Golden Retriever: Dog Breed Facts, Info and Lifespan

golden retriever

The overall appearance of the Golden Retriever must be symmetrical, balanced, active, powerful, well aligned in its proportions. The expression is that of a reflective and kind dog. The head is proportioned and well chiseled. The skull is broad but not coarse. The muzzle is powerful, broad and deep, with a length equal to that of the skull, with a well defined snout. The eyes should be dark brown in color, well apart, with dark eyelid edges. The ears, of a medium size, are attached approximately to the height of the eyes. The limbs are straight and have a good bone structure, well positioned under the trunk. The tail is attached and carried to the height of the back. It reaches the hock, without ever bending.

Hair: flat or wavy, with beautiful fringes. Undercoat is thick and waterproof.

Color: all shades ranging from gold to cream are seen, but not red or mahogany.

Size: 55 to 60 cm for the male and 50 to 55 cm for the female.

Weight: about 28 kg

Golden Retriever History

Recognition of the breed is fairly recent, as it dates back to the early 19th century, but virtually nothing is known about its history. Only legends are known, the most famous of which is that in the 1800’s Lord Tweedmouth bought a pair of shepherds with a light coat that he had seen working in a circus. At each pregnancy, he kept only golden puppies to fix the recessive character of the coat. Another theory is that the breed was born from the cross between a sand-colored Bloodhound and a Spaniel. Other people still argue that the ancestor of the breed was a yellow dog born from the cross between a water Spaniel and a Flat-Coated Retriever.

Golden Retriever Character

The Golden Retriever has a quite exceptional character. It is perfect with children, gentle and peaceful with the elderly. Robust and resistant, it is a walking companion for the young and naturally a great working dog for the hunter. It is a dog that devotes a great deal of time because it has a great need for human companionship. It feels like part of the family in which it lives and wants to play a full role in it by making itself useful and participating in all possible activities. When hunting, it is very good at retrieving animals, especially in the water.

Ideal Living Conditions

The Golden Retriever will be more happy to live in a home with a yard, but he knows how to settle for an apartment life if he gets out often.


It is a very strong dog. Although the Golden Retriever was born to work in water and has a perfectly waterproof coat, it must be dried at the base of the tail when it comes out of the water. If not, it may suffer from tail issues.

Average life expectancy: roughly 12-14 years