Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever will cheer you up, make you move, entertain you and make you laugh by following your daily routine and copying your movements and gestures. This dog is more than a pet. In no time it will become a member of your family.

53 to 61 cm
25 to 36 kg
Life expectancy
10 to 12 years
Hair loss
Need for exercise

Quick overview of the Golden Retriever


  • Well proportioned and well balanced
  • Strong and robust
  • From cream-colored to red-haired
  • Double coat


  • Loyal
  • Gentle and friendly
  • Intelligent and docile
  • Sometimes exuberant
  • Food beggar and scavenger


Unfortunately, this breed may suffer from many common diseases. Being one of the most popular dog breed in the world, the Golden Retriever’s health profile has been extensively researched.


Golden Retriever's appearance

Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is robust and very powerful.

Height: Between 58 and 61 cm (23 to 24 inches) for the male.
Between 53 and 58 cm (21 to 23 inches) for the female.
Weight: Between 29 and 36 kg (65 à 80 pounds) for the male.
Between 25 and 32 kg (55 à 70 pounds) for the female.
Color: The Golden Retriever’s coat varies between the cream and red colors. Many people believe that this breed is related to the Labrador but it is not the case. The only similarity between the Golden Retriever and the Labrador is that they both belong to the retriever family but similarities end there. The only admissible colors for the Golden Retriever are between cream and red.
Hair: The Golden Retriever has two layers of fur coat. The first layer is impermeable and consists of short hair while the second layer consists of long hair and protects against debris, dirt and UV rays.
Morphology: The Golden Retriever’s head is well proportioned with respect to the body. It has a large skull yet is not very heavy. Its nose is black and quite large. It has webbed feet and moves easily in the water. Ideally, its eyes are dark brown. Its ears are medium-sized and floppy.

The golden retriever, according to the FCI breeds nomenclature, belongs to group 8, section 1 and is #111.

Temperament of the Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever is sociable, active and very playful.

Its high intelligence, affectionate behaviour and inexhaustible tolerance make the Golden Retriever an excellent pet. Whether it be in a nursery school, a rehabilitation centre or any other place, these dogs are very funny and well suited for use in zootherapy.

It sometimes happens that the Golden Retriever imitates people in the house where it lives. For example, a daily exercise will teach it to take its place in a circle of people or in line. It will participate in daily activities in its own way and will easily integrate the family’s routine.

Relaxed and calm, the Golden Retriever is rather pacific and will seek peace rather than discord. Rarely aggressive and very playful, it will seek to protect its territory by simply barking and will not display aggressive behaviour such as showing its teeth and growling. It remains calm in all situations. It is also very tolerable of other animals and strangers.

Being an excellent family pet, this breed has a tendency to remain young at heart for a very long time. Sometimes, it may not obey orders the first time around.

The Golden Retriever is sometimes used as a guide dogs for the blind and other people in need of assistance. Its legendary calm behaviour makes it an excellent choice for children affected by autism or other handicap.

It is extremely rare for a Golden Retriever to become aggressive, unless of course if it is neglected or mistreated by its owners. Because this dog is not aggressive by nature, it is most often considered as a pet dog.

Originally used as a hunting dog, this animal got transformed as a nanny for children, escort for elderly people, clown to entertain people and in general an extraordinary companion for humankind.
This tall dog requires large areas of open space and regular exercise. It is very tolerant to the young and the old so the Golden Retriever is an amazing family member that is very gentle with all.

Golden Retriever

Characteristics of the Golden Retriever

Does this dog fit your lifestyle?

Every dog breed has these characteristics. However, the temperament of a dog can vary from one individual to the next among the same breed.

Life in an apartment 2 /5
Good first dog 3 /5
Tolerates solitude 3 /5
Tolerates cold temperatures 3 /5
Tolerates hot weather 3 /5
Affectionate 5 /5
Friendly with children 5 /5
Friendly with strangers 5 /5
Friendly with other animals 5 /5
Hair loss 5 /5
Drooling level 2 /5
Easy to care for 3 /5
Robust health 2 /5
Easy to train 5 /5
Intelligent 5 /5
Tendency to bark 2 /5
Tendency to nibble 5 /5
Protective 2 /5
Instinct to hunt 3 /5
Adventurous spirit 2 /5
Energy level 5 /5
Level of intensity 2 /5
Need for exercise 3 /5
Playful 5 /5

Characteristics are evaluated on a scale from 1 to 5
where 5 signifies that the characteristic is very present for this breed.

Adopting a Golden Retriever

Do you breed Golden Retrievers or know a good breeder?

Help us recommend breeders that are conscientious and respectful of the breed for people wanting to adopt a Golden Retriever in your region.

Finding a good breeder to adopt from is not always easy. Classified ads are often the haven of puppy mills. This is why, in addition to our research and verifications, we also consider the personal experiences of our users with the breeders listed here.

Pictures of the Golden Retriever

Tips about the Golden Retriever

Points to consider before adopting a Golden Retriever

  • Considering the numerous pathologies associated with this breed, it is judicious to ensure that the breeder you are considering adopting from is of the highest quality. To do so, make sure that it is registered to an organization that is recognized in your country. Also verify that the place you are planning to buy from is clean and trustworthy. Moreover, ask for proof the puppy was examined by a veterinarian and that the various screening tests were performed. Ideally, verify that its family members (parents, grand-parents, brothers and sisters) are in good health.

  • Certainly do not adopt a Golden Retriever if you cannot offer it affection and attention on a daily basis. This dog is not meant to spend the day alone in an enclosure as this will make it very unhappy. It needs to participate in daily activities. Every day, you will need to devote time so that it may be stimulated physically and mentally. Therefore, your family must be present and active to consider adopting a Golden Retriever. If this is not the case, there are many other dog breeds that would be better suite to your lifestyle.

Health of the Golden Retriever

As is the case with many large dogs, hip and elbow dysplasia symptoms must be monitored. Its ears are very prone to scabies. One must be vigilant and regularly wash the dog’s ears. Weekly examination will reduce the risk of infection and complications.

Other problems have also been linked to this breed, including eye disease, dermatology disorders, epilepsy and aortic stenosis. The Golden Retriever is also prone to various types of cancer including lymphoma, hemangiosarcoma, mastocytoma and osteosarcoma.

Regular exercise and proper diet are generally the best protection against health problems in Golden Retrievers. Genetics is a very important factor to consider when acquiring a puppy. It is important to ensure that the puppy’s parents are healthy.

Caring for this dog

Regular brushing is necessary in order to ensure that your dog’s coat is free of knots and its skin is healthy. Brushing should be done 2 to 3 times per week, except during shedding season when brushing should be done on a daily basis.

In the literature, some recommend bathing the dog every 2 to 3 months whereas others recommend doing this every 6 months in order to avoid damaging its sensitive skin. After bathing, it is important to properly dry the base of the tail to reduce the risk of limber tail.

History of the Golden Retriever

Originally from Great-Britain, the Golden Retriever was officially recognized by the English Kennel Club in 1913. This cross between the Irish Setter and the Flat-Coated Retriever resulted in a magnificient long-haired dog.

As is the case for the Labrador, the Golden Retriever belongs to the Retriever family. It is very popular thanks to its exceptional temperament and its gentleness.

Anglo-Saxons are very fond of their Golden Retrievers. Originally bred for hunting, the Golden Retriever later became one of the best pet dog. Its gentle temperament has taken over its hunting instinct.