Golden Retriever Characteristics, Personality & Appearance

The Golden Retriever is a medium-sized, symmetrical, powerful dog that is neither clumsy nor long in the leg. These dogs possess a kindly expression and an eager self-confidence combined with an alert mind. 

These dogs make very good family companions and are well known to be excellent seeing-eye and aid dogs. Intended as a hunting dog, the Golden Retriever is best seen when working hard. 

The most distinguishing characteristics of the Golden Retriever are its dense weather-resistant coat with a shorter, waterproof undercoat, feathered legs, and a fringed tail that is usually wagging enough to be remind one of a Sopwith Camel. These dogs are fluid in movement and built for endurance in the field.


The Golden Retriever’s temperament has the following characteristics:

  • Friendly.
  • Outgoing.
  • Reliable.
  • Trustworthy.
  • Non-aggressive to people and animals.
  • Eager to please.
  • Gentle.
  • Intelligent.

Goldens are neither quarrelsome nor timid. Any tendency toward either hostility or nervousness is probably a result of either poor breeding or improper socialization.

Goldens tend to be gentle creatures, but with their boundless enthusiasm, they can be a little too vigorous when greeting new people, sometimes jumping on them. Likewise, the Goldens’ ebullience can run afoul of other dogs that do not enjoy being greeted so eagerly. Early training and socialization are key to helping them curb this trait.


The approximate height of a dog is 23 to 24 inches at the withers and bitches 21½ to 22½ inches. The approximate weight of working condition dogs is 65 to 75 pounds, bitches 55 to 75 pounds


The skull should be broad with slight latitudinal and longitudinal arches. Neither the frontal nor the occipital bones should be prominent. The stop should be well-defined but not abrupt. The foreface should be deep, wide, and almost as long as the skull.

The muzzle is straight in profile, blending smoothly into the skull. The muzzle is slightly deeper and wider at the stop when viewed either from the top or profile. There should be no heaviness in the upper lips.

The nose is black or brownish-black, sometimes fading to a lighter shade in cold weather. The teeth are strong and regular with a scissors bite. The lower teeth are just behind, but touching the inner side of the upper incisors. The ears are somewhat short; the tip of the ear just being able to cover the eyes when pulled forward. Due to being set just above and well back of the eyes, they do not hang like hound ears.

The brown eyes of the Golden Retriever are friendly, intelligent and alert. They are medium large with dark, close-fitting rims. When looking straight ahead, there should be no white showing.

Neck and Body

The neck of the Golden Retriever is medium long and gradually merges into the shoulder. Muscular and free from throatiness, it is well suited to retrieving game. Its back is strong and the top line is level from the withers to the croup when standing or moving. The Golden’s body is well-balanced, short-coupled, and deep with good spring of ribs.

The loin is short, muscular, and built for both strength and endurance without excessive tuck-up. The tail, designed for heavy wagging, is well attached with a muscular base extending in a natural line from the croup.


The coat of a Golden Retriever is thick, with a waterproof undercoat ideal for retrieving game in wetlands. Lying close to the body, the coat can be either straight or wavy, but not coarse nor silky.

The untrimmed, natural rough includes feathering on the backs of the forelegs and on the underbody. The feathering is heavier on the front of the neck, the backs of the thighs, and the underside of the tail. The head, paws, and front of the legs are covered with a short, even coat.


The coloring of the golden retriever is, well, golden. The possible shades range anywhere from a deep, coppery color to a light gold that can lighten to a cream in the featherings. Some dogs may exhibit areas of actual white or black, but these are generally considered faults.

Choosing Your Golden Retriever

Before you set out to buy your pet, you should be honest and ask yourself a few questions. Are you prepared to make a commitment to a dog for the next 10-15 years even if you have life changes such as shifting home, etc.?

Carefully consider; full responsibility for a dog is not a job for children and requires a constant supervision from responsible adult. The commitment is not a small one. Training a Golden to be a pleasant companion requires considerable time and patience.

Golden Retrievers are active and social animals that require substantial attention and exercise throughout their lives. Good behavior requires training and continual interaction. They are happiest when they are active and they love running and the outdoors. They are exuberant, but need socialization with people and other dogs in order to be good companions to either.

Mature Goldens usually adapt very well to new homes and can form very deep bonds with their new owners. Their natural gregariousness allows them to fit in well with new families and other dogs.

Golden Retriever Information & Characteristics

In general, golden retrievers are outgoing, playful, and gentle. They are also friendly, intelligent, and devoted.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information

Goldens are outgoing, trustworthy, and eager-to-please family dogs, and relatively easy to train. They take a joyous and playful approach.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed – Facts and Traits

The golden retriever is even-tempered, intelligent and affectionate. Golden retrievers are playful, yet gentle with children, and they tend to get along well.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed

The Golden Retriever is one of the most popular dog breeds in the United States. The breed’s friendly, tolerant attitude makes them great family pets.

Golden Retriever Breed: Characteristics, Care

Golden Retrievers are loveable, friendly dogs. There’s a reason Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds in homes today.

Golden Retrievers: What’s Good About Them

The Golden Retriever’s kindly expression says it all. This is one of the finest family dogs in the world: cheerful, demonstrative, trustworthy with everyone.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed Facts & Information

Golden Retriever Personality — Golden Retrievers are kind, trusting, and gentle. These traits make them very poor guard dogs, but excellent family dogs.

Golden Retriever Temperament & Personality

Golden Retrievers have sweet temperaments and are loving, loyal dogs that make great family pets. They have animated personalities and are smart.

Official Standard for the Golden Retriever General Appearance

Official Standard for the Golden Retriever General Appearance: A symmetrical, powerful, active dog, sound and well put together, not clumsy nor long in the leg, displaying a kindly expression and possessing a personality that is eager, alert and self-confident.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information

The Golden Retriever is a sturdy, muscular dog of medium size, famous for the dense, lustrous coat of gold that gives the breed its name.

The Golden Retriever: A Guide to the Breed

The General Appearance section of the Golden Retriever breed standard is extremely important in establishing priorities in judging the breed.

Golden Retriever Information & Characteristics

Appearance. Adult male golden retrievers grow to be 65–75 pounds, while females are 55–65 pounds. Their coloring ranges from light to dark.

Golden Retriever Dog Breed Information

The Golden Retriever appears symmetrical, powerful, and well-balanced. The sum of its appearance —balance, gait, friendly and intelligent expression.

Golden Retriever Breed Guide: History, Characteristics & Care

Physical appearance. The average weight of a Golden Retriever is between 65 and 75 pounds for males and from 55 to 65 pounds for females.

AKC Standards for the Golden Retriever

Primarily a hunting dog, he should be shown in hard-working condition. Overall appearance, balance, gait, and purpose to be given more emphasis…