Golden Retriever

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Breed: Golden Retriever

Temperament: friendly, trusting

Cost: $500+

Lifespan: average 13 years

Maintenance: medium

Recommended for: families


Originally developed as a gun dog in Britain , the Golden Retriever appears to be a mixture of many breeds, including water spaniels, the Newfoundland and the Irish Setter. The similarities to Labradors are probably not coincidental and a shared ancestry is likely.

The Golden Retriever is one of the world’s favourite pets. And, with the Labrador and German Shepherd, rates in the top three most popular dogs in Australia.


Golden Retrievers are medium to large dogs, never bigger than a German Shepherd. A male stands about 56-61cm (22-24″), while females are smaller at 51-56cm (20-22″). Weight ranges between 27-37kg (60-80lb), males being heavier.

The double coat is wavy and water-resistant; ideal for those not uncommon plunges into any body of water the dog may encounter. Colours range from shades of cream to deep gold. While pups are quite pale, the shades of the tips of the ears can indicate its final adult colouring.


Breeders say that the Golden Retriever is placid and friendly, will get along with other dogs and is a real a joy to be with. Described as an ideal family pet, the Golden Retriever is eager to please and easy to train. They are intelligent, docile and should never be aggressive. Check the adults before purchasing a pup. There are plenty of breeders to choose from. A snappy dog, no matter how cute, is not a viable pet. Golden Retrievers thrive on structured training programs and are consistent top performers in obedience and agility trials.


Two debilitating bone diseases – hip dysplasia and elbow dysplasia, are not uncommon to the breed and cardiac and eye problems can occur. These conditions can be tested for and pups should only be bought from those reputable breeders who hold current testing certificates.

Golden Retrievers love food, so obesity can be a problem and may aggravate hip problems if they are overfed.


The coat is medium to long and does shed. Particularly at the change of season. Many pet owners find a thorough 10 minute brushing once a week is adequate. The breed is happiest when inside with its family, but young dogs may chew furniture.

Ideal owner:

A great dog suited to the family. Be mindful of the dog’s size around small children, but a well trained Golden Retriever will know its place around all humans, large and small. They make wonderful companions and are deservedly regarded as one of the best all round family dogs.

Not a breed for apartments or terraces, these dogs do like to romp and explore a backyard. A daily walk will benefit the dog and keep its weight in check.

Further information

We filmed this segment in the picturesque town of Yass, New South Wales with the help of Golden Retriever breeder Lesley Scroope and many other happy Golden Retriever breeders. Lesley can be contacted on (02) 6226 1105. QLD

Golden Retriever Club of Qld.
Sec. Sherry Downs
Phone: (07) 3879 8941

Golden Retriever Club of SA
Sec. Mrs. Jan Williams
Phone: (08) 8298 3198 TAS

The Golden Retriever Club of Tas.
Sec. J. Wadsley
Phone: (03) 6247 9386

Golden Retriever Club of Vic.
Sec. Mrs. Carol Stafford
Phone: (03) 9876 1920 WA

Golden Retriever Club of WA
Sec. Jessica Brown
Phone: (08) 9497 1264