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touching is ideal
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I understand how you feel, my Rösti is a late bloomer too. He sometimes looks like a Coyote or Otter mix. Most people ask me for my cute female lab.

he is awesome still, I call him my little bonsai Golden

 

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Hector and Cash were born on the same day and I'm often asked if Hector is a labradoodle! I don't think you're being sensitive, when you've spent a long time searching out the right breeder for you then waited for your puppy it's sometimes hard not to get annoyed when other people just assume they know what type of dog YOU'VE got!!

Cash is very handsome by the way:)
 

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watching him grow so fast
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Yes Goldens come in many different shades but there are a lot of half-wits that don't seem to grasp that! I live in Canada and its more common to have the white/cream/light gold colour, Tys (as you can see from his picture) is darker so I get asked ALL THE TIME and its annoying and it bugs me but I try to cut them off and point out that hes a Golden before they can even fully ask and I feel like hugging the people who know right off that hes a Golden. Its just a grin and bare it type of thing, and when people try to doubt me I point out where hes from, that his family tree is longer then mine (seriously it is lol) and that his dad is a show dog, that generally makes them back off a bit, if that fails then I tell them to go home and google American Goldens (which in your case you could say Canadian Goldens) lol. One thing that helps me get through dealing with annoying people is looking down at his smiling face and knowing 100% for myself that hes a Golden and healthy and totally loving :) One look at his cute little face and all frustrations melt away ;)
 

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Buddie and Bobbies Mom
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People always ask me if my 2 puppies are Labs as well, and it makes me so angry!! haha. Dont worry our pups will grow their beautiful Golden locks soon!
 

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I've had this too as Goldens over here tend to be the lighter ones and Chester is so dark, I don't think they have a clue what he is and I always get a questioning look back when I say. Its even better when I add that hes a working gun dog (well gun dog in training ) as most gundogs here are black labs or spaniels! lol
 

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Nancy
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My Maggie was a redhead and I frequently was asked if she was a Irish Setter. Hank has also been called a Golden Lab. I don't take it personally, some people just don't know, even though they at times, think they do.
 

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People don't really know the breed. Young, light Goldens who haven't developed their full coats yet are easily mistaken for labs by somebody who doesn't know either standard or breed well.

I've gotten the "is that an Irish Setter?" question about my darker dogs from time to time. I chalk it up to people just not knowing the dogs. Setters are SO different from a dark Golden it's not even funny, but people make the mistake anyway.

I run into a lot of people who aren't used to the copper color and are shocked to find out that the boys are Goldens. I seem to run into mostly medium or light dogs in CT that don't look too well bred (snipey, awkward gaits, ratty hair, etc.). I also see lots of almost-white Goldens that are clearly part of the "rare English" craze. I don't think I've seen one of those that wasn't overweight.

It's rare that I see a really well-bred Golden, but when I do, it really jumps out.
 

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When I first got Dakota as a puppy, I too wasn't convinced he was pure GR, especially since he came from a BYB. He was very, VERY light, almost white/cream colored.

His Gold started to come in when he was about 2 years of age, and it really kicked in at his later years. When he passed at age 10, he had gone from nearly no Gold to a light to medium Gold color. He always did maintain a bit of white-face throughout his life though. He was always officially classified as "Light Golden".

Dakota is the one on the right. Comet is on the left. I believe this was taken in 2007 IIRC. Maybe 2005/2006. I had all the fencing replaced in spring 2007 so we'll split the difference and call it 2006 :)



This is him (with Gilmour) 3 weeks before he passed in March of 2009. He looks older than he really was (10 years). I think 6 years of Epilepsy and all the associated meds were rough on the sweet old guy.

 

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Kate
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My Maggie was a redhead and I frequently was asked if she was a Irish Setter. Hank has also been called a Golden Lab. I don't take it personally, some people just don't know, even though they at times, think they do.
I was going to say the same thing... :p:

I rarely to never see any Irish Setters anymore, but apparently they are popular enough somewhere that people immediately think Irish setter when they see reddish goldens.

If you go by what people have said of our guys, we had 1 purebred Irish setter, 1 Irish Setter Retriever mix, 1 Great Pyr mix (?!!!), and 1 "Marley dog".

In fact, our vet listed our one golden (the Irish Setter Retriever mix) as a golden retriever mix in their system. :uhoh: And that was our vet.

Jacks (the Marley Dog) really did look like a lab at one point. He had a large lab like head, short yellow coat, and long featheringless ears. <- I refused to admit it then, but geez, I can see it when I look at those old pics now. o_O

ETA - I should point out that it does get better later on (unless your dog is a redhead). My Jacks is never mistaken for any other breed besides Golden Retriever.
 

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I wouldn't let it bother you. Once he gets his full coat, it's unlikely anyone will mistake him for a lab. I have never had anyone mistake my goldens for labs, but if they did, it wouldn't bother me. Heck, people usually assume that Danny and Jasper are a couple, and it's always Jasper that they assume is the female because he's "prettier" and Danny is more "masculine". They don't know the difference and it doesn't bother me at all.
 

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We get it all the time, and have for years. It is simply the general public who don't know the proper name for a Golden Retriever, or even that there is really no such thing as a Golden Lab. I just smile and say "It's a Golden Retriever. The way to tell the difference is that Goldens have the long coat, Labrador Retrievers have shorter coat." Most people are very happy to now know the difference.
It's not worth getting upset about.
 

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So I don't get it. Is it a golden, or a retriever?
In the SPorting Group, there are Pointing Breeds, Spaniels, Setters, and Retriever. The Golden Retriever is a retrieving breed, as are Labrador Retrievers, Curly Coated Retrievers, Flat Coated Retrievers, Chesapeke Bay Retrievers, and Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retrievers. When we say
"I have a Golden", it is simply "short" for Golden Retriever. As is "I have a Lab (or Curly, Flat Coat, Chessie, or Toller). :)
 

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Kim & Flora
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People called Flora a labrador for a while when she was younger. Nowadays I just get the "What is she?" question. Blonde goldens are relatively rare down here, so most people don't realize she's a golden retriever.
 

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Knife Swallower
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Ranger gets called all sorts of things but since flat coats are not as well known as goldens or labradors, it's not usually a big deal to me. It's actually gotten kinda fun to hear people try to narrow it down. If they don't see his feathering or notice his long coat, the first thing that comes out of people's mouths is "Black Lab". If they do see the feathering first, then the first idea is "Border collie". Then they stare a little longer and more ideas keep popping out: "Golden Black Lab X", "Newfoundland X", "Black German Shepherd X" until I finally say "actually, he's a flat coat retriever cross." Though, since he doesn't have his DNA done, I guess he could be any of the above!

To be honest, now I usually just say "he's a rescue" in an effort to promote rescue and shelter dogs. I don't really want to say flat coat retriever to everyone in case someone thinks "that's the dog for me" based purely on looks and runs out to get one. From all I've read about purebred flat coats, they need a working (no matter what the activity) home. I don't think my couch potato is the norm!

Only occasionally do I get people who ask if he's a flat coat retriever and that's always a fun conversation with someone who's at least fairly knowledgeable about breeds! One lady said she'd owned them before but switched to goldens because she was too sad when she kept losing her flat coats to cancer at such young ages. Up to that point, it was a good convo!
 

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I had two trainers argue with me about Vincent being a mix. The one said he looked like he had "work done." :confused: whatever that means.
They said he clearly had lab in him. I have 5 generations of champions of both sides saying otherwise. I don't get mad when people ASK,..but I shouldn't have to argue and defend his breed. :mad:

I still get asked from time to time what mix he is,..he is lighter, so I get that. But don't INSIST that he isn't pure golden.
 

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Knife Swallower
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^^ On that note, I once had a guy vehemently state that Ranger was NOT a flat coat retriever because "there's no such thing". When asked what Ranger was then, he replied Ranger was a "long haired black lab". Um, yeah...THAT's a breed but a flat coat isn't. He argued about it for about 5 minutes before I complimented him on his proving my favourite saying, "Entrenched beliefs are never altered by the facts" and then walked away.
 
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