Dogster is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

Are Golden Retrievers Good Family Dogs? Read Before Getting One

Written by: Oliver Jones

Last Updated on April 15, 2024 by Dogster Team

golden retriever dogs lying on the floor with pet sitter

Are Golden Retrievers Good Family Dogs? Read Before Getting One

Golden Retrievers are kind, loyal, loving dogs who make great family pets. They’re one of the best choices for a good family dog. Not only are they cheerful and trustworthy, but they’re also very forgiving of mistakes made by inexperienced owners. Golden Retrievers are very adaptable dogs and will adjust quickly to your family’s lifestyle. There are, however, a few things you should know before you bring a Golden Retriever home.

dogster paw divider

Why Golden Retrievers Are Good Family Pets

For active families, Golden Retrievers are a great choice of dog breed. While they do require exercise, they’re more than happy with two walks a day, the occasional run, and regular games of fetch. Having lots of toys is important to prevent them from chewing on undesired objects.

These dogs have a reputation for being friendly with everyone. While they do bark, it’s more welcoming than scary. Your golden is more likely to help a burglar into your house than they are to chase them off.

Golden Retrievers are relatively easy to train, as they have a strong desire to please their owners. However, they are easily distracted, so it’s important to be patient when teaching them new things. For puppies, early obedience training is often a good idea to instill a foundation of good manners and calmness.

Happy family stroking Golden Retriever
Image Credit: wavebreakmedia, Shutterstock

Qualities of Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers have a lot of qualities that make them good family dogs. Here are just a few of them:

Golden Retriever Qualities
  • They are naturally athletic
  • They have beautiful, golden coats
  • They are cheerful, friendly dogs
  • They love to play
  • They’re even-tempered and trustworthy with children
  • They get along peacefully with other animals
  • They’re eager to please and responsive to training

Are Golden Retrievers Good With Kids?

As they are very gentle by nature, Golden Retrievers are very good with kids. They are loyal family dogs who have a strong desire to please their owners.

As with any dog, small children should always be supervised when interacting with a pet. Golden Retrievers are fairly large and can easily knock over a toddler through no fault of their own. Young children should be taught how to interact with the dog appropriately to not hit the dog or pull their hair.

For families with older children, Golden Retrievers love to “latch on” to their humans, making them a constant companion to kids.

happy little girl hugging her golden retriever dog
Image Credit: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

Are Golden Retrievers Good With Cats?

Golden Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds for a home with cats. They are kind and empathetic and happy to make friends with your feline family members.

The 7 Negatives of Owning a Golden Retriever

While they make wonderful family dogs, Golden Retrievers do require a certain level of care to stay happy and healthy. They’re not low-maintenance dogs, so this should be taken into consideration. Below is a list of things to consider regarding the care of a Golden Retriever:

Golden Retriever Considerations
  • They need a lot of exercise. Golden Retrievers are large dogs, so they will need at least two walks a day, mixed in with games of fetch or other active play.
  • Young retriever puppies are very exuberant. Raising a Golden Retriever pup isn’t for the faint of heart. You will need to be diligent about training as they jump a lot, are known for getting puppy “zoomies,” and like to chew on your belongings.
  • Golden Retrievers can be “mouthy”. They love to chew on things and carry things around. They can, however, be trained as to what they are and aren’t allowed to chew on. This behavior can mostly be mitigated by providing your dog with lots of toys and chews.
  • They require regular grooming and brushing to avoid tangles and mats in their long hair.
  • They are heavy shedding dogs. If anyone in your house has allergies or you’re not willing to constantly clean up dog hair, this may not be the dog breed for you.
  • Golden Retrievers become bored easily, and a bored dog equals a mischievous one. Without adequate physical and mental stimulation, they have the potential to become destructive, so it’s important to make sure their needs are met on a daily basis.
  • They are “thieves”. Retrievers were bred to retrieve and carry game birds back to their owners during hunting excursions. Because of this, goldens instinctively take things and move them around the house or bring you things from other rooms. While it’s not destructive behavior, it can be particularly bothersome for individuals who like to keep everything tidy and in its place.
Golden Retriever licking nose while walking in snow
Image Credit: In Green, Shutterstock

dogster paw divider

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are one of the best dog breeds for families. They are loyal, affectionate, and love to play. These dogs are easy to train, they don’t bark incessantly, and they get along well with other animals. As highly adaptable dogs, they can fit into almost any lifestyle.

Golden Retrievers are perpetual puppies and act accordingly well into their adult years. It’s important to be aware of their high-energy nature before welcoming one of these beloved dogs into your home. Their tendency towards “retrieval” of items around your home can be endearing to some but bothersome and frustrating to others.

There is no such thing as a perfect dog, only one that is the perfect fit for your family. If you choose a Golden Retriever, they are sure to bring you love and joy for many years to come.

Next on your reading list:

Featured Image Credit: atyana Vyc, Shutterstock

PangoVet Image Speak With A Vet Online

Get Dogster in your inbox!

Stay informed! Get tips and exclusive deals.
Dogster Editors Choice Badge
Shopping Cart


© Pangolia Pte. Ltd. All rights reserved.