Field Bred Golden Retrievers vs Show Golden Retrievers

Want to learn the difference between field bred Golden Retrievers and show Golden Retrievers? Sure, they’re both goldens and make amazing family dogs, but there are some differences you need to look out for if you’re thinking of adopting one.

In this post, we’re going to break down 7 key differences between these two Golden Retrievers.

Let’s dive in!

Field Bred vs Show Golden Retrievers

Before we learn about the differences between field bred Golden Retrievers and show Golden Retrievers, let’s clarify a few things. First, they are both Golden Retrievers, but are different styles of the same dog breed, so they have more in common with each other than differences.

However, they are bred for different purposes, so they go through different training and grow in different environments. Their purpose influences their personalities and lifestyle. Secondly, these differences are generalities since every dog is unique and can be on any end of the differentiating factors we’re going to discuss below.

So, without further ado, let’s talk about the 7 main differences between them.

1. Purpose

Field goldens and show goldens are bred for different purposes, so they possess unique skills they acquire with different training methods and environments.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

Field bred goldens are hunting dogs. Their job is to be on the field all day to retrieve gunned down fowl or game. They have specific personalities and drive that allows them to serve this purpose compared to other Golden Retrievers.

Show Golden Retrievers

Show Golden Retrievers are bred to have a specific look that judges at a conformation event expect them to have based on their breed standard. Show goldens are more disciplined and undergo performance training with different diets.

2. Size and Body Type

With different purposes, diets, and training, this dog breed can come in different sizes and body types, just like humans.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

Field goldens are athletic dogs. They’re small and thinner in size and have leaner bodies to help them run, jump and swim all day long. They have “wedge-shaped” heads due to their slimmer bodies that make them look smaller than an average golden.

Show Golden Retrievers

Show goldens are much bigger, thicker, and chubbier. They have “blocky heads” that make their appearance bigger and squarish. They’re on the heavier side of the average golden weight range since they’re not as active as field goldens.

3. Coat

As the name suggests, both styles of this dog breed have coats in different shades of golden.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

Field Goldens typically have darker golden coats that almost look like red. In contrast, to show goldens, they’re much shorter, making grooming easier for owners. Because of their shorter coats, they shed less.

Show Golden Retrievers

Show goldens have longer, more beautiful coats. They’re much lighter than a field golden’s coat, ranging from light gold to gold in color. Since their coat has more volume, they shed more and require more grooming.

4. Personality

Every dog has its personality, but there are general factors we can use to quantify differences between these two different styles of the same breed.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

All goldens are gentle and affectionate. Since field goldens are bred to hunt, they have more active and driven personalities. They spend most of their time outdoors and are more comfortable around strangers and other animals.

Show Golden Retrievers

Show goldens are more sociable in contrast. They’re friendlier and aim to please. However, they require more attention compared to field goldens since they’re more likely to be around humans, and absence can drive personality changes such as depression and aggression.

5. Energy Levels

Both Golden Retrievers are highly energetic dog breeds that want to run, swim, and play with their owners all day.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

Since field goldens are bred to hunt, they have high energy levels, especially due to their leaner and muscular bodies. Typically, they have more energy than show goldens.

Show Golden Retrievers

Show Golden Retrievers have less energy than field Golden Retrievers, but they still have a lot of it. Plus, it all depends on the environment they’re raised in. For example, show Golden Retrievers that live with families have more energy than those that live with individuals. It’s all about their training, lifestyle, and activities.

6. Training and Abilities

All retrievers are intelligent breeds, which means that they learn much quicker than other dog breeds. However, due to their playful and loving nature, they take their time to mature.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

Field goldens love training, and they need lots of it if they’re going to serve the purpose for which they’re bred. If you don’t train them, their energy levels will decline, and they’ll start behaving like an average golden doing mischievous things like chewing up shoes or stealing socks. Field goldens are more disciplined due to hunt tests, field trials, and game handling.

Show Golden Retrievers

Just like field goldens, show Golden Retrievers make excellent students because they are smart and love to please people for treats and praise. So much so that treats become an essential element of their training. Sure, all dogs love treats, but field goldens don’t usually undergo treat-based training to maintain their leaner bodies. Show goldens do slightly less work because they weren’t bred for a job.

7. Are They Good With Families and Kids?

Goldens are great with families and kids, but due to different purposes, environments, and training, their behaviors vary.

Field Bred Golden Retrievers

Field goldens make great pets but require more attention, especially around children. They can be mouthy, considering they’re bred to carry the game in their mouths. Due to their higher energy levels, they can be a little rough, but overall, they’re loving and devoted to their families.

Goldens don’t make great guard dogs due to their gentle nature, but with the training field bred Golden Retrievers undergo, they can do a fine job.

Show Golden Retrievers

Show goldens are much calmer, and because they don’t have a job, they require less training. They’re friendlier than field goldens, so they make better family dogs, especially if you have kids.

Our Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed reading about field bred Golden Retrievers vs. show Golden Retrievers. Field goldens are athletes bred to work, while show goldens are bred for looks. Overall, they’re both wonderful dogs, and if you train them well, they serve their purpose and make great family pets.

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