Goldens have an excellent sense of smell
As their name suggests, golden retrievers were intended primarily as hunting dogs to retrieve felled game in the field. Therefore, they were bred to possess an extremely powerful sense of smell, and indeed their olfactory skills are among the best of all dog breeds. (source: AKC)
Goldens are the 4th smartest dog breed
Looks and brains: Golden retrievers really have it all. These friendly family dogs are also whip-smart. According to conventional wisdom, they are the fourth-smartest breed of all, trailing only border collies, poodles and German shepherds. (source: AKC)
Goldens are super obedient!
The American Kennel Club introduced its official obedience trials in 1977, and its first three obedience champions were golden retrievers. The very first was a female named Moreland’s Golden Tonka, aka Tonka. During Tonka’s career, she earned eight perfect scores and 176 “High in Trial” awards. (source: AKC)
They nearly dominated 80s and 90s TV
Golden retrievers are highly intelligent and easy to train. As a result, they’re frequently used in television and movies. The breed enjoyed especially notable popularity in 1980s and 1990s TV sitcoms.
Golden retrievers featured prominently on “Punky Brewster” as the titular character’s dog, Brandon; on Full House as the Tanner family’s dog, Comet; and on Empty Nest as the Weston family’s dog, Dreyfuss (although Dreyfuss was half Golden Retriever, half Saint Bernard). The popular family films Homeward Bound and Air Bud also starred golden retrievers. (source: AKC)
One of the best assistance breeds
The intelligence and physical skill originally bred into golden retrievers to make them excellent hunting dogs remains in demand today, though less often for hunting and more often for more modern applications. In particular, golden retrievers are prized as assistant dogs for people with various disabilities. Assistance dog organizations like Assistance Dog International, Canine Companions for Independence and Paws With a Cause all train golden retrievers, Labrador retrievers and Lab-golden crosses for the job almost exclusively. (source: AKC)