Breed Type: Retrievers
Best suited as: Pet, show, or hunting dog
Popularity: Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, and Poodles are all on Australia’s Top 10 list of most popular dog breeds

Retrievers are a type of sporting dog or gun dog. They are used to retrieve game once it has been shot by a hunter.

Retrievers vary in size from small to large depending on the breed. The Newfoundland dog is the largest of the group and the American Cocker Spaniel is the smallest. They generally have weather-proof coats that are short and sleek, or feathered. The group as a whole is bred with soft mouths. This means that they bring the game back to the hunter without biting into it.

Retrieving dog breeds were developed in Europe to help hunters by finding and retrieving the game after it was killed. Many of the retriever breeds are the most popular breeds in the world today.

They are intelligent, easy to train, and willing to please. They are athletic and playful, and love people. Some can be quite rambunctious as pups so families with small children need to use caution when their retriever puppy is in the room. These dogs get along well with other dogs and cats in the household.

Care and Grooming
Specific grooming instructions depend upon the breed. At minimum, most dogs need to be brushed once a week. The more high-maintenance dogs need to be brushed daily. Brush your dog’s teeth once a week to avoid decay, tartar, gum disease, and bad breath. Clip its toenails once a month or have your groomer do it for you. Because these dogs are so energetic and athletic, they need at least an hour of exercise each day. They make great jogging, cycling, and rollerblading partners. They will play fetch for hours. Most enjoy camping and hiking, as well. Dogs in this group that do not get enough exercise can become destructive, hyperactive, and sometimes aggressive.

Unfortunately, the retrieving dogs have been overbred and so are prone to many health problems like hip dysplasia, PRA, cataracts, ear infections, cancer, bloat, and skin conditions. Get your dog from a reputable breeder.

Suitability As A Pet
Overall, this type of dog makes a great companion or hunting dog. Novice owners would do well with several breeds in this group. There are some breeds that require more training and patience so prospective owners should do their research before choosing a companion dog.

Retrievers include:

American Water Spaniel
Boykin Spaniel
Chesapeake Bay Retriever
Corded Poodle
Curly-Coated Retriever
Flat-Coated Retriever
Golden Retriever
Golden Doodle * not yet a recognised breed
Irish Water Spaniel
Labrador Retriever
Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever
Portuguese Water Dog

Other Dogs with retrieving skill:

American Cocker Spaniel
Blackmouth Cur
Drentse Patrijshond (Dutch Partridge Dog)
English Cocker Spaniel
English Springer Spaniel
Epagneul Pont-Audemer
German Longhaired Pointer
German Shorthaired Pointer
German Wirehaired Pointer
Spinone Italiano
Vizsla, short-haired and wire-haired
Welsh Springer Spaniel