Are Golden Retrievers Good For Seniors? [Revealed!]

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Golden Retrievers are a favourite breed among many, and they make wonderful family pets. But, you’re wondering “Are Golden Retrievers Good For Seniors?”

We all know that dogs are man’s best friend, and everyone can benefit from the love, loyalty and companionship that a dog brings.

But, not all dog breeds are an ideal match for everyone, especially a senior. So, how does a Golden Retriever match up with a senior?

Find out as we reveal the answer below.

Are Golden Retrievers Good For Seniors?

Golden Retrievers are good for seniors who want to remain active, enjoy being social, and are looking for a loyal and loving companion. A Golden Retriever’s intelligence, eagerness to please, gentle nature and ability to adapt to any lifestyle, make them a good fit for seniors. Certain factors such as the age of both the dog and senior, health, personality, and maintenance requirements, are all important to consider beforehand.

Let’s look at the many reasons why Golden Retrievers are good for seniors below:

1. Golden Retrievers Are Intelligent And Easy To Train

Are Golden Retrievers Good For Seniors - A young Golden Retriever with a grey slipper in its mouth.

Ranked as the 4th smartest breed, a Golden Retriever is going to be able to learn things quickly, even just from observation.

They are easy to train, even for a novice. A senior can train their Golden Retriever to bring them their slippers, or newspapers.

Golden Retrievers love to please you and they love having a job to do, especially if it involves carrying things in their mouths.

This is definitely a plus for any senior that wants to enjoy life, rather than spending countless hours training.

2. Their Gentle Temperament Is A Good Match For Seniors

Golden Retrievers are known for their loving and gentle temperament.

This makes them a good fit for a senior because they don’t get angered easily, or have any aggressive tendencies.

Seniors wanting to live a stress-free life will enjoy the sweet and gentle nature of a Golden Retriever.

3. Golden Retrievers Are Super Friendly And Social

Seniors who are experiencing loneliness and social isolation will benefit from owning a Golden Retriever.

This breed is highly social and loves to meet everyone, including strangers.

Golden Retrievers are definitely not shy and they will have you out mingling with others in no time!

You’ll be surprised how many people you will meet and interact with while walking your Golden Retriever.

4. A Golden Retriever Will Keep A Senior Active

A Golden Retriever shown walking on a leash next to a man.

An adult Golden Retriever requires between one to two hours of exercise daily. This can be in the form of walking, swimming, playing fetch, etc…

Exercise and fresh air are key components of a healthy lifestyle. Not only does exercise help you stay healthy, but it helps to reduce stress.

Maintaining regular physical activity is one of the most important things seniors can do for their health.

According to the CDC, adults aged 65 and older need at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week, which includes brisk walking.

This is recommended as long as the senior is not limited by health conditions.

A Golden Retriever will keep a senior active, and because they are so adaptable, a Golden Retriever will happily adjust to your speed of walking.

5. They Are Easygoing And Adapt To Any Lifestyle

A Golden Retriever laying on a couch next to a man sitting on a chair reading a book.

Golden Retrievers are an easygoing breed and are capable of adapting to any lifestyle.

As long as their physical and mental needs are met, a Golden Retriever can easily live in an apartment, or home without a yard.

This is good news for seniors who often downsize and move into an apartment, or assisted living facility.

Oftentimes, a Golden Retriever who lives in an apartment receives more exercise than one who has a yard.

This is because a Golden Retriever without a yard needs to be walked outside to the nearest park, rather than left outside in a yard by himself.

RELATED ===> Do Golden Retrievers Need A Big Yard?

6. Golden Retrievers Are Great With Grandkids

A young blonde-haired girl training a Golden Retriever in a park.

There’s a reason why Golden Retrievers are a popular choice among families, they are great with kids.

Seniors can feel at ease when their grandkids come to visit because Golden Retrievers are calm, gentle and wonderful with children.

They are extremely patient and love nothing more than playing with kids.

7. They Offer Companionship And Ease Loneliness

A man and a Golden Retriever sitting on the edge of a cliff overlooking a river below.  The dog is resting its head on the man's shoulder.

Seniors who are looking for a loving and loyal companion can find that in a Golden Retriever.

With a Golden Retriever by your side, you will definitely never feel lonely, and I say by your side loosely!

Golden Retrievers are affectionately known as “Velcro Dogs”, this is because they follow you wherever you go, including to the bathroom.

Whether it’s sitting next to you on the couch, or laying beside you on the floor, a Golden Retriever will always want to be near you.

RELATED ===> Living With A Golden Retriever.

8. Golden Retrievers Are Quiet

Golden Retrievers are pretty quiet and don’t bark a lot.

Thanks to their friendly and social nature, they are accepting of everyone, which means they don’t bark at every person that they see.

Sure, they’ll bark occasionally, like when the doorbell rings or when they are suspicious of someone, but it’s just to alert you.

This is good for seniors who want to be alerted, as well as those who don’t want to deal with angry neighbours complaining about noisy dogs.

9. They Provide Emotional Support

There’s something almost human about a Golden Retriever, they are so intuitive to your feelings and seem to sense when you are sick, depressed, or not yourself.

Golden Retrievers are great at providing comforting and emotional support to not only their loved ones but to people in general. This makes them a great fit for seniors.

They are friendly, gentle, obedient, patient and attentive, which are all the necessary traits of an Emotional Support Dog.

This is why Golden Retrievers are the top choice for providing emotional support.

In fact, Golden Retrievers have been called upon in recent tragic events, such as school shootings to provide emotional support.

10. Golden Retrievers Get Along With Other Pets

Golden Retrievers make fast friends with everyone, including other pets in your household.

This is good news for any senior who already owns a pet, perhaps a cat or a parrot, as a Golden Retriever will get along great with them.

Also, seniors who are living in an apartment or assisted living facility will be glad to know that their Golden Retriever will not become aggressive towards another pet in the building.

Factors That Seniors Need To Consider Before Getting A Golden Retriever

A man and a Golden Retriever standing on a lookout dock.  The Golden Retriever jumped up with its paws on the ledge.  The man has his arm around the dog.

When it comes to companions, there is nothing better than having a Golden Retriever by your side!

But, seniors who are wanting a Golden Retriever need to think about their lifestyle and abilities.

The following are important factors that a senior must consider before getting a Golden Retriever:

Their Own Age And Health

First and foremost a senior wanting to adopt a Golden Retriever needs to consider their own age and health.

Are they healthy enough both physically and mentally to care for a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers are sporting dogs that need to be exercised daily, and enjoy being outdoors.

Seniors who have plenty of time to spend with a Golden Retriever and enjoy being active would be the best fit.

Older seniors who are in their late 70s or 80s need to consider the lifespan of a Golden Retriever.

Golden Retrievers live on average 10 to 12 years, and adopting a younger Golden Retriever could mean that the dog outlives you.

In this case, it’s important to have a backup plan, to have someone you trust to care for your dog.

Age Of The Golden Retriever

The age of the Golden Retriever needs to be considered.

A puppy or a young Golden Retriever will have plenty of energy and require lots of training, and probably won’t be the best fit for a senior.

Every senior is different, but I just don’t think a senior would be able to keep up with the activity level of a young Golden Retriever.

I was in my 30s when we got our Golden Retriever Ellie, and she was a handful! I could barely keep up.

Golden Retrievers hit that sweet spot when they calm down around the age of 5.

An older Golden Retriever still has energy, but they’re quite content to just hang out with you, rather than chew your socks off!

RELATED ===> Adopting A Senior Golden Retriever.

Personality Of A Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers in general are gentle, friendly, outgoing, and social. Some, however, are more affectionate than others.

Many Golden Retrievers love to be near you at all times, while others are more independent.

This is something a senior needs to consider, especially if they don’t want a clingy dog.

Another thing to note is that many Goldens think of themselves as lap dogs, even though they weigh upwards of 65 pounds!

They have no problem jumping up on your lap and getting into your personal space.

Seniors with arthritis or other joint issues probably won’t appreciate a heavy dog on their lap.

Maintenance Of Owning A Golden Retriever

It’s no secret that Golden Retrievers shed, and the hair alone requires some maintenance.

Regular brushing is needed to keep their coat tangle-free and beautiful, as well as regular bathing.

Vacuuming is needed frequently to keep your home tidy and to eliminate dog hair.

Seniors need to think about whether or not they have the time, energy, and desire to maintain the grooming requirements of a Golden Retriever, as well as the cleanliness of their home.

Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Are Not Good For Seniors

I could go on and on about the many great qualities of Golden Retrievers, but, I realize that this breed is not an ideal fit for everyone.

When the question of whether or not a Golden Retriever is good for a senior came up in a social media group, the answers were both yes and no.

We’ve covered the reasons why they are good, now let’s look at why a Golden Retriever might not be a good choice for a senior.

  • They are high-energy dogs especially when they are young. Daily exercise and mental stimulation are required to keep them behaved in your home.
  • They shed a lot, which is not good for seniors with allergies, or who don’t want to vacuum frequently.
  • Golden Retrievers are large dogs that will likely take over your couch, bed or your lap. Seniors who enjoy their personal space won’t enjoy a Golden Retriever.
  • Seniors who travel frequently and can’t take their dogs with them should look elsewhere than a Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers crave human interaction and need to be with their people.
  • Seniors on a fixed income may not be capable of owning a Golden Retriever. Vet bills, food, toys, training, and grooming costs all add up.

Just because a Golden Retriever might not be a good choice for a senior, doesn’t mean there aren’t other suitable dogs.

This video showcases some wonderful choices for seniors:

Final Thoughts

As we have learned, Golden Retrievers can be good for seniors. They make wonderful companions and help ease the loneliness and isolation that many seniors experience.

Seniors who want to remain active and are capable of caring for a Golden Retriever, will not find a more loving and loyal breed.

Any senior who is considering a Golden Retriever should of course consider their age, health, lifestyle and abilities beforehand.

Do you think that Golden Retrievers are good for seniors? Are you a senior who owns a Golden Retriever?

Share your thoughts in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!

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2 thoughts on “Are Golden Retrievers Good For Seniors? [Revealed!]”

  1. Hello Jenny,

    Thanks for your article on Golden Retrievers. I especially liked that you quoted the pros and cons of getting a Golden Retriever for a senior citizen. 

    As far as I am concerned, I don’t have time for keeping pets, but I know that they can be good companions especially if you are alone and don’t see your family on a daily basis. Good job!

    • Hi Angel,

      Absolutely, there are pros and cons to consider before getting a Golden Retriever for a senior.  Given the right situation, a Golden can make a wonderful companion for a senior.

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts.



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