Golden Retriever

Choosing to add a furry friend to your growing household is a long-term commitment, and picking a breed that fits your lifestyle presents the key to a happy home. With over 160 American Kennel Club-recognized breeds, that decision can seem overwhelming. We're here to help you meet the breed that's right for you. If you're looking for a gentle large breed to add to your pack, find out everything you need to know about the Golden Retriever.
Golden retriever |


  • checkCheerful disposition
  • checkPleasant temperament
  • checkActive lifestyle
  • checkGood with kids
  • checkLong lifespan


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The cheerful Golden Retriever ranks among the most popular breeds in the nation. With a happy-go-lucky personality and endearing good looks, it's easy to see why the Golden has captured the hearts of America. Originally bred as hunters to retrieve fowl from land and water, you can bet this breed loves to swim and fetch. A breed that truly knows no strangers, Goldens are known to get along with just about anyone, even robbers and thieves, making them wonderful family members and poor guard dogs.

Breed standards

AKC group: Sporting

UKC group: Gun Dog

Average lifespan: 10-12 years

Average size: 55-75 pounds

Coat appearance: Long, dense, firm

Coloration: Any shade of golden

Hypoallergenic: No

Other identifiers:

Luxurious golden coat, sturdy and well-balanced body frame.

Possible alterations:

Cream or red coloration not accepted by AKC.

Is this breed right for you?

Goldens can adapt to just about every lifestyle and environment; however, they're best suited for families with children and large living spaces with room to roam. They can do well in small apartments if daily exercise is incorporated into their routine. Owners must dedicate time for regular grooming to prevent knots in their long golden coat. Goldens are eager to please their human counterparts and therefore excel at training since they love the bond it creates for their master-canine relationship. Families with young children are encouraged to enroll their Golden into basic obedience courses early on.

golden retriever breed characteristics

A dream day in the life of a Golden Retriever

A day at the lake or pond playing fetch would be a dream day in the making for this water-loving breed. Hanging out at the park with the whole family and even making a few new neighbor friends keep this pooch's tail wagging. For an extra-special day, going for a brisk run or walk on a cool day will keep a smile on this naturally happy breed.

Other breeds you might like

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Meet the breed: German Shorthaired Pointer
Meet the breed: Doberman Pinscher



Comments on "Meet the breed: Golden Retriever"

Shannon Allen January 13, 2014 | 6:30 AM

Willard, that was such a beautiful story, and I hope Angel gives you many years of happiness! Sheknows : Thanks for featuring this wonderful breed! Shannon The Daily Golden

Willard Stephen January 10, 2014 | 9:08 PM

My first golden retriever came from a wonderful breeder who insisted in socializing all pups before delivering them. The one I picked was "Princess" and she truly was. She had the run of our neiborhood and was known and loved be ALL. The vet described her as "mellow". At the dog park she ran and played with the dogs, but always took time out to greet their owners (with treats). We were inseperable for 14 years and one day she told me she was very tired and fell asleep in my arms quietly forever. I was totally lost with a giant empty hole in my life. I knew I couldn't replace her, and wouldn't try, but one day the breeder called me and said he had a pup that was her perfect duplicate, he said he knew this was impossilble, but come over and have a look, he had named her "Angel". When he introduced me to her, that tiny little handfull, ball of fir came running to me and jumped into my arms and into my heart. She had me with one little lick. She is now 4 years old and still kind of a pup, but we are insperatable and she won't go to bed at night without her goodnight one little lick. She is still not "Princess", but well on her way and is working hard to fill that empty hole in my life.

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