Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever At-a-Glance

Goldens, as they are commonly called, originally came from Scotland. They are known for their loyalty, gentleness, and great beauty. They are also the third most popular breed, according to the American Kennel Club (just behind the Labrador Retriever and the French Bulldog).

They are highly intelligent and among the best family dogs. They excel in almost all tasks, and are widely used as therapy dogs, guide dogs, and search and rescue dogs.

Weight (pounds)
Male: 65-75
Female: 55-65
Height (inches)
Male: 23-24
Female: 21-22
Lifespan (years)

Dog Breed Group

Characteristics Ratings

We rate 19 characteristics for each breed, divided into three categories:
Highest Rated – Characteristics for which this breed is rated 4 or 5 stars (on a 5 star scale).
Neutral Rated – Characteristics that rated 3 stars.
Lowest Rated – Characteristics that rated only 1 or 2 stars.

Highest Rated

  • Good Family Dog
  • Kid Friendly
  • Good With Other Dogs
  • Low Drooling
  • Friendly to Strangers
  • Likes to Play
  • Handles Change Easily
  • Easy to Train
  • Low Amount of Barking
  • High Intelligence

Neutral Rated

  • Protective Nature
  • High Energy Level
  • Good for Novice Owners
  • Tolerates Cold Climate
  • Tolerates Hot Climate

Lowest Rated

  • Low Shedding
  • Suitable for Small Yards/Apartments
  • Tolerates Being Left Alone
  • Good General Health

General Overview

Probably the most notable feature of Goldens is their friendly and gentle personality.

They are wonderful family dogs and do exceptionally well with young children. They tolerate bumps and tail pulls without reacting and happily play all day with the children, while at the same time keeping an eye on them.

They also get along with all other dogs, cats, and virtually any other animal. In fact, chances are they will become a good friend with the family cat!

With their sweet, gentle, and loyal personality, Goldens are the perfect family dog. But because they like everyone, they are not good watchdogs. Their first tendency is to lick, not attack!

That said, these are exceptionally smart dogs that can sense with someone is a threat. While they are neither fierce nor aggressive, they are brave and strong and will not allow an intruder to harm family members.

Goldens do have long coats, which means they are heavy shedders and require frequent brushing. On the plus side, they seldom drool, so you won’t have slobber all over the house as you would with many of the larger breeds.

As is true of most dog breeds, Goldens do not like to be left alone. They love their families and thrive on being with them. They should not be left alone for more than a very few hours and then only occasionally.

Goldens are a sporting breed and as such have a good amount of energy and love to play. They need at least 30 minutes of heavy exercise daily, or else they may compensate with destructive behaviors.

They particularly enjoy swimming and playing fetch. They also enjoy canine sports and do very well competitively.

Because Goldens are so intelligent and eager to please their owners, they are very easy to train. They easily learn new commands with very few repetitions.

Unlike many other intelligent breeds, Goldens are not stubborn. This means they are far easier to train than most other large dogs. This makes them a fairly good choice for first-time owners.

Goldens do well in both hot and cold climates due to their thick coats, although extremely hot temperatures should be avoided.

From a health standpoint, Goldens are reasonably healthy. As is true of other large breeds, they can suffer from joint problems.

Other ailments can include skin conditions, eye diseases, and hypothyroidism, although these are less common.

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