Golden retriever characteristics

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Mike Tanaka


Golden retrievers are often considered one of the most popular dog breed in the world. Known for their friendly, energetic and obedient personality traits, golden retrievers are very versatile dogs that make perfect family pets as well as service dogs. This article will cover various characteristics of golden retrievers such as personality, physical traits, activity level and more.


Golden retriever personality

Golden retrievers are known to be very friendly, intelligent and playful breeds. Due to their friendly and patient nature, they make excellent family dogs and are exceptionally tolerant of children and other pets.  

Since they have been bred to work alongside their owners, they are highly intelligent and keen on pleasing their owners. This results in this breed to learn to pick up cues and tricks quickly. According to various studies, they are considered #4 intelligent dog breed in the world

Additionally, golden retriever’s happy go lucky personality enables them to get along with new people, dogs and cats as well. This also means that they are not fit to be a guard dog, as they would rather make friends and also they generally do not bark as much as other breeds.

Activity Level

Golden retrievers are classified as a sporting breed which means that they were bred to assist hunters in bringing back game. So, they love having a job to do and need to exercise at least 1 hour per day.

Golden retriever’s favorite activities include fetching, swimming and running. They also love mental stimulation games such as using their nose to find items, doing tricks and going through obstacle courses.

Physical traits

Golden retriever traits
Weight 55- 75 lbs
Height 20 -24 inches
Lifetime expectancy 10 -14 years
Color gold, cream, red, dark
Breed group Sporting
Exercise Needs 1 hour / day
Shedding Heavy


Golden retriever lineage

Golden retrievers have their origins in Scotland with a lineage dating back to the 1800s. Sir Dudley Marjoribanks has been credited to breeding the first golden retriever by breeding a yellow retriever with Tweed Water Spaniel that produced 4 yellow puppies that now became known as “Golden Retrievers”. 

They have been bred primarily to retrieve game such as waterfowl from icy cold marshes and ponds for hunters. Which is why they have a water-repellent double-coat that protects them from these conditions. 

Another notable characteristic about golden retrievers is that they were selectively bred to have a “soft mouth” so that they can bring back the downed bird to the owner without damaging the meat. This has spurred a viral video called “Golden retriever egg challenge” where people would put a raw egg in the dog’s mouth to see if they are capable of holding the egg without breaking it.

Special characteristics

  • Slow to mature :  Remains playful and energetic until much later in life
  • Heavy shedding : Daily brushing is recommended as their fur gets everywhere
  • Loves to eat : They will not stop eating what’s in front of them. Best to limit foods and treats to prevent weight issues
  • Excellent swimmers : Webbed paws and water-repellent coat makes them natural swimmers

It is easy to see why Golden Retrievers are among the most beloved dog breeds in the world. From their gentle nature and intelligence, to their amazing loyalty and companionship, these dogs embody the traits that make the perfect family dog.

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