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Male vs Female Golden Retriever: The Differences (With Pictures)

Written by: Nicole Cosgrove

Last Updated on June 1, 2024 by Dogster Team

Male vs Female Golden Retriever

Male vs Female Golden Retriever: The Differences (With Pictures)

Both male and female Golden Retrievers make wonderful family dogs. In fact, the Golden Retriever is consistently voted one of the most popular breeds in America!

But what sex is right for you? Although largely similar, there are subtle nuances between the two. These differences are important to take into consideration when picking out the perfect pup for your household.

Here is everything you need to know about the differences between male and female Golden Retrievers.

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Visual Differences

male female golden retrievers
Image Credit: Left – Male Golden Retriever (BIGANDT.COM, Shutterstock); Right – Female Golden Retriever (In Green, Shutterstock)

At a Glance

Male Golden Retriever
  • Average height (adult): 22–24 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 65–76 pounds
Female Golden Retriever
  • Average height (adult): 20–22 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 55–65 pounds

One of the main differences between male and female Goldens is their size. While Golden Retrievers are categorized as medium-sized dogs, males will be slightly larger than females by 2 to 4 inches. While female Golden Retrievers grow to be about 22 inches tall, males will grow to be 24 inches.

Males will also weigh more. Male Golden Retrievers can weigh as much as 10 pounds more than their female counterparts. While male Goldens weigh between 65 and 75 pounds, females clock in around 55 to 65 pounds.

Males will generally have a “rougher” appearance than female Golden Retrievers. They have thicker coats, bigger heads, and puffier manes. Females will be leaner, with dainty heads and noses.


Golden Retriever 101

golden retriever
Image by: Olena Brodetska, Shutterstock

Golden Retrievers are loyal and loving dogs. Athletic and agile, they love to romp, roam, and play. They are the perfect hiking or jogging companions. As energetic dogs, Goldens need at least 1 hour of exercise every day. Additionally, they’ll need tons of mental stimulation to keep boredom at bay. Interactive dog toys, doggy daycare, agility lessons, and training sessions will all keep your Golden Retriever thoroughly engaged.


Male Golden Retriever Overview

wet red golden retriever dog outdoors
Image by: Ron Jungwirth, Pixabay

Personality / Character

Male Golden Retrievers are much needier than females and need constant attention. Social and affectionate, male Golden Retrievers love being around humans and other dogs. However, this need for attention can become annoying. Males can whine or bark if they’re being ignored for too long. They can also develop separation anxiety.

Male Golden Retrievers will also mark their territory a whole lot more than females. While it’s typically not an issue inside, it can get annoying during long walks!


Male Golden Retrievers need consistent, positive reinforcement training from day one. As sensitive dogs, Goldens do not respond well to harsh training methods. Give your boy plenty of praise and lots of high-value treats. A smart breed, Golden Retrievers can easily learn basic commands and complicated tricks.

Health & Care

Give your male Golden Retriever at least 60 minutes of exercise every day. This can include a brisk walk, a game of fetch in the backyard, or a visit to the dog park. Being a medium-sized dog, your Golden needs about 2 to 2 1/2 cups of premium dog food divided into two meals every day. Ensure that he always has access to clean, fresh water.

Generally healthy, male Golden Retrievers can live to be 13 years of age. Common health issues include eye disorders, elbow/hip dysplasia, mast cell tumors, and skin allergies.


Male Golden Retrievers are ready and willing to mate at any time! Always have genetic testing done before you breed any dog, to ensure that the puppies turn out healthy.

  • Loyal and loving
  • Easy to train
  • Needy
  • Energetic

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Female Golden Retriever Overview

Golden retriever lying on light floor
Image by: Tatyana Vyc, Shutterstock

Personality / Character

Female Golden Retrievers are much calmer than males. Although they are still playful and silly, they are a lot less hyper than the boys.

The female Golden is also much more independent than the male is. She will be less likely to suffer from separation anxiety. Females will allow you to pet them but will walk away when they’ve had enough. Many Golden Retriever owners report that while male Goldens are in love with you, females want you to love them.


As with male Golden Retrievers, positive reinforcement training methods work best for females. Start training and socializing your girl Golden from day one. Give her lots of love and praise when she does what is asked of her.

Health & Care

Although less energetic, female Golden Retrievers still need 1 hour of exercise each day. They are prone to the same health complications that males are. A high-quality diet, lots of exercise, and routine vet visits will ensure your girl stays healthy for years to come.


Unfixed female Golden Retrievers go through an estrus cycle. This means that they are extremely receptive to males for mating at specific times. This cycle happens every 6 months. The female is fertile during this time and can have puppies. She may even bleed during this time.

  • Calmer
  • More independent
  • Can be aloof
  • May bleed during the estrus cycle
Golden Retriever licking nose while walking in snow
Image by: In Green, Shutterstock


Which Sex Is Right for You?

While they’re both great dogs, male and female Golden Retrievers definitely have their differences. If you want a devoted, high-energy dog that is bigger, opt for a male Golden Retriever. If you prefer a more independent and calmer dog, a girl is ideal for you. Whatever sex you pick, you can rest assured that you’ll enjoy years of love and loyalty from your Golden!

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Featured Image Credit: Helena Lopes, Unsplash (top); JACLOU-DL, Pixabay (bottom)

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