Country of Origin: Scotland
  • Activity Level: high
  • Shedding Level: moderate
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  • Grooming Level: moderate
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  • Trainability: high
  • Good for Novice Owners: high
  • Adaptability: high
  • Kid/Pet Friendly: often
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  • Prey Drive: moderate
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  • Watchdog: chill
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  • Average Size: Medium
  • Average Lifespan: 10-12 years
  • Registered?: aca, akc
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Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information





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Activity Level


Life Span

Did You Know?

The Golden Retriever has been an AKC-recognized breed since 1925 and was commonly used as a gun dog and for retrieving small game such as waterfowl, and for companionship. The Golden Retriever originated in the Scottish Highlands. The first Lord Tweedmouth, Dudley Majoribanks, is credited with developing the breed and keeping detailed records to create the ideal gun dog for the terrain.

Majoribanks bred the now-extinct “Yellow Retriever” with Irish Water Spaniels, Irish Setters, and Bloodhounds to create the Golden Retriever. Great discipline and a gentle spirit make the Golden Retriever a perfect retrieval breed since the goal of this task is to bring the trophy back as undamaged as possible.

Golden Retrievers first appeared in dog shows in 1908 at a British dog show. They also started appearing in the United States around the same time as they were brought across the Canadian border. They gained popularity with sport hunters and in general. Their popularity really took off in the 1970s and they are consistently one of the most popular dog breeds.

If you are not the sporting type, bringing a Golden Retriever into your family as a pet is just as rewarding because they are one of the most loyal and jovial breeds out there. One of the facts about Golden Retrievers is that they are the epitome of friendly and make fantastic family dogs.

Golden Retrievers are considered one of the friendliest dog breeds. As long as they are well-socialized and trained, they’re known for getting along with just about anyone. They tend to be good with kids, other dogs, other pets, and even strangers. They’re even considered one of the kid-friendly dog breeds.

Goldens love attention and they bond closely with their families. They are affectionate with them, and also just about everyone else. Although they do tend to get along with everyone, they love being around their favorite humans the most. They will bark to alert you and can end up barking a lot if you do not train your dog to stop barking early on.

Golden Retrievers are highly adaptable dogs. They thrive in homes with yards where they can run. They can also adapt to apartment living as long as they get enough daily exercise, mental stimulation, and attention.

These dogs do well in just about any climate, but are sensitive to heat. As one of the most affectionate dog breeds, they are not at all happy about being left alone for long periods of time. Although super-friendly and attention-loving, Goldens can also be sensitive to their surroundings; make sure they feel included, but have a quiet place to go if things get too noisy or overwhelming.

Potential health concerns to be aware of in a Golden Retriever include progressive retinal atrophy, cataracts, elbow dysplasia, and hip dysplasia. Good breeding practices make a big difference in the health of puppies.

Reputable breeders screen their dogs to avoid passing preventable issues to puppies. So, make sure you ask about the health and genetic history of the parents. You can also ask about any health tests or clearances that have been done.

Goldens are considered one of the best dog breeds for first-time owners. They are highly trainable dogs that pick up on things quickly and are eager to please. These traits make them a good fit for owners of all experience levels. It also helps them excel at obedience competitions.

As one of the smartest dog breeds, Golden Retrievers can get bored easily. Because they pick up things quickly, they can get bored with too much repetition in training. If your dog has mastered the command, move on to something more advanced or another activity. You can also enroll in puppy training classes for some variety in training and also some socialization.

Golden Retrievers have a long double coat that will shed a little year-round and will be heavier twice a year as the seasons change. Brushing a few times a week and daily brushing during seasonal shedding along with a bath as needed is usually enough for at-home care. You will want to go to the dog groomer for a professional trim a few times a year, especially as the seasons change.

In addition to coat care, you will also need to take care of your Golden’s nails, ears, and teeth. Nail trims once or twice monthly keep nails from growing too long. Weekly ear checks, and carefully cleaning your dog’s ears as needed, can help prevent ear infections.

Good dental care for dogs early and throughout your dog’s life can help prevent painful dental diseases later in life. Daily tooth brushing, along with cleanings at the vet when needed, is ideal. It’s a good idea to get your Golden Retriever puppy used to having their ears, paws, and mouth handled early on as this will make grooming much easier as they grow bigger.

Golden Retrievers are one of the most active dog breeds. Daily walks plus some playtime, time to run, and other activities are usually enough to keep these dogs happy and healthy. But, they are high-energy dogs that will likely always be up for more activity if you are.

Much like the Labrador, they also tend to have an extended puppyhood. They tend to start winding down a little around the age of 3 and settle into your lifestyle, but they will still be high-energy dogs that require a lot of daily activity.

Goldens are known for being versatile and athletic dogs. They tend to love swimming. Once they are done growing and the vet clears them for higher-impact activities, you can try other things too. They are one of the dog breeds that make good running partners.

You can also teach them how to play frisbee or play fetch. Training for dog sports is another good option. In addition to obedience, Golden Retrievers are well suited for agility, dock diving, rally, flyball, tracking, and more.

Fully-grown Golden Retrievers usually stand 21-24 inches tall and weigh 55-80 pounds.

Golden Retrievers generally live for 10-12 years on average.

With their intelligence, eagerness to please, and gentle disposition, Golden Retrievers are versatile working dogs. In addition to being one of the dog breeds that make the best service dogs, Goldens can be found working as emotional support dogs, certified therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, military dogs, police dogs, animal actors, and more.