Golden Retriever Breed Profile


KC Group Gundog

Size Large

Average lifespan 12 or more years

Good with children? Yes

Good guard dogs? Would bark

Moulting level Medium

Grooming Moderate

Exercise requirement Lots

Jogging partner Short runs

Golden Retriever Breed Profile

The Golden Retriever is an ideal companion, sensitive and sensible. The breed has been adapted for various activities.

● Life expectancy: Can be 12 or more years.

● Price: Upwards of £1,400 for a well-bred, properly reared puppy.

The larger breeds can be seen in the show ring and as family pets, while other breeds can be seen working as gundogs, field trialling and more recently as assistance dogs. Their nature is generally suited to most situations however recent over breeding has produced some problems including skin complaints, eye problems and in rare cases irritable snapping.

Golden Retriever character

Most endearing; they are warm and friendly dogs, love people, and most certainly love life. They have a gentle nature and will rarely bite or snap, they demand attention from their owners. They are intelligent which makes training them easy. Retrievers are gundogs, the instinct to carry objects is great so watch out for your shoes! They are sensitive and can have a nervous disposition so the softly softly approach should be remembered when training.

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Golden Retriever size

Dogs' height at withers is normally between 56-61cm and bitches' between 51-56cm. The weight for dogs is normally between 30-34kg and bitches 27-32kg. Owners should not allow their dogs to get too fat, with expanded waistlines, or too thin, where the ribs are exposed.

Golden Retriever health

Ensure your pup is bred from parents with good hip and eye scores, if you do this the likelihood of encountering the problems relating to this is later life will be reduced. They can be prone to some skin irritations but generally they do not have many common ailments. All reputable breeders will have had their stock’s hips, elbows, and eyes checked and certified by The British Veterinary Association.

Golden Retriever special care

Puppies can grow very quickly and can get too heavy for their bones if allowed to grow too fast. Don't allow too much exercise at a young age or Osteochondritis Dissecans (OCD), a condition that causes lameness, can occur.

Golden Retriever coat care

Being a long-coated breed, their fur can soon get tangled. Adopting a regular grooming routine with your puppy will soon get him into a routine, and most dogs love the procedure.

Golden Retriever trainability and exercise

They are easy to train and will enjoy pleasing you. For puppies, most vets hold puppy socialisation classes, and as they get older there are many local dog training classes for which you can enrol. Regular exercise is very important, starting off with short walks for puppies. Remember not to over exercise your young pup; build up distance as he grows to full size.

Remember! All breed profiles are general and every dog is an individual.

Q&A with Golden Retriever Owners

Owners: Sandra Fryer, Bedford & Cath Bevan, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

Tell us about your dog. 

“Heidi came to us at eight weeks old, a bundle of fluff and devilment. She’s five, and is the kindest, happiest, most loving dog. She’s very friendly with everyone she meets. She’s an absolute joy to be around and I just couldn’t imagine life without her.” 

Why did you pick this breed?

“I’ve had two previously. After researching them, I learned that they’re a perfect family dog with a fantastic temperament, tolerance, and beauty.”

Where did your dog come from?

“We bought her from a well-researched breeder in Kettering, Northamptonshire.”

Heidi and new member of the family Venus (right).

What have been your biggest challenges with your dog? 

“Heidi would eat anything and everything while out walking, often ending up at the vet’s when she was younger. She had a hip injury, which was a real worry; several sessions of hydrotherapy resolved her problem.” 

What have been your happiest times together? 

“Every day is a happy day with Heidi, but when we go for our daily walks in the woods she helps me feel close to nature, animals, trees, natural beauty, and peace.” 

Has your dog turned out as you expected?

“She’s grown into a beautiful, kind, wonderful dog who loves to please. Knowing the breed, that’s what I expected.”

Any ongoing issues?

“Heidi has the doggy equivalent of hay fever which means, on veterinary advice, she has Piriton during the pollen season. This is NOT typical of the breed.”

Any advice to other potential owners of this breed?

“Firstly, check out the breeder and make sure you see the mother with the pups. If you’re even slightly house proud, this isn’t the dog for you as they are extremely hairy, depositing hair around the house daily. If you want a fun, loyal, tolerant, intelligent family dog then you’ll never do better than a Goldie!”

Sum up your dog in one sentence.

“Heidi is the most loving, kind, happy, beautiful dog and my absolute best friend.”

How easy is she to care for?

“She’s very easy to look after even though she has long, thick fur. Being double coated, brushing is relatively easy and is only required two or three times a week.”

Would you have another dog of  this breed? 

“I have! Venus joined us three months ago, from the same breeder. She is a darker retriever than Heidi but equally beautiful.” 

How have you found training your dog? 

“These dogs are intelligent, eager to please, and food driven, so Heidi was extremely easy to train. She went to puppy classes, gaining Good Citizen Awards.”

What activity do you and your dog most like to share?

“Sharing walks with Heidi is a highlight of our day, but we also enjoy our fun dog shows. 

“I am very proud when she wins classes like waggiest tail, best sausage catcher, and prettiest bitch as well as the more serious pedigree classes.”



Owner: Cath Bevan, Barry, Vale of Glamorgan.

Tell us about your dog. 

“Bertie is a seven-year-old Golden Retriever. He is incredibly people-focused, and loves people over dogs on the whole.”

Why did you pick this breed?

“They’re incredibly friendly, laid-back, and relaxed dogs, which suited our lifestyle. They’re also very cat friendly.” 

Bertie enjoys family holidays.

Where did your dog come from?

“We got Bertie from a breeder in Somerset. We were lucky to get him, as he was destined to be a show dog, but because of a skin infection on his face, he was no longer show quality. We hear from his breeder every year.”

What have been your biggest challenges with your dog? 

“Bertie has allergies and skin issues, grass and grain being the main culprits, so I would say keeping him healthy and happy has been a challenge, especially when he hurt his back and couldn’t exercise and piled on the weight. He has been going to hydrotherapy and has lost 8kg. Behaviourally, he has been a dream.”

What have been your happiest times together? 

“Any time spent with him is time well spent, but as a family we love our annual holiday to West Wales. We spend the whole week together, walking, playing on the beach, and exploring the local area.” 

Has your dog turned out as you expected?

“He has turned out to be more than we hoped. Physically he has grown into a large, handsome boy; mentally he is very balanced and affectionate. He’s great company, a loving and dedicated family dog.” 

Any ongoing issues?

“Skin allergies, which need managing, more so in the summer; his weight loss is ongoing following his back injury.” 

Any advice to other potential owners of this breed?

“Be prepared for the grooming required and for fur everywhere. I groom him every day for about 20 minutes. This has been our routine since he was a puppy. They can be very sensitive dogs and they do tend to bond deeply with people.” 

Sum up your dog in one sentence.

“Handsome, friendly, happy-go-lucky and a complete bringer of joy to us — the best dog in the world!”

How easy is he to care for?

“He does need a good amount of grooming, but I find this is very relaxing and a good opportunity to bond. He goes to the groomer’s every three months for a wash and blow dry.” 

Would you have another dog of this breed? 

“Without a shadow of a doubt; he makes every day we are with him a better one.”

How have you found training your dog? 

“Very easy. Bertie is very eager to please and likes nothing more than being told he is a good boy.” 

What activity do you and your dog most like to share?

“Walks together, especially on the beach.”