Golden Retriever

Also known as: Golden
  • Golden Retriever
  • Golden retriever

General description

Golden Retrievers are moderately suitable to live in apartments and with inexperienced masters. The breed doesn't particularly enjoy being alone and will normally appreciate both cold and warm climates. A very affectionate type of dog, both with family and children as well as very easily socialized with other animals or strangers. The Golden Retriever must be regularly checked on a health level and will shed quite substantially. Despite being quite reactive in its first months, the Golden tends to remain loyal to the owner. Excluding any expenditure relating to treatments, owning a Golden Retriever falls perfectly within average.

Golden Retriever in short

Aspect and attributes

Characteristics accepts by FCI:

  • Colors: cream, gold
  • Hair: long
  • Coats: close fitting

As far as the size of a Golden Retriever, this type of dog can grow quite substantially. The breed is typically quite harmonious with a fairly robust and high chest that allows the heart to find space within the rib cage which is usually deep and well-rounded in shape. The muzzle and head follow a similar elegant yet bulky shape which aligns well with the neck and the entire body.

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Costs and maintenance

The Achilles heel of the Golden Retriever breed is health. Although being very strong on a physical level, this type of dog is quite delicate when dealing with certain issues. This condition should be regularly assessed by owners who should refer to experienced veterinarians so to ensure their Golden can be healthy throughout its entire life. Furthermore, the coat of a Golden Retriever which can reach decent lengths should be periodically inspected whilst there are no particular concerns relating to this breed's diet as it falls perfectly within average for a dog this size.

Special care for your Golden's health condition

Characteristics Summary


Suitability to apartment life

Despite referring to a breed that is deeply fond of outdoor spaces, the Golden Retriever can actually be very responsible and comfortable in a unit. Given Golden Retrievers are quite substantial in size, this may cause some issues in a very tiny apartment. In this respect, probably best to focus on having a backyard or a public park nearby where a Golden Retriever can better adjust to the home environment.

Moderately suitable for apartment life

Tolerance for solitude

This is where a Golden Retriever may display some hesitation as this breed will usually prefer to always be near the owner and other family members. A Golden is capable of developing a number of daily activities with them which is the ideal setting for this type of dog. As Golden Retrievers are usually very "busy", it is hard to keep them home alone for too long. A habit that could cause your Golden some behavioral issues.

Very low tolerance for solitude

Suitable as first pet

As far as the possibility of a Golden Retriever adjusting to life with an inexperienced owner, we can safely place this breed within average. This type of dog is very smart and perfectly capable of understanding commands given by the owner. There are no real challenging situations with a Golden, even in potentially demanding contexts such as public places or close encounters with other dogs, maybe even more aggressive. Golden Retriever owners will need to be balanced during training without forcing their pet nor rewarding it too much.

Golden Retrievers are moderately suitable as first pets


As it relates to this breed's temperament, we can safely state that a Golden Retriever can perfectly keep up with the owner. A Golden has quite a strong temperament and can understand the intensity of a command coming from the master. Such an advantage should not be undervalued given Goldens can live in fairly chaotic environments and still manage to respond calmly with great sense of responsibility.

Very tolerant temperament

Tolerance for cold temperatures

Thanks to a fairly robust build and a rather equipped coat, the Golden Retriever is pretty tolerant towards cold temperatures. The breed reacts well in low temperatures even under certain circumstances, such as a relaxed stroll in the countryside with the owner. Nevertheless, this disposition should always be assessed by owners. There is no reason to expose your pet to an extremely cold climate when it is not absolutely necessary.

Moderately tolerant to cold climates

Tolerance for high temperatures

The Golden Retriever breed has the skills to be tolerant in various environments. Clearly, warm climates seem to be harder to accept and tolerate for many dog breeds, especially those with long fur. However, there are many occasions in which such dog types will only display limited amount of discomfort in these settings. Considerate owners will use their skills to help their pooch overcome these "heat peaks" by providing it with food and water and enable it to gain strength again.

Moderately tolerant to hot weather

Friendliness and sociability

Affection towards family

Golden Retrievers will constantly search for various experiences to share with the owner and all family members. A certain need that must be satisfied through different kind of interactive activities. In this respect, there is no real difference between home and outdoor environments and your Golden will be your loyal companion in any situation especially when it is required to complete a task, even a complex one.

Absolute affection towards the family

Friendly towards children

As far as this breed being friendly towards children, this is a skill that a Golden Retriever will nurture starting as a puppy and for a decent number of years to come. One of the traits of a Golden is to remain a "puppy" for many years throughout its upbringing. A Golden Retriever will be fully grown within 3 or 4 years. Despite being a great benefit when a Golden plays with a child, it should always happen under supervision of an adult.

Very friendly towards children

Relationship with strangers

A dog that is overly calm around strangers can sometime be an issue. This helps clarify that Golden Retrievers are absolutely not a guard breed. The encounter with unfamiliar people happens in calmness for a Golden Retriever, right from the first moment meet. The breed won't generally display aggressiveness and will completely trust anyone. Clearly this inclination can be a great advantage in public spaces where there may be people who are not so fond of dogs.

Absolute tolerance towards strangers

Friendliness towards other dogs

As far as the Golden Retriever disposition to socialize with other dogs we can safely state that the breed will gently welcome such an interaction without a fuss. Needless to say that this skill is linked to an early exposure of your pooch to dogs belonging to the same or a different breed. Obviously such an inclination is a double-edged sword.

The Golden Retriever is exceptionally friendly towards other dogs

Care and health

Coat care and shedding

Depending on the thickness of fur, the Golden Retriever can be considered as a breed that sheds quite a bit. Obviously, in the home environment and in areas such as the couch or living room thick bundles of hair will develop throughout the day. This kind of issue will extend to the clothes you wear during the day which are the main "target" of a Golden. This type of dog will have an increased moulting during certain seasons, such as spring and autumn.

High level of shedding

Salivation and drooling restraint level

Golden Retrievers don't have any relevant issue as it regards containing the amount of saliva produced. Although this breed will generally engage in a decent amount of physical activity during the day, it seems to have a good control on any drooling events other than those occurring closer to meal time or during extremely exciting moments. Clearly, providing your Golden with water in certain situations and especially in warmer environments can help limit excess dibbling.

Great control over drooling

Easiness to clean

Nothing fancy to mention as it concerns a Golden Retriever's cleanliness requirements. The Golden Retriever enjoys being outside and the energy during its first years may represent a problem although this same consideration may apply to a variety of dog breeds. Owners should pay close attention during specific times of the day such as after a meal or following a daily walk. This is when your pet's face and tail should be inspected with attention.

Golden Retrievers are very easy to keep clean

Health and diseases

Despite a fairly obvious physicality, the Golden Retriever is actually quite delicate. This feature can display quite clearly in certain part and organs of the breed. Some diseases are quite common, such as retinal atrophy and cataract. Specifically, Golden Retrievers should be monitored for potential disorders affecting the skeletal muscular system. Amongst these we can count dysplasia and osteochondritis. Further issues may be epilepsy and hypothyroidism.

A breed that should be kept under control throughout its entire life

Tendency to gain weight

Such a great shape is an important factor to assess the chances of your Golden gaining weight. This breed needs to maintain a good balance between regular exercise and a diet free from any excess. These are the basis for a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include excess fat building up. Activity and adequate diet are underlining for a fit Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers tend to remain fit

Learning skills

Intelligence and training

The issue in this respect is that a Golden tends to enter the adult phase of its life quite late. Choosing an adequate training method for a Golden Retriever is not a complex task however certain aspects, like the ability to behave in public so to improve its natural tameness will require more focus. The intelligence of the breed allows to follow quite an easy path with training.

Exceptional intelligence displayed during training

Loyalty and inclination to escape

Speaking of escapes in reference to a Golden Retriever is a concern that will mostly arise during the first years of your dog. These are times defined by high levels of energy which tend to decrease with age when the Golden will only display them under certain circumstances. As it grows older, the Golden Retriever will strengthen its loyalty towards the owner and maintain such a relationship for its whole life without engaging in any attempt to run away.

Absolute loyalty and low tendency to escape

Inclination to bite

If we exclude any circumstance relating to playful interaction between the Golden and the owner or with suitable objects, this breed is fairly aware of the moments in which it should contain the drive to bite. Nipping is a typical reaction which fits specific contexts that may relate confronting other animals or aggressive people. Ruling out these kind of situations, we can safely state that Golden Retrievers are perfectly capable of balancing this kind of activity.

The Golden Retriever has great self-control of biting

Hunt drive

A Golden's hunting drive falls perfectly within average. The breed can display a decent amount of curiosity towards other animals, sometime even smaller and engage in a chase when it is motivated to play. Chasing is not a common behavior in Golden Retrievers and using a lead will be sufficient to prevent them from engaging in dangerous actions, for example in places where there may be kids or people fearful of dogs.

Average hunting drive

Inclination to bark or howl

Golden Retrievers are not guard dogs. The good nature and inclination to remain quite calm even amongst strangers are useful to understand how the Golden Retriever is not a breed with an inclination to bark or howl under these circumstances. There won't be a requirement for any specific training technique given the Golden tends to naturally indulge this particular trait.

A Golden Retriever will only bark when needed

Exercise requirements

Energy level

The consequence of a physicality such as that of Golden Retrievers means there is a large amount of energy that must be released on a daily basis through either games or other activities. The breed can apply these high energy levels to a variety of activities which include chasing and fetching. The nature and name of the breed clearly define this particular inclination, and training a Golden in such activities or other sports may bring great satisfaction to both owners and the dog.

Extremely high energy levels


The fairly bulky size of the Golden Retriever doesn't allow for much power. Despite featuring a rather developed muscularity, Goldens are not capable of displaying a lot of power in certain situations. For example, this type of dog is not so powerful on-lead and nor does it have a tendency to develop this trait in the house. Nevertheless, a Golden Retriever playing with young children should always be monitored by the owner to avoid any incident from occurring.

A very tame and not very powerful breed

Exercise requirements

As many other breeds with an obvious physicality, Golden Retrievers should also be allowed a good amount of daily physical exercise. The breed will usually enjoy the home environment with great calm. And this kind of behavior can cause a great deal of stress to build up. To prevent this build-up from becoming a behavioral issue, owners should insure their Golden gets at least one hour exercise split into two daily sessions.

Strong need to exercise

Tendency to play

Based on its age, the Golden Retriever can engage in more or less daily activity. Obviously as for any other pet, the Golden will be very interested in a daily routine made of a variety of intriguing games initiated by the owner or other family members. This is not a breed to easily get bored and will enjoy playing over multiple periods of time throughout the day.

Maximum drive to play

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