25 Things Only Golden Retriever Owners Understand

25 Things Only Golden Retriever Owners Understand

As a golden retriever owner, you know these fluffy, loyal companions bring joy and laughter daily. But there are also a few quirks and challenges that only those who have owned a Golden can fully understand.

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly and goofy personalities, which often leads to hilarious and heartwarming moments. From their seemingly endless energy to their love of water, there are 24 things that only golden owners genuinely understand. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or new to the the breed club, these experiences and realities come with being a golden retriever parent.

Some History About The Golden Retriever Dog Breed

The Golden Retriever originated in the Highlands of Scotland in the late 1800s and owes its development to Dudley Marjoribanks, (later known as Lord Tweedmouth). The origin of Golden Retrievers begins with this affluent man whose favorite pastime was breeding dogs. His breeding program produced one of the world’s most beloved dogs: the playful, agile Golden Retriever. In 1854, Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks purchased the home that would become the birthplace of Golden Retrievers, Guisachan. The Guisachan Estate was home to 20,000 acres of hunting and fishing land.

At this time, hunting companions were in high demand. And the most renowned hunting dog in the mid-1800s was the black Wavy-Coated Retriever. Otherwise known as Flat-Coated Retrievers, these dogs were bred for their ability to find wounded game and softly carry objects in their mouth. They were also prized for their high intelligence and swimming aptitude.

Dudley Marjoribanks set out on a mission to create a new species of hunting dog that would rival the black Flat-Coated Retriever, and he had the perfect property to put his new breed to the test. In 1868, he succeeded by creating a gentle, obedient hunting companion: the Golden Retriever.

So how did two different dog breeds come together to create the Golden Retriever? It all began with a yellow Flat-Coated Retriever and a Tweed Water Spaniel. Some stories suggest Lord Tweedmouth obtained his yellow Flat-Coated Retriever from a Russian circus troupe. But, according to the Earl of Ilchester, who was one of Marjoribanks’ relatives, this is untrue.

Nous, the first sire of the Golden Retriever puppies, was found on the streets of Brighton. Nous was a yellow Wavy-Coated Retriever with black-furred parents. His yellow color was undesirable by early breed standards. So when Tweedmouth haggled with Nous’s owner, he won quite easily and walked away with a rare find.

Our lady in this story, a Tweed Water Spaniel named Belle, was gifted to Tweedmouth by one of his wealthy cousins. Unfortunately, Water Spaniels are now extinct, but thanks to the extensive records left behind by Marjoribanks, we have a good idea of what Belle looked like.

She was described as a liver-colored dog, which indicates she was a shade between yellow and brown. And thus, from Nous and Belle, the first litter of Golden Retrievers was born. Belle gave birth to four yellow pups named Cowslip, Crocus, Ada, and Primrose. Historians have conflicting accounts about the first pups — some claim that Belle only birthed Cowslip, Crocus, and Primrose, while Ada came later. However, an essay by the Earl of Ilchester confirms that Ada was among the firstborn to Nous and Belle.

Up until the Golden Retriever was first formally introduced to the public in 1908, the same breed was called the Yellow Retriever. A man named Lord Harcourt registered his dog as a Golden Retriever for the Crufts dog show. From this point on, Lord Harcourt’s name stuck, and the world came to know this dog breed as Golden Retrievers.

The world would become enamored with these well-tempered pups who are known to be great family dogs, and before long, people from all corners of the globe wanted one of their own. In 1925, the American Kennel Club (AKC) officially recognized the Golden Retriever as a separate breed of dog from Flat Coats.

Being In The Golden Retriever Club

These gentle giants and loyal companions have garnered themselves a special place in our hearts for all that they bring us and for all that they are. Their playful natures, unwavering loyalty, intelligence, good looks, and tolerance make them wonderful family pets. It's no wonder they are one of the most popular dog breeds! So if you own a golden retriever, here are some things only you will understand!

1. The never-ending shedding

Golden Retrievers are known for their thick, luxurious coats, which means constant shedding. They have a water repellent double coat and shed a LOT of dead hair on a daily basis. If you own a golden retriever dog, you know vacuuming and lint rolling are daily parts of life.

We Recommend: The Shedder Shampoo by PRIDE+GROOM

2. The joy of a good fetch session

Good fetch session for Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever dogs were bred to retrieve, and they take this job seriously. A good game of fetch with a Golden is pure joy, and they will never tire of it. Imagine throwing a ball for a Golden Retriever in a park. Instead of simply bringing the ball back to you, your Golden might decide to bring back not just the ball but also a stick, a leaf, or even someone else's shoe they found along the way! They have a knack for finding and retrieving all sorts of items, turning a simple game of fetch into a treasure hunt.

3. Their immense love for water

Golden Retrievers have a natural affinity for water. They were originally bred to retrieve waterfowl, so it’s no surprise that they love to swim and play in the water. It’s not uncommon for a Golden to jump into any body of water, whether a puddle or a lake.

Swimming and playing in water offer Golden Retrievers a refreshing and cooling sensation, especially during hot weather. Water activities help them regulate their body temperature, preventing overheating and providing relief from the heat. Many Golden Retrievers instinctively seek out water to cool off and have fun during warmer months.

4. The constant need for attention

Need for attention to Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly, affectionate personalities and crave attention from their owners. If you own a Golden, you know that you can never ignore them for too long, or it will become very vocal about its desire for attention. Another amusing trait of Golden Retrievers is their enthusiastic greetings. When you come home after being away for even a short time, a Golden Retriever might greet you with exuberant tail wags, joyful jumps, and sometimes even a display of their favorite toy as a welcome gift. Their boundless enthusiasm and eagerness to please make them the ultimate greeting committee, always ready to make you smile with their infectious happiness.

5. The never-ending energy

Never-ending Energy of Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are full of energy and require plenty of daily exercise to keep them happy and healthy. If you own a Golden, you know that daily walks and playtime are a must to keep their energy levels in check. Golden Retrievers are known for their playful and sociable personalities. Water provides an exciting and stimulating environment for them to play, explore, and have fun. Whether it's chasing waves at the beach, splashing in a pond, or retrieving toys from a pool, water activities stimulate their senses and satisfy their natural curiosity and enthusiasm.

6. The constant drooling

Golden Retrievers are not typically known as heavy droolers compared to some other breeds like Saint Bernards or Bloodhounds. However, some Golden Retrievers may drool occasionally, and there are a few reasons why this might happen:

Like many dogs, Golden Retrievers might drool when they see, smell, or anticipate food. Their keen sense of smell and enthusiastic nature can lead to increased salivation, especially during meal times or when offered treats. Additionally, excitement and anticipation can also trigger drooling in Golden Retrievers. Whether it's the excitement of going for a walk, playing fetch, or greeting their favorite humans, their enthusiasm can sometimes lead to a bit of drool.

Poor dental health or oral problems, such as gum disease, tooth decay, or mouth infections, can sometimes cause excessive drooling in dogs, including Golden Retrievers. Regular dental care, including brushing your dog's teeth and regular veterinary check-ups, can help maintain their oral health and reduce the risk of dental-related drooling.

In hot and humid conditions, dogs, including Golden Retrievers, might drool more as a way to regulate their body temperature and cool down. Panting and drooling help dogs release excess heat and maintain a comfortable body temperature. Ensuring your Golden Retriever has access to shade, fresh water, and a cool environment during warm weather can help prevent overheating and excessive drooling.

Stress, anxiety, or fear can also lead to drooling in dogs. Changes in routine, unfamiliar environments, loud noises, or separation from their owners can trigger stress or anxiety in Golden Retrievers, leading to increased salivation. Providing a safe and comfortable environment, positive reinforcement training, and addressing any underlying anxiety or behavioral issues can help reduce stress-related drooling.

7. The immense love of food that they have

Golden Retrievers are known for their love of food and will eat just about anything they can get their paws on. They'll eat anything, from the dinner in their bowl to toys, paper, and crayons. If it's out, it's fair game. Goldens also tend to overeat, so savvy owners know to limit treats, carefully measure out food, and feed them only at mealtimes.

8. Their love of toys and balls

Golden Retrievers are playful creatures and love to play with toys. If you own a golden retriever, you know that toys quickly become their favorite possessions, and they will spend hours playing with them.

Recently, Finley the Golden Retriever, known for being a local celebrity in Canandaigua, New York, won a very special recognition for being the only dog in the world that can hold the most tennis balls in his mouth. He can carry 6 balls in his mouth at one time, beating the previous record of 5, also held by another golden retriever! Talk about setting the breed standard!

9. How much they love playing with other dogs

Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly personalities, high energy, and love to play with other dogs or engage in physical activity. Well-socialized golden retriever dogs are very easy-going, which usually means they can be great around other dogs and pets, too. Any introductions should be done carefully and following the right advice for your other pet, too. Always supervise your dog with other pets, even if they have known them for a long time.

10. The constant need for grooming

Golden Retrievers have a dense double coat that requires regular grooming to keep it in optimal condition. Their beautiful coat is one of their distinctive features, but it also means they require more grooming compared to some other breeds.

Golden Retrievers are moderate to heavy shedders, especially during seasonal changes when they "blow out" their coat. Occasional baths are helpful, but regular grooming helps manage shedding by removing loose fur, reducing the amount of hair around your home, and preventing mats and tangles from forming in their coat.

Brushing your Golden Retriever's coat several times a week, or even daily during peak shedding periods, can help minimize shedding and keep their coat looking neat and tidy.

Also Read:  Grooming Puppies Early: Why It’s So Important

11. The joy of snuggling on the couch

Golden Retrievers are known for their affectionate personalities and love to snuggle with their owners. If you own a Golden, you know that snuggling on the couch with your furry friend is one of life’s simple pleasures.

12. The constant tail wagging

Golden Retrievers are known for their happy, wagging tails and are always eager to please their owners.

13. The constant guilt

Golden Retrievers often have a tendency to make their owners feel guilty, even when they’ve done nothing wrong. Whether it’s the sad puppy eyes when left alone or the disappointed look when a treat is withheld, Golden owners cannot help but feel guilty. Those eyes have a lot of power!

14. The never-ending need to clean

Golden Retrievers are messy dogs and have a way of making a mess wherever they go. Golden owners constantly clean up after their beloved dogs, from drool and slobber to mud and dirt. And don’t forget about the hair!

15. The endless supply of dog treats

Golden Retrievers have a way of making their owners want to spoil them with delights, and Golden owners are always on the lookout for the latest and greatest dog treats to keep their pups happy.

16. The intense love and bond you have for them

The unconditional love bond that develops between a golden retriever owner and their dog is beautiful. Golden retrievers are known for their loving and loyal nature, and their owners often feel deeply connected to their furry companion.

17. The struggle of finding a dog-friendly vacation destination

Goldens are extremely social dogs that don’t like to be left alone. Their owners understand the challenge of finding a vacation destination that is both enjoyable for them and welcoming to their dogs.

18. The frustration of having a golden retriever that digs

Many golden retrievers have a strong digging instinct, and their owners understand the frustration of trying to keep their dogs from digging up the yard. Instinct is one of the primary reasons why your dog digs. The golden retrievers was bred to help people during gaming season. They are so-called because they helped retrieve small animals. They have also been known to dig near small nests even if they have not been trained to do so.

19. The challenge of finding a dog-friendly rental

Golden retrievers are popular pets, but not all rental properties allow dogs, and their owners understand the challenge of finding a home welcoming to their furry companion. Especially because of their size and overall presence. They need space to run around!

20. The endless amount of slobbery kisses

Golden retrievers are affectionate dogs that love to give their owners kisses, and their owners understand the endless stream of slobbery kisses that come with owning one of these sweet dogs.

Why do dogs lick and kiss? Many dogs, including the golden retriever dog breed, lick their pet parents as a way to communicate their own affectionate nature to them. This form of affection is soothing and increases the release of natural feel-good hormones in the body. As puppies, the mother would groom her pups often.

21. The challenge of training a golden retriever

Golden Retrievers are generally considered one of the more highly trainable and eager-to-please breeds, thanks to their intelligence, sociable nature, and strong desire to bond with their owners. But they are one of the most high energy breeds and require both obedience training and a lot of mental exercise and mental stimulation. While they are typically responsive and quick learners, the ease of training a Golden Retriever can vary depending on individual personality, age, and previous training experiences. 

The golden retriever dog is intelligent and generally easy to prepare, but this medium size breed can also be stubborn and strong-willed. While basic commands come easy to them, it can also be a challenge to have them properly trained. Their owners understand the patience and dedication that goes into training their Golden.

Did you know: many golden retrievers are service dogs? They can be trained to assist a person with visual impairments navigate in the surroundings. As guide dogs, these canines can alert their owner about an obstacle on their way or ensure that there will be enough distance between their owner and passersby.

22. How much they love to “help”

Golden Retrievers often have a penchant for "helping" with household chores. Whether it's "assisting" with gardening by digging holes, "helping" with laundry by carrying socks away, or "supervising" while you're cooking by patiently waiting for any tasty morsels to drop, their helpful (and sometimes mischievous) nature adds a playful and entertaining element to daily activities.

23. The guilt of leaving their dog alone

Golden retrievers are known for their loyal and social nature, and their owners often feel guilty when they leave their Golden alone for extended periods. Feeling guilty about leaving your pet throughout the day is a sign that you care. You may experience guilt because you love and care for your pet and do not like the thought of them being home by their self without you. Some golden retriever dogs may even experience separation anxiety when their owners leave the home. These feelings can present themselves in ways like your pup destroying your favorite couch cushions or other objects.

24. The fun of participating in dog sports

Golden retrievers are versatile dogs and excel in various dog sports, including obedience, agility, and field trials. They often excel in various canine sports and activities due to their athletic build, intelligence, and eagerness to please. Engaging in sports provides them with physical exercise, mental stimulation, and an opportunity to bond with their owners while having fun. 

25. Goldens are always happy, no matter what

Golden Retriever love playing with other dogs

They never seem to have a bad day and are always ready to wag their tails and play. Golden Retrievers' lovable quirks and playful antics never fail to bring laughter and joy to their owners' lives. Their funny and endearing behaviors remind us to embrace the lighter moments in life and cherish the unique personalities of our furry friends.


Everyone loves golden retrievers -- of course; they're usually gorgeous with goofy, lovely personalities. There's a reason why the family-friendly golden retriever is so popular. Golden retriever dogs and puppies are everything you could ask for in a pet — friendly, happy, loyal, fun-loving, intelligent and caring. These pets bring laughter to anyone and everyone and seldom get angry. What's not to love?