Golden Retriever Dog Breed Guide | Gundog Journal
Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Main sporting role:
Over 10 years
2 or more hours a day
Coat length:
Vulnerable status:

The Golden retriever’s origins stem back to mid-19th century Scotland, where the breed’s founder Baron Tweedmouth sought a specialist gundog that was able to retrieve birds over longer distances and in more difficult terrain.

The working Golden retriever has a keen desire to work in cover and water; it’s a top performer in field sports, including agility, obedience, and working trials. This breed is well-suited to working as a peg dog, picking up, or wildfowling, and it’s also widely used in service roles.

Golden Retriever: Key Characteristics

Golden retrievers are intelligent, gentle, confident, and highly adaptable - they’re willing to carry out many more tasks in addition to retrieving. 

The Golden retriever dog is attractive and athletic, with a broad skull and a beautiful medium-length coat in many shades of gold. Sensitive and slow to mature, the golden retriever doesn’t respond well to harsh handling or training, but it’s an ideal choice for families with children, as this breed gets along well with other people and other dogs.

Owning A Golden Retriever: Pros And Cons

Golden Retriever Pros

  • Calm, friendly nature
  • A good family dog - good with lots of people, children, and other pets, including cats
  • Very playful

Golden Retriever Cons

  • Often hungry - needs a lot of food to stay satisfied
  • Sheds a lot - twice a year, golden retrievers will shed their coats in full, but they can shed hair on a daily basis
  • Needs around one hour of exercise every day
  • Needs company - not good at being left alone all day
  • May be at risk of eye conditions such as retinal dysplasia, ear infections, and skin problems including ichthyosis

How Much Exercise Does A Golden Retriever Need?

A Golden retriever will need at least 2 hours of exercise per day - this could take the form of walking, running, play time, or training. 

Golden retrievers won’t need quite as much as 2 hours of daily exercise while they’re still growing; it’s important to avoid over-exercising this breed before it’s fully mature to reduce the risk of joint problems in the future.

How To Groom A Golden Retriever 

Golden retrievers require regular grooming to keep their coats in good condition. These are the main points on how to groom a golden retriever that are important to keep in mind:

  • Grooming - these dogs will shed their coat twice a year; it’s important to brush their coat before bathing to help remove any hair that’s being shed. It’s also recommended to use a canine shampoo during bathing
  • Ear Care - due to their floppy nature, a golden retriever’s ears can easily become infected, so make sure to check them weekly for any debris, and clean as required
  • Oral care - aim to brush your dog’s teeth 3 times a week
  • Nail care - trim your pet’s nails every 4-6 weeks to keep them in good condition

Explore more gundog breeds.

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