The characteristics of Golden Retrievers are many and varied.

Aren’t they “just dogs”? Technically, yes.
But that’s like saying the Mona Lisa is “just a painting.”
I don’t want this to be a “my dog is better than your dog” argument.
I’d just like to point out a few character traits that have helped make Golden Retrievers one of the most popular breeds in America today.
If you already own one, you know what I’m talking about.
If you’re trying to decide if this is the right breed for you, maybe I can help you with your decision.

Breed Standard

Every breed of dog recognized by the American Kennel Club (AKC) and the United Kennel Club (UKC) has a breed standard.
The Golden Retriever breed standard sets forth the unique Golden Retriever traits that make this breed different from all others.
Considerations include type of coat, color, conformation, size, temperament and several other attributes.
We’ll look at each of these, and give you a chance to see how your own Golden compares with the standard.
We’ll examine the Golden’s built-in instincts, such as hunting prey and retrieving. After all, it’s hard to imagine a Retriever who doesn’t like to retrieve!


Goldens are incredibly people-friendly, which tends to make them very family-friendly, as well.
They get along well with babies, children, adults and seniors.
Most Golden Retrievers have never known a stranger. They think everybody’s their friend!
The characteristics of Golden Retrievers vary a bit with each developmental stage.
We’ll look at each stage, from puppyhood through adolescence and adulthood, to the senior years.
Goldens are just kids at heart and may take a little longer than some other dogs to settle into adult behavior. Don’t worry. Most of them grow up–eventually!

Intelligence and Energy

How smart is your Golden?
Although intelligence is closely linked to (and confused with) trainability, we’ll take a look at both of these important characteristics of Golden Retrievers.
Does your Golden Retriever communicate with you? Absolutely!
We’ll explore all the ways your furry friend tries to talk to you, and help you decipher his lingo.
What about a Golden’s energy level?
Again, there’s a great deal of variance here.
We’ll look at a few determining factors and help you decide how much Golden exuberance your family can handle.


While we can rely on many Golden Retriever characteristics to be true of every Golden, we also have to consider each dog’s individual personality and temperament.
Just like people, each Golden has his own quirks and idiosyncrasies.
That’s what makes him so special!
What can we expect in the way of the Golden Retriever life expectancy?
There are several factors that determine how long you’ll be blessed with your canine companion’s presence.

Senses and Sociability

The Golden Retriever possesses amazing senses that allow him to react to and interact with his environment. Besides their extraordinary senses of smell and hearing, we’ll also look at their senses of sight, direction, taste and touch.
One of the best-known characteristics of Golden Retrievers is their sociability.
This includes not only the family that dotes on them, but everybody they come in contact with, as well.
They also interact beautifully with other animals, if properly socialized and introduced.


The Golden Retriever has been one of the most popular breeds in America for several years.
According to statistics, almost 65,000 Goldens are registered in the U.S. every year, and about 8,500 in Canada. Many more are born that are not registered.
It’s no accident that this lovely breed is so popular!
The unique and special characteristics of Golden Retrievers have brought the breed its well-deserved recognition.
It’s safe to say that once a person has owned a Golden, life without one is never the same.


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