Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever

Traits and Characteristics




55-75 lb


55-75 lb


Gun Dog

Traits and Characteristics




55-75 lb


55-75 lb


Gun Dog

Goldens are athletic, strong and capable of carrying heavy game over land and water, using a broad, powerful head with strong neck and well-developed fore and hindquarters. The breed is slightly longer than tall, with a smooth, powerful, ground-covering gait, and dense, straight or wavy outer water-repellent coat.


Ready to see what dogs fit you best? Take our short quiz to find out!

  • Energy Levellevel 3 in 5

  • Exercise Requirementslevel 3 in 5

  • Playfulnesslevel 5 in 5

  • Affection Levellevel 5 in 5

  • Friendliness to Dogslevel 5 in 5

  • Friendliness to Other Petslevel 5 in 5

  • Friendliness to Strangerslevel 5 in 5

  • Watchfulnesslevel 2 in 5

  • Ease of Traininglevel 5 in 5

  • Grooming Requirementslevel 3 in 5

  • Heat Sensitivitylevel 3 in 5

  • Vocalitylevel 3 in 5

Disclaimer: While the characteristics mentioned here may frequently represent this breed, dogs are individuals whose personalities and appearances will vary. Please consult the adoption organization for details on a specific pet.


Everybody’s friend, the Golden Retrievers are known for their devoted and obedient nature as a family companion. This dog is an apt sporting retriever as well and yearns for a day in the field.

Ignoring the Golden’s active nature and powerful physique can lead to behavior problems, and therefore they need daily physical and mental exercise. Some Goldens may be overly exuberant and boisterous, but most are eager to please and enjoy learning.

Well-trained and exercised Goldens are calm and mannerly at home, and enthusiastic when invited to play. The Golden’s achievements in competitive obedience are remarkable. This dog especially enjoys games that involve retrieving and loves to carry items in his mouth.


What do Golden Retrievers eat and how to care for this breed?

  1. Exercise daily
  2. Needs human interaction
  3. Include daily, challenging obedience lessons
  4. Incorporate active games into exercise
  5. Comprise retrieving sessions into playtime
  6. Brush coat twice weekly
  7. Maintain a Golden’s ideal weight, body condition, coat health, and energy level with dog food best suited for this breed.


Major concerns

  • CHD
  • Skin problems (allergies, hot spots, ear infections)
  • Hemangiosarcoma
  • Lymphoma

Minor concerns

  • SAS
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Eye disorders (entropion, CPRA)
  • Seizures
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Mast cell tumors
  • Occasionally seen in this breed: osteosarcoma

Suggested tests

  • Hip
  • Elbow
  • Eye
  • Cardiac (thyroid)


Where are Golden Retrievers from?

One of the best documented and most fortuitous efforts to produce a breed resulted in the Golden Retriever. The man responsible for the breed was Lord Tweedmouth, who lived just north of the Scottish border along the Tweed River.

How big do Golden Retrievers get?

Goldens can reach a weight of 55 – 75 lbs, and a height between 21.5 – 24”

Do Golden Retrievers shed?

A Golden Retriever has a dense, straight or wavy outer water-repellent coat, which sheds heavily twice annually and lightly throughout the year. Groom a Golden Retriever weekly to maintain the double coat and control shedding.

What are the Golden Retriever colors?

The breed was first considered to be a yellow variety of Flat-Coated Retrievers but was recognized as a separate breed, the Yellow or Golden Retriever, in 1912. A few of these dogs had come to America by way of Lord Tweedmouth’s sons by 1900, but the AKC did not register them as a separate breed until 1927.

What makes the Golden Retriever dog so popular?

The breed was valued for the hunting abilities so ably produced by the careful blending of foundation stock, and only later became popular as a pet. After the Golden Retriever made the transition, however, this dog’s rise to the height of popularity was meteoric and remains one of the most popular of all breeds in America.

How long do Golden Retrievers live?

Golden Retrievers have a lifespan of 10–13 years.

What are some Golden Retriever facts and information?


Golden Retrievers are best known to:

  • Push through heavy vegetation
  • Brave cold water
  • Swim strongly
  • Retrieve gently


With an increasing interest in retrieving dogs in the mid-1800s, Lord Tweedmouth bred Nous, a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever (a descendant of the small Newfoundland and the earlier Labrador breeds used by fisherman) to Belle, a Tweed Water Spaniel (a popular liver-colored retriever with tightly curled coat).

The breed pairing produced four puppies, which showed promise of being outstanding upland bird dogs. Subsequent judicious crosses were made with other black retrievers, Tweed Spaniels, setters, and even a Bloodhound.