado
An estimated 1,000 Golden Retrievers showed up to an event appropriately hosted by the City of Golden and Golden Retriever Rescue of the Rockies. The celebration keeps getting bigger and better!
- February 3, 2012
National Golden Retriever Day began
A Golden Retriever owner named Kristen realized that no day existed to celebrate the breed. Thus, she created National Golden Retriever Day on her dog's birthday.
Golden Retriever Club of America founded
This club was founded to "promote the temperament, appearance, soundness, natural retrieving and hunting abilities of the Golden Retriever."
Golden Retriever bred in Scotland for the first time
Scotland gets the credit for first breeding this amazing dog. Thank you, Scots!
National Golden Retriever Day FAQs
How widely celebrated is National Golden Retriever Day?
As far as holidays go, this one is fairly new, only starting in 2012. The celebration keeps getting bigger every year, because there’s no shortage of reasons to love this dog!
How can I treat my Golden Retriever?
Every dog loves treats, and Goldens in particular love to eat! Bake them a dog-friendly snack or take them to the store for their favorite treat. Goldens are also athletic by nature, so you can make their day extra special by taking them to a place they can run around to their heart’s content.
Should I adopt a Golden Retriever?
Everyone’s lifestyle is different, but if you have space for a dog and can give a Golden the activity level it needs, the answer is an overwhelming yes! Make sure you adopt from a responsible breeder, and be sure to check out a local shelter for any Golden pups that might need rescuing.
National Golden Retriever Day Activities
Take your Golden Retriever to their favorite park
Golden Retrievers were built to retrieve, which is to say, fetch. So get your pup over to the nearest park and treat them with their favorite game. The both of you will get great exercise and have tons of fun to boot!
Go for a swim
This breed is fabulous in water, and they love it, too! Provided the climate you live in is warm enough, or you have a dog-friendly indoor pool nearby, take your dog for a dip. They’ll look cute doggy-paddling around, too.
Adopt a Golden Retriever
Sad you don’t have a Golden Retriever by now? That can easily change. If you’ve been on the fence about adopting, rest assured, Golden Retrievers will change your life for the better.
3 Things To Know About Goldens
They crave an active lifestyle
They are best suited to a life where someone is home during the day, and this way, you can both get some great exercise.
Golden Retrievers have two layers of fur
The inner layer is to stay warm, and the outer layer is to keep water off.
Golden Retrievers' fur darkens as they age
Similar to many humans, Golden Retrievers are born with light-colored hair that darkens as they age.
They’re “pack-oriented” dogs
Goldens are most comfortable around groups or families, and are loyal and trusting to them their whole life.
They’re one of the easiest dog breeds to train
One of the reasons they’re so popular is that they’re so easy to train—perfect for novice dog owners.
Why We Love National Golden Retriever Day
Golden Retrievers make some of the best therapy dogs
Their unending love and loyalty makes them the perfect companion for humans in need of emotional support. They have an endless amount of cuddles to give—who wouldn’t feel better hugging one?
Golden Retrievers are the fourth smartest breed
Behind only border collies, poodles, and German shepherds, Golden Retrievers are super-smart dogs. If you’ve ever tried to train a dog, you’d understand this is a major perk.
Golden Retrievers are the third-most popular breed of dog in the U.S.
They're among some of the most widely-loved dogs in existence. From their cleverness to their cuddling, it’s not hard to understand why.