Michael Bryan

Written by Michael Bryan

Modified & Updated: 24 Aug 2023

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith

Golden retrievers, golden retriever facts

The adorable look on a Golden Retriever’s face says it all. This is one of the world’s best family dogs as the breed is optimistic, demonstrative, trustworthy, and extremely loyal.  Don’t these Golden Retriever facts already make you want one?

It gets better! A Golden Retriever is not hard to take care of! Give this breed two daily brisk walks, a few games of fetch, and a good run once a week, and he will adjust to almost any lifestyle. Worried about noise? A Golden’s bark is welcoming rather than hostile, and they are friendly with everyone (strangers, girls, dogs, cats, and smaller pets). No wonder Golden Retrievers are one of the most famous and adored dogs in the United States. This medium-sized breed that originated in Scotland makes for an ideal and wonderful family pet owing to their good temperament and fun-loving behavior.

But they aren’t all fun and games. Golden Retrievers are also very talented as they are great swimmers and service dogs. As service dogs, they can be trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities and make people’s lives easier. Learn more about one of America’s favorite dog breeds! Go and check out our collection of Golden Retriever facts!

  1. Golden Retrievers were first seen in a dog show in 1908.
  2. Their average lifespan is 11 to 12 years.
  3. It is the third most popular dog breed in the United States.
  4. They are the eighth-most famous dog breed in the United Kingdom.
  5. Golden Retrievers need one to two hours of exercise every day.
  1. A Golden Retriever is a hunting dog.
  2. They are originally bred in Scotland.
  3. Golden Retrievers are blonde, yellow, or gold in color.
  4. They are friendly, playful, and highly trainable.
  5. Golden Retrievers are noted for their intelligence.
  6. Golden Retrievers are popular service dogs for blind people.
  7. They are classified under medium to large dog breeds.
  8. Golden Retrievers’ topcoat or fur is water-resistant.
  9. Golden Retrievers have excellent swimming skills.
  10. They seldom bark.
  1. Obesity is one of their common illnesses because they love to eat.
  2. They enjoy companionship with other dogs and animals such as cats and rabbits.
  3. They are regarded as “mouthy,” it’s because they love to have something in their mouths like a ball, a soft toy, or newspapers.
  4. They are prone to an ear infection because of their folded ears.
  5. Golden Retrievers are not easily bothered by noise or kids’ excitement, they even enjoy it!
Table of Contents

There are three types of Golden Retrievers.

Though Golden Retrievers may look similar — there are actually three types: English, Canadian and American. The Canadian retriever somehow looks different from the two other types.

Its hair is thinner and shorter than the English and American. It is also taller by about two inches. English Golden Retrievers are heavier, while American Golden Retrievers are slender.

Golden Retrievers have double coats.

Golden Retrievers, Siberian Huskies, and German Shepherds are just a few dog breeds that have two-layer coats. Their outer coats are long and smooth and the undercoat is frizzy and soft. The two layers protect golden retrievers from the sun, cold, and moisture.

Golden Retrievers' fur color change as they age.

The color of a Golden Retriever puppy changes as they mature. Their coats become darker, and their permanent color begins to appear when they turn 12 weeks of age. In some cases, the fur becomes lighter. Aside from their coats becoming darker, Golden Retrievers also become calmer as they grow old.

golden retriever in the field
Image from Unsplash

Golden Retrievers shed a lot.

Golden Retrievers shed their fur throughout the year. They shed moderately in winter and summer and shed heavily during fall and spring. The heavy shedding of coats in spring is a preparation of Golden Retrievers for summer’s warm temperature. A Labrador sheds in a similar way.

The Mini Golden Retriever is also called the comfort retriever.

A miniature Golden Retriever is a crossbreed between a retriever and a poodle. They are sometimes regarded as comfort retrievers. Miniature Golden Retrievers are small to medium dogs about 14 to 20 inches tall. They weigh about 20 to 45 pounds and have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years.

There are no white Golden Retrievers.

English Golden Cream Retriever
Image from Adobe Stock

Though they are called English Golden Cream Retrievers, they are not white. They are typically cream or a light shade of gold. In addition, they are not from England, all English Golden Cream Retrievers come from Scotland. Furthermore, they are not a rare breed, even if to some, they sound like one. Words like “white”, “platinum”, and “rare white” are just marketing tricks.

Black Golden Retriever resembles a Golden Retriever.

An average Black Golden Retriever can live up to 12 to 13 years. Furthermore, they have a height of 23 to 24 inches and weigh about 70 to 76 pounds. Their physical appearance resembles a Golden Retriever; the only difference is the shade of their coat. They also display the same behavior as the Golden Retriever.

The Black Golden Retriever is not a pure breed.

As opposed to what other sources may claim, the Black Golden Retriever is not a real breed of Golden Retriever. Organizations like the American Kennel Club do not recognize the Black Golden Retriever as an official breed. Other experts also report that a Black Golden Retriever is a mixed breed type of of the Black Labrador and Australian Shepherd.

A Golden Husky is a cross between a Siberian Husky and a Golden Retriever.

The Golden Retriever Husky mix is not a purebred breed, but rather a designer hybrid that is relatively recent and uncommon. This intelligent and polite hybrid between a Siberian Husky and a Golden Retriever inherited some of the best characteristics of both parent breeds. They get along with everyone and are particularly gentle with children. They are also affectionate and outgoing. Planning to get one? The going rate for a Golden Husky puppy ranges between $250 and $1500.

Golden Shepherd is a hybrid of Golden Retriever and German Shepherd.

The striking Golden Shepherd is a smart and hardworking dog. They enjoy activities that will keep them mentally and physically healthy. The Golden Shepherd has the size of a German Shepherd, and they possess the friendly and gentle nature of Golden Retrievers. Golden Shepherds typically live up to 14 years. Unfortunately, they are prone to some illnesses like hip dysplasia or the presence of abnormal cells.

Golden Corgi is a mix of two breeds.

The Golden Corgi is a combination of a Golden Retriever and a Corgi, a strong and athletic dog that originated in Wales. It is a medium-sized dog, smaller than a pure-bred Golden Retriever, but bigger than a Corgi. Their fur is medium length and sheds regularly. Most Golden Corgi inherit the iconic color of Golden Retriever.

Gollie is a mixed-bred dog.

Gollie or sometimes called Golden Collie is a crossbreed between a Golden Retriever and a Border Collie. Border Collies are energetic dogs that originated in the borders of England and Scotland. They are clever, loving, and energetic, just like their parents. Black, gold, brown, and white are the most common colors of Gollies.

Red Golden Retriever is a pure breed Retriever.

The unusual color of the Red Golden Retriever is believed to be inherited from its ancestors, the Irish Setter. It is a hunting dog that originated in Ireland. The Red Golden Retriever looks similar to a Golden Retriever, though it is a larger dog. A male Red Golden has a weight of 65 to 75 pounds and measures 23 to 24 inches tall while a female weighs 55 to 65 pounds and is usually 21 ½ to 22 ½ inches tall.

Dudley Marjoribanks developed the Golden Retriever.

In the 19th century, the Scottish businessman and politician, Dudley Marjoribanks produced the breed of Golden Retrievers. This was because he wanted a dog suited for rainy weather and one that will accompany him in his hunting activity. To achieve this, he crossbred a female Tweed Water Spaniel with Irish Setter, Bloodhound, and St. John’s water dog. The Tweed Water Spaniel is now extinct.

The first Golden Retriever was first called Golden Flat Coats.

Initially, Golden Retrievers were called Golden Flat Coats. In 1911, its name was changed to Golden Retriever.

golden retriever
Source: Unsplash

President Ford had a Golden Retriever.

The popularity of Golden Retrievers flourished in 197os. It even became the pet dog of the 38th US President from 1974 to 1977, Gerald Rudolph Ford Jr. His daughter, Susan, gave him an eight-month-old retriever as a gift and named it “Liberty.” Ford was frequently photographed with Liberty in his office, swimming pool, and even in the other areas of the White House.

US Pres Raegan named his Golden Retriever 'Victory'.

The 40th US President from 1981 to 1989, Ronald Raegan, had a Golden Retriever named Victory. The golden retriever puppy was just five weeks old when gifted to Raegan. For all the years they’d lived together, Victory would always accompany Raegan on his ranch activities. Victory lived together with other dogs in Rancho del Cielo, in California.

Golden Retrievers have different important jobs.

Pet lovers don’t just adore Golden Retrievers for their loving and huggable qualities. Golden Retrievers are also very trainable, and they can perform different jobs! Actually, Retrievers can even do dangerous jobs such as bombs or drug-sniffing. They also help to rescue people during earthquakes and other natural calamities. Their breed is most trusted for water rescues.

A Golden Retriever is one of the hero dogs in the 9/11 attacks.

When the 9/11 attacks occurred, 300 dogs came to a heroic rescue. One of the “Hero Dogs” was Riley, a Golden Retriever that assisted in search and rescue efforts. Riley worked desperately to look for the victims and helped locate the bodies of several firemen.

Golden Retrievers have a fast growth rate.

Golden Retrievers grow about 5% to 10% larger each week. They reach their full adult weight at 18 months. An average adult female retriever has a weight of 55 to 65 pounds, while a male is about 65 to 75 pounds. A healthy adult male measures 23 to 24 inches tall at the shoulder, while a female is 21½ to 22½ inches.

Charlie, a Golden Retriever, has a spot in the Guinness World Records.

A six-year-old Golden Retriever named Charlie is part of the Guinness World Records for having the loudest bark. His record-breaking bark was at 113.1 decibels, which is as loud as a jet taking off. He beat the record of a German Shepherd from London whose bark registered as 108 decibels. This is a fascinating Golden Retriever fact as the dogs are not known to bark regularly!

The average litter of a Golden Retriever consists of eight puppies.

puppies, golden retriever
Source: Pixabay

A Golden Retriever litter’s size depends on different factors such as size, age, and diet. The average litter is eight puppies, with some having four to 12 puppies. The earliest they may go into labor is about two or three days early.

The largest litter a Golden Retriever had was 17 pups.

In 2009, a Golden Retriever from Winnipeg, Canada, named Giselle delivered a whopping litter of 17 puppies. Giselle delivered her puppies via a Caesarian section. The Canadian Kennel Club verified this as the highest number in a single litter.

Golden Retrievers have webbed feet.

Originally, Golden Retrievers were developed as gun dogs or dogs trained to retrieve games for hunters. Having webbed feet or having extra skin between their toes helps them be efficient swimmers, swim faster, and quickly bring the prey to the hunters.

About 60% of Golden Retrievers are affected by cancer.

Some studies indicate that Golden Retrievers have a probability of acquiring cancer with 60% of them already suffering from it. Being prone to the disease is related to how they are bred. Cancer risks are most prevalanet at ages 10 to 12.

"Augie" is the oldest known Golden Retriever.

A female Golden Retriever, Augie, is the oldest retriever at 20 years old. Augie was born on August 24, 2000. Her owners, Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt of Oakland, Tennessee, members of a golden retriever rescue organization, adopted Augie when she was 14. Despite having some health issues, she can still move around and still enjoy daily walks.

"Finley" holds the record for having the most tennis ball in his mouth.

A six-year-old Golden Retriever from Ontario County, Canada, Finley, set a new record in Guinness World Record for holding six tennis balls in his mouth at once. Finley beat the record of a Golden Retriever from Texas, who held five tennis balls. According to the owners of Finley, he began picking tennis balls on his own when he was two years old.

Ray Charles is a blind Golden Retriever.

Ray Charles was born blind on December 8, 2012. He was the only male puppy in his litter. Growing up, he did not experience playing with his sisters. Andrew Fales who adopted Ray, took him to the vet to find the cause of his disability. He found out that his eyes were functioning, but there was a disconnect between his brains and eyes that prevents him from seeing. Visit Ray Charles’ FB account here.

A hero golden retriever saved his owner from a rattlesnake bite.

On Friday, June 29, 2018, a golden retriever named Todd saved his human mom Paula Godwin from a rattlesnake bite. The snake coiled out and was about to bite Paula’s leg when Todd jumped between them.

Sadly, Todd’s muzzle was bitten. Paula rushed him to the hospital and was given anti-venom. Fortunately, a few days after the incident, the swelling on Todd’s face went down and just left a small scar for his heroic deed.

Some famous celebrities are also fascinated with Golden Retrievers.

Some of the popular individuals who own Golden Retrievers are; Chinese actor and director, Jackie Chan who has two called “JJ,” and “Jones,” American actress Jennifer Garner’s Golden Retriever is Birdie, while American talk show host, actress, and producer Oprah Winfrey calls her two Golden Retrievers as Luke and Layla.

Some Golden Retrievers are celebrities in TV shows and movies.

Golden Retrievers dominated the entertainment industry in the ’80s and ’90s. They played some unforgettable roles in different movies and TV shows like the 1997 sports comedy film Air Bud. The canine movie was about a crossbred Golden Retriever named Air Buddy.

Buddy was found by a young boy who discovered his unique talents in playing basketball. The movie was a success, with a total gross of $27.8 million.

A Golden Retriever was also featured in the movie, Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey.

The 1993 American adventure comedy film Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey features a Golden Retriever named Shadow.

Shadow had two pet friends, Chance, an immature American Bulldog, and Sassy, a Himalayan cat in the movie. He became the protector of Chance and guarded him against trouble. The movie was released on February 3, 1993, and had total earnings of $57 million worldwide.

Golden Retrievers seldom use "ear language."

golden retriever
Source: Pixabay

Unlike other dog breeds, Golden Retrievers do not frequently use their ears to express their emotions. They can’t move their ears that much because they are large and floppy. When they have their ears flat and on the back of their head, that means they are sad, nervous, or afraid.

Retrievers display emotions through their mouths.

Golden retrievers can show their feelings by showing their teeth, licking their lip, or holding their muzzles open or closed. When their mouths are slightly open, it means they are happy or relaxed. Licking their lips is usually a sign of stress.

Many dog owners may have the wrong interpretation of why dogs lick. Dogs lick, not only out of affection, but also when they are hurt, when they are not comfortable with their environment, or when they just need attention.

Golden Retrievers are the garden's villains.

golden retriever
Source: Pixabay

If you are a garden lover, a Golden Retriever may not be suited to you. Aside from water, Golden Retrievers also love mud. If they can’t find water to play, mud will do. When they are bored, chances of digging behavior increase as well as play and roll in the flowerbeds.

Golden retrievers suffer from separation anxiety.

One difficulty of social dogs is they struggle when people leave them too often or too long. Golden Retrievers have the possibility to suffer from separation anxiety. Certain Retrievers who suffer from this howl, chew, bark, salivate on everything, try to escape, or worst, become destructive.

Instagram's first picture is a photo of a Golden Retriever.

The first photograph posted on Instagram was a picture of a Golden Retriever standing on a taco stand. On July 16, 2010, the American computer programmer and co-founder of Instagram, Kevin Systrom, uploaded the picture with the caption “test”. Though Kevin uploaded the first picture in July. It was only on October 6 when the social media app became available to the public.

About 63% of Golden Retrievers are overweight.

Due to improper diet, nearly 63% of Golden Retrievers are obese. Obesity is described as having 20% above the ideal weight. The average weight of a golden retriever is 70 pounds, therefore if the golden retriever has a weight of 80 pounds, it is already considered obese. An overweight golden retriever has a high risk of suffering from sores and calluses on their ankles and elbows.

Golden retrievers are prone to eye problems.

Golden Retrievers can inherit or develop poor eye conditions that may lead to blindness. One of the most common eye problems of older Goldens is cataracts. Aside from cataracts, they are also prone to having Glaucoma, a condition that affects optic nerves. Watery eyes and redness on the white part of the eyes are the usual symptoms of Glaucoma.

Reward during training sessions works well with Goldens.

Golden Retrievers puppies always want to please their owners. They respond best when they are given positive reinforcement; when they are given treats, toys, or praises for doing a good job.

Moreover, they can also learn easily if their owners talk slowly and calmly. On the contrary, negative reinforcement such as punishing them when they don’t do a good job may sometimes lead to behavioral issues.

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