$30 off Breed + Health Kit use code FALL30 or $30 off Breed ID Kit use code BREED30
Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever

Developed as an ideal hunting retriever, the Golden Retriever’s eagerness to please and friendliness has made them an extremely popular family pet.

Illustration courtesy of the Swedish Kennel Club

Quick Facts


Height

Male: 22-24in

Female: 20-22in

Weight

Male: 65-75lb

Female: 55-71lb

Fun Fact

A Golden Retriever is also pictured in the Guinness Book of World’s Records for “Most tennis balls held in mouth” (with 6).

Are you a breeder?

Golden Retrievers at a glance

One of the most popular dog breeds in America, the Golden Retriever is considered distinctly lovable. Their sweet disposition makes them superb companions. If you’re considering bringing a Golden Retriever into your home or you’ve recently discovered your dog is mixed with Golden Retriever, we have all the information you need to make informed decisions regarding their care. We’ve included details about this breed’s physical characteristics, playtime needs, grooming tips, nutrition, and more. You’ll also find a comprehensive list of all the health conditions we test for here at Embark, as well as recommendations from veterinarians.

About this breed

The Golden Retriever was developed in the early 19th century as an ideal hunting companion, able to retrieve birds on both land and water in the marshy Scottish countryside. Their friendliness and intelligence make them both a popular family pet and an excellent working dog for roles such as a service dog, therapy dog, or for search and rescue.

American and Canadian Goldens are generally lankier and darker than their British counterparts. Their wavy, feathered topcoat is water-resistant, their undercoat helps them with thermoregulation, and both coats have a tendency for heavy seasonal shedding.

In 2013, the 100th anniversary of Britain’s Golden Retriever Club, Goldens from around the world made the pilgrimage to the breed’s birthplace in Scotland, where 222 of them posed in a single record-breaking photo. At the same time, the Golden Retriever Lifetime Study was getting started in the United States, recruiting 3,000 Golden Retrievers for a study aimed at understanding how genetics, lifestyle, and environment influences healthy aging and cancer risk in Goldens.

embark guide golden retrievers 1

 

Physical characteristics

The Golden Retriever has a wonderful golden coat, which is how they earned the first part of their name. According to the AKC, the Golden Retriever’s broad head, with its friendly and intelligent eyes, short ears, and straight muzzle, are hallmarks of the breed. Intact Golden Retrievers are usually 22–24 inches and weigh anywhere between 65 and 75 pounds once full grown. Female Golden Retrievers are slightly smaller at 21-22 inches and 55 to 65 pounds.

Ever wonder why some Golden Retrievers are nearly red, like an Irish Setter, while others are nearly white? Check out Embark’s unique genetic discovery around the intensity of red pigmentation in dog’s coats.

embark breed guide golden retrievers 2

 

Playtime

The AKC recommends your Golden Retrievers get plenty of exercise. If not exercised regularly, they may develop undesirable behaviors and gain excess weight. These dogs make great hiking and cycling companions. Golden Retrievers love to be active alongside their favorite people. Due to their strong retrieving instinct, when being exercised outside of a fenced-in yard, your pup may need to be kept on a leash to avoid distractions. Running with your dog is a great way to help them get the exercise they need.

embark guide to golden retrievers 3

Grooming

According to the ASPCA, Golden Retrievers require a substantial amount of grooming in order to maintain their thick and lustrous coat. Daily brushing will help prevent knots and tangles and will reduce the amount of fur that accumulates around your home. Your pup’s nails will require regular trimming if they are not worn down naturally through outside play and activity.

Health and aging

Your best friend can still live a full and happy life with the proper care and activity. According to Animal Planet, Golden Retrievers have a lifespan of about 10-12 years and they are considered to be a senior dog at 8 years old.

Do you know your pup’s birthday? If not, you might choose their date of adoption as a special day to celebrate them! Click here for birthday ideas.

Getting your pup tested with Embark will arm you with as much information as possible to ensure your dog is healthy while potentially avoiding preventable diseases.

embark guide to golden retrievers 4

An Embark Dog DNA Test looks at the following health conditions in Golden Retrievers:

Want to learn more about your dog?

Do you own a Golden Retriever or do you think your dog might be part Golden Retriever? Learn more about your dog with Embark’s Dog DNA Tests, the most accurate on the market.

Golden Retrievers on Embark

Explore some Embark dogs that share Golden Retriever ancestry.

  • LIBERTY HENNA LISKA

    LIBERTY HENNA LISKA

    Purebred

    Emmie

    Emmie

    Purebred

    NordicWoof

    NordicWoof's Alaskan Winter

    Purebred

    Maya

    Maya

    Purebred

  • Zahavah

    Zahavah

    Purebred

    Biscuit

    Biscuit

    Purebred

    Bruce Lins Stillitano

    Bruce Lins Stillitano

    Purebred

    Bridget

    Bridget

    Purebred

  • WC

    WC's Little Miss Hot Cakes "Bindi"

    Purebred

    Moose

    Moose

    Purebred

    Princess Scarlett

    Princess Scarlett

    Purebred

    Ron

    Ron

    Purebred

Favorite Names

For Male

  1. Cooper
  2. Charlie
  3. Buddy
  4. Max
  5. Tucker
  6. Duke
  7. Bear
  8. Finn
  9. Teddy
  10. Murphy

For Female

  1. Daisy
  2. Luna
  3. Bella
  4. Lucy
  5. Molly
  6. Bailey
  7. Sadie
  8. Willow
  9. Rosie
  10. Ruby

Common Locations

  1. California, United States
  2. Texas, United States
  3. Ohio, United States
  4. Florida, United States
  5. Pennsylvania, United States
  6. North Carolina, United States
  7. Michigan, United States
  8. Washington, United States
  9. New York, United States
  10. Georgia, United States

What's your primary interest in dogs?

Help us get you the most relevant information.

What kind of dogs are part of your family?

Help us get you the most relevant information.