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Golden Retriever Facts 
General Golden Retriever Facts & Stats 


This is one of the most affection purebred dog breeds in the world and one of the best family pets that one can have.

They are part of the Sporting group per the AKC and were originally bred to be hunting dogs; though the vast majority today are family companion dogs.

While one of the facts about Golden Retrievers is that their average life span is 11 years, many live quite a bit longer.
Like all breeds, they are prone to certain illness and conditions…This includes hip dysplasia (when the hip joint and socket slip out of place), others may have heart and/or eye issues as they age.  The most common health issue is cancer; a study conducted by the Golden Retriever Club of America showed that 60% of Golden's pass away from some sort of cancer.

Male adults will reach a weight of 60-80 pounds (27-36 kg) and females will be a tad smaller, between 55-70 pounds (25-32 kg).

All purebreds will be longer than tall.

The average litter will range from 6-10 puppies and as will all breeds, time from tie to delivery is approximately 63 days.

This is the 5th most registered breed in the United States.

Life span is 11 years on average with a range of 10 to 14 being commonplace.

Color and Appearance

They are in the large breed class and will weigh between 60 to 75 pounds when fully grown and reach a height between 21 and 24 inches (measured at the shoulder).

As you can guess from their name, the color of the coat is indeed golden…however, this can range from a very pale blonde to a deep, dark yellow.

Behavior and Temperament Facts

They are very intelligent and usually do quite well with both house training and command training….the earlier an owner begins, the better the results.

While technically becoming an adult at the age of 2, owners can expect puppy-like behavior until the age of 3 years old.

They have big tails and since they are so friendly, they wag them often….this can lead to household objects being swiped right off of a coffee table…So owners should be aware that some things in the home may need to be moved to accommodate this outgoing and enthusiastic  dog.

Being friendly, they also like to lick people a lot.  For this reason, small children may feel a bit overwhelmed with a mature adult Golden.  However no real harm will come when a Retriever is well taken care of, both physically and emotionally.

They are known for being gentle and caring toward children of all ages.

They usually do very well with other dogs and with cats.

They are good watchdogs in the sense that they will bark to alert you to danger, however they are well known for being non-violent dogs and most will not have the instinct to attack.  Out of all of the different dog breeds, this one is among those that statistically bite the least.

It is common for this breed to take a long nap mid day and be much more active in the morning and evening.

Retriever FactsThis is one dog breed that absolutely loves being with people.  They do not do well when left alone for too long of a time as they are happiest when in the company of their human family members.

Because they need human companionship, owners should try to limit the time that the dog is left home alone…Otherwise Separation Anxiety may occur.  Having a neighbor, friend or paid helper to stop by after 3-4 hours to offer play and a walk can help tremendously.  Also, gating off a room to allow the Golden Retriever plenty of space to play, rest and walk around can be helpful.

They enjoy napping…puppies, young adults, adults and seniors will all enjoy a nap during the day.

Despite liking sleep, when awake, most are full of energy… Due to this, a Golden will be happier and better behaved if taken for a long walk at least 1 time per day. 

Aside from walking, one steadfast Golden Retriever fact is that they will never back down from an invitation to play outdoors with you…whether this is a game of Frisbee, catch or just play wrestling.

With their high intelligence, training usually goes well.   However, one must note that for proper training, consistency is the key.  All members of the household should understand how training is to be done and all should implement the same training steps for the dog.  When given commands repeatedly over the course of weeks and given rewards for approved behavior, this breed will quickly learn.

Older, mature Retrievers can quickly gain weight if their activity level decreases, for this reason healthy adults and seniors should still be taken for walks, 1 time a day minimum.  Older dogs with arthritis can usually handle a slow walk around the neighborhood which is helpful.

They love water and will enjoy swimming with you in a pool or lake.

Puppy Care

Newborns will be born with eyes closed and have no hearing abilities…. They will begin to open their eyes and to hear between 2 and 3 weeks.

As with other breeds, it is normal to have to learn to walk…Some people mistakenly believe that dogs do this automatically…It is quite natural for a puppy to stumble and wobble as they find their muscles and learn how to balance.

Puppies will be eating a lot and growing rapidly. During puppyhood time, they will have a rounded appearance…and owners should not be concerned about weight issues….As the pup slowly turns to young adult, they will have a sleeker, thinner look.


One important Golden Retriever fact is that they have thick double coats. They will have 2 heavy, noticeable sheds 2 times per year.  Aside from that, they will slowly shed throughout the entire year. This does not mean that your home needs to be covered in hair!  Simply brushing him or her every other day will pull out dead hairs … every day during heavy shedding times will be optimal.

The best brush to use is called a porcupine brush.   It has both bristles and tips and does an excellent job to keep the coat healthy and shiny, allowing for distribution of natural oils to be spread evenly on the hairs…it keeps them shiny and prevents breakage.

For times during heavy shedding, it is highly recommended to use what is called a Rake.  This is a dog grooming tool that will pick up the dead hairs that become trapped under the layers of hairs.  This is a must to keep shedding under control.

There is an issue (not health concerning) in which some Goldens will develop some noticeable white hairs that are very dry and appear to be lifeless. It is commonly known as Dead White Hair.  If this happens, it most often will be noticeable on the legs, shoulders and/or behind the dog’s head.  The way to remove these is with a dog grooming tool that is called a Stripping Knife.   It is designed to carefully remove those white hairs while leaving the main coat intact.

Nails should be checked for trimming every 3 weeks.

This breed has sensitive skin; this means that an owner should never bath the dog with human products. Hypoallergenic canine shampoo should always be used. Also, giving too many baths may cause the skin to lose important, natural oils….therefore a bath every 2-3 weeks is recommended.

Ears should be cleaned 1 time each week with a canine ear cleaning solution to prevent ear infections.  For those who have a Golden Retriever who swims, ears should be cleaned and dried out after any time spent in the water.


Like many breeds, they are prone to hip dysplasia. This is a condition in which the hip socket and joint become dislocated.  Only in severe cases surgery is needed…In most cases bed rest and anti-inflammatory medication is the standard treatment.  Limping is the most common symptoms and the dog should be x-rayed as soon as possible for diagnosis.

Another fact about Golden Retrievers is that they are prone to skin issues. This can be due to allergies that cause itching….which then turns to sores and infections.  For this reason, owners are encouraged to look for symptoms…which is easiest to do when the dog is wet from bath time.

For optimal health, walks should be 30 minutes for puppies and 45 minutes minimum for adults…given 1 time per day…and most Golden Retrievers will be up for 2 walks per day, 1 in the morning and 1 at night.

In the News

A Golden Retriever named Stanley saved his owner and her friend from a mountain lion attack in Colorado. While hiking a forest, the mountain lion approached the women and growled. Their Retriever chased the wild animal way and was not harmed.

A Golden Retriever named Angel saved his owner from a cougar attack in British Columbia.  As the cougar lunged at the 11 year old boy,  the dog jumped up between them and fought with the wild animal until the authorites arrived and put the cougar down. Amazingly, the Golden only received  a few bites and fully recovered.

In Maryland, a Golden Retriever named Toby amazingly saved his owner from choking. The woman was choking on a piece of an apple and without any other humans around, was unsuccessfully trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself. The Retriever knocks her down to her back and jumped up and down on her chest, dislodging the food. There are theories that the dog was attempting to play, however he had never done this before.

A 15 month old Golden Retriever named Orth is credited with saving his owner's life. When the man was thrown off of his snowmobile in a remote area of Alaska and suffered injuries that left him unable to move. The Golden stayed by his side for over 30 hours. Then, when the noise of other snowmobilers could be heard in the distance, Orth dog ran to the main road and got their attention, bringing them to the scene of the accident. The owner was air lifted to a hospital for treatment; the hero dog being cared for by friends. 

In Australia, a Golden Retriever named Boydy was credited with saving his owner's life after the man was trapped beneath his car for 4 days after a one-car accident. The dog stayed right by his owner's side, offering warmth and comfort until search teams found the pair.

This breed makes for a wonderful therapy dog; in 2014 a Golden Retriever named Dakota Sioux - a 7 and 1/2 year old - conducted her 1000th therapy visit, bringing happiness to residents of the Jennings Nursing Home in Aurora, IL.



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