By Macy Gen Veterinary AssistantMacy Gen Last updated: 17th March 2023

Golden Retriever


Macy Gen Veterinary Assistant Macy Gen
Last updated: 17th March 2023

The Golden Retriever is a large sized, energetic breed, serving as efficient gun dogs used for retrieving waterfowl and game birds. These good looking dogs are not just efficient as a working breed but also excel as excellent family dogs.

Golden Retriever Pictures

Quick Information

Other namesGolden
CoatInner coat: Dense, making them feel warm when outdoors;  Outer coat: Water repellent, straight or wavy, fitted closely to its body
ColorDark or light golden or cream
Breed typePurebred
GroupRetrievers, lifesaving dogs, sporting dogs
Average life expectancy (How long do they live)10 to 12 years
Size (How big do they get)Big
Height of a full grown Golden RetrieverMale: 22 to 24 inches; Female: 20 to 22 inches
Weight of a full grown Golden RetrieverMale: 65 to 75 pounds; Female: 55 to 65 pounds
Litter size8 on an average
Behavioral characteristicsDevoted, intelligent, friendly, eager-to-please and gentle
Good with childrenYes
Barking tendencyModerate
Climate compatibility Thrives well in a temperate climate but does not do well when the temperature in warm
Shedding (Do they shed)Moderately high but excessive during spring as well as fall
Competitive Registration Qualification/ InformationFCI, CKC, UKC, ANKC, UKC, KC (UK)

What does a Golden Retriever look like

The following physical features characterize these active dogs with a symmetrical and powerful built:

Head: Broad and slightly arched

Muzzle: Straight and well set

Eyes: Dark, closely fit, of medium length

Ears: Short, just above its eyes and close to its cheek

Body: Muscular built and well balanced

Tail: Thick, well set, muscular at the base



Their breeding began in Scotland in the second half of the 19th century since the hunting of wildfowl was immensely popular among the Scottish aristocrats. However, the retrieving breeds which existed were unable to perform their job adeptly. Hence they were crossed with some of the best water spaniels to produce the Golden Retriever.  Dudley Marjoribanks, a noble, played a significant role in developing these dogs. He initiated a full course breeding programme as his requirements were a dog to thrive in the rainy and rugged condition of Scotland. Hence he crossed one of his Yellow Retriever with an extinct breed namely Tweed Water Spaniel. Four puppies evolved from this crossing which therefore became a part of the breeding programme. Other breeds included were the St John’s water dog, Bloodhound, and Irish Setter. The Golden Retriever Club of Scotland is one among the several organizations formed for the betterment of this breed. In England, the Kennel Club was the first to register these breeds that were exhibited in the year 1908 at a dog show in Britain. In America, it gained recognition after a long time with AKC giving them acknowledgment in 1925. The Golden Retriever Club of America developed in 1938.  On the other hand, in Canada, they were registered for the first time in 1927, while the GRCO (Golden Retriever Club of Ontario) established in 1958.

British kindAmerican KindCanadian kind
Broader skull and more muscular than the rest of the varieties. Dark round eyes and may be of golden or cream color, though the latter shade was initially not accepted in the United Kingdom.Are thinner and less muscular in comparison to the Golden Retrievers of other countries, with a darker coat. Gaits are more smooth and well coordinated.Thinner with a darker coat and are taller than the other two varieties.

Temperament and Personality

Their friendly, kind, calm and confident nature makes them adorable family pets. They are always eager-to-please their masters as well as other members of the family.

However, they are not a one-man’s pet and would thrive amicably with everyone including strangers, a trait that does not make them excellent guard dogs.

Their affection can at times turn into exaggeration, and you can often see your Golden jumping upon you or anyone else to express their greeting.

They are incredibly patient with a high endurance level, also possessing an affinity to work hard, perhaps till the time they collapse.

Because of the task, they were employed for, they have an immense love for water.

Their gregarious nature and eagerness to learn, make them used as a guide, mobility assistance, search and rescue dogs.

They are extremely friendly with kids of all ages, but because of their rambunctious nature, you should supervise your child’s play with these big dogs. They also share a good rapport with other dogs as well as cats, rabbits or any other animals.



Belonging to the sporting group they are high on energy levels, needing a lot of exercise without which they could get destructive. If you are living in the countryside and often go hunting, you can engage the Golden in any retrieving task, a job that suits it the best. To give it an apartment life, you need to take it out for a long walk one or two times in a day along with ample exercise outdoors as well as indoors to keep them physically and mentally energized. They would be amazing partners on a biking, hiking or jogging spree, but make sure you consult the veterinarian before involving it in such strenuous activities since this could impact its bones or joints.


They shed moderately throughout and heavily during spring and fall, needing a lot of grooming.

How to deal with a Golden Retriever from shedding

To keep it from shedding you need to brush it one or two times a week using a slicker brush to remove dead hair and avoid mats and tangles, which should be made a daily affair when it sheds a lot.

Other grooming measures

Bathe it once a month to keep it clean. As your Golden is fond of water, make sure that he is washed well after a swimming spree to remove the chlorine, which may otherwise damage the coat if accumulated. Trimming its nails, brushing it twice or thrice a week as well as cleaning its eyes and ears are the other grooming needs essential.

Health Problems

Though a hardy breed, some of the common health conditions they may face include hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems such as progressive retinal atrophy, juvenile cataract, and pigmentary uveitis, heart ailments like cardiomyopathy and subvalvular aortic stenosis, joint problems like osteochondritis, patella luxation and panosteitis, ear infections (because of their drooping or hanging ears) as well as allergies.


Stanley Coren’s The Intelligence of Dogs confers upon it the 4th rank in terms of intelligence. Hence this sweet-tempered dog would be a delight to train when handled by an experienced and firm master.

  • Socializing training give to the Golden Retriever puppies would help them in identifying between the good and the bad. In this way, they might not greet every stranger happily, but may bark and warn their master if they sense any threat.
  • Obedience training, specifically teaching them commands would help them get rid of any destructive or annoying habits. If your dog jumps upon you to greet you do not respond, firmly say a “No,” and wait till it moves. After it has drifted apart, reward it with a treat. Once it is well-versed with the “Stop” command, say it aloud each time it goes on to jump on guests when they are at the door.


The National Research Council of the National Academies mentions that Golden Retrievers weighing 55 to 75 pounds has a requirement of 1353 to 1740 calories per day. Dry dog food of good quality would provide it with the required nutrients and also keep its teeth free of tartar buildup. If you are giving it canned food that would help in providing it with additional moisture.  You can also add homemade food to its kibble. However, make sure that its diet is balanced as your Golden has a tendency to suffer from obesity and feeding it too much could impact its health.

Do they bite

It is sweet and calm tempered and is generally not known to bite excepting a sweet peck on your finger out of affection. However, like any other breed, they could resort to aggression and biting if not bred well or when they are stressed and in a lot of pain.

Interesting Facts

  • American Presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald R. Ford owned Golden Retrievers named Victory and Liberty respectively.
  • They have been featured in a lot of television shows and movies like You’ve Got Mail and Napoleon.

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