Judges Education

Size Disqualification in Golden Retrievers

The AKC breed standard for the Golden Retriever states the following:

Males 23-24 inches in height at withers; females 21½-22½ inches. Dogs up to one inch above or below standard size should be proportionately penalized. Deviation in height of more than one inch from the standard shall disqualify.

The Golden Retriever Club of America Judges’ Education Committee would like to call to the attention of all judges that there is NO exemption from the size requirements for puppies. Golden Retriever puppies mature at different rates, dependent on genetic, nutritional and environmental factors. Many Goldens do not reach standard height until well after they reach six months of age and are eligible for the show ring. This is a normal rate of maturation for many bloodlines. We recommend that exhibitors do not enter their puppies in conformation shows until they meet the correct size required by the breed standard.

Judges should always be aware of the size standard of the Golden Retriever and its importance to the breed function. The Golden Retriever is a moderately sized, athletic, hunting dog that may be required at times to work out of a small boat yet have the stamina to perform a full day in the field. We encourage judges to measure any Golden Retriever in competition whose size creates uncertainty, whether at the upper or lower limit of the allowed size range. Dogs that are outside of the desirable size range but within the disqualification limits are to be proportionately penalized.

Anyone having additional questions about judging the Golden Retriever may contact the JEC, Ainslie Mills oriana@telus.net or refer to the Golden Retriever Club of America web site under Judges’ Education, at www.grca.org