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How Much Exercise Do Golden Retrievers Need? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ

Written by: Ashley Bates

Last Updated on April 29, 2024 by Dogster Team

Golden retriever beautiful lovely pair

How Much Exercise Do Golden Retrievers Need? Vet-Reviewed Facts & FAQ


Dr. Paola Cuevas Photo


Dr. Paola Cuevas

Veterinarian, MVZ

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

Learn more »

Every dog is a little different in terms of exercise needs. Some tend to be extremely hyper and ready for action, while others are more comfortable cuddling up next to you on the couch.

Golden Retrievers are super intelligent, high-spirited dogs that make excellent companions. When it comes specifically to Golden Retrievers, they do require quite a bit of physical activity, especially in their younger years. Golden Retrievers need at least 60 and up to 120 minutes of exercise per day.

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Puppy & Juvenile Golden Retrievers

Until your Golden Retriever fully matures, they will be quite a handful. This energetic breed was built for the outdoors, acclimating well to the environment. No wonder they enjoy all sorts of fun activities, including running their little tail off.

When you have a Golden Retriever puppy, they make a very excellent choice for young kids because they can match their energy level. They make wonderful first-time dogs and will love growing up with your own little bundles of joy.

At first, your puppy will be really sleepy when coming home. For the first few weeks, they will likely get busy being acclimated to your home, and you’ll notice they will want to play more each day.

Soon, they can benefit from about 2 hours of exercise per day! So, get ready to play and tucker out in small bursts—puppies can’t stay active for hours on end without needing a nap—kind of like a human toddler.

Your puppy will grow quite fast throughout their juvenile months, and most Golden Retrievers are very active. Chew toys, interactive games, and puzzles will keep your Golden occupied. But generally, they will need an outlet for their bursting energy. You can get them a broad selection of toys to start, but you’ll soon figure out their preferences toward certain types of activities.

As your dog matures, you will become acclimated to your pup’s particular energy level. Some dogs are more relaxed; some are more rambunctious—it will vary from pup to pup.

As they age, their activity levels may decrease. After they are fixed, they might relax much more as well over the next year or so. However, remember that Golden Retrievers tend to keep their spunk for at least 2 to 4 years.

Red Golden Retriever puppy laying in grass
Image Credit: Shell1998, Shutterstock

Adult & Senior Golden Retrievers

As adults, Golden Retrievers tend to be very mild and even-tempered. Goldens can easily read a room, sensing the emotions of people around them—it’s one of the many things that makes them so great.

They will love roughly 60 minutes of exercise daily, but some need much more. So, be prepared to take walks, jogs, and find something entertaining for them to do.

Golden Retrievers make great tagalong dogs as they love to participate in every activity. Since they are so people-friendly, they make excellent candidates for public socialization and play. Make sure that your Golden gets out to stretch their legs and sniff around.

As seniors, they might slow up due to mobility issues, health conditions, or general aging. If extensive exercise starts to bother your dog, you should definitely adjust the frequency and intensity of any physical activity. You may also consider swapping those daily runs for walks or even swimming sessions instead.

Golden retriever dog climbing up on the edge of the pool
Image Credit: Chendongshan, Shutterstock

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Daily Exercise Needs for Golden Retrievers

Exercise is a lot more than just going for a walk. For your Golden Retriever to exercise mentally and physically, they love to engage in a ton of activities. Ultimately, your Golden Retriever should get between 60 to 120 minutes of exercise per day.

This ensures that they burn enough calories and blow off some steam. On top of engaging in things like running, jogging, hiking, and other physical activities, they also love to use their brain.

These dogs require lots of activities during the day that challenge their mind. Getting puzzles, playing fetch, and other activities can really get their mind stimulated. You can buy a lot of activities both online and in-store. Remember that mental stimulation is just as important as physical.

This is one reason why they make such terrific service dogs, constantly being ready to learn more information and become hyper-aware of their surroundings.

woman jogging with golden retriever dog
Image Credit: LightField Studios, Shutterstock

Special Training for Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are capable of extensive training. They are incredibly intelligent dogs that pick up concepts very quickly. They can be service dogs, emotional support animals, and everything in between. They are excellent companions for so many special situations.

Regular exercise can help to increase their focus. Having tasks to perform helps your Golden Retriever be more active daily as well. These dogs are capable of extensive learning, so you should promote as much of that behavior as possible.

Exercise Precautions

Golden Retrievers are highly energetic dogs with lots of calories to burn daily. But there are also some safety precautions you need to take.

Since these dogs are more susceptible to issues like hip dysplasia, improper exercise during their younger adult years can have dire consequences.

It’s always best to work with your veterinarian to determine a good activity plan for your Golden Retriever. Each dog will be slightly different in terms of their health state and exercise needs, and just like in humans, their activity levels and preferences will change throughout their life. However, for each stage, keeping appropriately active and engaged is important.

Dog trainer teaching a Golden retriever obedience
Image Credit: 16081684, Pixabay

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Final Verdict

So, now you know that your Golden Retriever needs approximately 60 to 120 minutes of exercise per day, depending on life stage and individual temperament. You can promote healthy exercise in many ways, but be mindful of overexertion.

Golden Retrievers work best for active or growing families that stay on the go. They can be trained to be incredibly emotional support or service animals, but this usually takes months of extensive training. If a Golden sounds like it will fit your lifestyle perfectly, check with local breeders or shelters.

Featured Image Credit: Rala3030, Shutterstock

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