Golden Retriever Pros And Cons

By helloBARK!
Updated on 28 June 2022

Golden Retrievers are famously friendly dogs.

They’re one of the most popular dogs in the world with families thanks to their charming, kind, loving and patient personalities.

Golden Retriever

Breed name: Golden Retriever
Lifespan: 10 to 12 years
Height: 21.5 to 24 inches
Weight: 55 to 75 lbs

Golden Retrievers are the third-most popular dog breed in the United States behind the Labrador Retriever and the French Bulldog.

They’re a strong muscular dog breed that sometimes don’t know their own size such is their exuberance to see family members and friends of the family.

The AKC describe the Golden Retriever breed as outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please family dogs, and relatively easy to train.

However, just like any dog irrespective of breed or mix, Golden Retrievers do have their advantages and disadvantages.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at Golden Retriever pros and cons, examining what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of owning the breed.

We’ll speak to some current Golden Retriever owners to get an insight into the pros and cons of the breed from dog lovers with firsthand experience, including Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever).


The friendliest breed

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retrievers have earned a reputation as one of the friendliest dog breeds in the world. The AKC describes their approach to life as “joyous and playful”. Whether it’s greeting family members, meeting new people or interacting with other dogs, Golden Retrievers have a friendly demeanor.

Arlene shared just how friendly Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) is.

I’ve never met a friendlier breed! Cash is a gentle giant with smaller dogs and a big friendly giant with larger dogs. He adores children and any kind of attention. Golden Retrievers always want to say hello to everybody they meet and always greet you with a big smile.

Super patient

Golden Retrievers are relatively patient when compared to some more strong willed and stubborn dog breeds. These reliable dogs have been used as service and therapy dogs for generations (although they’re capable of working in a variety of different roles in modern life). Their patient temperament allows them to excel in training, especially when coupled with their high IQ. They’re the fourth-most intelligent dog breed in the world.

Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) is extremely patient when it comes to training.

I think it all comes down to patience. Goldens are extremely patient dogs (there’s a reason they are used as service dogs) and they require that respect and patience back when going through the training process.

Best family dogs

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

If you’ve ever encountered a Golden in your day-to-day life or you’ve seen a Golden on television or social media, you’ll probably have heard or seen this breed being described as “family friendly”. Golden Retrievers get a five-star rating from the AKC when it comes to affectionate with the family, good with children and good with other dogs.

Arlene and Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) highlighted just how family-orientated Golden Retrievers are.

100% – Goldens are the best family dogs! They fit in perfectly to a family lifestyle and will be happy to tag along on a day trip to the beach but equally as happy to snuggle up on family movie night. They are gentle giants so perfect companions for children.

Eager to please

Golden Retrievers are dubbed eager-to-please, family dogs on the American Kennel Club’s website. This is a useful trait that can be harnessed to your advantage during training sessions. Goldens have an innate desire to please and they’re also food motivated.

Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) is a perfect example of this.

[They’re] super eager [to please]! They are extremely receptive to reward – whether that be food, toys or play they just love to please you. Cash learned around 30 tricks within his first year and is still learning – he loves to get a command correct and his reward is any form of attention.

Not excessive barkers

Golden Retrievers don’t bark as much as some other dog breeds. In my experience, some Golden Retrievers will bark when it comes to play time with a tennis ball or frisbee due to their exuberance and desire to play fetch.

Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) is an example of a Golden Retriever that doesn’t bark a lot.

This is difficult to say – Cash very rarely barks and has never been a vocal dog however I know a lot of Golden Retrievers that are very vocal in play.



Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

If you’re thinking about bringing home a Golden Retriever, you’ll likely have budgeted for the initial cost of purchasing your pup from a breeder. The average cost of a Golden Retriever puppy can range from $1,000-$3,000 (£750-£2500). This is a relatively expensive price tag but you’ll need to consider the monthly expensive that you’ll incur as a dog owner.

Arlene shared how much she paid for Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) and some of the considerations when it comes to finding a breeder.

This is a tricky question – the cost of all dogs has risen significantly in the last few years. It is so important to find a reputable breeder, learn about them and their dogs and let them learn about you. We paid around £1500 for Cash and he is KC registered, from a reputable breeder and had his vaccinations and health checks complete. Always research your breeder, their previous dogs and their certifications before.

The monthly costs can vary depending on what type of food you decide to feed your Golden.

As expensive as any large breed. Large dogs require more food and grooming therefore cost more. I don’t find them to have particular needs or health worries that warranty them to be classed as an expensive breed. It’s always worth taking into account insurance and dog walker costs as well.

Fur shedding machines

Golden Retrievers aren’t hypoallergenic so they’re moderate-to-high shedders. The AKC write on their website that Goldens will heavily shed their thick, water-repellant double coat once or twice a year, and they also shed more moderately on a continuous basis. So Golden Retriever owners need to be prepared to brush their Golden on a regular basis to remove dead hair, dirt and debris.

Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) sheds a lot like other Goldens.

Golden Retrievers are walking, barking, fur shedding machines! If you’re considering a Golden this is a factor that must be considered. They require daily grooming and a lot of hovering around your home.

Need a lot of exercise

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Golden Retriever (Photo: Adobe Stock)

WAG, who are a dog walking organization, suggest around 60 minutes a day and up to 12 miles a week is ideal for Golden Retrievers. They require a lot of exercise and mental stimulation to keep their active, intelligent brains ticking over. They like to have a job! Described as natural athletes, they’ll enjoy agility courses or going for a swim!

Arlene shared her perspective on Golden Retriever exercise requirements.

Goldens are highly active dogs so do require a lot of exercise. However they are also happy to curl up beside you and sleep for hours on end! They are the perfect breed for a family that enjoys an outdoor lifestyle and family time in the evening. As they are such a clever breed they also benefit from mental exercise such as sniffing games, training and mind stimulation games.

They are very intelligent dogs and require a lot of mental stimulation to keep their mind active and busy. It is easy to keep a golden retriever busy with homemade games such as hide and seek, frozen fruit, sniffing games. They love to complete tasks and games and a short brain activity can be just as rewarding as a long walk.

Love food

Golden Retrievers are food motivated dogs which can be a useful trait when it comes to training sessions. However, some Goldens may resort to attempting to steal food from the table or begging for food at the table. Even if your Golden is well behaved with excellent table manners, you’ll need to ensure they’re getting a sufficient diet to fuel their energetic lifestyles.

Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) loves his food!

They love their food! Cash eats a lot but he’s a very active, growing boy. There are so many diets and options available now, however find the one that works best for your budget and your dog’s needs and stick with it.

Separation anxiety

Separation anxiety is a chronic canine condition that comes to the fore when dog owners leave the home. It can manifest itself as barking, howling, digging, chewing or even defecating inside the home.

Proving that every dog is different and you should be careful before stereotyping a breed, Cash (@cash.thegoldenretriever) doesn’t suffer with separation anxiety at all.

No [Cash doesn’t have separation anxiety] – we worked on this from the day we brought Cash home which was very important. We introduced alone time in a different room to us where he could still hear and see us and slowly built this up to time alone. I always made sure he was well exercised and left with something to keep him busy like a lickimat, long or toy. Cash will happily stay in on his own for 4-5 hours now and a lot of the time takes himself off to his own space at home for some alone time.

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