50 Golden Retriever Facts that You Probably Didn’t Know


When friends and family ask me what kind of dog they should get, I always suggest a Golden Retriever. These 50 Golden Retriever facts may easily convince them. Maybe I’m a little biased but I truly believe they are the best dogs for many people and families.

Outside of being shallow and thinking they are good looking dogs, I think their mannerisms and personalities are a great fit for those families with children. They are active dogs so its a great fit for an active lifestyle. They are really, really smart. They are very kind and gentle (once they get past the puppy stage).

Also, have you heard of Air Bud? I could go on and on.

Instead of just rattling a laundry list of reasons why I love Goldens, I’ll just state the facts here. The following are 50 interesting facts about the greatest breed of dog on Earth (in my humble opinion).

Golden Retriever Facts



1. Goldens were first bred in Scotland at the estate of Sir Dudley Majoribanks (later known as Lord Tweedmouth).

2. Golden Retrievers were created by the offspring of Tweedwater Spaniel and the yellow Flat Coated Retriever.

3. The first official litter of four Goldens was born in 1868.

4. Golden Retrievers were originally bred for retrieving birds for hunters.

5. In 1911 the Kennel Club (in England) officially named the Golden Retriever as a distinct breed.

Golden Retriever General Breed Facts

Golden Retriever Colors

6. According to American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers are the third most popular breed in the United States. First being Labrador Retrievers and second being German Shepherds.

Smart Golden Retriever7. According to American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers are the fourth smartest dog breeds in the U.S. Dumber (just kidding) than only Border Collies, Poodles and German Shepherds.

8. According to American Kennel Club, Goldens are the fourth best dog breed for kids and third best family dogs.

9. There are three “subtypes” of Golden Retrievers – Hunting Golden, American Golden, and the English Cream/British White Golden.

10. Male adults are 23 to 24 inches tall.

11. Female adults are 21.5 to 22.5 inches tall.

12. Male adults typically weigh 65 to 75 pounds.

13. Female adults typically weigh 55 to 65 pounds.

14. Life span is typically between 10 to 12 years of age.

15. Goldens are naturally great swimmers.

16. Goldens can run up to 30 mph.

17. Golden Retrievers are typically most active at dawn and dusk. This is probably due to being bred to get up early mornings during hunting season.

18. Golden Retrievers shed a lot, especially in the fall and spring.

19. Golden Retrievers come in many shades of goldish colors, from light to dark gold.

20. Goldens typically reach their true color around their first birthday. Lucky’s is September 4th if anyone is curious.

21. The color of your puppy’s ears is a good indication of what shade your Golden will be as an adult.

22. Your Golden doesn’t just see in black and white. They can also see blue and yellow.

23. Golden Retrievers have what is called a “snow nose” that will turn a little pinkish in the winter. Then will change colors again to brownish or black in the spring. Not all dogs get this but some do and its totally natural.

Golden Retriever Health Facts

Golden Facts

24. The coat of a Golden is waterproof.

25. The double coat of a Golden Retriever is used to protect itself from extreme temps – both hot and cold.

26. Golden Retrievers are susceptible to depression and separation anxiety. They need constant and consistent lovin’. Experts say you shouldn’t leave your dog for longer than seven hours.

27. They sometimes have issues with their weight as they love to stuff their face.

28. Cancer has increased in Goldens during the last fifteen years or so – ongoing research is currently being conducted as to why this is happening.

29. Golden Retrievers typically sleep about 10 to 12 hours per day.

30. Goldens need their exercise. They are a sporting breed and not  100% couch potatoes.

31. Golden Retrievers can get sick from certain varieties of acorns.

32. Goldens, and other dogs, can get fatally ill from eating grapes, chocolate and other foods.

33. A female sprayed before her first estrus has a 90% less risk of uterus cancer.

34. Rabies, Canine Distemper Virus (CDV), Canine Parvovirus (CPV), Canine Adenovirus (CAV2) and Infectious Canine Hepatitis (CA1) are the core vaccines for Goldens.

35. Goldens are prone to ear infections because of their folded down ears. Learn how to clean your dog’s ears.

36. The average body temperature for a Golden is between 101-102 degrees fahrenheit.

Miscellaneous Golden Retriever Facts

Funny Golden Retriever

37. Celebrities love Golden Retrievers. Oprah, Conan O’Brien, Nick Jonas, Jackie Chan, Ryan Reynolds, Adam Levine all own Goldens.

38. Goldens make for really terrible guard dogs. An intruder, however, may fall in love with them and  respectfully leave on their own will.

39. Goldens are popular among search and rescue teams because of their strong sense of smell and ability to track things down.

40. Golden Retrievers and humans have the same type of slow wave sleep (SWS) and rapid eye movement (REM). The REM stage allows dogs to have dreams about who knows what.

41. Goldens have about 220 million smell cells in their noses. Far more than us humans who have a mere 5 million.

42. A Golden Retriever puppy (18 months) named Angel saved his 11-year-old owner from a cougar attack.

43. A dog’s urine can trigger other dogs to its gender, age, health, and sometimes their mood.

44. You cannot consider Golden Retriever a pure bred by the color of its tongue (if it has black spots President Golden Retrieveror not). This is a myth.

45. A couple popular Presidents had Golden Retrievers. Gerald Ford (38th President) had Liberty and Ronald Reagan (40th President) had Victory.

46. A Golden Retriever is ranked #1 for loudest bark in the world. His bark carried 113 decibels…Go Charlie!

47. A two year old Golden Retriever is the approximate equivalent to a 19 year old human. See more age conversions here.

48. A Golden’s sense of smell is reduced by up to 40 percent when they are overheated and panting.

49. A Golden Retriever, Augie, has the record for “Most Tennis Balls Held In The Mouth By A Dog” at five regulation-sized tennis balls.

50. People often misspell “retriever”. That’s a fact and a wrap.

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  1. Mary

    Great list – some interesting ones indeed 🙂