Golden Retriever Health Guide

3 min read Jan 27, 2022

Life Expectancy: 10 - 12 years
Dog Breed Group: Sporting Dogs
Weight: 55 - 75 lbs.
Height: 20 - 24 inches

Where Does the Golden Retriever Rank?

See where this beloved breed ranks in comparison to other breeds in 7 key categories.


The Golden Retriever is an easy-to-train, eager to please breed.

Shedding Friendliness

This breed is a heavy shedder. To reduce the amount of fur which is being shed, be sure to groom your dog regularly.

Ease of Grooming

Goldens should be brushed daily to remove any excess fur. The Golden Retriever requires regular bathing. Be sure to choose a high-quality shampoo to optimize your dog’s skin and coat health. Your Golden Retriever’s nails will need clipped regularly. Cleaning this breed’s ears weekly will prevent ear infections.
Golden Retrievers are a double-coated breed and should never be shaved. The double coat provides protection against all types of weather. If you groom your dog yourself, you should only use grooming shears.


Golden Retrievers are prone to many health risks like obesity, hip dysplasia, thyroid problems, allergies, bloat and more.

Exercise Needs

Your Golden Retriever will need a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day to remain behavior-free. This could be playing a game of fetch or going for a walk.

Good with Children

Golden Retrievers are known to be very good with children and quickly become part of the family.

Barking Restraint

Barking is not generally a problem with Golden Retrievers

What You Need to Know About Golden Retrievers


The Golden Retriever is one of the United States’ most popular dog breeds. Why? The Golden Retriever is an excellent breed to choose for a family setting. The Golden Retriever is extremely friendly and learns quickly. They are also very good with children and those with special needs.

The Golden Retriever matures slowly and retains his or her “puppy” stage for approximately four years. As such, exercise is a must. If you do not exercise your dog regularly, they are likely to develop behavioral disorders. If you provide your Golden Retriever with a walk in the park or a good game of fetch, this will significantly reduce the possibility to developing any type of behavioral problem.

The Golden Retriever also finds family extremely important. If you choose a Golden Retriever to be a part of your family, be certain to include him or her in your family activities. They feel the need to be a part of their “pack” at all times. They enjoy spending time with you whether on a car ride or simply sitting with you as you watch television.

The Golden Retriever also serves as an effective working dog. Their ability to hunt and track game is very high. Due to their high level of energy, they are also often chosen for agility competitions.


Golden Retrievers are extremely intelligent and eager to please their pet parent. This results in successful and relatively easy training.


The Golden Retriever is a breed which sheds significantly. If you are looking for a dog which does not shed often, this is not the breed for you. This breed needs to be brushed once every day to keep a healthy, clean coat.

Health Problems

Obesity - The Golden Retriever is a breed which easily becomes obese. Free-feeding should often not be permitted with this breed to avoid overeating. You should also limit their treats to ensure they remain at a healthy weight.

Hip Dysplasia (as found in many large dog breeds)

Hypothyroidism - If your Golden is experiencing a thyroid problem, symptoms may include obesity, hair loss, seizures and/or lethargy.

Allergies - Golden Retrievers often have food allergies. How will you know if your Golden is allergic to an ingredient in his food? If you notice him licking his paws excessively or rubbing his face excessively, this is a good sign he is having an allergic reaction.

Bloat - Bloat is most commonly seen in large, deep-chested dogs. Bloat is a life-threatening condition which needs to be examined by a veterinarian immediately. Bloat may occur if your dog eats too quickly or drinks large amounts of water at a time.

The 10 Most Common Health Issues for Golden Retrievers

  • Otitis - middle ear infection
  • Pyoderma - bacterial infection of the skin
  • Dermatitis - inflammation of the skin
  • Gastritis - inflammation, irritation or erosion of the lining of the stomach
  • Lipoma - slow-growing, fatty lump between the skin and underlying muscle layer
  • Allergies
  • Colitis - inflammation of the inner lining of the colon
  • Mass
  • Conjunctivitis - pink eye
  • Hotspot - inflamed or infected skin


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Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances. 

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