Golden Retriever

Breed Characteristics

Solid, strong, rugged, active. The Golden Retriever requires human attention and mental stimulation. Not protective, mostly barks to welcome strangers. Can handle extremes of heat and cold better than many other breeds but does best in a colder climate. Enjoys swimming, but be sure to teach him how. The Golden Retriever is very reliable off leash, because he is very responsive to his owner. Some say the Golden is 'extremely tam chiak', and will quickly become overweight if overfed. The Golden Retriever makes an ideal first dog.

Is the Golden Retriever approved as a pet in a Singapore HDB flat?



England/Scotland, late 1800s. An English nobleman Lord Tweedmouth developed the modern Golden Retriever. Ancestors include Bloodhound, setters, Tweed water spaniels (extinct), Yellow Flat-Coated Retriever and the Curly-Coated Retriever. The Golden Retriever is a popular breed today, as family companions and also for obedience competitions. Golden Retrievers are also commonly employed in narcotics detection, as service dog for the disabled, guide dog for the blind, and also as a therapy dog.

Original Purpose

Golden Retrievers are bred as gundogs, employed in hunting and retrieving shot waterfowl.

Behaviour and Temperament

Golden Retrievers are ever eager to please, friendly, calm, trustworthy, outgoing, versatile and confident.

What are some Physical Features of the Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers stand between 53.5 to 63.5 cm tall; weighs from 25 to 34 kg. Working lines are somewhat smaller than show lines. Colours are golden or “lion” colour, all shades from pale to reddish. Originally, darker, redder shades were favoured, but nowadays, lighter, more “golden” shades are more common and preferred.

Coat Type and Recommended Grooming

Either straight or wavy, moderately long; undercoat dense and water-repellent. Moderate to high maintenance; though easy to groom, the Golden Retriever requires two or three sessions of combing and brushing weekly. Some trimming required. Golden Retrievers are average shedders.

Life Expectancy of the Golden Retriever

The life expectancy of the Golden Retriever is between 10 and 14 years.

Golden Retriever Puppies in the Community

Have a Golden Retriever?

Health Concerns

Bloat, orthopaedic problems (hip dysplasia, OCD), epilepsy, eye problems (distichiasis, PRA, cataracts), von Willebrand’s, enteritis, cancer (including mast cell tumours), heart problems (cardiomyopathy, SAS) skin problems (hot spots, dermatitis, inhalant and food allergies), ear infections, diabetes. Golden Retrievers gain weight easily; do not overfeed.

Exercise Needs

Originally bred for the physically demanding job of a gun dog, the Golden Retriever has moderate to high exercise needs. Recommended exercise includes daily walks or jogs, a game of fetch, and ample free time in the yard. If he doesn’t get a sufficient amount, can have behavioural problems.


Golden Retrievers do not make good apartment dogs; if housed in an apartment, be sure to take him on daily long walks or jogs. Moderately active indoors, needs room to run, does best with a large yard.


Very loving to the entire family. Excellent with children; however, may be too lively for very small kids. Golden Retrievers are known to be very friendly to strangers, so don’t expect the well bred Golden to guard your property, has extremely low guarding instincts. Very friendly with other pets.


Extremely high; very easy to train. Training the Golden Retriever is extremely rewarding as he hangs around and wait to be told to do something. Thrives on obedience training.

Recommended Activities

Obedience, fly ball, agility, guide dog, search and rescue, hunting, therapy dog.