10 Pros and Cons of Golden Retrievers

pros cons golden retrievers

The Golden Retriever is an energetic and playful dog, and one of the most popular family breeds in the world. They are full of life, no matter how old, and will motivate you to get moving. They are always ranking high for their intelligence and abilities to adapt. In this article, we will be looking at pros and cons of getting a Golden Retriever.

The Golden Retriever was made for hunting and retrieving the pray out of the water, as the name suggests. They are equipped with webbed feet and soft mouth, to better perform these duties. But they didn’t stay in the hunting world for long, because soon they were becoming more and more popular as family pets, working dogs, and guide dogs.

Puppies are usually lighter in color, and the ears are a good indicator of what the end color should be. Golden Retriever comes in various shades of golden coat, but most commonly they are golden, light golden, and dark golden. They are friendly from day one and go great with children because they can run tirelessly and entertain everyone. They are a big dog, but often unaware of their size and love to jump in your lap for some cuddles.

Pros of Owning a Golden Retriever

1. Golden Retrievers are Adaptable

Golden Retrievers will thrive where ever you place them, a wonderful advantage of owning a Golden Retriever. They are perfectly content in a cold climate as well as warm. They love to run and have an open space, but they can comfortably live in an apartment.

They are approachable and friendly, so they can also be considered adaptable to humans and other animals. They are not a guard dog but can be a lovely and caring companion to families and individuals.

All though they can live in warmer climates, keep in mind that they were bred to swim in ice-cold water and prefer colder climates.

2. They have a Soft mouth

Because they were bred for hunting and retrieving the prey, Goldies have a soft mouth that means they can carry something without damaging it. That was mainly used for bringing ducks back from water but nowadays it’s an interesting gentle feature they have.

This is a good indicator of how well-behaved and trustworthy they are, and you will have no worries leaving them to play with children. They can control their grip and that is a rare quality in dogs. It’s said they can carry a raw egg in their mouth without breaking it.

3. This breed is Obedient

This is the first breed ever to be pronounced an obedience champion. It comes with no surprise because Golden Retrievers are made to please humans and they love to be around you.

Their high intelligence paired with patience and ability to remember is a perfect full package that one obedient dog should own. They strive to have a good relationship with the owner and will do almost anything to obtain it.

A pro of Golden Retrievers is that following instructions and commands is in their blood, and this breed is one of the easiest to train.

4. They are Versatile

This breed can accommodate any role given. That means they are going to be an amazing family dog, but also a good guide dog for people in need. They represent one of the finest assistance dogs, because of their abilities to feel emotions.

They are very active and have a keen sense of smell, so they can be working dogs, for police, fire department, or rescue teams. They are a loyal companion to have by your side through thick and thin.

5. Golden Retrievers can be made Quiet

Goldies are famous non-barking dogs, and that can mean a lot to some people. They are not guarding dogs, so the need for barking and intimidating strangers is lower, a pro of getting Golden Retrievers.

This doesn’t mean that they don’t bark ever, because they can, but rather that they are not overwhelming and loud like some breeds tend to be. They are not demanding attention in any way and only aim to please you.

6. They are an Awesome Family Pet

We can not emphasize enough how well a Golden Retriever fits into family life. They can be good for active families with their huge amount of energy and willingness to run around. But they can also be a great addition to more relaxed and chilled back families, as they are known to be kind of couch potatoes.

They are usually super gentle with children and even other animals because they see everyone as friends. They will run around, playing fetch and even go swimming, because they were built for water.

Cons of Owning a Golden Retriever

1. They are hard to Groom

If you ever saw a Golden Retriever you had to notice its full and thick, silky coat. They come in various shades of gold, but everyone requires daily grooming. They shed quite a lot around the year and they need to be brushed every day to maintain the quality of their coat.

Because they were bred to go into the water, in lower temperatures their undercoat is very thick and oily. They will almost clean themselves, but you need to brush them and occasionally bathe them.

Some owners opt for a haircut and a shorter coat, which is simpler to groom. This is also popular in places with warmer climates, to make it easier for the dog to cool down.

2. They can be aggressive if they come from a bad breeder

Unfortunately, popular breeds tend to be over-produced by breeders that don’t own any previous knowledge of the gene pool and a license. This often leads to irresponsible breeding and changing the breed characteristics for the worse.

Golden Retrievers are now number 3 on the biting list, right after German Shepherd and Chow. They can be aggressive as a result of mentioned breeding problems, a con of getting a poorly bred Golden Retrievers. This can be a very big and potentially dangerous problem because they are a big dog, able to inflict some serious damage.

Make sure to check your breeder for credibility and license, before buying your new four-legged friend.

3. They are prone to have hip dysplasia

Golden Retriever is considered a big breed and as such he suffers from some problems like most big dogs. One of the most common and painful problems we see in Goldies is that they are prone to deteriorating of the hip or hip dysplasia, a con of Golden Retrievers.

This condition is very debilitating for the dog because in time their joints lose cartilage and bones begin to touch and friction, which produces a copious amount of pain and losing the function of the leg.

This will entail often vet visits, big bills to cover the medications and supplements, but also a huge heartbreak when you see your best friend in this state.

4. They are prone to have cancer

One more heartbreaking piece of data is that Golden Retrievers rank second on the cancer death list. This means they are more prone to developing cancer than other breeds and this is again the result of irresponsible breeding.

Various cancers are common for Golden Retrievers, like:

  • Hemangiosarcoma – fatal cancer of blood vessels
  • Osteosarcoma – bone cancer
  • Lymphoma and
  • Mast cell tumors

This will again mean that you have to be careful where you get your dog from in the first place and try to get them from licensed breeders.

This can also be a big dent in your budget because all these conditions require frequent trips to the vet and extensive procedures, not to mention emotional turmoil.


Overall, Golden Retrievers are loyal and people-loving dogs, that will do well in almost any family and situation. They are versatile and adaptable, love to run and play with children. They have lots of energy and a need to please humans, thus they will be a breeze to train.

It’s advised to choose your breeder carefully and avoid health and behavioral problems, that occur with overbreeding. They are long-living and will be a best family friend if taken care of. They will join every activity, from digging in the backyard to lounging on the couch. One puppy-like and playful dog like this one is not for everybody, but with the right owner and proper training, they become an irreplaceable family member.

I hope that this article on pros and cons of Golden Retrievers was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Dog Category!

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