November 19, 2019

Breed Profile: Golden Retriever

By Lauren R. Tharp

The second most popular dog in the United States (according to AKC registration records), the Golden Retriever originated as a hunting dog, roaming the Scottish Highlands, in the late 1800s. Now known for being excellent guide dogs and search and rescue dogs, the Golden Retriever was officially recognized as a breed by the AKC in 1925 and has been a favorite among dog-owners everywhere ever since.

Physical Traits

Size & Weight: Medium to large. Females are smaller, generally around 20-22 inches tall and 55-65 pounds. Males are much larger, measuring 23-25 inches tall and weighing 65-80 pounds.

Coat & Color: Dense, water-resistant, outer coat with a softer undercoat. Their coats also have some feathering at the neck, back, thighs, and underside of the tail. The color is, true to their name: Golden.

Other: Digby on Pushing Daisies, Shadow in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, Dug in Up, and Buddy from the Air Bud movies were all Golden Retrievers. President Gerald Ford, the 38th President of the United States, also had a Golden Retriever, Liberty, as his Presidential dog while in office.

Life Expectancy: 10-12 years


The ultimate people dog! Friendly, happy, and reliable, Golden Retrievers are a wonderful dog choice for people of all ages and living situations. They’re energetic, requiring daily exercise, but they aren’t overly demanding. Eager to please, these dogs will go to great lengths to make sure you’re happy with them.


  • Easy to train!
  • A great family pet. Works well with people of all ages.
  • Exceptionally friendly. Great with strangers and other animals.


  • They shed a lot. If you’re fussy about your household cleaning, this might not be the breed for you
  • Not the best watch dogs. They’re just too friendly!
  • Can become destructive if left alone for long periods of time.

If you are interested in adopting a Golden Retriever, please visit Long Island Golden Retriever Rescue, based in Long Island, they will help you to match family your with the right dog.

Special thanks to Stephen Hunack’s Dog Mountain gallery for use of this Golden Retriever featured image.


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