Social, high-energy, and up for anything – the Golden Retriever does best with an active lifestyle and lots of “people time.”
The Golden Retriever, an exuberant Scottish gundog of great beauty, stands among America’s most popular dog breeds. They are serious workers at hunting and field work, as guides for the blind, and in search-and-rescue, enjoy obedience and other competitive events, and have an endearing love of life when not at work.
Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please family dogs, and relatively easy to train. They take a joyous and playful approach to life and maintain this puppyish behavior into adulthood. These energetic, powerful gundogs enjoy outdoor play. For a breed built to retrieve waterfowl for hours on end, swimming and fetching are natural pastimes.
An owner who understands that a Golden Retriever…
- Is large, athletic, and sheds coat almost constantly;
- Has a cheerful, tail-wagging nature and always wants to be with people;
- Is steady-tempered and dependable;
- Is peaceful with other animals; and
- Is eager to please and very responsive to training.
An owner who can not…
- Provide vigorous daily exercise;
- Deal with exuberant jumping, especially when young;
- Handle mouthiness: chewing on things, carrying things around;
- Provide regular brushing and combing to avoid mats and tangles;
- Deal with constant heavy shedding.
- Be prepared to handle a multitude of serious health problems.
- Tends to get along with everyone and everything.
- Sunny, bouncy disposition.
- Up for anything, especially outdoor adventures like camping, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding.
- Even temperament makes them great candidates for therapy work.
- Their eagerness to please makes them highly trainable.
- Velcro dogs – unhappy when left alone for long periods of time; can be destructive if left alone or when they don’t receive enough exercise.
- Energizer bunny – can go all day.
- Can be very needy and clingy.
- High probability of cancer – 60% of Golden Retrievers are diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lives.
Females: Average 21.5-22.5 inchesat the shoulder, and roughly 55-65 pounds.
Males: Average 23-24 inchesat the shoulder, and roughly 65-75 pounds.
Rich, lustrous golden of various shades. Feathering may be lighter than rest of coat. Allowable light shadings are not to be confused with white markings. Predominant body color which is either extremely pale or extremely dark is undesirable.
Average is 10 to 12 years.
Generally very tolerant of children.
Generally very tolerant of other animals.
Excels at obedience, agility, tracking, dock diving.
Goldens heavily shed their thick, water-repellant double coat once or twice a year, and they also shed more moderately on a continuous basis. Most of the time, a good brushing-out with a slicker brush once or twice a week will remove much of the dead hair before it has a chance to fall onto the furniture. During times of heavy shedding, these brushing sessions turn into daily affairs. Baths help to loosen the dead hairs, but the dog must be completely dry before brushing begins. Otherwise, Goldens only need occasional baths to keep them clean. As with all breeds, the Golden’s nails should be trimmed regularly.
The Golden Retriever can suffer from a variety of health issues, including:
- Hip Displaysia
- Allergies/Skin Conditions
- Low Thyroid
- Pigmentary Uveitis