15 Reasons Golden Retrievers Are the BEST Dogs Ever

How many reasons can you think of that make golden retrievers the best dogs ever? Read through our list and make sure to let us know any more reasons you can think of!

Golden retrievers are excellent family dogs and one of the cutest, fluffiest puppies ever. They love to play, whether it’s a game of fetch or swimming at the lake. They’re also smart and trainable enough to make excellent service dogs.

Why Golden Retrievers Are the Best Dogs

Everyone thinks that their pet is the best, but golden retriever owners act even more sure of it than the rest. Why is this?

Well, there’s a lot of reasons, but it’s best summed up like this: golden retrievers are great family dogs. This doesn’t just apply to people with a typical family.

Golden retrievers are great for people because they’re gentle, kind, loyal dogs. They’re careful not to hurt their humans, are known gently carrying eggs on the internet, and become very loyal and protective of their owners and/or families.

Golden retrievers also are one of the best-known dogs for being good with other animals. They love to be in the water and play fetch. They’re athletic dogs, ready to play with kids, or go for hikes with you. They’re easy to train, which makes them great service animals.

There are even more reasons to love golden retrievers, so read on and tell us about a few of your own!

1. Golden Retrievers Are Great Family Dogs

Golden retrievers are a go-to when talking about family dogs and for good reason. They’re easily trained, both in basic dog manners and more tricky, thoughtful maneuvers.

Read down about how great golden retrievers are for being service animals because of the ease of training them. Then, check out this article by Canine Journal about golden retrievers.

They’re friendly to everyone unless that person is threatening a golden retriever’s family. In this case, a golden retriever has been known to be very loyal and protective to their family. Golden retrievers aren’t dogs that are known to bark unless it’s to sound an alarm for itself or you.

All dogs are different, of course, but golden retrievers are known for having a high tolerance and even seeming adoration for children.

Because of their eagerness to please, placid nature, they usually tolerate the occasional accidental tug from a young child without any complaints.

Golden retrievers are also easy to train in how they act. If you put in the effort to train your golden puppy before he or she gets very old, you’ll have a stellar dog that will not only know his basic commands but can easily learn more complicated signals as well. Keep reading for details.

Do Golden Retrievers Typically Prefer One Family Member Over the Others?

Some breeds of dogs are known to bond better with one family member over the others. This can be a problem if you’re trying to find a family dog to spend equal time with each family member. However, this isn’t the case with golden retrievers.

Golden retrievers are known to love all of their family equally, as they’re simply dogs that love people in general. They’re very friendly to everyone, but they are known for bonding best with their entire family. They get very loyal to their family as well.

2. Golden Retrievers Are Beautiful Dogs

Golden retrievers are, simply, golden. Their coats come in a variety of shades, but each is a version of blonde. Some can be so pale as to appear white, while others are very dark yellow. Just as with people, they are all “blonde” while looking quite different.

Golden retrievers have a medium-long coat that may require professional grooming. They have a short undercoat that’s a bit oily, to protect them from the wet. While some have straight hair, there are also curly golden retrievers as well. They also have to feather under them to protect them from the underbrush.

Golden retrievers are dogs that should be very proportional. For instance, greyhounds should have longer legs than you may consider in proportion to their bodies. Golden retriever standards, on the other hand, is for them to be athletic and proportional in build.

Weight Height
Female 55-65 lbs. 21-23 in
Male 65-75 lbs. 23-24 in.
Color Coat Life span
Light to dark Straight or curly 10-12 years

Here’s a couple of charts on basics of golden retrievers based off the American Kennel Club’s website’s page on golden retrievers:

History of Golden Retriever Breeding

What breeds came together to make a golden retriever? Here’s a list of some of the ancestor breeds of today’s beloved golden retriever according to the Golden Retriever Club of America:

  • Yellow retriever
  • Tweed water spaniel (now an extinct breed)

This breeding created four puppies, which are the direct ancestors of every golden retriever. After that, there’s just a general mix of breeding those puppies to other dogs, mostly settlers, with the aim of creating a dog to “retrieve” waterfowl during hunts, hence the name.

Here are a few possible breeds who bred with those original four puppies to finish creating the golden retriever we love so much.

  • Setter
  • Red setter (which could cause color variations)
  • Spaniels, starting all the way back with the original water spaniel

There’s more, of course, but these are generally accepted as some basics that definitely help make up the golden retriever’s breed.

Regardless of what exact descendants’ golden retrievers have, they all have to fit the AKC’s regulations to be certified as official golden retrievers.

3. Golden Retrievers Are a Great Size

Golden retrievers aren’t incredibly tall dogs, usually around two feet at the shoulder. If you think your dog is significantly taller than that, think about how high they may hold their head. The taller they hold their head, the taller they look!

They’re also only a rough 70 pounds or less, when healthy and in shape. I know that I know a lot of golden retrievers heavier than that, but that’s just from extra love in the form of food. They’re heavily made up of muscle and fluff, making them both athletic and cuddly.

They’re big enough to help with rescue teams. Because of how comfortable in water most golden retrievers are, they can be a great help to people who are drowning or in a different water-related emergency. They’re also used by other rescue teams.

Golden retrievers are strong dogs, especially for their size. Most of their weight is a muscle, which means they can be very slim dogs.

In rescue situations, golden retrievers can go places humans won’t fit. They’re strong enough that some have been trained to rescue injured or disabled people by dragging them out.

One thing to keep in mind when choosing your goldie is what size of kennel they’ll need. Check out this article on The Happy Puppy Site on golden retriever sizes.

4. Golden Retrievers Love the Water

Golden retrievers are champion swimmers, as they were bred to hunt waterfowl. They love the water, and their coat has special undercoat to help protect against water. They’re large enough to help people who need a water rescue, as we just discovered.

Golden retrievers usually love the water as well. While some golden retrievers don’t like the water, the stereotypical golden retrievers love it. They like to swim with their families or sit on the beach and enjoy the sun and water.

Because they’re so athletic, golden retrievers can swim for a long time and distance. Whether it’s keeping up with a lot of young kids bursting with energy or swimming long distances on rescue missions, golden retrievers never tire if they’re trying to please their humans while in the water.

Golden retrievers also like to play fetch in the water. Next below is all about how they love to play fetch, as this is another key aspect to the typical golden retriever. Read about why they love water on Wag!, a site for dog walkers and dog owners.

5. Golden Retrievers Are Great at Fetch

Golden retrievers were bred to fetch. Literally, in fact, as they were bred to retrieve waterfowl during hunts and thus named for it.

While we don’t usually use them to retrieve shot prey anymore, golden retrievers still have the urge to chase something down and bring it back to you.

It’s believed that originally, golden retrievers were bred with the intent of having a “gun dog,” meaning a dog that retrieves shot game, specifically for waterfowl.

This meant that the retriever had to have a thick enough coat to handle the water and the ability to fetch a lot of waterfowl all day.

This is why the golden retriever is both so athletic and full of endurance. He used to have to go all day, running and swimming to retrieve shot game.

This was still when large hunting parties would go out, and they would shoot a large number of ducks and other game birds, so retrievers had a lot to get.

Retrievers are eager to please and run. They’re so strong, and they enjoy the exercise. They also appreciate the praise they receive for it. Golden retrievers were also bred to have one of the softest mouths as they were retrieving their owner’s dinner.

6. Golden Retrievers Are Athletic

Golden retrievers are strong enough dogs with enough endurance that they’re great on hikes, long walks, and runs.

They can also keep up with even the most active of children. If you love to hit the beach either at the lake or ocean, golden retrievers will be happy to join you in the water.

As we just covered, golden retrievers are great at the fetch. They love to run and chase things, as this is what the breed was created to do.

They have the endurance to run all day, whether it’s on a hunting party like they did decades ago or beside you on your morning jog.

One of the reasons people consider golden retrievers is because of how athletic golden retrievers are. They have a strong, muscular build that can keep up with you on your runs or your kids on their everyday activities.

Golden retrievers are great for active kids, not only because of how athletic they are but also because of how gentle they are. They’re able to keep up with the kids, but you never have to worry about a child being hurt when the golden retriever chases and catches them. They only want to cuddle.

Read on AKC’s website about things you may not have known about the breed, including how athletic they are and what they’re good at in athletics.

7. Golden Retrievers Love to Cuddle

Golden retrievers love their people. They’re the most doglike dog of all the dogs, to put it simply. They love to please their humans, whether that’s being active or not. Just as a golden retriever loves to play fetch, they love to lay on the couch with you too.

Golden retrievers are one of the best dogs for cuddling, as they’re large enough to feel substantial beside you, but won’t quite smother you as a Great Dane may. Their long hair is soft and, especially during the winter, fluffy.

Golden retrievers love their humans as much as their human loves them, so they’re usually quite happy to lay and be petted. They’re known for happily laying on the floor while a child or adult pets them.

8. Golden Retrievers Are One of the Gentlest Dogs

Everyone has seen the videos on the internet of people’s golden retrievers carrying an egg around in their mouths.

This is because golden retrievers are known for their “gentle mouths.” Golden retrievers all seem to have an innate habit of being very gentle with their mouths when necessary.

This probably is because of how they used to be gun dogs and had to fetch waterfowl. The hunter wouldn’t want the destroyed game, so the golden retriever was trained and bred to know to be very gentle when carrying fowl back to its master.

Golden retrievers aren’t carrying fowl around anymore, but because of their innate restraint against applying bite pressure, you can trust them around not only your friends but children too. They’re known to be very gentle and careful around children, making sure not to be mouthy or bite.

If you haven’t seen the golden retriever with an egg in its mouth, you have to check it out. It’s the best example of a golden retriever’s gentleness. Check it out here:

9. Golden Retrievers Are Easy to Train

Golden retrievers are smart dogs, as we’ll discuss later, which makes them easy to train. This makes great search and rescue dogs, as we discussed, and also great service dogs, which is the next section. But what else are golden retrievers great at being trained for?

Golden retrievers are great dogs for agility competitions. They’re athletic enough to last through the entire course and strong enough to make the leaps and keep speed. Because of how easy to train they are, they aren’t difficult dogs to introduce agility training too.

Golden retrievers are also still used for hunting, for some people. Hunters who go out for waterfowl commonly use golden retrievers to get their shot game. Golden retrievers are easily trained to carefully fetch and return the shot game. They’re eager to please and quick to catch on.

Finally, golden retrievers can be trained to be detection dogs. This means they can detect illegal drugs, explosives, and other illegal substances. This is vital for police, as a dog’s nose can save them time when searching for illegal substances.

10. Golden Retrievers Are Great as Service Dogs

We’ve already talked some about how great golden retrievers are as rescue dogs, but how about how popular they are as service dogs? Golden retrievers are popular as seeing-eye dogs, hearing dogs for the deaf, and many other service dog specialties.

What are some of the reasons why golden retrievers are so popular as service dogs? Well, it’s because of their smarts, temperament, loyalty, eagerness to please, and size. They’re intelligent dogs, being able to learn new commands and ideas quickly. They catch on to new tricks quickly.

They’re of good temperament, being eager to please their human. They aren’t likely to ever try to run away and will, in fact, do many things to take care of their human, whether they’re trained to service animals or not. This loyalty to their owner is what makes them such great service dogs.

Golden retrievers are a great size as well for being a service dog. They’re large enough to help support a person if needed or to protect their owner if needed. Their size also means they can block their owner if their owner is in danger, a common training for seeing or hearing aid dogs.

If you’re interested in a service dog, either for yourself, someone else, or as a trainer of one, check out your local services. Each state has different organizations you can look into or join in with. Read about them on AKC’s website.

11. Golden Retrievers Are Smart

As we discussed earlier, golden retrievers are easy to train. This is partial because they’re so eager to please their humans, but it’s also because they’re intelligent dogs. They’re quick to catch on, remember what you want, and figure out to be rewarded.

Golden retrievers are also clever. They can be taught to do all sorts of tricks because they’re so smart. Whether it’s a routine that makes your life easier or simple tricks for fun, golden retrievers like to learn new things.

Along those lines, you can find toys that are specially designed for smart dogs to keep them entertained. These are often puzzles for your dog to decipher, reward him with a treat. If you have an exceptionally clever golden retriever or just want to encourage his natural smarts, try one of these.

12. Golden Retrievers Are Loyal to Their Families

Golden retrievers are the gentlest, most welcoming dogs until their family is at risk. This is the one time you’ll see a regular golden retriever seem aggressive: when their owner or owner’s family is in danger. This is the one thing a golden retriever will not allow.

Golden retrievers are friendly dogs, happily social. However, there are records of golden retrievers attacking night time burglars or would-be muggers. They’re occasionally known to be wary of strangers if they’re with “their” children, or their family, especially if the parents aren’t near.

Golden retrievers rarely, if ever run away. The only way to drive away a golden retriever is by abuse or neglect. Golden retrievers love their families and, even when given the chance, are happier to stay home than try to take off to a new place.

13. Golden Retrievers Are Social

While some dogs excel at being guard dogs or ferocious police or military attack dogs, golden retrievers typically fail at all of those. They simply love people and want to be friendly with everyone.

Golden retrievers will rarely if ever, shy away from a party. They love to be the center of attention, and not even necessarily in a loud, playful way. Even if they only get to greet each guest and lie near the party, they’re usually very content just being with all the humans.

Golden retrievers can get lonely if they aren’t given enough social interaction. This is because they’re such social dogs.

14. Golden Retrievers Love Other Animals

Golden retrievers aren’t just social with humans, but also with other animals. They’re known for their gentle mouth, which makes them infamous for picking up smaller animals in their mouths without hurting them.

There are stories of golden retrievers picking up kittens, puppies, turtles, hamsters, and every other small animal with a gentle golden mouth. They’re known to never hurt another animal, as they’re very careful.

Golden retrievers also love to play with other dogs. They’re very social dogs, especially if they’re allowed to socialize as a young dog and puppy. If you get the chance, make sure your golden retriever can go out and make friends.

Golden retrievers work well in multi-animal households. They aren’t known as heavily prey driven, meaning they rarely try to chase or harm smaller animals. Even if they do, they’re so trainable you should have very little to no fear when adding a golden retriever to your pets.

15. Golden Retrievers Love Children

Adults, dogs, other animals, and now even children. There really isn’t anything a golden retriever doesn’t love. This article on Golden Meadows outlines how to foster a great relationship between your goldie and baby.

Golden retrievers love to play with children. Because of their gentle grip, you don’t have to worry about play getting too rough. They’re athletic enough to keep up with a small child, or multiple children. They also have endless energy and excitement, just as children do.

Golden retrievers love to play fetch, which can be an endless game for a child and a dog. They also aren’t dogs that are known for bonding with one person and one person only. They normally love adults and children equally or show a bigger affection for children in general.

Golden Retrievers Are Famous Dogs

Who couldn’t recognize a golden retriever when they see one? The beautiful long, golden coat with the athletic build is iconic. Whether it’s running outside, playing in the water, or curled up with the family, you’ve seen a million pictures of golden retrievers

It’s for good reason too. How many other dogs out there are so unanimously considered wonderful dogs? How many other breeds are there that everyone knows as gentle, kind dogs? No other dog breed has ever gotten such positive publicity.

Golden Retrievers in Famous Movies

There’s a lot of dog movies, and an overwhelming majority of them star golden retrievers. After all, who doesn’t love a big, golden fluff ball on screen? Here’s some you’ve probably seen.

  • TheAir Bud series by Disney. Who could forget a golden retriever who can play basketball? Furthermore, who doesn’t love to watch golden retrievers conquer every sport? There was a total of five in this series.
  • TheAir Buddies series also by Disney. This is a spin-off of Air Bud, following his puppies and their adventures. These were direct-to-video movies, but still considered classics to fans of golden retrievers.
  • The Santa Paws movies, again by Disney and starring Buddy’s puppies from the original Air Bud These are Christmas specials.
  • Homeward Bound: The Incredible Story and the sequel, Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Francisco by Disney are two movies about pets on a journey to find their owners, starring a golden retriever, tabby cat, and bulldog.

There’s also a multitude of movies not starring golden retrievers, but with plenty of them cast in the movie. 

Golden Retrievers in Television Shows

While there aren’t any popular TV shows primarily about a golden retriever, there’s a lot with golden retrievers featured prominently. Here are a few of them.

  • Comet from Full House. Full House is an iconic sitcom about a dad, his best friend, and brother-in-law raising three girls after their mom passes away. Comet is the family dog, featured predominantly through the show though the dad isn’t too sure about a dog at first.
  • Speedy from The Drew Carey Show, another sitcom. Speedy is Drew’s dog, playing on the trope of a typical ‘everyman’ who has the traditional doggy best friend of a golden retriever.
  • While Vincent from Lost isn’t a full golden retriever, he’s a lab and golden retriever mix. Vincent is the only confirmed survivor of the island they’re all stranded on in the series. Of course, the writers had to make sure watchers knew Vincent was okay.

Just as with movies, there are many more shows with golden retrievers than on this little list. However, if you’re craving a golden retriever in a show, here’s a place to start.

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