Dog Breed

Golden Retriever

Primary image of Golden Retriever dog breed
Full Name
Golden Retriever
Alternate Names
Golden, Yellow retriever
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Life Span
10 - 12 years
55 - 75 pounds

The Golden Retriever is known as the ultimate family dog. They are medium to large-sized dogs who love water, are always playful, and are very intelligent. They also have a gorgeous coat that comes in the standard golden, dark golden, and cream (light golden) variety, which only has the downside that it will most likely end up all over your home and clothing, as the golden retriever does tend to shed a good amount. Retrievers are very friendly with both humans and other dogs, and even a good choice for first-time dog owners, since they are eager to please their owner. Because of their incredible popularity, prices have gone up for goldens, as well as wait times- often exceeding 6 months for puppies from certain breeders.

United Kingdom
Bred For
    Family Considerations
    Child Friendly

    Is the Golden Retriever good with children?

    Yes! The Golden Retriever is naturally friendly with children. As always, socialization is always important, but the Golden Retriever is an excellent dog for anyone with small children.
    Stranger Friendly

    Is the Golden Retriever friendly with strangers?

    Yes! The Golden Retriever is naturally friendly with everyone. As always, socialization is always important, but the Golden Retriever typically loves everyone they meet
    Dog Friendly

    Is the Golden Retriever friendly with other dogs?

    Yes! The Golden Retriever naturally loves other dogs. As always, socialization is always important, but the Golden Retriever typically gets along with every dog it meets
    Likes to Cuddle

    Does the Golden Retriever like to cuddle?

    The Golden Retriever loves physical affection and cuddles. If you're looking for a cuddle partner you may have found the one!

    Does the Golden Retriever like to play?

    The Golden Retriever is always ready for play! It's important to keep in mind, as they need to be stimulated with games and affection throughout the day.
    Service Dog Ability

    Does the Golden Retriever make a good service dog?

    The Golden Retriever is a common service dog. The Golden Retriever is smart, dedicated, and patient. However, despite the Golden Retriever being an excellent breed for service work, they must pass through an extensive training period and only some will be up for a life dedicated to service work.
    Overall Ease of Breed
    Ease for Novice

    Is the Golden Retriever good for first-time owners?

    The Golden Retriever is a good breed for first-time owners. A good fit for first-time owners are friendly breeds that are motivated to please their owner. This means they can be trained, and are rarely aggressive and overpowering.
    Training Potential

    How well can the Golden Retriever be trained?

    The Golden Retriever can be trained to the highest level and is oftentimes seen in various competitions. The Golden Retriever is not only intelligent, but it wants to please its owner and is motivated with competition, especially if it feels like it has a job assigned to it.
    Amount of Shedding

    Does the Golden Retriever shed a lot?

    The Golden Retriever sheds without mercy. The Golden Retriever is one of the heaviest shedding dog breeds, so be prepared to vacuum frequently.
    Ease of Grooming

    Is the Golden Retriever easy to groom?

    The Golden Retriever requires some grooming, but less than the average dog breed. Typically you will not need to take the Golden Retriever to the pet salon, and occasional combing at home should be enough.
    Exercise Need

    Does the Golden Retriever need a lot of exercise?

    The Golden Retriever has a lot of energy and getting daily exercise is very important, both for their well-being and for their focus, which is important when you train them.

    How smart is the Golden Retriever?

    The Golden Retriever is one of the smartest dog breeds. Having a very smart dog is fun, but it is also demanding- they require mental challenge and stimulation just as much as physical exercise.
    Amount of Barking

    How much does the Golden Retriever bark? Does the Golden Retriever bark too much?

    The Golden Retriever barks an average amount. It can vary widely between Golden Retrievers - some may be much more expressive than others.
    Guard Dog Ability

    Is the Golden Retriever a good guard dog?

    The Golden Retriever would not make a good guard dog. They can be alert, but typically do not have the desire or instinct to take on "guarding" as their job.
    Tolerates Being Alone

    Is the Golden Retriever good at staying alone? Is the Golden Retriever independent?

    The Golden Retriever is not very independent and does not do great when left behind for longer than a couple of hours. This is one of the most important things to consider when getting a new dog.
    Home and Environment Considerations
    Good for Apartment Living

    Is the Golden Retriever a good apartment dog?

    The Golden Retriever is not a good dog for apartment living for several reasons. It is still possible to make it work if the owner is dedicated to plenty of training and daily exercise, but it may be challenging.

    How big is the Golden Retriever?

    The Golden Retriever is a medium sized dog breed. They can range in size depending on genetics, and males are larger on average than females.
    Tolerates Heat

    How much does the Golden Retriever tolerate hot weather? When is it too hot for a Golden Retriever?

    The Golden Retriever can tolerate some heat, but should not be over-exposed to hot weather. In general, they can live in hot weather climates, but would do best with air conditioning or at least a fan in their home, especially where they sleep.
    Tolerates Cold

    How much does the Golden Retriever tolerate cold weather? When is it too cold for a Golden Retriever?

    The Golden Retriever can tolerate cold weather well. Play time in the snow or on particularly cold evenings may need to be limited, but overall they can do well in cold climates.
    Potential to Run Away

    Does the Golden Retriever try to run away?

    The Golden Retriever does sometimes run away. This is especially true if they are distracted, or see other cats or dogs. They probably won't go out of their way to "escape", but a fenced yard is still recommended.
    Physical Characteristics
    General Health

    Is the Golden Retriever a healthy dog? The health of a Golden Retriever should be measured not just by how many years they live, but also by how many health issues they've had. It is important to know which health conditions your breed is prone to- hip problems, eye problems, bloating, and arthritis are all common dog health problems.

    The Golden Retriever is healthy, but has an average number of health risks that should be taken into consideration.
    Energy Level

    How energetic is the Golden Retriever?

    The Golden Retriever has a lot of energy and this needs to be considered before bringing the Golden Retriever into your home. Can you give your Golden Retriever enough exercise? They will need several small daily walks, or a large dog park trip to get all of the energy out.
    Amount of Drooling

    How much does the Golden Retriever drool?

    The Golden Retriever drools an average amount- typically only after heavy exercise or if you are eating their favorite human food in front of them.
    Prey Drive

    Does the Golden Retriever have a large prey drive? Does the Golden Retriever like to chase birds, cats, and other small animals?

    The Golden Retriever has average prey drive. They will probably enjoy chasing after birds and other small animals at the park, and it may be an issue at the home if you have small animals, but with some training and introduction can usually learn to live with them.

    Is the Golden Retriever atheltic?

    The Golden Retriever is athletic and has average levels of endurance. They need a lot of exercise, and can be an exercise partner as long as it's nothing too extreme.

Breed Variations

  • Image for the Black variation for dog breed


  • Image for the English Cream variation for dog breed

    English Cream

  • Image for the Dark Golden  variation for dog breed

    Dark Golden

  • Image for the Yellow variation for dog breed


  1. Sporting
  2. Retriever
  3. Golden Retriever
The Golden Retriever is a purebred dog that belongs to the Retriever sub group, which falls under the larger Sporting dog breed group.
Sporting group: Sporting dogs are the natural athletes of the dog world. They have high energy, and always look to be stimulated with some activity or challenge. These dogs thrive in the outdoors- particularly the woods and the water. Sporting dogs include the best swimming dogs, retrieving dogs, and other field activities. They have traditionally been bred to assist hunters find and retrieve birds and other smaller hunting game. Sporting dogs are not known as guard dogs, but because of their alertness and loyalty to their family, with proper training they can be good home protectors as well. Over the years they have become extremely well-rounded, so with plenty of exercise can make excellent home companions. They are willing to please their owners, so if you put the time into training and exercise you will be rewarded with an amazing dog.
Retriever sub-group: Retrievers are one of the most globally recognized and loved breeds. They were bred to retrieve (especially birds) for their hunters. This has translated to a natural eagerness to please their owners. Combine that with their friendliness and intelligence and they make an amazing family dog. They can be trained well, and do not necessarily need an alpha type of owner. Because of the retriever's incredible versatility, they excel in a variety of other activities such as drug detection, service dogs for the blind, search and rescue dogs, and more. An owner should take advantage of the dog's eagerness to please by giving them challenges, and letting them feel rewarded for their good actions. The 'retrieving' is so bred into the nature of the dog that typically you do not need to teach them to "fetch" ... they just do. Retrievers aren't perfect though- they have been known to have a variety of health problems, most common being hip problems. Make sure you go through a reputable breeder, and don't be shy to ask about the hips of their dogs.

Golden Retrievers for adoption

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