Golden Retriever | Dog Breed Information

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Golden Retriever: Breed Information

Two Golden Retrievers on polished floor

Fact sheet

  • Breed name: Golden Retriever 
  • Classification: Gundog
  • Size: large
  • Coat: medium 
  • Colour: shades of gold, cream and red
  • Personality: friendly and intelligent
  • Family-friendly: yes, though they do require early socialising and training
  • Friendly with other pets: yes

Golden Retriever Background 

The Golden Retriever is a popular dog breed with a friendly, calm personality. As such, they are ideal for active families with kids.

Golden Retrievers originate from Scotland and were bred to hunt waterfowl. Therefore, they adore splashing in water and swimming. The breed likely emerged from a few breeds, including the Newfoundland and several spaniels and setters. 

Physical Appearance of the Golden Retriever  

The Golden Retriever is a large dog with medium-length fur, floppy ears and a long muzzle. Their flowing coat is water-resistant and comes in various shades of golden, from light cream to red tones.

Golden Retrievers weigh between 25 kg and 32 kg and stand up to 60cm tall. 

Behaviour and Temperament 

Golden Retrievers are intelligent and level-headed dogs. As such, they are perfect family pets and very easily trained.  They can also be friendly towards strangers due to their trusting nature. Consequently, Golden Retrievers don’t make the best guard dogs. 

Golden retriever at the beach

Training and Exercising Golden Retrievers 

Golden Retrievers love a mental and physical challenge. Therefore, they are easily trained and can do very well in dog shows. Additionally, Golden Retrievers make great service and therapy dogs.

Golden Retrievers love to please and are sensitive to harsh training. As such, always show patience and kindness to these big softies.

Living with a Golden Retriever 

Golden Retrievers can live happily in a small home, as long as they can access a decent backyard Additionally, Golden Retrievers are best not left home alone for long periods. As such, a pet sitter is a good backup if your dog needs some company.

Golden Retrievers were traditionally used in waterfowl hunting. Therefore, they love to swim or play fetch with a ball. Furthermore, be sure to keep your swimming pool gates locked so your dog doesn’t have an unsupervised swim!

All retriever breeds explore the world using their mouths and teeth. As such, be sure to give your Golden Retriever plenty of chew toys. If you don't, your shoes, kids toys or pot plants may be destroyed.

Golden Retriever Health 

Golden Retrievers are a hardy breed and can be expected to live to the age of about 13. Like the Labrador, the Golden Retriever breed adores eating. As such, you should speak to your vet about managing your dog's weight. 

The following health issues are worth keeping an eye out for:

  • Hip and Elbow Dysplasia
  • Eye problems such as Cataracts and Progressive Retinal Atrophy 
  • Subarterial Aortic Stenosis
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy

Golden Retriever at the Beach


Golden Retrievers have double-layered coats that are prone to shedding, especially when the seasons change. Therefore, you should brush your dog a few times a week. Additionally, it's a good idea to trim the feathery fur around their legs, belly and tail.

Notably, their coat secretes natural oils that keep it detangled and smooth. As such, you should only wash your Golden Retriever once every few months.

Does your Golden Retriever get lonely when you aren’t home? A Pawshake sitter can keep them happy and safe! Start searching for a perfect dog sitter today.