golden retriever dog on a hike in front of mountains

Golden Retriever Personality Type: A Loyal Companion Breed

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Wondering if a Golden Retriever is a good fit for your family, but not sure about the Golden Retriever personality type? Then read on to learn more about this breed’s origins, physical characteristics, temperament, personality, exercise and training needs.

This blog will temporarily change gears from small-breed dogs to medium size breeds. Then we’ll shift over to the large and giant breeds.  Future posts will discuss safe dog toys and dog training aids and then we’ll change up and discuss more about cats and small animals.  Please read on to learn more about the much-loved Golden Retriever.

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The Golden Retriever is a very loyal and friendly companion breed. The ‘Goldie’ is world famous for its amazing hunting, retrieval, and athletic skills, as well as its good nature, friendly disposition, extreme loyalty, and beautiful golden coat.  Originally bred as a hunting companion in Scotland, the Golden Retriever has now become one of the most sought-after go-with and family dog breeds in the world. 

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Golden Retrievers are medium-sized dogs that are known for their smiling eyes, extreme loyalty, and playful nature.  When properly trained they are dedicated family dogs, outstanding hunting companions, and serious game bird retrievers.  Goldies are also trained as guide dogs for the blind, service dogs for the disabled, search and rescue dogs, and dedicated K9 police dogs. Golden Retrievers make excellent family pets due to their gentle, but protective nature, and deep desire for human companionship.

Origins and History

The Golden Retriever breed was originally from the Scottish Highlands being first bred in the late 1800’s by Dudley Marjoribanks (a.k.a., Lord Tweedmouth). He bought a yellow retriever named “Nous” in 1865 near Brighton in southern England. He mated Nous with a now extinct Tweed Water Spaniel, resulting in four puppies.  Those puppies were very likely the beginning of the Golden Retriever as a unique dog breed. 

For the curious, we will post more information in the future on some of the major dog breeds lost in the recent past.

Marjoribanks knew he was onto something very special so he continued to breed for more of the beautiful pups.  He carefully selected for unique traits emphasizing intelligence, loyalty, retrieving, and a strong fondness for swimming. The new breed quickly caught on and Golden Retrievers made their debut in the USA by the early 1900’s.  The rest is canine history!

The Golden Retriever is still one of the most popular dog breeds worldwide because of their family-friendly and gentle nature.  The dogs’ beauty, intelligence, retrieval skills, friendliness, playfulness, and trainability are well-known standards of this breed.  Often trained as highly skilled field and water retrievers, these dogs have become renowned as service dogs, therapy dogs, search and rescue dogs, and they are much-loved family pets.

Physical Characteristics

If you’re thinking about getting a Golden Retriever, you need to know about their physical traits. Here are some key characteristics:

  • Size: Males are usually 23-24 inches tall and weigh 65-75 pounds, however individuals can often grow bigger than that.  Female Goldies are usually smaller than males standing 21.5-22.5 inches at the shoulder and weighing an average of 55-65 pounds.
  • Coat: Golden Retrievers have a thick, water-repellent double coat that can be wavy or straight. The coat is usually golden or creamy-yellow in color.
  • Head: Golden Retrievers are famous for their friendly expression and broad, rounded head. The ears are typically short and hang down close to the head.  The dogs’ eyes are dark, kind and intelligent-looking.
  • Body: Golden Retrievers are strong canine athletes.  They are muscular with a deep chest and straight, strong legs. Their tail is characteristically carried level with the back or slightly below the backline.

Golden Retrievers are a medium-sized sturdily built and athletic dog breed.  Their double coat needs frequent grooming to avoid matting and tangling.  Their hair tends to pick up thistles and pollen when actively game bird hunting.  Goldies love and need daily exercise to stay fit and they love going for rides in the family vehicle.  

Golden Retriever Personality Type

Temperament and Personality

Looking for a friendly, loyal, and playful family dog?  Then this is the breed for you! Golden Retrievers are well known for their gentle temperament. They are the perfect family dog.  Goldies are playful but gentle and protective with children, and they get along well with other pets, even cats!

Golden Retrievers love to please their humans, which is why they do so well in obedience training.  Aside from being great hunters, the golden retriever personality type means they are energetic, intelligent, and affectionate dogs which makes them best friend companions for people of all ages.  Goldies are incredibly joyous and cheerful, and they eagerly greet everyone they meet. They are typically passive with other people and pets meaning they are not likely to snap at or aggressively bite others.

Golden Retrievers are famous for their calm patience and family loyalty. They are ideal dogs for fun play with kids. They are very protective of their home and families and eagerly bark if they sense danger.  They are not guard dogs though and usually won’t attack an intruder.

If you’re looking for a dog that will be a loyal and loving companion, the Golden Retriever is an excellent choice. If you are looking for a guard dog then this breed is not for you.  They are lovers, not fighters.  Make no mistake, they will defend you and yours–they are loyal to the T–but they are non-aggressive. With correct training and socialization, Goldies can be a great pet dog for anyone.

Training and Exercise

Training and exercise are very important for the physical and mental health of your Golden Retriever. Here are some tips to help you train and exercise your furry friend:

Golden Retriever Training:

  • Start training early: Puppy training and basic obedience classes are great.  Start training adult rescue Goldies the house and car rules on day one.
  • Be patient and consistent: Patience. repetition, and positive reinforcement are key.
  • Teach basic commands: For starters, teach your new Goldie the basics first.  Commands like sit, stay, come, and down are critical for making your dog easier to handle and keeping him or her safe.
  • Leash training: This is very important for your dog’s safety, the safety of others, and control in all kinds of situations.  Teach your Goldie not to strain against the leash or pull you along.  Proper left-side healing should be taught for safe walks.  Start with short walks and gradually increase the walking time and distance. Let your dog sniff and mark so it becomes familiar with the area, but never let your dog go off-leash except in off-leash designated dog parks.
  • Golden Retrievers love to please:  Positive, reward-based training is highly effective. Negative training is not.  Rewarding with treats, praise, and toys to encourage and help your Golden Retriever learn quickly and correctly is the best way.
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Golden Retriever Exercise:

  • Golden Retrievers are active dogs that need to be exercised every day. This can be as simple as fetching tossed tennis balls or as strenuous as a long and hard run.  
  • Playing fetch is one very good way to give your Golden Retriever the needed exercise. This is a good way to bond with your dog too.
  • Swimming is another great exercise for Golden Retrievers. They are natural swimmers that love being in the water.
  • Golden Retrievers love running and hiking too.  Always bring along healthy dog treats and clean drinking water for your dog.  And, be careful of over-exertion, heat stroke, thistles, and hot surfaces for yourself and your furry hiking buddy.  Always ask your vet about your Golden Retriever’s exercise needs if you have any real concerns about age, health, activity level, etc.

These training and exercise tips will help your Golden Retriever stay healthy, happy, and well-behaved throughout his or her life.  After reading about the golden retriever personality type, do you think this breed is for you? If you are now ready to dive deeper into Golden Retriever care then this post is for you.

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