golden retriever





With his outgoing, friendly personality and drive to work hard, it comes as no surprise why the Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog breed according to the American Kennel Club.  His friendly disposition and tolerance with children make him a perfect candidate for a family, while his strong build and intelligence make him an excellent working dog. They excel at retrieving, whether it be retrieving birds or small game for hunters or canine competitions. They make great therapy dogs and guide dogs for the blind or disabled,  as well as working with law enforcement in search and rescue missions or sniffing out drugs. 


Did You Know?

  • Despite their size, Golden Retrievers are family dogs.They love to be inside with their family “pack.” Just because they are a larger dog does not mean they can be left outside alone for hours. They need to be with their family wherever they are, inside or outside.
  • Remember, they are a very intelligent breed. Mental stimulation is just as important as physical exercise. This can be done through training and obedience classes, as well as obedience competitions. They also need at least 20 minutes of mental exercise a day.
  • Golden Retrievers must receive adequate exercise every day. This can be accomplished by taking them running, walking, playing Frisbee, doing agility courses, or having them as a hunting companion. It is important that they get at least an hour of physical exercise each day. This along with mental exercise will help him find acceptable outlets for his energy, otherwise, he might find his own destructive outlets.
  • He does have a thick, long water-repellent coat that will require regular brushing. He sheds, a lot. To help keep shedding under control, brushing him daily will keep the hair on your furniture to a minimum. With a Golden Retriever in the house, you will need to get used to some hair on the furniture and floor.
  • Goldens are friendly and very good with children, however, their size and energetic disposition can cause them to accidentally knock over smaller children. Be sure to monitor interactions between your dog and children to be sure both are behaving appropriately with each other.
  • He was bred to be a retrieving dog, but since then, breeders fall into two different camps for the Golden Retrievers.The hunting camp breeds a dog with a shorter and a stronger working and retrieving drive. The second camp breeds a dog with a longer coat that is more prone to be a show dog and performer of agility competitions. When looking for a breeder, decide what type of Golden better fits your lifestyle and find a breeder that has the right dog for you.

Breed Characteristics




Adapts Well to Apartment Living: 2/5
Good for Novice Owners: 3/5
Sensitivity Level: 5/5
Tolerates Being Alone: 1/5
Tolerates Cold Weather: 3/5
Tolerates Hot Weather: 3/5

All-Around Friendliness



Affectionate with Family: 5/5
Incredibly Kid-Friendly Dogs: 5/5
Dog-Friendly: 5/5
Friendly Toward Strangers: 5/5

Health Grooming



Amount of Shedding: 5/5
Drooling Potential: 4/5
Easy to Groom: 2/5
General Health: 2/5
Potential for Weight Gain: 5/5
Size: 3/5




Easy to Train: 5/5
Intelligence: 5/5
Potential for Mouthiness: 5/5
Prey Drive: 3/5
Tendency to Bark or Howl: 3/5
Wanderlust Potential: 2/5

Exercise Needs



Energy Level: 5/5
Intensity: 2/5
Exercise Needs: 5/5
Potential for Playfulness: 5/5



The Golden Retriever came about during the dog-loving Victorian Era in the highlands of Scotland.  During the mid-nineteenth century, waterfowl hunting was a popular sport among the upper class.  The terrain of Scotland made retrieving waterfowl difficult for the spaniels and setters that were commonly used as gundogs at that time.  With more fowl being downed at a farther distance and the land being pocketed with marshes and ponds, one hunter took it upon himself to breed a dog that met his expectations of what a retriever should be. Hence, the Golden Retriever.

The highland estate of Dudley Marjoribanks, the first Baron of Tweedmouth, is credited as being the original breeder of the Golden Retriever as we know him. It was rumored that the Golden came from a Russian Tracker that was visiting with a circus group, upon publication of Marjoribanks breeding records, that myth was dispelled.

The original crossbreed was between a yellow-colored retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle. Tweed Water Spaniels are now extinct but were common in the border country of Scotland. The litter between Nous and Belle became the base breed for the Irish Setter, the sandy-colored Bloodhound, and the St. John’s Waterdog.  Tweedmouth bred this litter with flat-coated retrievers, a Tweed Water Spaniel, and a Red Setter.  He kept mostly yellow coated pups in his breeding program and gave the rest to friends and family where the dogs earned recognition for their excellent retrieving and hunting skills. From there he achieved his vision.

His vision included a more vigorous and powerful dog than previous retrievers, one that would still be gentle and trainable.  He achieved his goal after a few generations of breeding and produced the Golden Retriever as we know him today. 

There are no records of breeding outside of the sporting dogs that were on record from Tweedmouth or any record of any breed from Russia.  It is thought that other breeds like the Golden Retriever existed prior to Tweedmouth’s breeding program due paintings and records of dogs with similar builds and appearance being found in other areas of the United Kingdom and Europe. 

The Golden Retriever was officially recognized as its own breed in 1932 by the American Kennel Association and have continued to prove themselves as versatile companions, hunting dogs, and working dogs. 


Males stand 23 to 24 inches tall, so they are a larger dog but not massive in height.  Females stand a few inches shorter at 20 to 23 inches tall.  Males at full maturity can weigh between 65 to 75 pounds, enough that you want to keep them healthy so you aren’t having to lift them into the car.  Females weigh a little less at 55 to 65 pounds.  Goldens typically reach their full height by 1 year and their full weight by 2 years old. 


Golden Retrievers have a thick, water-repellent top coat and a thick undercoat.  Their coats can be dark, medium, or light golden in color.  Their coats will always be one solid color with no markings.  Their fur feathers and gets longer along their back, chest, and neck with shorter fur on their legs and underbody. They have dark to medium brown eyes that have a welcoming, intelligent feel when you into them. Their nose should be black or very dark.  If a breeder says they have a white Golden Retriever, note that it is not recognized as a color for the breed by the American Kennel Club.  Their body is muscular and strong under their thick coat.  They are symmetrical and powerful without being long in the legs.  He should have a long neck with a deep chest and straight back that curves slightly at the croup.  His overall appearance should be an active, confident, and well put-together dog in a kind, intelligent, yet strong package.



He is hard-wired to be a well-behaved, obedient, and friendly dog; just don’t think that will happen on its own though.  Make the most of his natural qualities by properly training him and raising him with a firm, loving hand.  He is a friendly dog, not a watchdog. He will greet all he meets and is eager to please his owner. That trait makes him easier to train. He was bred to work with people.  Give him a job where he can work alongside you and he will be happy. Like with every dog, the more socialization they get as puppies, the more well-rounded they are and the better they adapt to new people and situations.

Golden Retrievers are active and capable dogs. They thrive when they have a job and place to fit in their family “pack.” They excel at canine sports such as conforming, agility, and retrieving.  With their friendly personality and eager to please disposition, they make amazing therapy dogs, seeing eye dogs, companions for disabled owners, and much more.

Children and Other Pets

There is a good reason why he is the third most popular breed, his love of children.  They are not bothered by the commotion or noise of children or multiple people in a house, in fact, they thrive on the extra companionship.  They are known to be patient and gentle with children.  However, as with all dogs, children still need to be taught how to properly approach a dog and what is and is not acceptable (as in pulling of tails and ears, approaching him while he is sleeping or eating etc.).  Due to his larger size and strong tail, he may accidentally knock a child down a time or two, just be aware. It is always advised that interactions with dogs and children be supervised for the safety of both.

He loves other animals just like he loves children.  In his world, the more the merrier, especially if he is socialized with other animals from a young age. They enjoy companionship whether it is a rabbit, a cat or another dog.  


Goldens are generally a fairly healthy breed but, as with all breeds, there are some health conditions they are more prone to.  It is important to note that not all Goldens will have any or all of these conditions, but it is good to be aware of possible health conditions they may have. If you have access to your dog’s parental health records that would be a great place to do some research and see what he may be prone to having.  You can obtain health clearances for both of the parents of your dog to make sure they’ve been tested and cleared from the following conditions. Health clearances can be confirmed by checking the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA) website.

Hip Dysplasia: This is a genetic condition passed down from parents in which the femur does not fit snugly into the pelvic socket of the hip joint.  This condition can exist without clinical signs so it is important to have X-ray screenings done.  Dogs with this condition can be in pain and exhibit lameness in one or both rear legs. Ask the breeder for proof that the parents were tested and cleared for hip dysplasia. 

Elbow Dysplasia: This is another condition that is common to large-breed dogs. A possible cause for this is due to the different growth rates of the three bones that make up the dog’s elbow, causing joint laxity. This can cause pain or even lameness in the affected leg. Options to control this are either surgery or pain medication to control the pain level.

Epilepsy: Another hereditary disorder, this causes seizures.  It cannot be cured but it can be controlled with medication.  Goldens that suffer from Epilepsy can live long healthy lives with proper management. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. Fortunately, dogs can use their other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Just don’t make it a habit to move the furniture around. Reputable Aussie breeders have their dogs’ eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease.

Subvalvular Aortic Stenosis: This is a heart condition where there is a narrow passageway between the left ventricle and the aorta.  This condition can cause fainting and even death.  Your veterinarian can detect it and prescribe the best treatment.

Osteochondrosis Dissecans (OCD):  This is an orthopedic condition in which there is an improper growth of cartilage in the joints, typically the elbows, but it has been seen in shoulders as well.  It results in stiffening of the joints that can be painful, to the point that the dog is unable to bend his elbow.  Early detection can happen as soon as four to nine months.  A possible contributor to this condition is overfeeding “growth formula” puppy food or other high protein foods. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA): This is a degenerative eye disorder that eventually causes blindness from the loss of photoreceptors at the back of the eye. PRA is detectable years before the dog shows any signs of blindness. Fortunately, dogs can use their other senses to compensate for blindness, and a blind dog can live a full and happy life. Just don’t make it a habit to move the furniture around. Reputable Aussie breeders have their dogs’ eyes certified annually by a veterinary ophthalmologist and do not breed dogs with this disease.

Cataracts: This condition typically occurs in old age in which the opacity of the lens of the eye causes difficulty in seeing.  The eye(s) of the dog will have a cloudy appearance. Sometimes cataracts can be removed surgically to improve the dog’s vision. 

Distichiasis: This condition occurs when an additional row of eyelashes (known as distichia) grow on the oil gland in the dog’s eye and protrude along the edge of the eyelid. This irritates the eye, and you may notice your Aussie squinting or rubbing his eye(s). Distichiasis is treated surgically by freezing the excess eyelashes with liquid nitrogen and then removing them. This type of surgery is called cryoepilation and is done under general anesthesia.

Von Willebrand’s Disease:  This genetically inherited blood disorder interferes with the blood’s ability to clot. The most obvious symptom is excessive bleeding following an injury or surgery. Other minor symptoms are bleeding of the gums, nosebleeds, or other more serious symptoms of bleeding in the intestines or stomach. There is no known cure for this condition. Most dogs diagnosed with this condition can live normal lives.

Gastric Dilation Volvulus: Otherwise known as bloat. This condition occurs in larger deep-chested breeds such as Golden Retrievers and can be life-threatening. This can occur when a dog quickly eats one large meal during the day, drinks a lot of water then exercises vigorously. If the stomach becomes distended with gas or air and then twists, bloat happens. If the dog is unable to burp or vomit to release the air, blood flow to the heart can be impeded. The dog’s blood pressure will then drop causing the dog to go into shock. If medical attention is not sought quickly enough, the dog could die from this.

Hypothyroidism: Hypothyroidism is an abnormally low level of the hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Some signs of this condition can be as mild as infertility or as severe as obesity, mental dullness, lethargy, drooping of the eyelids, and irregular heat cycles. The dog’s fur becomes coarse and brittle and begins to fall out, while the skin becomes tough and dark. Luckily this is easily treated with daily medication.  Dogs on thyroid medication can live long and healthy lives. 

Hemangiosarcoma: This is a dangerous and often fatal form cancer.  It originates in the blood vessel and spleen.  This is most commonly occurs in elderly dogs.

Osteosarcoma: Osteosarcoma is a malignant bone cancer that’s common in large and giant breeds.


Care: True to their names they love to retrieve, whether they are retrieving a ball, Frisbee, or a bird as your hunting companion. Goldens need to be with their families. If you go for a walk, hike, or just outside in the backyard, they want to go with you.  He is an active breed but doesn’t require his owner to be a marathon runner to get the exercise he needs.  If he gets a good hour of exercise in each day, whether that be running, playing Frisbee or agility courses he will be a very mellow indoor companion.  If he does not have a daily outlet for his energy he may become creative and find his own outlet, often times destructive. They need to be with their family and they do best if someone is home with them during the day; they do not do well being home alone for long periods of time. 

Feeding: Golden Retrievers love to eat food, treats, or anything they might find that they think is edible. How much you feed your dog will depend largely on his size, age, and activity level.  It is strongly advised that you measure the amount he needs, usually between 2 to 3 cups, and divide it into two meals per day. The higher quality food you feed your Golden, the more nutrients he will get for less amount of food.  It is worth buying high quality, veterinarian recommended food for your dog. Many veterinarians can show you exactly what brand and blend would be best for your dog by his size, age, and activity level.  

If you are raising a puppy, it is very important that they get the proper nutrition-to-calorie ratio in their food. They are growing very rapidly, making their bones susceptible to bone disorders. Feeding them a high-quality food that is formulated for Golden Retriever puppies will ensure that they grow at a healthy rate, getting the nutrients they need for proper development. 

If you have a mature Golden Retriever, be sure to follow the feeding guidelines you receive from your vet to prevent excessive weight gain and obesity.

Grooming: Golden Retrievers need to be brushed daily to keep their longer coats clean and neat to prevent matting.  A good detangle spray will help if you spray that on prior to brushing in order to get the tangles out more easily.  It is recommended that they get bathed once a month to keep them clean and smelling good.  More baths are okay if he is in need of them. This will keep him looking and smelling clean. This is a good time to look him over for any sores or infections as well.

He will need his teeth brushed 2 to 3 times a week at a minimum to prevent tartar build up; if you can do it daily that will keep his gums healthier and his breath smelling much better. 

If you can hear his nails on the floor or sidewalk when he walks, they need to be trimmed.  They can wear them down naturally by walking on the sidewalk, if they don’t wear them down they will need them trimmed once to twice a month. Keeping his nails trimmed helps keep his paws healthy.  You can either take him to the groomer to do this or do it yourself.  Be aware that their nails have blood vessels in them and if they get trimmed too short they will bleed and he will be less likely to want them trimmed again.

His ears will need a little more attention as he has fold over ears that create a dark, damp environment for bacteria.  Check his ears weekly while you brush him to look for any redness, sores, or foul odors.  Signs like these could indicate a possible ear infection.  To clean them out just wipe them with a cotton ball and clean the outer ear, do not insert anything into the ear canal.      


Are Golden Retrievers good family dogs?

Yes, they are great family companions. They are smart, obedient, and well-behaved. They love to be around people, especially their family, and they get along well with children and other dogs. 

How much does it cost to buy a golden retriever puppy?

Depending if you get it from a top breeder or a backyard breeder, the range can be between $500 to $3,000, but it depends on the seller and this price could go higher.

Are golden retriever puppies easy to train?

According to the AKC, the Golden Retriever is one of the top three most-obedient breeds. They are easy to train and intelligent dogs, so if you’re a first-time dog owner a Golden Retriever is a great choice for you.

How long do Golden Retrievers live?

Their average lifespan ranges between 10 to 12 years.


Unfortunately, there are people who abuse animals and Golden Retrievers are no exception. If you’re interested in rescuing a Golden Retriever and giving them a loving home, please visit the following websites to learn how you can adopt a Golden Retriever today:


Top Breeders

Golden Retriever Adults For Sale

If you’re interested in purchasing adult Golden Retrievers, click on the links below to find what you’re looking for.

Golden Retriever Puppies For Sale

If you’re interested in purchasing Golden Retriever puppies, below you will find different online marketplaces that have Golden Retriever puppies for sale.