Golden Retriever

Learn all about Golden Retrievers, their personality, habits, and exercise requirements with Asda Money.

05 Feb 2024

History of Golden Retrievers


Golden Retrievers were originally developed in the mid-to-late 1800s in the Scottish Highlands by Dudley Marjoribanks, who was the first Baron of Tweedmouth. He bred the dogs for over 50 years as he wanted a breed of dogs that were suited to the rainy climate and rugged terrain of the area and so he crossed his “yellow retriever” with the Tweed Water Spaniel, a breed that is now extinct. Tweedmouth was known for breeding animals of all kinds in an attempt to perfect various breeds.


The Kennel Club in England eventually recognised the Golden Retriever as a distinct breed in 1911, however at that time they were classified as “retriever – yellow or golden”. The name was then officially changed to Golden Retriever in 1920.


What to expect when caring for your Golden Retriever

Common Golden Retriever Health Issues

Golden Retrievers are generally very healthy dogs and live to around 10-12 years old, but as with any pup, it’s a good idea to keep an eye on them for the following conditions as they could affect them:


  • Hip Dysplasia – this is a heritable condition and is where the thigh bone does not fit in properly with the hip joint. Symptoms may include limping and pain, but dogs do not always show signs of discomfort with hip dysplasia. If it’s undetected and not treated, it can develop into arthritis.
  • Elbow Dysplasia – this is another heritable condition that is more common in large breed dogs and is thought to be caused by the different growth rates of the bones that make up the pups’ elbow, which can lead to pain and lameness. Surgery may be required to correct the issue.
  • Cataracts – like humans, dogs can also develop cataracts on the eyes. Cataracts in dogs don’t always impair vision, but in some cases, they can lead to severe vision loss. They can be surgically removed.
  • Allergies – Golden Retrievers can be allergic to a number of food products, pollen etc. If you notice they are licking their paws or rubbing their face more than usual, take them to a vet to get checked out.


How much grooming do Golden Retrievers need?

Golden Retrievers are known for shedding a lot (more so in spring and autumn than in winter and summer), so you’re likely to find plenty of dog hair in your home or on your clothes.

Be sure to brush your pup’s coat regularly to prevent tangling and to help get rid of dead fur that they may shed around the house. Baths can also help with the shedding, and it’s generally recommended that you bathe your Golden Retriever at least once a month.

Golden Retrievers will need their nails trimmed around once or twice a month; however, a general rule of thumb is if you can hear their nails clicking on the floor, it’s probably time to clip them. You should also aim to brush their teeth a few times a week and check their ears every so often as well, as Golden Retrievers have fold-over ears which can become a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus.

How much exercise do Golden Retrievers need?

Exercise is an essential aspect of the Golden Retriever’s daily life. They require, at the very least, one hour dedicated to rigorous activity and exercise – whether that is one whole hour or split into little breaks throughout the day. You can take your Golden Retriever with you on long runs, bike rides, hikes and even swims – they love to exercise, but they love it even more so if they are doing it with their owners and friends. Golden Retrievers are also known to enjoy agility courses, obedience training and more.

It's highly important to ensure your Golden Retriever is getting as much exercise as possible, as they’re likely to exhibit unwanted behaviours such as digging and chewing if they are not getting enough exercise or stimulation. Younger Golden pups will need to be carefully monitored when exercising as they are still growing, and you should keep them on grass and away from playing on hard surfaces such as concrete.

Key Facts Summary
26-34 inches
Gentle and Majestic
7-10 Years
Average Cost:

Golden Retriever FAQs:

Are Golden Retrievers good pets?

Whilst they have high energy levels, Golden Retrievers have a very calm and intelligent nature and make wonderful family dogs – more so for an active family than a quiet one. They are also very easy to train and so are great for first time dog owners as they are very sociable and adaptable. They are very loyal, cheerful, and trustworthy dogs, so it’s easy to see why they are so loved by many.

Do Golden Retrievers bark a lot?

Golden Retrievers are known to be “moderate barkers”, so they don’t bark as often as many other breeds. If you find that your pup is barking more than usual, it could be because they want your attention, or, in some cases, there may be an underlying health related issue as to why they are barking excessively.

Is the Golden Retriever a calm dog?

Golden Retrievers are not typically “calm” dogs – they are known for being a high-energy, hyper dog that love to play, exercise, and go on adventures. They can be calm, but they require regular exercise to relax.

Can Golden Retrievers stay home alone?

You can leave a Golden Retriever home alone, but it will depend on their age, training, and overall health. They can usually be left alone at home for around 8 hours per day and should have access to food, water, and a comfortable and safe place to rest.  


Puppies and older Golden Retrievers can be left alone but for a shorter period of time.

How much exercise does the Golden Retriever need per day?

At minimum, your Golden Retriever will need at least one hour of exercise per day. You can either do this all at once or spread it out throughout the day, broken up into a range of different activities such as walks, running, playtime and even some training. Golden Retrievers are sociable dogs, so they will enjoy exercising the most when they are doing it with someone else.

Are Golden Retrievers high maintenance?

Golden Retrievers can be considered a high maintenance breed, because whilst they are adaptable dogs that can be easily trained, they do require a lot of exercise compared to many other dog breeds, and a little bit more grooming.

Are Golden Retrievers hard to walk?

You’ll find that Golden Retrievers are great to walk as they adapt and match their pace to that of their owner, and they are also likely to get the hang of walking on a lead a lot faster than most other dogs.

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