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Short Haired Golden Retrievers: Pictures, Facts, Origin & History

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on May 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

Golden Labrador Retriever in the grass field

Short Haired Golden Retrievers: Pictures, Facts, Origin & History

Do short-haired Golden Retrievers exist? There are two trains of thought about this breed, and it depends on who you ask.

Some claim that dogs perceived as short-haired Golden Retrievers are mixed-breed. A Labrador Retriever/Golden Retriever mix can have many characteristics of a Golden but inherit the short coat of a Labrador.

Breed Overview


21–22 inches


55–75 pounds


10–12 years


Cream, yellow, golden, red

Suitable for:

Active families, service roles, therapy, hunting, companionship


Loyal, attentive, affectionate, active

Others insist that some Golden Retrievers simply have shorter than average fur but aren’t a distinct breed. The dogs deviate from the American Kennel Club’s (AKC) standards for purebred Golden Retrievers.

Wherever you stand on this debate, you can probably agree that “short” is a relative term. Different Golden Retrievers have varying coat lengths. So, let’s learn more about this popular breed.

Golden Retriever Characteristics

High-energy dogs will need a lot of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy and healthy, while low-energy dogs require minimal physical activity. It’s important when choosing a dog to make sure their energy levels match your lifestyle or vice versa.
Easy-to-train dogs are more skilled at learning prompts and actions quickly with minimal training. Dogs that are harder to train will require a bit more patience and practice.
Some breeds, due to their size or their breeds potential genetic health issues, have shorter lifespans than others. Proper exercise, nutrition, and hygiene also play an important role in the lifespan of your pet.
Some dog breeds are prone to certain genetic health problems, and some more than others. This doesn’t mean that every dog will have these issues, but they have an increased risk, so it’s important to understand and prepare for any additional needs they may require.
Some dog breeds are more social than others, both towards humans and other dogs. More social dogs have a tendency to run up to strangers for pets and scratches, while less social dogs shy away and are more cautious, even potentially aggressive. No matter the breed, it’s important to socialize your dog and expose them to lots of different situations.

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The Earliest Records of Short-Haired Golden Retrievers in History

Golden Retrievers date back to the 1840s when a Scottish aristocrat set out to create the ideal hunting dog. Lord Tweedmouth oversaw decades of crossing Irish setters, bloodhounds, tweed water spaniels, and other breeds to develop a working retriever.

The breed’s coat length was likely a consideration during its evolution. Tweedmouth wanted a dog that could withstand Scotland’s weather and wet environments. By 1908, the breed had developed into the dog we know today.

How Short-Haired Golden Retrievers Gained Popularity

Golden Retrievers were consistently popular with bird hunters who wanted an adaptable and agreeable companion. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Golden Retrievers became popular household pets in the U.S. President Gerald Ford inspired other dog lovers by welcoming a female Golden Retriever to the White House. Liberty was a well-liked pup that received a lot of fan letters. White House staff would reply with a personalized “paw-tograph,” a photo of Liberty that included a stamp of her paw print.

Liberty captured the nation’s attention when she gave birth to a litter of puppies in 1975. Looking back at the photos, it appears that Liberty and her offspring had relatively short fur. Some might consider her to have been a short-haired Golden Retriever.

golden retriever as service dog
Image By: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

Formal Recognition of Short-Haired Golden Retrievers

The AKC registered its first Golden Retriever in 1925. However, the organization does not recognize short-haired Golden Retrievers as a separate breed.

DNA plays a significant role in a dog’s coat length, but so do other factors. “Short” doesn’t necessarily equal “better.” A poor diet, digestive issues, chronic health conditions, and hormonal imbalances can affect a Golden Retriever’s fur.


Top 3 Unique Facts About Short-Haired Golden Retrievers

1. Golden Retrievers Remain Popular in the U.S.

Based on AKC registrations, Golden Retrievers have been among the top five most popular breeds since at least 2013. Short-haired Golden Retrievers may appeal to owners who want the breed’s intelligence and pleasant personality with less shedding.

2. The Sitcom Full House Featured a Golden Retriever

Comet was the Tanner family’s beloved pet. The character made his debut in season three of the show. The spin-off series Fuller House featured some of Comet’s offspring.

a beautiful girl with golden retriever in a park
Image By: Standret, Shutterstock

3. A Golden Retriever Hasn’t Won the Westminster Dog Show (Yet)

The breed came oh-so-close to winning Best in Show in 2020. Daniel took first place in the Sporting Group but lost the top award to a standard Poodle. Daniel has a long flowing coat and is not a short-haired Golden Retriever.

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Does a Short-Haired Golden Retriever Make a Good Pet?

There’s a reason why the breed expanded from skilled hunting dogs to household pets. Goldens are a friendly and outgoing breed that does well with people and other dogs, regardless of their fur length. Training is easy as golden retrievers are eager to please their owners. They require regular exercise and mental stimulation to stay happy.

Traditional Golden Retrievers have a medium-length double coat. They shed a lot and require frequent brushing, but Goldens with shorter hair may shed less. Turning your Golden Retriever into a short-haired version may be as simple as a grooming appointment.

golden retriever as therapy dog
Image Credit: Africa Studio, Shutterstock

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Short-haired Golden Retrievers are not a breed recognized by the AKC. Dogs assumed to be Goldens with shorter hair may actually be Golden/Labrador mixes. The breed, as a whole, is known for its agreeable and friendly personality. The adaptable dog is a skilled hunter but does equally well as a house pet, and you can consider a Golden/Labrador mixed puppy if you want a dog with a shorter coat.

Featured Image Credit: idahoharleydude, Pixabay

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