Prepping for pet parenthood?
There's a lot to learn when you have a new pet. Our sister brand, The Wildest, is here to support you—with new pet checklists, virtual training, and expert guides. Sign up for free.
Close button icon
Adopt
Golden Retriever at a park outside image

Golden Retriever puppies and dogs

If you're looking for a Golden Retriever, Adopt a Pet can help you find one near you. Use the search tool below and browse adoptable Golden Retrievers!

  • Ashburn, VA
  • Ashburn, VA

Sorry, we can’t find that location! Please try again.

What is a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retriever traits

Golden
Retriever
20-24 inches
60-75 pounds
10-12 years
Golden Retriever characteristics
Lifespan
5 yrs 20 yrs
Grooming needs
Occasionally Frequently
Good with kids
Needs lots of supervision Ready to play
Good with cats
Likely to chase Hey, new pal!
Training aptitude
Headstrong Eager to please
Full-grown size
Teeny tiny Super size
Golden Retriever adoption

Find a Golden Retriever Near You

Photo of Cava

Cava

Golden Retriever

Female, 5 yrs 6 mos
West Hollywood, CA
Size
(when grown) Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Details
Spayed or Neutered,
Story
##1945738##
Photo of Duke

Duke

Golden Retriever

Male, 2 yrs 11 mos
West Hollywood, CA
Size
(when grown) Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Details
Spayed or Neutered,
Story
##1949622##
Photo of Paxton

Paxton

Golden Retriever

Male, 2 yrs 4 mos
West Hollywood, CA
Size
(when grown) Large 61-100 lbs (28-45 kg)
Details
-
Story
##1755610##
Photo of Jake

Jake

Golden Retriever

Male, 1 yr 8 mos
West Hollywood, CA
Size
(when grown) Med. 26-60 lbs (12-27 kg)
Details
Spayed or Neutered,
Story
##1948989##
Or find a Golden Retriever by location
Golden Retriever information
Frequently asked questions

Golden Retriever Basics

Learn about about Golden Retriever basics like where Golden Retriever come from, how many different types of Golden Retriever you can find, and what other breeds mix with Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers typically have a lifespan of around 10 to 12 years, although some can live even longer with proper care and a healthy lifestyle. There are also a variety of factors that can influence their longevity, including genetics, diet, exercise, and access to regular veterinary care. Providing your Golden Retriever with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and routine check-ups can contribute to a longer and healthier life for your canine companion.

No, a Golden Retriever is not a Labrador Retriever (commonly referred to as a Lab). While both breeds belong to the Retriever group and share some similarities, they are distinct breeds with their own unique characteristics. Some differences include body style, temperament, and coat type; Golden Retrievers have long, wavy coats, while Labs have short, dense coats.

Golden Retrievers are a popular breed of dogs known for their friendly and gentle temperament, which makes them an ideal choice for families. Goldens are also highly intelligent and trainable, making them suitable for service and therapy work, and their eye-catching golden coats and friendly faces add to their charm and make them one of the most attractive dog breeds.

Golden Retrievers typically reach their full height by the time they’re about a year old. However, they may continue to fill out in weight and gain muscle mass up to 18 months of age. The exact timing can vary between individual dogs. 


These dogs are also a bit like forever puppies, so it can take up to two years for them to mature cognitively. Proper nutrition and exercise go a long way during this growth phase to ensure they develop healthy muscles and bones.

Golden Retrievers were originally bred for retrieving waterfowl during hunting. This breed is well-suited for the Scottish climate and terrain, possessing excellent swimming abilities, a gentle mouth for retrieving game undamaged, and a friendly temperament, making them ideal hunting companions and family dogs.

No, Golden Retrievers are not considered hypoallergenic. Hypoallergenic breeds are typically those that produce fewer allergenic proteins and shed less dander and hair, and Golden Retrievers do not check any of those boxes.

Golden Retrievers are purebred dogs but can be bred with other breeds to create the following mixed breeds:


  • Goldendoodle (Golden Retriever + Poodle)

  • Golden Shepherd (German Shepherd + Golden Retriever)

  • Goberian (Golden Retriever + Siberian Husky)

  • Goldador (Golden Retriever + Labrador Retriever)

  • Golden Corgi (Golden Retriever + Corgi)

  • Golden Aussie (Australian Shepherd + Golden Retriever)

  • Golden Mountain Dog (Golden Retriever + Bernese Mountain Dog)


There is one primary type of Golden Retriever breed and three official subtypes of Golden Retriever: British (or English) Goldens, American Goldens, and Canadian Goldens. They vary in size and coat color but have the same temperament and are susceptible to the same health issues.

Golden Retrievers originated from Scotland in the late 19th century. Lord Tweedmouth of Guisachan, Scotland, mated a Flat-Coated Retriever with a now-extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, which produced a litter whose descendants we now know as Golden Retrievers.

Golden Retriever Appearance

Learn about about the Golden Retriever general appearance like their size, colors, and grooming needs.

Golden Retrievers are well known for their long, feathery golden coats, which come in several American Kennel Club standard colors: light golden, standard golden, dark golden (mahogany), and cream (white), which is accepted by the UK’s Kennel Club.

The rarest coat color for a Golden Retriever is a deep red or mahogany. While the breed standard allows for a range of dark golden, the deepest red or mahogany coloration is less common and often considered a rarer variation. Rare Golden Retrievers colors (such as pure white, platinum, and red) are often alternative names for breed standard colors such as cream and dark golden.

Golden Retrievers are big dogs that typically reach a height of 22 to 24 inches at the shoulder and weigh between 55 to 75 pounds. Male Goldens are usually larger and heavier than females, with females coming in at 20 to 22 inches and up to 65 pounds. Some dogs may fall outside this typical range because a dog’s genetics and overall health can influence their size.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are moderate to heavy shedders who shed hair throughout the year. And by moderately, we mean you should definitely expect to find a few of their hairs floating onto your furniture, flooring, and clothes. Their shedding ramps up in the spring and fall when they “blow their coats” for about a period of three weeks at a time, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect of a dog with a thick coat, and certainly nothing a daily brushing can’t help.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are double-coated. Their long, smooth outer coat is oily and waterproof and protects them from the elements, dirt, and other debris. Their undercoat is thick, soft, and fluffy and helps protect them from excessive heat and cold temperatures. 


When the weather gets warmer, Golden Retrievers shed their winter undercoats to make way for a lighter summer coat. Then, when cold weather starts to creep in, they shed their lighter undercoats and grow thicker, warmer coats for winter.



Golden Retrievers have fur. While “fur” and “hair” are often interchangeably used when referring to a dog’s coat, there are a few differences, the biggest difference being how the coat grows. “Hair” tends to be longer, finer, sometimes curly, and most importantly, grow to an undetermined length. The hair on some dog breeds, such as Poodles, can grow for years, while dogs with fur-type coats have fur with predetermined lengths and shed more frequently.

Golden Retrievers do not require haircuts in the same way that breeds with continuously growing hair, such as Poodles or Shih Tzus, do. However, regular grooming is essential to keep their coat healthy and free of mats and tangles. Some pet parents may trim their Golden Retrievers for a neater appearance, but it’s not necessary for the dog’s health.

No, shaving Golden Retrievers isn’t recommended. While it might seem like shaving off all that fur is a good idea during the warmer months, it’s actually detrimental because their double coat serves as natural insulation for both hot and cold temperatures. The top coat also grows at a different rate than the undercoat, which means shaved coats will often grow back irregularly. In some cases, the top coat may not grow back at all, which can leave them with a patchy appearance.

A Golden Retriever is a medium to large-sized athletic breed with a dense, water-repellent double coat. Their outer coat tends to be wavy (but can be straight) and comes in shades of gold, ranging from light cream to dark golden. These pups are known for having a perpetual “smile” on their faces.

Yes, Golden Retrievers have webbed feet, and it’s one of the reasons they’re such good swimmers. While not all Golden Retrievers have the same degree of webbing, it is a common trait in the breed and is an adaptation for their original purpose as waterfowl retrievers.

Golden Retriever Temperament

Learn about about the Golden Retriever temperament and how well they fit into your lifestyle, home environment, and family.

No, Golden retrievers are not considered excessive barkers. In fact, their friendly nature typically makes them terrible watchdogs. However, some Golden Retrievers will let you know when strangers are approaching, and they often combine their bark with subtle or obvious body language to let you know what they need.

The hardest age for Golden Retriever puppies is the adolescent stage, which typically occurs between six months and two years of age and during which they tend to have abundant energy and a higher need for both physical and mental exercise. Teenage Goldens will also begin to test boundaries and show more independence. Training during this period requires patience and consistency, as they may forget or disregard previously learned commands.

Yes, Golden Retrievers can adapt to apartment living. While Golden Retrievers are a larger breed, their friendly and adaptable nature makes them well-suited to various living environments, including apartments, as long as they get plenty of exercise, training, and socialization.

Golden Retrievers calm down at around two to three years old. Many pet parents rave that their Goldens maintain their puppy zeal well into adulthood because their fun-loving nature never wanes, and sometimes it’s one of their most coveted characteristics. But Golden Retrievers’ excitability can also become problematic when you’re trying to get them to follow your lead, so staying positive and keeping a training routine is especially important with this breed.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are easy to train; their alert, receptive temperament and keen intelligence make them very adaptable to learning. These pups are particularly adept when their energy is directed at a job, but they’re just as content learning obedience in the yard. Goldens do get easily bored, however, so they will need to be kept interested while being trained. The key to keeping a Golden Retriever engaged is to start early, stay consistent, and keep things fun.

No, Golden Retrievers are not known for being highly protective guard dogs, but these pups are quite alert and will often bark to alert their people to strange or unusual situations. Their size and barking can deter potential intruders, as they may appear intimidating to some.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are smart dogs; they often exhibit a high degree of problem-solving abilities, quick learning, and responsiveness to training. This intelligence, combined with their eagerness to please, allows them to excel in various roles as working dogs, such as search and rescue or assistance work. However, like any breed, individual intelligence can vary, so some Golden Retrievers are just goofs.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are wonderful with kids. They have a friendly, gentle, and tolerant nature, which makes them fantastic family dogs. 


Even though Golden Retrievers are known for being quite patient with children, it’s still important to teach your kids how to properly treat your dog. It’s best to teach mutual respect to both your children and your dog as early as possible. Make sure the kids do not pull at your dog or try to ride them like a horse and discourage your Golden from play-biting or jumping on kids to avoid accidental injuries.


As with any breed, it is recommended that your child is always supervised when interacting with your Golden Retriever to keep both the child and dog safe.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are widely seen as excellent dogs. They are known for their friendly and affectionate nature, making them fantastic family pets and companions. Their intelligence and trainability also make them a good choice for service dogs and therapy dogs. Their sociable temperament has solidified their reputation as one of the most beloved and popular dog breeds.



Golden Retrievers need a minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity every day. This can include activities such as brisk walks, jogging, fetch games, or even swimming, which they tend to enjoy due to their love for water. In addition to regular exercise, Goldens thrive with mental exercise, such as through training and puzzles.

Golden Retriever Health

Learn about about the Golden Retriever health outlook and what diseases they may be prone to at various stages of their life.

Yes, Golden Retrievers are prone to certain health problems. Golden Retrievers have a higher rate of cancer (a bit higher than 50 percent) compared to other breeds. Not all Golden Retrievers have the same risk factor, however — American Golden Retrievers have a high chance of cancer, whereas European-bred Goldens have been found to have a rate closer to 38 percent. 


Keeping regular vet visits and monitoring your dog’s overall energy levels will be important throughout his life. The more vigilant you are, the more likely you are to catch issues while they’re treatable.

Ideally, you should brush your Golden Retriever’s coat a few times a week. Regular brushing helps remove loose hair, prevent mats and tangles, and distribute natural oils through the coat. Plus, brushings can help immensely with the shedding.

Golden Retrievers have a higher rate of cancer compared to some other breeds because of their genes. The genetics causing the higher risk of cancer are likely due to the small breeding pools and the “popular-sire” effect; essentially, when a dog with desirable traits is repeatedly bred, genetic mutations, both good and bad, can be passed down to their offspring and quickly spread throughout the gene pool. Sometimes, these mutations can even become permanent within a breed.