What Is Bad About Golden Retrievers?[13 Surprising Faults]

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[Updated February 2021]

As a Golden Retriever owner myself, I can certainly go on and on about all the great things about this breed. But, nevertheless, you are here because you want to know what is bad about Golden Retrievers?

I will give you all the insights into the bad things about this breed, but I do have to warn you that because I am so in love with this breed, I am able to get past the so-called bad things. Perhaps when you read this article you will find out that a Golden Retriever’s negative traits, are really just things that you can overlook.

Golden Retrievers are certainly popular, but they are not for everyone. If you are considering adding a Golden Retriever to your family, keep reading to find out if you too can look past their bad things.

13 Surprising Faults Of A Golden Retriever

1. They Shed

It’s no surprise that this breed sheds. Their long flowing coat is actually a double-coat, that consists of a fluffy undercoat and a protective outer coat. If you have allergies, this breed is definitely not for you. If you can’t handle all that hair, don’t bother getting a golden.

A Golden Retriever will shed all year long. Heavy shedding occurs in the Spring and Fall, to make room for their new coats of the season. The undercoat is what sheds, in the Spring shedding occurs to make room for a golden’s lighter summer coat, and in the Fall thicker hair grows to make a warmer winter coat.

During the rest of the year, you will notice moderate shedding. Feeding a golden a high-quality diet is crucial in maintaining a healthy coat, and to help reduce shedding. There are other things that you can do to help reduce and get control of all that shedding, check out my other article, Stop Golden Retriever Shedding to find out how.

2. They Are Stubborn

Many owners of this breed can attest to the fact that their dog is stubborn. I know firsthand just how stubborn this breed can be.

Golden Retrievers are extremely intelligent, which makes them easy to train, but they also have a mind of their own. If a golden doesn’t want to do something, you can expect him to put up a fight.

By that I mean he will just sit there and not move. Perhaps you want to turn right at the street instead of left, but your dog wants to go left, you can expect your dog to sit there and not move until you go his way, or you coax him into going your way with a treat.

3. They Are Too Friendly, And Not Great Guard Dogs

Four human hands reaching out to pet a Golden Retriever who is sitting in the middle looking happy.

A Golden Retriever is a people dog. They enthusiastically want to meet everyone, strangers, other dogs, other animals, anyone who they think will give them the time of day. If you’re not a social person and don’t enjoy meeting new people, then a golden is not the right dog for you.

A golden wants to be friends with everyone, even strangers that come to your door. Don’t expect them to keep your house safe from a burglar. I mean sure they will bark at strangers, but when a stranger approaches they will wag their tail and greet them with a smile and probably expect to get petted.

4. They Take Over Your Furniture

Golden Retriever laying on a brown leather chair.

Be prepared for a golden to get comfortable on your couch, or even your bed. Some owners enjoy sharing their furniture with their dogs, and some don’t.

When I first got my golden Ellie, I didn’t want her on the furniture. I tried putting tinfoil on the couch to prevent her from jumping up. That scare tactic lasted 2 days at the most after she realized tinfoil isn’t scary, and the couch is so comfortable. Now I share the couch with her.

I think the reality is that you can train your dog to stay off the furniture, but sometimes it is easier to just give in.

5. They Are Food Obsessed

This breed is motivated by food, this can be both good and bad. Being motivated by food makes them easier to train. A golden will pretty much do anything for a treat. The bad part is that they will eat anything and everything, and you’ll need to watch their food intake because this breed is prone to obesity.

There have been plenty of times when I have walked my Ellie, and she has picked up and eaten some very questionable stuff. It’s not that I am letting her eat stuff off the ground, it’s that she is so quick, and eats it. Walking a food-motivated dog can be frustrating at times.

6. They Are Chewers

Golden Retriever chewing a stick laying in the snow.

Many dogs are chewers but goldens in particular love to chew. I’m sure whenever you see a golden, you can usually see them carrying something in their mouth, whether it’s a stick, a tennis ball, or their favourite plush toy.

If you plan on owning this breed, you will want to have plenty of appropriate chew toys on hand, or else they will find something of yours to chew on.

7. They Are Messy

If you like to keep a neat and orderly house, forget about owning a golden. I have already mentioned they shed, and hair is going to be everywhere, but this breed loves to get dirty. They love water, as well as mud.

Most dogs will walk around a mud puddle in order to avoid it, but not a golden. A golden sees a mud puddle, and if you’re lucky will just walk through it, but if you’re not lucky they will decide to plop down and roll around in it. Can you say mud bath?

It’s really a golden owner’s worst nightmare, having a mud-covered dog. Not to mention they don’t mind shaking all that mud off in the house.

8. They Can Easily Knock Over Small Children

It is true that goldens make great family dogs, and they are great with children. However, when they are puppies they are very bouncy and energetic, and they are large enough to knock over a small child.

Puppies need to be supervised around small children. This breed is very energetic, playful, and loves to run and jump around. Even adults need to be careful because a golden can easily knock you over when they get excited and start running into your legs.

They certainly don’t mean to do any harm, it is just their excitable nature.

9. They Need Plenty Of Exercise

A man walking two English Golden Retrievers on a leash.

If you are a couch potato and expect your dog to be as well, forget about getting a Golden Retriever. This breed is high energy, especially when they are young, up to the age of 3-4.

Golden Retrievers were bred to be hunting dogs, and they are very athletic and smart. They need plenty of exercise as well as mental stimulation every day, in order for them to be the calm and happy relaxed dog everyone wants.

Giving a golden plenty of exercise throughout the day will prevent them from getting bored, and developing bad behaviours.

Golden Retrievers love to play fetch, and they love water. Providing them with plenty of opportunities to vent their energy and do the things they love is a must.

10. They Steal

Yes, a Golden Retriever steals your heart, but that’s not what I am talking about. Golden Retrievers are great little thieves. I already mentioned they like carrying things in their mouths, well, they enjoy stealing anything from you and love to parade it around in their mouth.

Turn around for even a second, and you can find a golden taking dirty socks out of the laundry basket, or worse your underwear, and make you chase him to get it back. It’s all a game to a golden.

When you’re walking a golden, don’t be surprised when he picks up someone’s glove, or someone’s tennis ball off the ground and carries it home. Everything is fair game to a golden.

Here is a short video that shows a Police therapy dog stealing toys that were meant for needy children.

11. They Cannot Be Left Alone

If you’re thinking of getting a dog that you can leave at home alone during the day, don’t even think about getting a golden. Golden Retrievers crave and need human attention.

If you don’t plan on making a golden an important member of your family, you shouldn’t get this breed. Golden Retrievers are very social, and love to be around their family. They need to be included in family activities, in order to be happy.

If you work all day, it is a good idea to take your golden to doggie daycare or hire a dog walker to walk your dog. This way your golden will not become bored, or depressed from being alone all day.

12. They Are Prone To Many Health Problems

As with any purebred dog, Golden Retrievers have their share of health problems. Some health problems that a golden can be prone to include:

Cancer, Hip & Elbow Dysplasia, Cataracts, Epilepsy, Hypothyroidism, Heart Disease, and Skin Conditions like Allergies. This is just to name a few, and not all goldens will have all of these problems, or have any of these problems.

If you are considering this breed, you need to be aware of the health issues that affect them.

When buying a purebred puppy, it is important to find a good reputable breeder and ask for the health clearances of the puppy’s parents. Health clearances show that a dog has been tested and cleared for a certain condition.

For more questions to ask a breeder, and to find out how to pick a puppy from a litter, click here.

13. Their Lifespan Is Too Short

We made it to what I think is the number one bad thing about goldens, their short lifespan. According to Wikipedia, Golden Retrievers live on average 10-12 years, and if you ask any Golden Retriever owner they will tell you that is too short.

Bonus Fault: You Will Probably Want More Than One!

Two Golden Retrievers laying on a wooden floor together.

Many owners of this breed find themselves wanting more than one. To many, owning a Golden Retriever has become an obsession, and you often see people owning 2, 3, 4 or more!

This breed is simply wonderful, and if you have the time, energy, patience and you can afford to have more than one, then why not?!! Not only do you get double the love and laughs, but your golden has a companion as well.

Final Thoughts On What Is Bad About Golden Retrievers?

I hope you enjoyed reading this post. As a total fan of this wonderful breed, I thought it would be hard to come up with anything bad about Golden Retrievers but easily came up with 13.

What about you? Are you able to look past the 13 bad things about Golden Retrievers? Let me know what you like or don’t like about this breed. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.

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I am the proud owner of a Golden Retriever named Ellie. She keeps me busy, and when she is resting, you can find me working on my blog. She is always close by though. I live in Stirling, ON Canada with my husband, and we both enjoy the never a dull moment life with our Ellie.

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64 thoughts on “What Is Bad About Golden Retrievers?[13 Surprising Faults]”

  1. My Golden Retriever is called Jesper, and when he takes a shower, he is so skinny, but when I take him out he’s the size of a sumo wrestler. He can knock me down easily, (you were definitely right about that!) but I still love him and he welcomes me home everyday after school. He is currently two years old and very energetic!

    • Hi Ian,
      You really notice the size of your golden when they are soaking wet. Their hair really fluffs them up.
      It’s nice to have such a warm welcome when you get home from school! I’ve definitely been knocked over a few times, you learn to either bend your knees or get out of the way! Lol!

      Thanks for sharing your experience. I wish you and Jesper all the best.


  2. I really enjoyed reading your blog. It was very informative and sweet at the same time. I just adopted my first Golden Retriever puppy “Bowie”. He is the most adorable love bug I have ever had the pleasure to adopt. He definitely craves attention and does not like being alone. He will sleep in his crate at night but only because it is right beside my bed. When he wakes in the morning, he wants to jump into bed with me for some quick snuggles and cuddles before starting the day. Who can turn that down? He is incredibly stubborn for a puppy. If he does not want to walk, he sits in the middle of the road and refuses to move. You are right about the shedding. I had no idea they shed so much. I have two cats and together, they do not shed as much as he did. I don’t mind though. Nothing a few lint rollers can’t take care of as you’re leaving the house. I did notice prickly skin last week during our heatwave. I am hoping it was the heat and not the grass. It seems to be better this week (much cooler temps) so my fingers are crossed. I adopted a GR as I plan to retire soon and I was looking for a nice companion for walks and hikes. He has completely stolen my heart and I do not regret adopting him for one second. If I didn’t already have two cats, I would consider a second for the company but the cats keep him busy. He loves to chase them.

    • Hi Dee,
      Thank you so much for sharing your story. What is it with Goldens and being stubborn? I can just picture Bowie sitting in the middle of the road refusing to move, because my Ellie has done this numerous times! LOL! I think it’s super cute that he wants to jump into bed with you and be cuddled. The shedding is something that you will get used to and learn to live with, it is very shocking at first, but it becomes a daily occurrence. Bowie will certainly be a great companion for you when you retire, I’m sure he will want to go with you everywhere! Your poor cats, I am sure in time they will be the boss of him, and they will also be great friends.

      Take care and enjoy your new adventures with Bowie.

    • I am 73 and retired. We had to put our 16-year-old golden down two weeks ago. I am heartbroken. I am wondering if I am too old to get a puppy after taking a break and healing from my loss of our last one. I was a teacher and am a people person, so the thought of being without a walking companion and bundle of fur around the house sounds awful to me. I loved the interaction she generated. Would I be getting in over my head?

      • Hi Kim,
        I am so sorry for your loss! It certainly takes time to heal and grieve. Adding another Golden to your family will certainly help you to heal. Age is just a number, puppies are certainly a lot of work, but you are retired and will have the time to dedicate to your puppy. Only you can determine if a puppy is right for you, I must say, however, that many people forget just how much work and energy it takes to raise a puppy. Especially after having an older dog.
        Adopting an older Golden Retriever is a great option as well. Something to consider, as so many wonderful Goldens need loving homes.

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. I wish you all the best through this difficult time.

        Take care,

      • We are 73 and have a 9-month-old golden. We got her as an 8-week old puppy and thought we were too old too. But we love her. So far we are so happy to have her. Getting up early at 5 o’clock in the morning was not fun but she now sleeps till 6:30. She gives us a reason to get outside and exercise. We are very happy with having a puppy even if we are old and retired.

        • Hi Carole,
          As the saying goes “Age is just a number”, and “you’re only as old as you feel”. I am so happy to hear that you are enjoying your 9-month-old puppy! It truly does get easier once you have a regular routine established. There is absolutely nothing wrong with having a puppy when you are old and retired, the most important thing is providing love, and spending time together. Enjoying the outdoors together and getting exercise is a great bonus too!

          Thanks for taking the time to share your experience. I wish you and your Golden puppy all the best!
          Take care,

  3. I found this article hilarious because they’re all so true! My Golden Rowdy loves to steal our socks and hats, obsessed with food. He has become the light of my life and I can’t imagine him not being in my life. It’s so funny that you say female goldens are calmer because all the female goldens I’ve met are crazy energetic and mischievous whereas all the males including my own are super calm and just want pets. So funny how so many people can have varied views. My Rowdy just turned 1 and I would not have changed any of the time I spent with him (except for his major puppy chewing phase, he was an absolute land shark). Let’s both enjoy the time and privilege we have to own a Golden!

    • Hi Sam,
      Thanks for sharing your experience. I’m so glad you enjoyed this article, it was my intention to keep it lighthearted and humorous.
      I have actually heard from several people, that their male dogs have been calmer than females. Everyone has different views on that for sure. I always thought the opposite, and in my experience my female has been pretty calm compared to males.
      I totally know what you mean about the puppy biting stage! It’s so nice to be past it!
      No matter how crazy, energetic, mischievous, or stubborn these dogs can be, we certainly love every minute of it!
      Enjoy the golden life with Rowdy!

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment,

  4. I just euthanized my golden last week, he died at 9 years from melanoma. We thought we caught it early, removed the small tumor in his lip and started treatment with the melanoma vaccine. Unfortunately, it came raging back in 5 months.
    If it hadn’t been for his stealing and chewing on everything I wouldn’t have discovered the tumor. I was so used to fishing things out of his mouth all the time that the little pencil eraser growth was immediately noticed.

    Another funny downside with golden retrievers we have noticed, and others have reported is their clumsiness and stepping all over your bare feet.
    I loved my golden immensely, he was a puppy his whole life.

    • Hi Elaine,
      I am so very sorry for your loss! I know that words cannot heal the devastating loss you are going through, but I offer my sincere condolences. You really did your part and were very diligent about noticing any abnormalities in your golden, such as the growth, and getting it treated right away. If you hadn’t noticed it early on, you may not have had the amount of time with your golden as you did.

      As you mention, Golden Retrievers do stay puppy-like throughout their adult lives, it is a very endearing quality. They do tend to be clumsy at times too. Another so-called “bad” thing is that they tend to spill water all over the place when they drink out of their water bowls. No matter what their quirks are, they are still the absolute best breed around and being loved by a golden is one of life’s biggest gifts.

      I appreciate you taking the time to share your story. It will certainly take time to heal from the pain of losing your beloved golden but in time the memories will fill you with love and joy instead of tears.

      I wish you all the best.


  5. I loved my golden, Zeke, very much. I can’t think of a single “bad” thing about him. He cleared my branches for me and allowed me plenty of chances to love on him. He lived to the ripe old age of 17 before I had to let him go.

    • Hi Pam,
      Thanks for sharing your story. There really are no “bad” things about Golden’s, just quirks that we can look past or love about them.

      It sounds like Zeke had an amazing life! It is nice to hear when a golden lives to be 17 years. So many of them pass away too young.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment.


  6. Hi Jenny,

    Everything in your article is perfectly true! I’d like to add one more “bad thing” about owning a Golden. They desire, require, crave, ask for, and demand your petting attention – to a fault. We have a 3-year-old male and I can see how his demands for pets might be too annoying for some folks. To us though, it makes us laugh and we love him all the more for it. (This is what makes him the most awesome Therapy Dog too.) When you own a Golden, your life is forever changed.


    • Hi Andrea,
      Yes, these dogs certainly demand non-stop attention in the form of petting. If you stop petting them for one second they will paw at you to keep petting LOL! I think every Golden owner has experienced this! It is a funny thing but may be annoying to some. I think many Golden Retriever owners can agree that it is just one of their many charms! They definitely make great therapy dogs.

      Thank you for sharing your experience.


  7. Proud owner of a golden retriever ?What is bad? I guess that this golden retriever is the best dog I have ever had. Buddy is my devoted friend. And perhaps I realize that no other dog will ever compare to him. That’s the only bad comment I have. Yes, he’s so happy to see me, when I get home he will grab a piece of clothing of mine to parade with glee of my return. I would not call that stealing and yes he loves mealtimes. He sheds but brushing him lessens this and he adores being brushed!
    He is very low maintenance. He will just follow you to any room you are in and lie at your feet. As far as illness my 10 yr old dog developed cancer which was removed and he is cured. He is 10 and still very active. He likes to sleep a little more❣️ I would not trade him for anything in the world! My next dog will be a golden retriever xoxo

    • Hi Kathleen,
      Thank you for sharing your heartwarming experience. I think every one of us who owns this breed can agree that Golden Retrievers are the best, and no other dog will compare. I am happy to hear that your Buddy is doing great (cancer-free), and is still very active and enjoying life.
      I wish you and Buddy all the best!


    • I am so happy for you Kathleen. Enjoy. My golden he is twelve and having challenges lately. Trying to work with it to make it a positive situation. Cheers

      • Hi Michael,
        Thanks for stopping by.
        I’m sure Kathleen will appreciate your comment.
        Best of luck to you and your golden. The only thing you can do is take it one day at a time and make every day positive by showing lots of love to your golden.

        Take care,

  8. Hi, loved your commentary about Golden’s. We’ve had them our whole married life, usually, 2 at a time, overlapping. We’ve had Hekula Leke (Golden Lady in Hawaiian; we got her while stationed in Hawaii; Kula, for short), Indy (male), Harley (female), Sonny, Lexi, and now Ranger (18mo.), our last one as we’re getting too old to get knocked over by a young, excited, energetic pup. We still look at the ads, though. Most lived 9-11 years, but Harley was 1 month short of her 15th birthday, after cancer surgery 2 years earlier. It’s the only thing that she ever had wrong with her. She was very light champaign coloured.

    When you have two at the same time, they play often and don’t get lonely. We were able to leave the house overnight and have a neighbour come in to feed them and let them out with no problem. The destructive chewing ended naturally after a certain period which differed with each one, usually 2-3 years. Generally, the females were easier to train than the males, especially this latest one. Maybe we’ve just run out of energy!

    Anyway, just thought I’d share…for the Love of Golden’s!!!

    • Hi Cathy,
      Thank you so much for sharing your experience! You’ve certainly had many Golden’s in your lifetime, I’m sure it has been quite the adventure and you have had many wonderful memories with each one! I think when you own a Golden Retriever, you always want another, I find myself always looking at the ads as well. I am quite content with just one, but I am sure having 2 is even better! I can see how having 2 would be beneficial to not only the owner but the dogs as well. They can wear each other out by playing together, and they wouldn’t be as lonely when left alone.

      Thank you for sharing your perspective on the differences you have noticed with males vs females. It’s interesting how females are easier to train, I have heard that before as well. They seem to mature faster than males, and they don’t lose their focus as quickly as males do.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I wish you and Ranger all the best!


  9. Hi Jenny,
    First-time dog owner here. Our dog’s name is also Ellie, Ellie Rose ❤. She is the sweetest, for the most part, is well behaved..she will be 7 months tomorrow and within the last week has become very stubborn. She will not walk with Daddy unless I’m with them. She gets excited when I pull up the car but then she quickly decides she doesn’t want to jump in. She is still learning stairs and how to jump up on the couch. Not a lot of confidence..when she does the deck stairs we praise her like she flew to the moon lol. I could go on and on. Just trying to find our way! I have enjoyed reading this article and now understand that she is not the only stubborn pup. Thank you!

    • Hi Deb,
      Wow, another Golden named Ellie! I love it, Ellie Rose is such a great name. I am sure your Ellie will master the stairs and jumping on the couch in no time. I remember when my Ellie first learned how to go up and down the stairs, she would accomplish it and then keep going up and down them because she thought it was fun. Once your Ellie knows how comfortable the couch really is, I am certain she will claim one side of it as hers. I have yet to hear of a Golden that is not stubborn, it is in their nature! When these dogs don’t want to do something, they will not do it! Being stubborn is part of their charm.

      Thank you so much for sharing your experience. Enjoy the many wonderful moments with your Ellie Rose, trust me it will never be boring! The best is yet to come!

      Take care,

  10. Hi Jenny
    and thank you for this. We have had four Goldens in our lives. Loved them ALL!!! Had a few other breeds along the way with our Goldens. Which were completely wonderful as well. Although I can’t even imagine life without a Golden Retriever. Our Golden currently is also named Ellie. Personality plus. ❤️❤️❤️ Sheds yes. Whatever. Smart. Chews the squeaker out of every toy within 5 minutes. Carries our Sox around. Loves water. Stubborn and vocal. We love this about her! She is 11 now. Little arthritis and slowing down a bit, but so are we !!!

    • Hi Celest,
      I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. I keep saying that once you have owned a Golden Retriever, you will always own one. You have certainly proved this to be true. People who truly love this breed will find their faults part of their charm. Stubbornness seems to be part of their charm for sure. My Ellie is super stubborn when she wants to be and although I get annoyed, I love it about her! Ellie seems to be a very popular name for a Golden, and with good reason, it’s a great name!

      Thanks again for your comment, and I wish you and your Ellie all the best.

  11. Hello,
    Great article on Goldens. Our English Cream Golden Anastasia turned one in April and has all these traits as well. Stubbornness is a big one. She’s very smart & intelligent. Love her to pieces! She does have this one thing she does when we look right at her to reprimand and say No Ana she does this vocal chomping mouth motion back at us. Just like a child talks back. It can get annoying at times. Maybe dominant? Has your or anyone else’s Golden done this? Interested to hear any comments.

    • Hi Kim,
      I love the name, Anastasia. What is with Goldens and being stubborn??!!! I have yet to meet or hear of a Golden that isn’t stubborn! LOL! Their stubbornness is part of their charm, but so annoying at times.
      My Golden Ellie is not verbal at all when we tell her no, she just gets more stubborn, pouts, and sometimes just doesn’t listen and does what she wants anyway! I am sure though that there are other Goldens that do what your Ana does and mouths back. It could be a dominant thing, as you mention.

      Thanks for sharing your experience.


  12. We got our first golden as a puppy and she was a member of our family for 17 years. My wife swore never to get another dog again since it was so painful to lose her. Ten years later my wife became housebound and I became a full-time caregiver. After a couple of months, I declared I needed a dog as a companion to occupy my spare time. After begging and pleading she gave in. I looked at rescue dogs but couldn’t resist an English Cream Golden puppy for sale. She is now 2.5 years old and my best friend and constant companion. Always wanting to play, she displays all the “bad” attributes you list. She is also my wife’s good friend and loved by both of us. There is no better family dog than a golden retriever.

    • Hi Robert,
      You are proof that once you own a Golden Retriever, you will always own a Golden Retriever. This breed is simply the best! They are wonderful companions and give you their unconditional love. I am sorry to hear of the loss of your first Golden, after 17 years together I can only imagine the pain that both you and your wife have felt. It is so very hard to overcome the loss of a loving member of the family, but I am happy to hear that you have a new faithful companion by your side, another golden!

      I am sure she keeps you entertained and busy, as well as loved!

      Thank you so much for sharing your story. I wish you many happy memories with your Golden.

      Take care,

  13. My son has a “Comfort Retriever” and came back home to wait out COVID19 with us as we all work from the house. Your description is spot on. Lovely dog, good therapy as we hunker down. Definitely energetic and humorously stubborn.

    • Hi Erik,
      Thanks so much for taking the time to comment. Their stubbornness is part of their charm, but often it can be annoying LOL! I hope you are doing well despite what is going on in the world right now.

      Take care,

  14. My first golden male got bone cancer in his jaw at 6 years old and had to be put down. Very devastating. But I absolutely love the breed and got another female golden a year later, and she recently just passed away at 14.5 years old. No health problems but just old age stuff. I still have a 6-year-old girl and she needed a buddy so we rescued a 4-year-old girl from NDLB she was a baby maker at a puppy mill. They say we saved her but I think she saved us. They are the best breed, they are comedians, and just as beautiful when they steal your socks, shoes, or my son’s underwear… lol

    • Both golden female puppies have always been almost 1000. My rescue English cream Golden female was 400.00 spayed, microchipped and all shots. Please consider rescuing a Golden.

      • Hi Angie,
        I agree with you that anyone wanting to add a Golden Retriever to their family should consider adoption/rescue as well. So many wonderful dogs are in need of loving homes, and the cost factor is more reasonable than going through a breeder. I have recently written an article on adopting from a dog shelter, for anyone wanting to know about the pros and cons.

        Thank you for your comment.

        • Looking for a rescue golden – Golden Endings Golden Retriever Rescue in Columbus Ohio. They are a non profit Corporation. We rescued our boy when he was 9 weeks old who will turn 5 this Christmas. Fantastic dog! We highly recommend this rescue.

          • Hi Susan,
            Thank you for sharing this rescue organization. It is helpful for anyone looking to rescue a Golden Retriever. It is always nice to hear positive experiences.
            Thanks for commenting, and enjoy your “golden” moments.

            Take care,

    • Hi Angie,
      How devastating to lose your male Golden at such a young age, it’s heartbreaking. Your female Golden lived a great life to be 14.5 years old. I am happy to hear that you have rescued a Golden Retriever, and have given her a great life. This breed is truly wonderful, they sure are comical and you never know what they will do next. Their loving and gentle disposition along with their stubbornness and comical ways is what makes us love this breed even more.

      Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and experience with this breed. I wish you and your 2 Golden girls all the best.


  15. I agree totally, mine has done all of those. We love her dearly and wouldn’t trade her for anything. She is so smart it blows my mind. I don’t think I will ever be able to afford another one. I hope she lives a very long life. We did pay a lot for her but she’s worth every penny. She’s the only dog I’ve ever owned that doesn’t itch or bite or scratch herself.

    • Hi Renee,
      I appreciate you taking the time to share your experience. Golden Retrievers just steal our hearts, don’t they? They are super smart, sometimes too smart LOL, and no matter what trouble they may get into and test our patience we wouldn’t change anything about them. I hope you continue to be amazed by your Golden and that you share many wonderful memories together.

      All the best,

  16. What a great article!

    Despite the 13 negatives, I still wish we got this breed. I’ve never met a golden that I didn’t like. Oh, you know, maybe another downside is the price. I think this breed is a little pricey compared to others? Our Labradoodle came from an Amish backyard breeder in Waterloo, Ontario. We bought him as a puppy for $500 and the Golden that we wanted was selling for $2,000 from a quality breeder so we went for this instead.

    HUGE mistake to make a decision based on price, to be honest!

    This destructive bugger has since cost us more money than what we saved. Two and a half years later he’s much more mellow.

    My friend’s Golden retriever still plays with his toys when he was a puppy and has never destroyed anything in the house despite being left alone for periods of time. This came from the breeder I mentioned.

    As you mentioned, these dogs have short lifespans. Cherish every moment with Ellie. She’s so pretty so full of life.

    Thanks again for this article


    • Hi Sonny,
      I agree with you about Golden Retrievers being expensive. It is difficult to find one now for less than $2000. When we got Ellie from a breeder she was under $1000, but that was almost 5 years ago. When it comes to choosing the right breed of dog for you, you must factor in your lifestyle and the breeds personality, physical activity needs, as well as price. I believe price should be a factor because if you cannot afford to take care of the dog throughout its lifetime then you shouldn’t own a dog. So many dogs are brought to shelters because dog owners fail to research the breed, as well as factor in the cost of dog ownership.

      That being said, you also must follow your heart and if a Golden Retriever is your breed of choice, then you shouldn’t settle for a different breed.

      I think every dog regardless of the breed has the tendency to be destructive. Especially during the puppy stage, or when they become bored and unattended. For example, when Ellie was younger she would dig holes in the backyard and rip the sod off our yard and drag it into our living room. We always had to watch her very closely so that she would not destroy anything! The key is to tire them out with physical and mental activity.

      It sounds like your Labradoodle has caused you a few headaches as well! All dog owners have their own nightmare stories to tell, but once our dogs start to calm down we are happy but maybe miss that “puppy stage” just a little bit. We can later laugh about it, but at the time it is frustrating.

      You mentioned that your friend’s Golden Retriever still plays with his puppy toys and has never destroyed anything in the house, it is true that Golden Retrievers are a calmer breed than others and are gentle with their toys, but this is not true for all Golden Retrievers. Some of them destroy their toys and things in the house.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and taking the time to comment. I really do hope you enjoy your Labradoodle, especially now that he is much more mellow. I am sure you can enjoy the non-shedding of him as compared to a Golden Retriever.

      Thank you for your kind words about Ellie, she is my life!


      • We have a golden called Digby. He is 8 and has never destroyed anything other than branches of felled trees. He still has and adores his puppy toys, needless to say we have a log basket full.
        My son also has a retriever. He has chewed through almost every toy, shoe and slipper in the house. Now he’s turned 9 he has calmed down but still destructive. Same breed totally different temperament.

        • Hi Judy,
          It is amazing to hear about the different personalities and temperaments within this breed, and the comparison between your Golden Retriever and your son’s. I would like to say that in my experience females are generally calmer than males, but again that is a generalization. Sometimes a dog’s destructive behaviour is a result of a lack of mental and physical stimulation, but without knowing how much exercise your son’s dog gets each day I cannot speculate. Every dog is different, and some dogs are gentle with their toys and others not so much.

          I want to thank you for sharing your experience and taking the time to comment. You have proven that every Golden has its own personality and temperament.


    • I have 2 white golden retrievers male and female. Both completely unruly! I treat them as I would a child and they will tell you what they are feeling. Both of my goldens come from questionable places my male especially I know he was abused. It took a while to show him there was no more threat then I got my female after my other dog died and that was amazing to watch him train her. She kicks his but sometimes but I couldn’t imagine them without each other. I’m dreading when they breed. So many puppies will drive me crazy but I wouldn’t change it for anything.

      • Hi Christopher,
        I think all Golden Retriever owners can relate to the fact that their Golden is part human! I am sorry to hear that both of your Goldens have had a terrible past, it is so hard to comprehend how someone could abuse a dog, but unfortunately, it happens all the time.
        I think when you own both a female and male Golden Retriever, the female will always be the “boss” regardless of the age.
        Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.


  17. Hi Jenny!
    I loved your article. Having had Goldens my entire life I agree completely with you on all points. Sadly, cancer is a big problem in Goldens. My Golden, Serena, passed last December of lymphoma at 10 years of age. She was an amazing dog and I miss her greatly. Several Universities are doing research on why cancer in Goldens has increased so much in the past 10 years. We can hope they are able to find answers soon. I now have a little Golden puppy, Savannah. She is a little spitfire! She makes me laugh at how curious, energetic AND stubborn she is- well not laugh so much at being stubborn. I, of course, want to do all I can to reduce her chances of getting cancer. I found that research has discovered that by getting Goldens fixed at 1 year of age and after the first heat cycle there can be a reduction of up to 25% in the top three cancers prevalent in Goldens. I contacted a vet at Michigan State University School of Veterinary Medicine about this information. He agreed with it and advised that this should be followed by Goldens and Labs. While you never can be sure if this will be true for all Goldens it is something worth considering. I am waiting to see with Savannah. Enjoy your Golden Baby Girl! Goldens are pure Love!!!

    • Hi Debbie,

      Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts. I am sorry for your loss of Serena at 10 years old to lymphoma. It is so heartbreaking to lose a beloved family member so soon to cancer. Cancer is every Golden Retriever owner’s fear! I just wrote an article on why Golden Retrievers get cancer, and I discussed the 4 common cancers in Goldens as well as the research that is currently going on (Golden Retriever Lifetime Study). I think you would find it interesting. Golden Retrievers are not living as long as they have been only a few decades ago, and hopefully, this study will give us some answers.

      Thank you for sharing that information about getting your Golden spayed after the first heat cycle to reduce the chances of cancer. That is a huge reduction of 25% and it is definitely something to consider.

      I hope you enjoy your new puppy Savannah, and that you will make some wonderful memories with her. You are absolutely right that Goldens are pure love!!

      Thanks again for your comment, all the best.


  18. Certainly, I agree that most of these “traits” come with the breed. But I discovered throughout the years and with many Goldens in the family, you can train your dog in the first three or four months out of those strange behaviours. My beautiful Scottish Golden is a testament to that. The only thing that seems pervasive and permanent in all of our dogs (I assume all Goldens) is their stubbornness. Sadly, most of them are prone to so many illnesses and health problems! My 7-year-old is a masterful swimmer, fetcher, retriever and, all in all, a super-rounded personality, but he’s showing signs of arthritis. Goldens, as ALL dogs, are loving, caring and fantastic companions. Very much, part of the family.

    • Hi Peter,
      Thank you for taking the time to share your experience. Training your Golden while still in the puppy stage is crucial to having a well-mannered and well-behaved dog through the adult years. However, mistakes happen especially to first-time owners such as myself and you end up with a dog that pretty much owns you! LOL!! I have learned from my mistakes and would do a few things differently the next time around, but having said that I wouldn’t change a thing about my dog Ellie. It is a common thing for owners of Golden Retrievers to say that their dog is stubborn! I think they all are! It is certainly annoying at times but it is part of their charm.

      The sad thing about this breed is that they are prone to many illnesses, and cancer especially is very prevalent in this breed. I am sorry to hear that your 7-year-old Golden is showing signs of arthritis, it is hard for any dog owner to see their dog show signs of ageing. Golden Retrievers are very loyal, loving and make the best companions, and are certainly part of the family. It is important to show our faithful companions as much love and care during their senior years, as they have shown to us. I recently wrote an article about the ageing Golden Retriever health problems, I think you might find it interesting.

      Thank you again for your comment, and I wish you many years of happiness with your beloved Golden.


  19. Hi Jenny, very well written, had to laugh. So glad that I don’t own the only stubborn Golden. However I can usually persuade my Henry with a bit of love, he won’t be forced though. Luckily he doesn’t shed much. He has skin allergies which can drive you crazy, other than that a healthy beautiful boy who loves life’s party, and is loved by all who meet him. Best breed ever!

    • Hi Annette, thank you for sharing your experience with your Golden. You are certainly not the only one with a stubborn Golden! Lol. I think all Golden’s have it in them to be stubborn.

      Skin allergies are very common among this breed. Have you tried coconut oil? You can give it orally as well as apply it topically. It really helps and has many health benefits. I recently wrote an article about coconut oil for dogs.

      I am glad to hear that your Golden doesn’t shed too much, you are obviously doing something right, feeding a high quality diet and brushing regularly.

      Thanks again for taking the time to comment. I am so glad that you enjoyed this post.

      Take care!

  20. I didn’t realize that Golden Retrievers were so stubborn. I’m a big animal lover and pets add so much joy to our lives. I chose a Yorkshire Terrier not only because they are small, mine is 13 lbs, but for other factors such as they don’t shed, extremely loyal and great with kids. You’re right to point out that new pet owners should carefully take into consideration all of the pros and cons of specific breed personalities. Because most dogs live 10-15 years, it’s a big commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I loved the video!

    • Hi Annette Cristina,

      Yes, Golden Retrievers can be very stubborn.  My golden is very stubborn, it’s just one of the many things I love about her.  I am glad you enjoyed the video, it’s pretty funny, and I’m sure many golden owners can relate to it.

      Thank you for commenting, and sharing your experience.


  21. Some of these things are quite literally a part of their nature, but some can be trained out.

    Any dog can show some of these traits, and some golden retrievers will not, but from my experience, this definitely describes the majority. The thing is, the smarter the dog, the more stimulation they need. Golden retrievers are very smart, so they need constant play, movement, and interaction.

    I’ve had a pure black lab, and they are very close when it comes to personality.

    Very well written, and informative.


    • Hi Tyler,

      I am glad you enjoyed my article.  Yes, many of the things are part of a Golden Retriever’s characteristics, and many of the behaviour issues can be trained out of them.  

      Golden Retrievers are extremely smart, and do require plenty of mental stimulation each day.  

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, and share your experience.


  22. Great article about the bad side of a Golden Retriever.

    I personally find some of the bad points about a Golden Retriever loveable.

    I like that they are friendly, it is very important for my dog to show love to my guest, true on the bad side they are not a good guard dog but still love that about them.

    I really hate that they shed and have a short life span other than that I can deal with.

    • Hi Etah,

      I agree with you, and I am sure every other Golden Retriever owner will too, the bad points are something that can be overlooked.  My dog is very stubborn at times, and while that can be very annoying, I wouldn’t change anything about it. 

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.


  23. Hi, some good points here about retrievers, some are points that can be addressed. They can be trained not to do some of the things i.e. points 4 to 11 with the exception of needing exercise, can and should be trained out of them.

    Most dog breeds have a few things that are a problem but I think it is up to their owner to guide and instill better behaviour don’t you?

    I hope you and your dog have a wonderfully long life together. Dogs are fabulous companions.

    Best Wishes,


    • Hi Louise,

      I agree with you that most breeds, will have some kind of flaw or bad thing about them that their owners must deal with.  Training is a way of doing so, in order to instill better behaviour.   

      Thank you for taking the time to comment.


  24. Hello,

    I’m impressed by your review on Golden Retrievers, and the part that caught my attention was when you said Golden Retrievers are certainly popular, but they are not for everyone. I totally understand that statement because the Golden Retriever possesses some characteristics that could be stressful to some people.  Only a great lover of dogs or someone who’s obsessed by it can manage all its shortcomings.

    Thanks for the review.

    • Hi Salim,

      Thank you for your comment.  I am glad you enjoyed my insight into what is bad about Golden Retrievers.  



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