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hmm.. i’ve always been curious about this, i have a 2 year old golden retriever and he is only 42 pounds! his face still looks like a puppy and he gets mistaken for one all the time! why is he so small and babyish?!! not that i mind:) not to mention, he is so calm and never barks (even when dogs bark and growl at him)! B4E020D9-8FE4-4860-9839-642DF8FF5BE8.jpeg 147CEDE7-16C3-420A-98EC-90D2EDF8221B.jpeg C2319D08-4D93-4D63-94D0-B901A78C302A.jpeg
 

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Have you talked to his breeders?
hey! when i got him i was told that he was a purebred golden retriever. i haven’t had him since he was a puppy. basically, his old owners did not want him anymore and were going to take him to the shelter (when he was 1) so i decided to take him! even at the vet, they are amazed at his size!
 

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Puddles
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This could be one of the mysteries of life. Without history it's hard to know what happened. You could always do one of those DNA test that tells you the genetic makeup to see if it's indeed all golden. Or possibly the pup had health issues that caused a lack of growth. Or the parents were just really small. Or you could just enjoy the fact he takes up less space on the bed, is easier to lift into the tub, less hair to shed. It's great he finally found a home that appreciates how beautiful he is ... just the way he is.
 

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Kate
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His face/head looks like a 2 year old to me.

The rest of him - does not look overly small to me (comparing to other dog, etc), but if he is actually very small - could simply be he came from one of those breeders that is deliberately breeding non-breed standard goldens who are undersized?

I think putting it this way - my 7 month old is 62 pounds and 23" at the shoulders. And he still looks "small" to me compared to the other guys. 40 pounds without checking was the same pup's weight when he was 4-5 months old and at least 3-4 inches shorter. <= never was concerned about his size since I know what's behind him.

When you adopt a dog from somebody else who doesn't disclose pedigree to you - it's all up in the air as to what's behind the dog. My only concern about an undersized dog is if that dog has a health issue causing him to be undersized (liver or kidneys). The same health issue would have shortened his life though and it's doubtful he'd be alive now at age 2 - no not likely to be the cause of him being undersized.

I would simply guess that breed standard was not involved with the breeder's decisions leading up to this pup's litter. Unfortunately even good breeders go that route. I don't see clear signs of him being a mixed breed.
 

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He looks like a beautiful Golden! Some dogs just are larger or smaller than the standard. He looks like has good bone, lovely head with nice dark eyes, good front and wonderful coat - from what I can see in the pics. We are more used to seeing dogs that are really bigger than the standard. I have a 4 year old girl who is from hunting lines. She is a great dog, enthusiastic but obedient and happy all the time. She loves all people and dogs. Wonderful retriever. She is probably about 26 inches tall! She is slim and very dark. She has even been mistaken for an Irish Setter, though has a typical field Golden head. She makes my blond girl look tiny. Each dog is an individual, just like people. Puppies from the same litter may end up being different sizes, colors, and coat types. His smaller size does not mean that he was not a well-bred dog.
Go to a dog show sometime. That will give you a good idea of how large the show dogs are because show dogs must meet the standard for height to be in the show. In the meantime, I would be proud to own such a lovely dog.
 

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My guy is bigger than yours but also smaller than the average. He's 2 (will be 3 in April) he is within the standard but just barely. He weighs around 55 pounds. I get a lot of "what's he mixed with?" I attribute those questions mostly to his broad head compared with the average golden in my area. Healthy just smaller. He's a great cuddle buddy!
 

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hmm.. i’ve always been curious about this, i have a 2 year old golden retriever and he is only 42 pounds! his face still looks like a puppy and he gets mistaken for one all the time! why is he so small and babyish?!! not that i mind:) not to mention, he is so calm and never barks (even when dogs bark and growl at him)! View attachment 869193 View attachment 869194 View attachment 869195
He is beautiful and my 1yr old female golden Emma looks a lot like your sweet boy. She still has that baby look and at the vet today, she weighed in at 70lbs, but compared to other Golden's in her pet park, she is shorter than the others. She is a pedigree, and I've measured her and she is right between 20 to 21 inches. If you're not planning on breeding, I would enjoy your sweet boys size.
hmm.. i’ve always been curious about this, i have a 2 year old golden retriever and he is only 42 pounds! his face still looks like a puppy and he gets mistaken for one all the time! why is he so small and babyish?!! not that i mind:) not to mention, he is so calm and never barks (even when dogs bark and growl at him)! View attachment 869193 View attachment 869194 View attachment 869195
hmm.. i’ve always been curious about this, i have a 2 year old golden retriever and he is only 42 pounds! his face still looks like a puppy and he gets mistaken for one all the time! why is he so small and babyish?!! not that i mind:) not to mention, he is so calm and never barks (even when dogs bark and growl at him)! View attachment 869193 View attachment 869194
hmm.. i’ve always been curious about this, i have a 2 year old golden retriever and he is only 42 pounds! his face still looks like a puppy and he gets mistaken for one all the time! why is he so small and babyish?!! not that i mind:) not to mention, he is so calm and never barks (even when dogs bark and growl at him)! View attachment 869193 View attachment 869194
 
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