10 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Are The Best Dogs

Updated September 20, 2023

Any golden’s owner will name you 100 reasons why golden retrievers are the best dogs, but we’ll limit it to ten.

If you search online for the best dog breeds, golden retrievers will always be in the top three, and such a high rank is deserved.

Golden retrievers make excellent family and service dogs, thanks to their devotion, loving personality, and intelligence.

This breed is suitable for first-time dog owners and is relatively low-maintenance. Goldens get along with anyone, and people can’t help but fall in love with them.

Of course, “the best dog” is a subjective term. Objectively, the best dog is one that suits your personality, but golden retrievers always win people’s hearts.

1. They Are Easy to Train

Some dog breeds are notorious for their stubbornness and independence, such as the Alaskan Malamute, an American foxhound, Australian cattle dog, and basenji. In contrast, golden retrievers are among the easiest dog breeds to train.

These dogs are brilliant, learn commands quickly, and are capable of performing complex tasks. They are also obedient because Lord Tweetmouth bred them for hunting, and hunting dogs must be well-behaved.

Golden retrievers are loyal and devoted, always eager to please and ready to go over and beyond for their humans. The combination of these traits makes the golden retriever one of the best trainable dog breeds.

The best way to train a golden is by rewarding it with treats because they are highly food-motivated. However, the owner must be aware of their pet’s calorie intake because goldens are prone to extra weight.

Due to such trainability, golden retrievers also make excellent companions for impaired people. Goldens have everything that makes a perfect service dog – intelligence, obedience, sociability, and loyalty.

2. They Are Devoted

Researchers commonly rank golden retrievers as one of the most loyal dog breeds. Such devotion to the owner can be explained by golden retriever genetics. Hunting dogs must be devoted to the owner’s directions and eager to please.

Goldens bond quickly. Any golden retriever owner will confirm that these dogs instantly choose their favorite human in the house and genuinely suffer whenever they aren’t together.

That’s not to say that goldens only pick one owner in the house – they have enough love for everyone. And although golden retrievers aren’t aggressive, they will always protect their loved ones in dangerous situations.

Goldens are fearless and can save their owner from drowning, a bigger dog, or fire, risking their lives. These dogs are real friends and need an owner who can provide the same level of love and loyalty in response.

3. They Are Affectionate

Golden retrievers are undoubtedly some of the most affectionate dogs. They love to cuddle, sit near the owner, lick their hands, look straight in the eyes, and sleep in the bed. Despite the relatively large size, goldens always feel like babies.

There are several reasons why golden retrievers are so cuddly. Some studies have shown that goldens sense when their owner feels sad or anxious, and cuddling relieves stress.

Goldens may also be extra cuddly after a long walk outdoors when they feel cold. However, the primary reason is the golden retriever’s loving personality developed by dozens of years of breeding.

Golden retriever breeders strive to select the friendliest, most loving dogs for their breeding program, thus improving their temperament.

Of course, affection is something to keep in mind for people who prefer their dogs to stay on the floor and do not wish to hug their pets.

4. They Get Along with Anyone

Many dogs that are friendly and loving towards people can’t stand other animals. The good news is that golden retrievers are gentle giants who get along with everyone, including other pets.

Generally, golden retrievers can coexist peacefully with cats, rabbits, ferrets, and other dogs.

A golden is unlikely to express aggression towards another animal unless it attacks first. However, it also depends on a specific golden’s temperament and the second animal.

Even if the two pets don’t become friends, owners can train a golden retriever to stay polite to its housemate.

Goldens have a “soft mouth” – they can bring items to the owner without damaging them. This trait is beneficial when a golden retriever plays with a smaller animal because it’s unlikely to hurt its friend.

Goldens are equally friendly with kids. They are patient and won’t become aggressive if a child plays too harshly or gets loud.

5. They Are Great Swimmers

Golden retrievers were bred to retrieve waterfowl, so swimming is in their genetic code.

These dogs have everything one needs to become an excellent swimmer – strong, muscular legs, plenty of energy, and a double coat that makes them practically water-resistant.

Golden retrievers’ thick, dense undercoat keeps them warm while swimming in cold water. This trait is a significant advantage because dogs can feel stiffness in joints and become disoriented if they are exposed to cold temperatures for long.

Many goldens not only can swim well, but they genuinely love to swim, which is a lot of fun for kids who can play with their four-legged friend in the water. A love for water is also a benefit because goldens need regular bathing.

However, there can be exceptions. Remember that every dog’s personality is unique, and some goldens may not be fond of water despite their genetics.

6. They Are Intelligent

“Intelligence” is a broad term, so measuring a dog’s intelligence level is tricky. Typically, researchers base their studies on the number of repetitions a dog needs to learn a command, its obedience, and its ability to perform complex tasks.

Golden retrievers are always in the top-five list of the most intelligent dog breeds, according to research.

Canine intelligence isn’t limited to the number of neurons in a dog’s brain – the willingness to please the owner is what earns goldens such a high rank.

Like any dog breed developed to perform a particular task, golden retrievers were bound to be smart. Nowadays, they are often used in hunting and rescue operations due to their intelligence and obedience.

7. They Are Easy To Take Care Of

Every dog needs maintenance. Unlike cats, dogs can’t groom themselves and won’t pee in a litterbox unless we’re talking about a really small dog.

However, some dog breeds are higher maintenance than others, and others require minimal effort from the owner.

Akitas, Australian shepherds, chow chows, and English bulldogs are known as some of the highest maintenance dogs.

Although golden retrievers aren’t in the top lowest-maintenance dogs, they don’t need nearly as much attention as bulldogs or Akitas.

There are many factors that determine the level of maintenance a dog needs. Golden retrievers shed a lot, are prone to obesity, and need regular exercise.

But other than that, they are pretty low-maintenance, particularly due to their obedience and intelligence.

Golden retrievers need attention to their physical needs, like detangling hair and draining energy, but they won’t cause the owner trouble during training and won’t be aggressive for no reason.

8. They Have Great Health

Golden retrievers have a relatively short lifespan, averaging 10-12 years. For this reason, many people think that goldens are an unhealthy breed, but that’s a misconception. Although their life is pretty short, it can pass without frequent vet visits.

Golden retrievers are prone to cancer, obesity, hip and elbow dysplasia, and separation anxiety. The good news is that a dog’s weight and mental state are manageable with a proper diet and sufficient attention.

Owners should regularly check their dog for odd lumps and bumps while grooming to notice cancer at early stages and note unusual movements to spot dysplasia.

However, no purebred dogs have perfect health. Apart from these conditions, goldens are healthy dogs with significantly fewer risks than many other breeds.

9. They Are Quiet

Many people refrain from getting a dog because of barking. Barky dogs can indeed be a serious inconvenience, waking up the owners at night, scaring children, and causing aggression in other animals.

Golden retrievers are a perfect breed for people who can’t stand barking. Because the breed was developed to retrieve waterfowl and barking would scare off the birds, goldens only bark occasionally.

A golden retriever may bark when it senses real danger or from excessive excitement, but never without reason. Even when goldens serve as watchdogs, they won’t bark until someone comes too close to the yard.

10. Good For First-Time Pet Parents

Golden retrievers top the list of the best breeds for first-time dog owners. Their physical needs require attention, but their wonderful personality makes up for everything.

The main challenge for first-time pet parents typically isn’t physical maintenance but training.

Someone who has never had a dog before certainly shouldn’t get an Akita, bullmastiff, or rottweiler that can become an aggressive destruction machine without proper training.

In contrast, sweet, loving, light-hearted, and intelligent golden retrievers won’t cause trouble to inexperienced owners. They are happy to obey commands to please their human and will never attack another dog first.

However, owners should be ready to provide the dog with enough exercise. The most common reason for a golden retriever causing mischief and not obeying orders is too much energy it can’t drain.

Image credit: Unsplash

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