Golden Retrievers

a beautiful Golden Retriever laying outside

Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular breeds of dogs in the world, and for good reason. They are loyal, friendly, and make great family pets.

Golden Retrievers have a long history that dates back to 1908 when they were bred in Scotland as hunting dogs. Since then, they have become beloved companions all over the world.

The breed is known for their intelligence, loyalty, and friendly nature. They’re also very easy to train and make great family pets.

Golden Retrievers were originally bred to retrieve game birds for hunters. They are highly trainable and eager to please. They’re also very protective of their family, which makes them a wonderful choice for families.

Golden Retriever puppies are very cute and cuddly, and will grow into adorable adult dogs. Their personalities are very similar to humans, and they will bond with their family very quickly. They are also incredibly loyal and devoted to their family. 

Golden Retrievers do best in homes with lots of open space, they need plenty of room to run around. They are happiest when they have access to a yard or fenced-in area where they can go exploring. The more space they have, the happier they’ll be. 

Golden Retrievers make wonderful pets for people who love to spend time outdoors. They love their daily walks, but because of their energy and how easily they’re distracted, you’ll want to keep them on leash any time you have them outside. Not using a leash can have you chasing after your dog if they get distracted. They are excellent watchdogs, and are eager to please. 

If you choose to buy a puppy from a breeder, you should expect to spend anywhere between $1,500-$3,500 for a healthy, Golden Retriever puppy.

Golden Retrievers are a great choice for first time dog owners. They are easy to train, loyal, and make great family pets. They do need plenty of exercise and mental stimulation, and it’s important to make sure they get plenty of playtime and walks.

Golden Retrievers are very social animals and do best when they have other dogs or people to interact with. They love being around their family and will bond quickly with everyone.

Overall, Golden Retrievers are a great breed for those looking for a loyal, friendly, and intelligent companion. They make great family pets and are sure to bring lots of joy and laughter into your home.

Golden Retriever Information

  • Average Height: 21.5 to 24 inches
  • Average Length – 37 to 42 inches
  • Average Weight: 55 to 75 pounds
  • Coat Type: Double medium length
  • Coat Appearance: Dense with a straight or moderately wavy coat
  • Coat Colors: Light golden, golden and dark golden
  • Grooming Needs: High
  • Shedding: High
  • Brushing Requirements: Recommended daily 
  • Sensitive to Touch: No
  • Excessive Barking: No
  • Tolerance to Heat and Cold: Yes
  • Good Pet: Protective and loyal to their owners, so yes!
  • Safe with Children: Totally
  • Good with Other Dogs: High
  • Good with Other Pets: High
  • Suitable to live in an Apartment: Yes
  • Good for Less Experienced Pet Owners: Yes
  • Training: They learn fast and are obedient
  • Exercise Needs: High need 
  • Weight Gain: High
  • Health Concerns: Hip dysplasia, cancer, hypothyroidism, epilepsy, dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), aortic stenosis,cataracts 
  • Allergies: Pollen and some food
  • Average Life Span: 10 to 12 years

Physical Appearance of Golden Retrievers

a golden retriever puppy running towards the camera

They have a prominent golden-brown coat. Their fur can be a number of different colors from cream to a range of golden shades ranging from light to dark and even red. Their coat has a water-repellent outer layer with a thick undercoat. The fur is very soft to the touch, which grows straight but can be slightly wavy for some.

The breed has a wide head with a mildly pointed snout. Their nose and eyes have a gently brown texture with medium size ears laying against the side of their head. Golden Retrievers have a muscular body with strong thighs and shoulders, a broad chest, and a strong neck. They have long tails that are straight when they wag them. Their beautiful golden color makes them instantly recognizable.

Temperament of Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers have a balanced temperament and are very affectionate. They are extremely intelligent and are fond of being praised by their owners. Their love of affection is one reason why they are popular service dogs. The breed is also a great choice for first-time pet owners because they are very easy to care for.

With little training, they can get along with cats or any other family pets. They are generally very friendly and do not bark unless they see someone approaching your home. Because they are so friendly towards everyone, including strangers, they should not be trusted to act as a guard dog.

It cannot be overstated that this breed loves attention and playing with its family. If there is a dog park near your home, you can expect them to make a lot of friends very quickly. They will happily spend the time there running around and playing with their new friends.

Training a Golden Retriever

a Golden Retriever outside with their attention focused on something

Because they are very energetic and can easily become excited, you will want to keep them on a leash until you are sure they are fully trained and will listen to you. It is fairly common for younger Goldens to be out on a walk and suddenly run off after something they’ve seen.

Training the Golden Retriever is easy and using the clicker method with rewards and praise will make it easier to teach them.

Clicker Training

Golden Retriever puppies need to be trained to understand what is good behavior and what is not OK. Clicker training will help them understand what is good behavior. Clicker training has you make a noise with the clicker when the desired action is done. In addition to the click you’ll give them a treat, at least while you train them. Every time your dog hears the click they’ll know they did a good job and you are happy.

If your dog misbehaves, try not to punish them because it can discourage them. Instead, remember the clicker training and divert their attention to something else. You might have to do this several times to help your dog understand that they are not supposed to do the undesired activities.

Early Socialization Training

Early socialization is absolutely necessary for Golden Retrievers. They need exposure to different sounds, places, people, other dogs, and pets right when they are a puppy. By being exposed to so many things it will help interact more confidently with others and not be so skittish with strangers or other dogs.

Obedience Training Classes

a Golden Retriever that almost looks like they're smiling with their tongue hanging out of their mouth

Obedience training classes are a great way to help your dog learn some basic instructions. Obedience training isn’t just for your dog, it also helps owners learn to teach and control their new dog. These classes can teach you as an owner the best ways to teach your puppy. The amount of time you spend trying to stop your Golden’s barking at visitors can be a lot less if you know the best way to teach them.

Kennel Training

Kennel training works very well with Goldens. If done right they will see the kennel as their safe space, and a place that they can relax and sleep. Most dogs enjoy small spaces and will find a sense of security while inside it. Getting them comfortable in a kennel early on will save you a lot of headaches. You know that they can’t get into trouble while you’re sleeping or at work if they’re in their kennel. It’s also a great place for them to dry off after they come into the house when it’s wet outside.

Golden Retrievers can also be trained to be emotional support animals, and many are trained to be service dogs for the deaf or blind.

Their Compatibility with Children

Golden Retrievers are a sweet and enjoyable pet to have in your family. They get along very well with children, even when they might be loud, or not so nice to the dog. Because they love attention and affection so much, they are usually very forgiving when playing with children.

Though they are completely safe with children, you should show your kids on how to interact with them. It is possible that some accidents can occur during playing that the dog could cause children to fall or be pushed over. Just like with any new pet an adult should supervise the first few interactions between children and the new pet. Once you know they both understand how to play well together this shouldn’t be needed anymore. A little supervision will ensure there is no unnecessary biting or pushing or fur pulling.

Best Climate for Golden Retriever

a very cute Golden Retriever puppy that looks like they want to play

Goldens have a thick coat which makes moderate climates an ideal environment for them. They can tolerate mildly cold temperatures to about freezing but they don’t handle hot weather as well.

If the temperature gets too hot you should bring your Golden Retriever inside. The ideal maximum for them to be comfortably outside is about 80 degrees. If they will be outside for long periods of time at or above this temperature they will need a few things to keep comfortable. It’s important that they have water to drink, some shade to lay in, and possibly a children’s pool to lounge in.

Golden Retrievers love to stay in rural areas and homes that have a backyard. This gives them enough space to run around and play.

The Attention Golden Retrievers Need

Golden Retrievers are very easy going and having them around is just like living with another family member. Because they are dogs that like to be beside the owners they do want a lot of attention from you. If you ignore them, they might misbehave to get your attention.

Health Issues

The breed has fairly good health in comparison to other dogs. But like other breeds, there are specific diseases that some Golden Retrievers may develop as they age.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a hereditary problem that can make walking, getting up or laying down difficult and painful. When a dog has hip dysplasia, their hip socket fails to fully cover the ball portion of their thigh bone. The looseness between the hip and leg bone leads to partial or complete dislocation of their hip joint and can cause pain and stiffness. In most cases, medication and exercise restrictions are advised by the vet. Over time the condition could become severe enough that your vet might recommend surgery to correct it.

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA) is a degenerative eye disorder that affects the retina of dogs. It’s an inherited condition, meaning it’s passed down from parent to offspring.

PRA is caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for producing the photoreceptor cells in the retina. These cells are responsible for converting light into electrical signals that are sent to the brain and interpreted as vision. As PRA progresses, these photoreceptor cells die off, leading to blindness.

Symptoms of Canine Progressive Retinal Atrophy

Symptoms of PRA can vary depending on the breed and type of PRA, but generally include:

  • Night blindness
  • Decreased vision in dim light
  • Dilated pupils
  • Cloudiness of the eyes
  • Head tilt

As the disease progresses, these symptoms could worsen and eventually lead to total blindness.

Periodontal Disease

Domesticated cats and dogs can get periodontal disease if their oral health is not taken care of. Periodontal disease is a tooth and gum condition that can become serious in a few ways. One of the biggest problems is that this disease can destroy the gums and teeth of your pet if left untreated.

Another major problem if the bacteria in the mouth enters the bloodstream. Plaque build-up in the mouth can damage the gums and let bacteria enter the bloodstream. If this happens it can cause kidney and liver diseases and narrow their blood vessels which can lead to heart problems.

One of the easiest ways to prevent periodontal disease is to regularly brush your pet’s teeth. More than likely they won’t like it, but regular brushing is the best way you can prevent plaque buildup in your pets mouth.


Cancer is a leading cause of death in dogs, accounting for nearly half of all deaths in older dogs. While there are many types of cancer that can affect dogs, the most common include lymphoma, mast cell tumors, and osteosarcoma. 

Early detection and treatment of cancer is essential for a successful outcome. Regular check-ups with your veterinarian are important to monitor your dog’s health, as well as to detect any signs of cancer early. 

If your dog is diagnosed with cancer, there are several treatment options available. Surgery is often used to remove tumors or affected areas of their body, and chemotherapy can be recommended to help reduce the size of tumors or slow their growth. 

Radiation therapy might also be used in some cases. In addition to traditional treatments, many pet owners are now turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and dietary changes to help their dogs fight cancer.


Epilepsy is a neurological disorder that affects dogs and can cause seizures. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of epilepsy so that you can recognize it and get treatment for your pet.

Symptoms of Epilepsy

The most common symptom of epilepsy is a seizure, which can range from mild to severe. Seizures are associated with uncontrolled muscle contractions, loss of consciousness, and sometimes, loss of bladder and bowel control. Other symptoms can include disorientation, confusion, drooling, pacing, trembling, and even aggression.

If your dog has any of these symptoms, it’s important to take them to your vet right away for a diagnosis. Your vet will be able to determine if your pet has epilepsy by performing a physical exam and running tests such as an EEG or CT scan.

Once your dog has been diagnosed with epilepsy, your vet will be able to recommend the best treatment plan for them. Treatment can include medications to control seizures, dietary changes, and lifestyle modifications. It’s important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully in order to ensure that your pet gets the best care possible.

Dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM)

Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM) is a serious heart condition that can affect any dog breed. It’s identified by an enlarged heart and weakened contractions, leading to decreased blood flow throughout the body.

DCM is caused by a variety of factors including genetics, nutrition deficiencies, and certain medications. It’s important to note that some breeds are more prone to developing DCM than others. These include Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Boxers, and Irish Wolfhounds.

It’s important for pet owners to be aware of the signs and symptoms of DCM in order to get prompt treatment if their dog is affected. Early diagnosis and treatment can help improve the dog’s prognosis and quality of life.

Aortic stenosis

Aortic/Subaortic Stenosis (AS/SAS) is a congenital heart defect that affects the heart’s left ventricle. It’s caused by the aortic valve or subaortic area narrowing, which restricts the flow of blood from the left ventricle to the aorta. This can lead to an increased pressure in the left ventricle, which can cause symptoms such as exercise intolerance, fainting, and even sudden death.

AS/SAS is most commonly seen in large dog breeds, particularly Boxer and Bulldog breeds. It’s also seen in some smaller breeds such as the Chihuahua and Pomeranian. The condition can be diagnosed through an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound for the heart.

It’s important to note that AS/SAS can be managed with proper treatment and care. It’s also important to know that this condition can be fatal if left untreated. It’s important to have your pet examined by a veterinarian if you think that they have (AS/SAS).


Cataracts are a common eye condition that can cause vision loss and blindness. Cataracts occur when the lens in an eye becomes cloudy or opaque, blocking light from passing through to the retina. This can lead to decreased vision, or even complete blindness.

There are several causes of cataracts, including genetics, diabetes, trauma, and certain medications.

Cataracts can be a serious condition, but with proper treatment, your dog can regain their vision and live a happy life.

Bathing, Coat, and Cleaning

It is important to thoroughly brush the coat of your Golden Retriever. Regular brushing is important because their fur sheds heavily. If you don’t want to see dog hair in your home and on your clothes, we recommend brushing them daily, especially in the spring. Use a brush to groom their entire body and a comb to gently groom sensitive areas.

They only need a bath once a month to keep smelling and looking good. Brushing their teeth often will help keep their oral health up. If this isn’t something you are comfortable with we recommend scheduling a vet visit every few months. They’ll need their nails trimmed twice a month if they are not wearing them down through exercise.

Be careful not to cut their nails too short. Cutting their nails too short will hurt them because they have blood vessels in their toenails. If you notice blood, just wrap the nail with a paper towel for a few minutes until the bleeding stops and remember not to cut it that short next time.

Golden Retrievers love to play around in the water, and because of this they are prone to getting ear infections. If you let your dog play in the water, then there is a decent chance they will develop an ear infection shortly after. Their ears should be regularly cleaned to help prevent infections.

Bad odors or redness in their ears is a sign of infection. You can use cotton with ear cleaner to gently clean their ears. It will be clear once you start doing this that your dog will not like most grooming that they need.

You can help calm them by calmly petting them and speaking gently to them before you do anything. Shower them with rewards and affection to make them enjoy the cleaning. This will make it a more positive experience when you do these things to keep your pet healthy.

Every week it is important to check their nose, paws, and other areas of your dog while brushing them for signs of redness or other infections. If you see any signs of infection, call your vet immediately.

Feeding A Golden Retriever

Goldens have a tendency to gain unwanted weight. They need to be fed a consistent amount of food to make sure they don’t put on any extra weight. 2-3 cups of dry dog food, twice a day will be good for most adult Goldens. Like people, each dog has its own food needs. If you notice that your dog is gaining weight because they are not as active as before, either reduce how much you feed them or increase their activity.

The exact amount of food for your pet will depend upon the age, size, and how active they are during the day. It will also depend on the food that you are feeding them. Don’t keep the food out for them beyond feeding time. Feed them full meals twice a day, and anything not eaten after 10 minutes should be put away until their next feeding.

Avoid feeding table scraps to your Golden. If you want to feed them people food, consult your vet before giving them any. They are a small breed and their food needs are minimal. Eating more than what they are supposed to can cause them to put on weight or lead to negative health conditions.

Related Questions:

What is the Right Age to get a Golden Retriever Puppy?

You shouldn’t get a Golden Retriever before it is 8 weeks old. Before 8 weeks they are learning how to socialize and other important skills from their mother.

Are There Differences Between Male and Female Golden Retrievers?

Apart from some physical characteristics, there are no major differences. The males tend to be taller and heavier from the females. In terms of personality, temperament, and attention both are the same.

Should I Keep My Golden Retriever Outside?

The breed loves interacting with people and other pets. They like staying close to the family. Keeping them outside can make them bored which might lead to behavioral problems. If you have other dogs in your home that will be outside with them, then keeping them outside together will be better for them.

Can Golden Retrievers Swim?

Not only can they swim but they love doing it. They won’t miss out on an opportunity to get wet. Many owners fill a children’s pool with water for them to relax in hot weather. I’m not joking, this is a real thing that many Goldens love to do!

Are Golden Retrievers a Recognized Breed?

Yes, the Golden Retriever was recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) in 1925.

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Maryna is an animal expert that has had dozens of animals in her life over the years. She has never found an animal that she didn't love immediately. It seems like every year she finds kittens that have been abandoned by their mom and she nurses them to health and finds homes for them. She contributes her vast knowledge about animals and family pets to our website and we're forever grateful to have her working with us. She's also an amazing graphics designer and has designed all of the social media images that we use across all platforms.