Thanks to their adorable appearance and charming disposition, Golden Retrievers are among the most popular pets across the world.
Read on to learn some fascinating facts about these pups.
- 1. They Were Originally Bred as Hunting Dogs
- 2. They Make Excellent Guide Dogs
- 3. They’re Great as Watchdogs Rather than Guard Dogs
- 4. They Need Plenty of Exercise
- 5. They’re Amazing Therapy Dogs
- 6. They Have Soft Mouths
- 7. They’re Among the Most Popular Pet Breeds in the USA
- 8. They Love Being in Water
- 9. All of Them Came from One Litter
- 10. Their Coats Are Waterproof
- 11. Their Coats Change Color as They Get Older
- 12. They’re Heavy Shedders
- 13. They Were Initially Called Golden Flat Coats
- 14. They’re Quite a Large Breed
- 15. They Produce Large Litter
- 16. They’ve Been Featured in Plenty of Movies and TV Shows
- 17. They Have Webbed Feet
- 18. They’re Prone to Separation Anxiety
- 19. They Have a Lifespan of 10 to 12 Years
- 20. There Are Three Types of Golden Retrievers
- 21. They’re Considered Fully-Grown at One Year of Age
- 22. They’re Highly intelligent
- 23. They Get Along Well With Family Members
- 24. They’re Prone to Jealousy
- 25. They Can Never Get Enough Food
- 26. They Can Suffer From a Variety of Health Conditions
- 27. 60% of Golden Retrievers Develop Cancer
- 28. The Oldest Golden Retriever on Record is 20 Years Old
- 29. The Largest Golden Retriever Litter Had 17 Puppies
- 30. A Golden Retriever Holds the Record For Loudest Bark
- 31. They Became an Official Breed in 1925
- 32. They Breathe Fast
- 33. They Have Significantly Fewer Tastebuds Than Humans
- 34. They’re World-Class Athletes
- 35. They Can Detect Epileptic Seizures
- 36. They’re the Pet Dog of Choice For Many Celebrities
- 37. They Don’t Snore as Much as Other Large Dog Breeds
- 38. They Respond Best to Positive Reinforcement Training
- 39. They Don’t Use Their Ears to Signal Their Emotions
- 40. They Use Their Mouths to Communicate
- 41. A Golden Retriever Featured in the First-Ever Instagram Picture
- 42. They Have a Variety of Essential Jobs
- 43. They Get Along Great With Non-Canine Pets
- 44. They Were Bred by Crossing Spaniels and Flat Coated Retrievers
- 45. Their Favorite Game Is Fetch
- 46. They Come in a Wide Range of Colors
- 47. Purebred Black Golden Retrievers Don’t Exist
- 48. Some of Them Have Black Spots on Their Tongues
- 49. Their Faces Change Color as They Grow Older
- 50. It Costs a Lot to Own Them
- 51. They’re always Young at Heart
- 52. They Should Be Bathed a Maximum of Once a Month
- 53. Their Large Ears Increase the Risk of Ear Infection
- 54. They Need a Daily Exercise Routine
- 55. They Can Survive in the Wild (If They Have To)
- 56. They Have Championship Caliber Obedience
- 57. There’s a Golden Retriever That’s a Kangaroo’s “Mother”
- 58. They’re Often Confused With Labradors
- 59. They (Almost) Never Bite
- 60. They Don’t Have Digging Tendencies
- 61. Their Leg Raise When Taking a Leak Serves a Function
- 62. They’re Great Support Dogs For Kids With Autism
- 63. They’re Easy to Train
- 64. It’s Best to Have Them on a Leash Outdoors
- 65. They Can Be Prone to Allergies and Skin Conditions if Left Outdoors For Too Long
1. They Were Originally Bred as Hunting Dogs
It’s hard to imagine such a cute and friendly breed hurting a fly. However, Golden Retrievers were initially bred in Scotland as bird-hunting dogs.
2. They Make Excellent Guide Dogs
Due to their high intelligence and friendly disposition, people train Golden Retrievers as guide dogs for blind people.
3. They’re Great as Watchdogs Rather than Guard Dogs
Golden Retrievers have a highly keen sense of their surroundings. This characteristic makes them excellent watchdogs. However, they lack the aggression needed in an effective guard dog.
4. They Need Plenty of Exercise
Due to their sporting history, Golden Retrievers have an instinctive need for lots of physical stimulation. These aren’t dogs that are content with lying on the couch all day.
5. They’re Amazing Therapy Dogs
Golden retrievers have an inherent sense of empathy. This allows them to provide a loving and comforting presence when their owner is down.
6. They Have Soft Mouths
Whenever you see your Golden Retriever passing by, it’ll probably be carrying something in its mouth. These dogs have superb control over their bite strength. They can carry objects as delicate as raw eggs between their jaws without breaking them.
7. They’re Among the Most Popular Pet Breeds in the USA
If you look up the most popular dog breeds kept as pets in the United States, you’ll find Golden Retrievers near the top of every list.
8. They Love Being in Water
As a result of their history of hunting water birds, Golden Retrievers have an instinctive affinity for being in the water. They’re also excellent swimmers.
9. All of Them Came from One Litter
If you track the lineage of all Golden Retrievers, you’ll always end up at the same origin. This origin is a litter bred by Lord Tweedmouth of Scotland in the 19th century.
10. Their Coats Are Waterproof
Golden retrievers were bred with the consideration that they’d be spending plenty of time in the water. Therefore, their coats were designed to be waterproof. This is why they have double-layered coats.
11. Their Coats Change Color as They Get Older
Golden retriever puppies have noticeably lighter coats than their adult counterparts. These dogs’ coats get darker as they age until they’re 12 weeks old.
12. They’re Heavy Shedders
Golden Retrievers shed quite a lot. Their shedding is particularly extensive in the spring.
13. They Were Initially Called Golden Flat Coats
The name Golden Retriever wasn’t introduced until 1911. Before that, these dogs were referred to as Golden Flat Coats.
14. They’re Quite a Large Breed
In terms of height and weight, Golden Retrievers are relatively big. They can reach a weight of up to 75 pounds and a height of 24 inches.
15. They Produce Large Litter
When a Golden Retriever gives birth, you can expect it to produce a litter of eight puppies on average.
16. They’ve Been Featured in Plenty of Movies and TV Shows
Golden Retrievers are a popular choice for directors looking to cast a dog in their movies. Air Bud is the most notable movie with a Golden Retriever in it.
17. They Have Webbed Feet
There are several reasons why Golden Retrievers are such great swimmers. One of them is that these dogs have webbed feet.
18. They’re Prone to Separation Anxiety
Golden Retrievers are one of those breeds that can’t be away from their owners for extended periods. You should always avoid leaving your Golden Retriever alone at home for hours on end.
19. They Have a Lifespan of 10 to 12 Years
The typical Golden Retriever will live for 10 to 12 years. However, they can live well past that range if given the required care, nutrition, and attention.
20. There Are Three Types of Golden Retrievers
The British, American, and Canadian Golden Retrievers are distinct types that are all considered purebred dogs.
21. They’re Considered Fully-Grown at One Year of Age
A Golden Retriever will reach physical maturity 12 months after birth. They take a bit longer to mature mentally. They reach complete mental maturity at 18 months.
22. They’re Highly intelligent
When it comes to wits, there aren’t many dogs better than Golden Retrievers. This breed is considered to be the fourth-smartest one in the world.
23. They Get Along Well With Family Members
Whether it’s adults, kids, or other pets, Golden Retrievers will have no issues bonding with them and becoming best buds.
24. They’re Prone to Jealousy
Your Golden Retriever has an abundance of love for you, and in turn, wants to be with you as much as possible. They can even harbor jealousy if they feel that you’re spending more time with someone else than with them.
25. They Can Never Get Enough Food
If you ever put out food for your Golden Retriever and it refrains from eating it, this is a sign that something is very wrong. These dogs will never say no to food. This is why it’s important to monitor their diet closely to avoid them becoming obese.
26. They Can Suffer From a Variety of Health Conditions
As with any dog breed, Golden Retrievers are prone to certain illnesses. They include hip dysplasia, hypothyroidism, and skin conditions.
27. 60% of Golden Retrievers Develop Cancer
Unfortunately, these amazing dogs are highly susceptible to cancer. It’s one of the leading causes of death for Golden Retrievers.
28. The Oldest Golden Retriever on Record is 20 Years Old
Augie the Golden Retriever has shattered all expectations in terms of the breed’s lifespan. She lived for 20 years and 11 months.
29. The Largest Golden Retriever Litter Had 17 Puppies
In 2009, a Golden Retriever in Canada named Giselle gave birth to a whopping 17 pups! This record is verified by the Canadian Kennel Club.
30. A Golden Retriever Holds the Record For Loudest Bark
This is unexpected right off the bat since Golden Retrievers aren’t dogs that bark heavily. However, a Golden Retriever named Charlie bucked this trend with a 113-decibel bark.
31. They Became an Official Breed in 1925
Golden retrievers became an officially-recognized breed by the AKC in 1925.
32. They Breathe Fast
With every passing minute, Golden retrievers can take up to 400 breaths.
33. They Have Significantly Fewer Tastebuds Than Humans
The human tongue has 9,000 tastebuds on average. In contrast, a Golden Retriever’s tongue only has 1,700. However, they do have tastebuds lining their throats.
34. They’re World-Class Athletes
A Golden Retriever can run at a speed of up to 30 MPH. They have a four-foot vertical leap on average too.
35. They Can Detect Epileptic Seizures
With the proper training, a Golden Retriever can sense that a person is about to have an epileptic seizure an hour in advance.
36. They’re the Pet Dog of Choice For Many Celebrities
Many prominent figures have had Golden Retrievers as pets. This includes former US presidents Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford.
37. They Don’t Snore as Much as Other Large Dog Breeds
Large dogs are typically heavy snorers. This doesn’t apply to Golden Retrievers.
38. They Respond Best to Positive Reinforcement Training
When training a Golden Retriever, a positive reinforcement strategy is much more effective than punishing it when it misbehaves.
39. They Don’t Use Their Ears to Signal Their Emotions
Unlike other dogs, Golden Retrievers don’t rely on their ears to let others know how they’re feeling. This is because they don’t have much control over their long, droopy ears.
40. They Use Their Mouths to Communicate
If you want to know how a Golden Retriever is feeling, look at its mouth. Is it slightly open? Then all is well in your pup’s world. If your Golden Retriever is licking its lips, then it might be anxious or stressed.
41. A Golden Retriever Featured in the First-Ever Instagram Picture
On July 16th, 2010, Instagram’s cofounder uploaded a picture of a Golden Retriever on a taco stand to test if the app was working.
42. They Have a Variety of Essential Jobs
Due to their intelligence and trainability, Golden Retrievers are used as bomb and drug-sniffing dogs, water rescue dogs, and rescue dogs during natural disasters.
43. They Get Along Great With Non-Canine Pets
Not only do Golden Retrievers make friends easily with humans and other dogs, but they’re also best pals with other animals, such as cats and rabbits.
44. They Were Bred by Crossing Spaniels and Flat Coated Retrievers
The Golden Retriever breed came into existence as a result of mixing Spaniels with Flat Coated and Wavy Coated Retrievers.
45. Their Favorite Game Is Fetch
As you would expect from the breed’s name, Golden Retrievers simply can’t get enough of playing fetch.
46. They Come in a Wide Range of Colors
Golden Retrievers aren’t always golden. They can also be cream-colored or dark red.
47. Purebred Black Golden Retrievers Don’t Exist
There’s no such thing as a black Golden Retriever. If you see one, it’s almost certainly a mixed breed dog with a Golden Retriever parent and another parent from a breed with black fur.
48. Some of Them Have Black Spots on Their Tongues
If you see black spots on your Golden Retriever’s tongue, don’t be alarmed. These spots are just patches of pigmented skin.
49. Their Faces Change Color as They Grow Older
As a Golden Retriever becomes older, its face will start turning gray. This usually happens around 7 or 8 years into your dog’s life.
50. It Costs a Lot to Own Them
Having a Golden Retriever as a pet means incurring a variety of running costs. The sum of healthcare, food, entertainment, and other miscellaneous costs is likely to add up to $1,500 to $2,500 a year.
51. They’re always Young at Heart
When some dog breeds reach full physical and mental maturity, they become less playful than they were as pups. In the case of Golden Retrievers, those fun-loving tendencies often never fade away.
52. They Should Be Bathed a Maximum of Once a Month
Bathing a Golden Retriever more than once a month can damage its skin and fur by stripping it of its natural oils.
53. Their Large Ears Increase the Risk of Ear Infection
Your Golden Retriever’s big floppy ears may be adorable, but they’re also the reason why these dogs are prone to ear infections.
54. They Need a Daily Exercise Routine
Before you get a Golden Retriever pup, keep in mind that you’ll need to take it out for exercise for at least an hour every day. Failing to do so may lead to mental and physical illness in your dog.
55. They Can Survive in the Wild (If They Have To)
This one can be summed up in the story of Murphy, a Golden Retriever that survived in the wilderness for two years after getting lost on a camping trip with its owners.
56. They Have Championship Caliber Obedience
Golden Retrievers are multi-time national champions in AKC obedience championships.
57. There’s a Golden Retriever That’s a Kangaroo’s “Mother”
Australia is a hotbed for interesting animal trivia—but this one might just take the cake. A kangaroo named Dusty believes that Lily the Golden Retriever is its mother.
58. They’re Often Confused With Labradors
Golden Retrievers and Labradors are often mixed up due to the many similarities they have. The main difference between them is that Labradors have shorter fur coats.
59. They (Almost) Never Bite
Golden Retrievers are among the least likely dog breeds to bite. They’ll only do so if they’re in pain or feel severely threatened.
60. They Don’t Have Digging Tendencies
A happy and content Golden Retriever is unlikely to wreak havoc on your yard by digging. These dogs will only exhibit this behavior if they aren’t given the attention and stimulation they need.
61. Their Leg Raise When Taking a Leak Serves a Function
Like many male dogs, Golden Retrievers will raise their leg when taking a pee. This is to make themselves appear bigger and keep away threats when they’re in this vulnerable situation.
62. They’re Great Support Dogs For Kids With Autism
Golden Retrievers are used as support dogs for autistic kids to soothe their nerves when they’re learning to read.
63. They’re Easy to Train
Golden Retrievers can quickly pick up on verbal cues and hand gestures. As long as the signals they receive from all members of the household are consistent, training these dogs will be a breeze.
64. It’s Best to Have Them on a Leash Outdoors
Even with the most socialized Golden Retrievers, their boundless curiosity can sometimes get the best of them. Therefore, it’s best to have them on a leash for their safety.
65. They Can Be Prone to Allergies and Skin Conditions if Left Outdoors For Too Long
Golden Retrievers love being outside. However, they can develop environmental allergies and severe skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis, if left outdoors for extended periods.