Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information, Pictures, Characteristics & Facts

Golden Retrievers, the face of loving suburb homes and general goofiness.

These big puppies are the most tolerant and sweet-hearted breed I have come across in my life.

They fit in any household, from an active family to more laid back, always happy just to be there.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information, Pictures

They fit in any household, from an active family to more laid back, always happy just to be there.

If you have been wanting to learn more about this cute breed, look no further. I have gathered plenty of Golden Retriever dog information for you.


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Golden Retriever Highlights

  • Very Sensitive and dependent dogs
  • Can withstand most weather
  • Super friendly towards anyone
  • Eager to please when training
  • Very intelligent dogs
  • Are often very playful and energetic
  • Comes from the sporting dog group
  • Will need consistent grooming because of heavy shedding
  • Can easily become overweight
  • Rarely enjoys being alone


General Information

In this section, I will be going over different general facts about the Golden Retriever.

From the names, they are known as to the varying types that are out in the world thanks to the wonderful world of breeding.



  • Golden Retriever


Other Names

  • Goldens
  • Goldie


Golden Retriever Types

  • Show Bred Goldens are the soft cream color coats that tend to be a bit thicker. They are also less mature and take longer to train.


  • Working Bred Goldens are the darker goldens that have become more common with their pointed skull and longer legs.


History & Origin

The Golden Retriever comes from Scotland where a man by the name of Sir Dudley Marjoribanks, or Lord Tweedmouth, bred animals for a living.

He wanted a proper retriever with a great sense of smell as well as a loyal friendly temperament.


He bred together a yellow wavy-coated retriever named Nous with a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle that made the four golden puppies that became the start of the breed.


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Golden Retrievers are classified as a large breed, meaning the little golden puppy can become almost three times their current size by age one.

Golden’s typically reach their maximum height by their first year and their mature weight by the second.



Male: 23–24 inches (58.42–60.96 cm)

  • Males are typically a few inches taller than females, but not by much.


Female: 21.5–22.5 inches (54.61–57.15 cm)

  • Female Golden’s are only a half-inch to an inch smaller than males.



  • Puppies are constantly growing from the day they are born but will stop growing in height at year one to the standards of their sex.



Male Puppy Growth Chart


Male: 65–75 pounds (29.48–34.02 kg)

      • Males are on average 10 pounds heavier than females.



Female Puppy Growth Chart


Female: 55–65 pounds (24.95–29.48 kg)

  • Female Golden’s are more petite in weight than their male counterparts.


Puppies: 9–70 pounds (4.08–31.75 kg)

  • From the age of around 5 months, when the weight starts becoming a focus, puppies will weight on an average of 9 pounds (4.08 kg), but they should be around 70 pounds (31.75 kg) by their second year. To track your puppy’s weight, there are many Golden weight charts out there.



Golden Retriever Dog Breed Purity: PureBred or Mixed?

Golden Retrievers are a pretty pure breed since the 1900s. Since they are very popular, there is not much variation now except those creating mixed breeds.

Though since they have been created by Tweedmouth, they have been their own breed even if unrecognized by the AKG until 1920.


Golden’s purebreds are the light-colored dogs you typically see in the show ring.

Though even with the less pure, they are still Goldens through and through.


The mixed breeds such as golden beagles, bulldogs, or cockers are less likely to have the same appearance or temperament of the friendly retriever that is everywhere.

However, mixed breeds are more often to be healthy since the diversity strengthens their systems.


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Behavior and Temperament

Golden Retrievers are very sweet and loving dogs. They are known for being friendly, gentle, and outgoing.

Goldens are also very intelligent and alert dogs.

I personally adore how they are such a positive breed that will be happy with anyone that gives them attention.



Goldens are a very alert breed even if they are not the best.

Every Golden Retriever I have met always knows I am there before I have even had a chance to knock or come in.

They love greeting people with this all the time.



Out of all the breeds I have met, Golden’s are one of the friendliest. They adore being around people and insist they are lap dogs.

This means they are never going to be great guard dogs though since they will just greet the stranger like a family friend no matter what.

I say they have too much love to give to just the family.



The reason Golden Retrievers are such great family dogs and are so popular is because they are very gentle.

They are patient with children and will very rarely turn on them so all your children’s pestering can be met with only love and licks.



Golden Retrievers are a rather intelligent breed, able to learn tricks easily.

They come in fourth in intelligence ranking done by Stanley Coren in his book The Intelligence of Dogs.

Goldens excel in obedience commands because of this.



Being an eager to please dog, they are very willing for new experiences and love getting out and having fun.

They are very upbeat and will work all day with a patient demeanor.



Every Golden Retriever is going to have their own unique quirks about them.

However they are all bound to be very friendly and loving dogs.


My favorite thing about Golden’s is how much of a goof ball each one is as they are growing up.

Tying back to the temperament, they are going to be very patient as well with all smiles and kisses.


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Coat Types

Golden Retrievers are known for their waterproof dense coat. It is between coarse and silky as it just lays on their body naturally.

It can be straight or wavy with tons of feathering on the back of the legs, neck, and belly.

The fur on their head, paws, and the front of their legs is typically shorter as well.


Coat Colors

Being called golden, they come in a variety of that color.

They are mostly a solid color unless mixed with another breed.

The standard colors that are recognized as a golden is dark golden, the standard golden, and the white almost cream color that most show Golden’s are known for.


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Their eyes typically have a very friendly wise look to them. The acceptable colors are mostly variations of brown.

Golden’s eyes are set into deeper sockets with a slightly slanted and narrow look to them.



Golden Retrievers have a straight muzzle that blends back into their skull. It is deeper and wider at the stop compared to the tip.

It is typically not heavy with a natural speckling of whiskers that may be removed for show purposes.



Golden’s have a strong tail that is muscular at the base and can curve up slightly or be straight.

It is always carried happily and you are more likely to see them wagging it excitedly than it is tucked between their legs.


Litter Size : 8- 12 Puppies

Golden Retrievers can have on average 8 to 12 puppies per litter. The ideal amount is between this of course.

However, the largest litter known to date for Goldens is 17 whole puppies! And the smallest is a small singular puppy.


Life Span : 10- 12 Years

Golden’s are known to live up to 12 years with a healthy lifestyle with quality food and overall care.

Though they are prone to certain medical issues, they should live at least 10 years.


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Care Requirements


Grooming Requirements

Golden Retrievers are a longer haired breed with a thick waterproof coat.

They shed nearly year-round normally and will need a good brush twice a week to get most of the dead hairs out before they take over your home.


Though when they are shedding heavily in the warmer months, it is suggested to bathe them occasionally to remove a large amount of the dead hair.

Though please do this only once in a while since they rely on the oil their skin produces for healthy skin and fur.


Exercise Requirements

Golden’s need lots of exercises to be happy and healthy, meaning they need activity daily to get some energy out such as these;

  • Long runs are suggested to get out most of the energy.
  • Dog sports such as agility, obedience, and tracking courses are a great outlet
  • Bike rides work well if you have a well-trained dog that can keep up without getting hurt.


Health Requirements

Golden Retrievers are prone to certain health conditions that could limit their life span.
Though responsible breeders will always check their stock for such things.

Though you should still get your pup checked out for these common problems;

  • Ear infections (should be checked weekly at home)
  • Subvalvular aortic stenosis
  • Retinal atrophy
  • Pigmentary uveitis
  • Juvenile cataracts
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Teeth problems (brush often at home to prevent most cases)


Training Requirements

Goldens are very eager to please dog that is really easy to train. With their outgoing personality, you could train them to do almost anything.

These are some things Golden Retrievers should receive in their puppyhood;

  • Puppy training classes
  • Socialization classes
  • Obedience training

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Golden Retriever Dog Breed Info Characteristics


Golden’s Characteristics

This section is to give you some insight into the adaptability, friendliness, trainability, and such for your Golden Retriever.

So let’s dive in to what you should be expecting if you plan to bring this bundle of goofiness into your home.



Like most dogs, Goldens are average with adaptability.

They are not however great for apartment living or being left alone for any amount of time.


These cuties are very sensitive pups and will need a gentle hand through most training.

A perk though is they are amazing for any beginner dog owner and they take well to most weather.


Other Dog Friendly

While every dog is different with how they were raised, if your puppy was with their littermates until at least 6 weeks, they are bound to have good social skills with other pups.

Though with how friendly Goldens are, it is rarely an issue.


They can become too enthusiastic about a new friend but that’s about it.


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Shedding Level

Golden’s are at the top of the list of dogs who shed a lot.

You should be expecting hair almost everywhere, though it can be combated with brushing at least twice a week.


However, in warmer months, be prepared to never wear black unless you tolerate having it covered in little golden hairs.


Affection Level

Out of all the breeds I have met before, Goldens are the most sweetest breed you can come by.

You will get so much love from this big goof that you won’t know what to do with it.


Expect being greeted at the door constantly with wagging tail and kisses, even if you bring home strangers.


Exercise Needs

Goldens need daily exercise to get their energy out.

You will need a big yard or to be willing to run them daily or they will have no outlet but you to unleash their energy on when you get home.


Above I have listed some ways that could benefit them and you with getting them tuckered out.


Social Needs

This retriever is a very dependent dog, meaning they will get very lonely when you aren’t around.

They will need a lot of attention through the day and play time.


Try to give your Golden plenty of one on one time daily to keep them happy.


Apartment Friendly

Golden Retrievers are a larger dog that needs room to be able to run freely often.

While they necessarily can be an apartment dog, it is not wise unless you get them out frequently and are home with them to keep them from barking often.


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With how much shedding these big guys do, it can become a bit troublesome trying to groom them on a regular schedule.

They will need often brushing, at least twice a week, and baths when it gets hotter and their shedding is getting bad.

I mean clumps in the hand kind of bad.


Stranger Friendly

The reason Golden’s make terrible guard dogs is because they are so gosh darn friendly.

They will greet a stranger just as they would you, smiles and tail wags all day long.


If you plan to introduce them to family, do not hesitate either.

Your dog is going to adore them the moment he sees them.


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Barking Tendencies

Golden’s are about average with their tendencies to bark.

They are going to bark if they see anything or hear a noise around the house when you are home.

They are rather quiet when they have company unless they have something to bark at you about.


Health Issues

I have listed above the health issues that your Golden should be checked for regularly.

They do have a chance to gain weight easily, losing it after though is a lot harder.

Though with proper feeding and regular vet visits, your pup is sure to be a very healthy one.



Goldens aren’t really a very territorial dog. They will be happy to have doggy friends around to play with.

As long as you are there, they see no reason to defend their territory. This also happens to be with strangers as well.


Cat Friendly

As I have said before, Goldens are known to be very loving and friendly to everything! Your cat is no exception.

While they may have little hissy fits here and there, your big goof will always be trying to play and love on your kitty.



Golden’s are a very smart breed since they were bred to work. They have great concentration and patience and easy to work with.

They will need mental stimulation often to keep them alert and happy. I suggest trying some dog sports to get their minds working.




I have mentioned how Goldens are such eager to please dogs before.

They will really easy to train since they are able to relate their commands and action with reward.


They are very patient and are fine with repetition as long as you are training with a kind rewarding hand and a positive attitude.


Child Friendly

Goldens are such family dogs, this being the main reason they are so popular in the United States.

They are patient and will sit as your kid braids their fur or even paints their nails, something I would have done as a kid.

They will love just being the focus no matter what with your kid.


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Golden Retrievers are very playful dogs, almost acting like puppies their entire lives.

Though if you are not up for constant games of fetch, tag, or tug with your dog, these loveable pups may not be for you.

They will outlast you in any game of your choice.


Watchdog Ability

As I mentioned above with their friendliness to strangers, Goldens make very bad watch dogs.

They will greet any intruder with smiles like they are family, not knowing the difference between a friend or an intruder.



Golden Retrievers need a high quality dry food to be able to support their boundless energy.

Though always know the true amount needed is based on your dogs age, gender, size, metabolism, and activity level.


Your young male in peak health and energy will need more than your elder couch potato that has packed on some weight.



Golden puppies grow so fast in the month four through seven.

You will have to constantly make sure you are feeding them enough of a high quality, but lower calorie, food to keep their weight from sky rocketing too fast.



Golden Retriever adults will need at least 2 to 3 cups of food daily spread out through two meals.

You never want to over feed, so follow guides based on their weight and activity level to make sure your specific dog is getting just what they need.

Every dog is different after all.


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Famous Golden Retriever Dogs All Over the World


#1 Bailey

Bailey is a famous internet sensation because of how he is staged to seem like he is acting more human than dog.

Most are pictures taken of him doing things we would typically do on a normal day.


I was unable to find who exactly owns him or where he is from though.


#2 Ray Charles

Ray has warmed many hearts with his energetic puppy love despite being born blind.

He has grown to become popular on the internet with his adorable shenanigans and how easily he is able to get around.

His owner is Andrew Fales who adopted him when no one else would. How heartwarming.


#3 Gary

If you watch Jimmy Fallon, you know of his daughter’s guard Gary.

She, yes Gary is an adorable girl, is a great watchdog for her bigger sister and brings lots of love and joy to her family.


#4 Pinkie

Pinkie is known as best of her breed from the Westminster Dog Show.

This glamorous pup has lived in luxury all her life with her owner Edna Fox.


She had won multiple competitions due to her stunning appearance and perfect form.

The coolest thing about this dog though was she became a foster mom to three orphaned tiger cubs.

Can you believe that?


#5 Charlie

Charlie started her fame with none other than Adam Levine, Maroon 5’s lead singer.

She was introduced to the world when Adam was a judge on the Voice at the time.

She warmed many hearts that night with her adorable puppiness.


#6 Orca

Orca was a trained assistance dog that had been awarded the PDSA Gold Medal for bravery in saving their owner Cheryl Alexander from passing in a drainage ditch.

He ran to find help since she was pinned under her wheelchair in the ditch unable to get out.


After much searching and obstacles, he kept on trying to persuade anyone to help him save his owner.

He managed to find someone and bring her out to safety even in hailing weather.

What a champ!


#7 Kira

Kira was another brave dog, from this year, that was a hero for helping two dogs stuck under the ice in a frozen lake.

She rounded them up with her owner and brought them to the shore.

The video of her saving them has since gone viral.

She wa a very smart dog to see the others in need and want to help them.


#8 Duke

If you own a tv, you have seen Duke as the voice for Bush’s Beans.

He and his owner Jay Bush made many adorable ads that ran for years.

I remember always laughing at their antics when the commercials came on.


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How to Own a Golden?

There are many ways to get a Golden Retriever all your own, though if you want to get a healthy puppy you should go through a known breeder.

A popular place to get a Golden is the GRCA Rescue where many dogs are waiting for a great home.


How Much Does a Golden Retriever Cost?

  • Purebred puppies you are looking between a good $1,500 and $2,500 in the USA.
  • If you chose to adopt from a shelter or rescue, the price is much lower, in the hundreds, and you can be giving a good dog a forever home.
  • Depending on the pedigree of the puppy, the price can fluctuate vastly from say a show dog to a simple working dog line.


National Breed Clubs

Rescue Groups

What Part Did You Enjoy?

What part of this breed guide for the lovely Golden did you enjoy the most? Did you find out anything new about this fabulous breed?

Or did you know most of the information already?

If you are adopting a Golden Retriever, what is the first thing you want to keep in mind?


Let us know in the comments below and please give us a heads up if you think we missed anything.

Make sure to share with your friends and family if you liked it and thank you for reading.


Further Readings 

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4. Poodle Dog
5. Australian Shepherd

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