are golden retrievers high maintenance
are golden retrievers high maintenance

Are Golden Retrievers High Maintenance?

Are Golden retrievers high maintenance dogs? As one of the most beloved breeds in the world, Goldens have certainly proved themselves popular with pet parents for generations. But are these lovable canines low-maintenance?

In this post, we’re going to take a look at what makes up a Golden Retriever’s daily needs so you can decide if they might be the right puppies for your family. With an in-depth look at diet, exercise, health care and more let’s dive into the question are Golden retrievers high maintenance dogs or not.

Understanding the Needs of Golden Retrievers

are golden retrievers high maintenance

Golden Retrievers are a beloved large breed dog known for their outgoing, loyal, and intelligent personalities. In order to ensure that their needs are met, it is important to have an understanding of what they require from a living situation.

Some things to consider include providing enough physical activity through regular walks and playtime. Giving ample mental stimulation with challenging puzzle toys and food games. Allowing them the opportunity to be around other people and dogs on social outings. Ensuring access to regular veterinary care, and providing an appropriate variety of healthy diet options.

It is also essential to make sure they have a safe and comfortable living space as well as lots of love and attention. With these fundamental needs in mind, Goldens can lead happy, fulfilling lives. We will discuss these needs further in the following sections.

Are Golden Retrievers High Maintenance Dogs?

Are Golden Retrievers High Maintenance Dogs

Golden retrievers are considered average to moderate maintenance dogs. While they will need regular care, exercise, and affection to stay healthy dogs, the amount of effort involved is typically manageable for most people. Here are the things that you will want to consider when trying to assess if a Golden Retriever is high or low maintenance:


Golden retrievers have medium-length and double-layered coats, which means that they shed quite a bit throughout the year, especially during the shedding season in spring and fall. It’s important to brush your golden retriever at least once or twice a week to help keep its coat healthy and control shedding. As well as perform other grooming tasks like trimming nails, brushing teeth, cleaning ears, etc.

In order to reduce shedding even further, you can opt for professional grooming every few months to help keep your pet looking its best. However, it’s important to note that the cost of professional grooming can add to the overall maintenance of your Golden Retriever.


Like any other breed of dog, golden retrievers need obedience training and socialization to become well-rounded pets. As puppies, they should be introduced to new people and places so that they develop proper social behavior as adults. Training is also important for any dog.

It teaches them appropriate behaviors such as walking on a leash without pulling or coming when called. And helps them learn how to better interact with humans. You can enroll in formal obedience classes, attend local dog training events or work with a private trainer to help your golden retriever become the best it can be.

✾Exercise Needs 

Golden retrievers are an active breed—they need plenty of exercise throughout the week to stay happy and healthy. This could include outdoor activities like walks around the neighborhood or hikes in the woods. As well as playing games like fetch or tug-of-war indoors or outside.

Exercise helps keep your pet fit while also helping release pent-up energy so they don’t get too bored or destructive while inside the house. Though it won’t cost you too much in terms of money, it will require a certain amount of time and effort from you.

✾Mental Stimulation

Aside from regular exercise, golden retrievers need mental stimulation too as it helps keep them engaged and content. This can be done through a variety of activities such as interactive toys, food puzzles, treat-dispensing toys, and learning new tricks.

These activities help build up their problem-solving skills while also keeping them mentally stimulated and entertained. This is an essential part of their well-being, and it costs nothing to provide them with the mental stimulation that they need. As an owner, you just need to invest time and effort into providing them with the necessary outlets.

✾Feeding Your Golden Retriever 

When it comes to feeding your golden retriever, it’s important to provide them with a balanced diet that meets its nutritional needs. This should include proteins from sources like fish or poultry as well as carbohydrates from grains or vegetables to provide them with proper nutrition for muscle growth and tissue repair. A combination of yearly vet visits and quality nutrition can help protect your golden retriever’s overall health.

✾Health Concerns and Medical Care

When it comes to health and medical care, Golden Retrievers require diligence but are far from high maintenance. Goldens are generally healthy and live long lives, but potential health issues, such as hip and elbow dysplasia, eye problems, ear infections, and hypothyroidism affect them.

In order to keep your pup in good health, provide them with regular vet visits and required immunizations against infectious diseases like canine parvovirus. Responsible breeders will also screen their dogs for some of these health conditions to ensure you’re bringing home a healthy puppy.

With the mentioned considerations, it’s clear that while Golden Retrievers require some maintenance and effort from their dog owners, they are far from being high maintenance.

Other Golden Retriever Maintenance Considerations

While the primary maintenance considerations mentioned above for Golden Retrievers are typically the most important, other less conspicuous aspects can also influence their upkeep needs. These include factors such as:


Golden Retrievers have excellent temperaments. They are known for being gentle with children and other animals as long as they have been properly socialized from a young age. However, it is important to remember that every dog is unique and may respond differently in certain situations.

Therefore, it is important to take your pet’s temperament into account when determining its maintenance needs. For example, if your dog tends to be easily excitable or anxious around strangers or other animals then you may need to provide extra attention and care to help them remain calm and relaxed in these situations.  


The size of your Golden Retriever will also affect its maintenance needs. Large dogs will require more dog food than smaller dogs so you will need to adjust their diet accordingly. In addition, larger dogs may need more frequent grooming sessions than smaller dogs due to the amount of fur they produce and how quickly it can become matted or tangled if not brushed regularly. 


Golden Retrievers are not known for being particularly vocal compared to other breeds but they can still bark quite frequently depending on the situation or environment they find themselves in. If barking becomes an issue then you may need to invest some time into teaching your pet proper barking etiquette so that it does not become a nuisance for yourself or others in your household/neighborhood.

Training can also help reduce anxiety-related barking which is common among Golden Retrievers if left unchecked or unaddressed for too long. 

How Much a Golden Retriever Will Cost You Throughout Their Lifetime

These beautiful dogs typically cost between $14,000 – $16,000 over the course of their lifetime. That’s an average of $2,700 per year! Let’s break down where that money goes. 

💸Food and Treats: Up to $100/month 

Your Golden Retriever is going to need a high-quality diet to stay healthy and happy. Expect to spend around $100 per month on food and treats.

💸Vet Bills: Up to $1000/year 

As with any pet, veterinary care is an important part of owning a Golden Retriever. You can expect to spend up to $1000 per year on routine checkups, vaccinations, and other necessary care.

💸Grooming: Up to $600/year 

Golden Retrievers are known for their beautiful coats, which means they require regular grooming. You can either do this yourself at home or take them to a professional groomer. Either way, expect to spend up to $600 per year on grooming.

💸Training: Up to $300 (Once in their lifetime) 

While Golden Retrievers are relatively easy to train, they will still need some basic obedience training. You can either do this yourself or hire a professional trainer. Expect to spend up to $300 on training, depending on which route you choose. 

💸Leashes and Collars: Up to $50 

You’ll need a good quality leash and collar for walks and hikes with your Golden Retriever. Expect to spend around $50 on these items. 

💸Houses, Beds, and Crates

Up to $200 Depending on their size, your Golden Retriever may need a dog house, bed, or crate. Expect to spend up to $200 on these items. 

Thus, you can expect to spend around $14,000 – 16,000 on your Golden Retriever during its lifetime. This includes the initial purchase price, food and treats, vet bills, grooming, training, leashes and collars, and houses/beds/crates.

Tips for Keeping Your Golden Retriever Healthy and Happy

If the above list of costs does not scare you off, then congratulations! You are ready to own a Golden Retriever. To keep your pup healthy and happy throughout its lifetime, consider following these tips:

✅Feed Properly

An essential part of keeping your Golden Retriever healthy is providing them with a balanced diet. Choose a high-quality food that is appropriate for your pet’s age, weight, and activity level. Avoid feeding them table scraps or unhealthy snacks as this could lead to obesity and other health problems down the line. 

✅Brushing Their Coat Regularly

Brushing your golden retriever’s coat regularly is essential to keeping it in good condition and preventing mats from forming. It also helps to remove loose hairs while distributing natural oils throughout the coat to give it a nice shine. Try brushing your pup’s coat at least once a week using a soft bristle brush or even a grooming mitt. 

✅Spend Quality Time with Them

Just like humans, our furry friends need quality time with their owners too! Spend time playing fetch or tug-of-war with them, going for walks together, or just cuddling up on the couch. This will not only strengthen your bond but help stimulate their minds as well as give them an outlet for their energy. 

✅Get Them Microchipped

In case your pup ever gets lost or runs away, getting him microchipped is essential for his safety and well-being. A microchip is essentially an ID tag that can be implanted underneath your pup’s skin that lasts anywhere from 15-20 years and contains all of his important information (e.g., name, address). This makes it easier for shelters and vets to locate you if ever necessary. 

✅Provide Plenty of Fresh Water

Always make sure there is plenty of fresh water available for your pup at all times! Not only does this help keep him hydrated but it also encourages him to drink more which helps flush out toxins from his body as well as aid in digestion. If possible, provide multiple water sources throughout the house so he can access water easily no matter where he is.

✅Stay Up To Date On Vaccines & Vet Visits

Vaccinations are key when it comes to keeping your furry friend safe from illnesses like parvovirus or distemper – two diseases very common among puppies. Additionally, regular vet visits help ensure that any potential health issues or concerns are addressed quickly before they become serious problems down the line. 

✅Provide Lots of Toys & Chews

When it comes to keeping your golden retriever entertained (and out of trouble), providing lots of toys and chews can go a long way towards helping prevent boredom and destructive behavior in pups – especially during those teething phases.

Soft chews like antlers or bully sticks are great options since they last longer than regular treats while providing an outlet for teething puppies who love chewing on everything in sight! Plus they’re much safer than rawhide chews which can splinter into pieces if chewed on too hard by aggressive pups. 

List of Other Average-Moderate Maintenance Dog Breeds

🐶Shih Tzu

The Shih Tzu is a small breed that requires minimal exercise and grooming. Its coat requires weekly brushing and occasional trimming, but it’s not prone to shedding so vacuuming isn’t necessary very often. These dogs are friendly and loyal companions who love spending time with their families. 

🐶Brussels Griffon

This breed is a great choice for those who want a pint-sized pup without the hassle of long daily walks or extensive grooming needs. The Brussels Griffon’s coat requires twice-weekly brushing and occasional trimming—but other than that, they’re relatively low maintenance. And although they may be small in size, these dogs have big personalities! 

🐶Italian Greyhound

This graceful breed is highly intelligent and affectionate—not to mention one of the smallest members of the hound family. With their short coat and minimal shedding, Italian Greyhounds don’t need much grooming beyond regular brushing. In fact, all they really need is lots of love from their owners—and maybe some occasional playtime too! 

🐶French Bulldog

French Bulldogs are one of the most popular companion dogs around due to their laidback nature and easy care requirements. Although their wrinkles need special attention (especially after meals), Frenchies only require weekly brushing and occasional baths—making them ideal for those looking for an adorable yet low-maintenance pet. 


As canines go, Dachshunds are pretty laidback when it comes to exercise requirements; they’re content with a few short walks each day or even just hanging out at home with their owners. They also don’t need much else besides basic grooming like nail trimming and weekly brushing to stay healthy and happy! 


Pugs are small but lively dogs that require moderate exercise and grooming. Although they shed year-round, regular brushing can help minimize shedding and keep their coats healthy and shiny. Pugs need a lot of attention and love, so if you’re looking for an affectionate companion that doesn’t require lots of exercises, this breed could be ideal for you. 

🐶Boston Terrier

The Boston Terrier is an active and intelligent breed that thrives in an environment with plenty of stimulation. They require moderate exercise daily but don’t need rigorous activity or long runs to stay healthy. Boston Terriers shed moderately throughout the year, but regular brushing can help keep the shedding at bay. 


Chihuahuas are one of the smallest breeds of dogs, making them perfect pets for owners who live in small spaces or have limited outdoor access. They also require minimal grooming since they have short hair coats that don’t need much attention beyond occasional brushing or bathing. However, because they are small, they do require more frequent exercise than larger breeds to stay fit and healthy. 


Beagles are medium-sized dogs with merry personalities who make great family companions. They love spending time outdoors but don’t necessarily need long periods of vigorous exercise to stay healthy; regular walks around the neighborhood will suffice. In terms of grooming needs, their short coats only require occasional brushing but should be trimmed every few months to keep them looking tidy. 

🐶Shiba Inu

Shiba Inus are medium-sized dogs with playful personalities who make great family pets as well as watchdogs due to their protective nature towards their owners and homes. While they do need some physical activity on a daily basis such as walks or playtime in the backyard, their relatively low energy levels mean that they don’t need extensive amounts of exercise as some other breeds do. Their short coats also only require occasional brushing to stay clean and free from tangles or mats. 

These small but mighty pup breeds make wonderful companions for owners who don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to grooming and exercise. If you’re looking for a loyal pet with minimal maintenance needs, any of these breeds could be the perfect fit.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What are the Disadvantages of Owning a Golden Retriever? 

One of the biggest disadvantages of owning a golden retriever is the amount of grooming they require. This breed has long hair that needs to be brushed regularly and they shed quite a lot. Moreover, they can be prone to health problems such as hip dysplasia and eye issues, which can lead to costly vet bills.

Lastly, they require lots of exercises and mental stimulation, so if you are not able or willing to provide that kind of commitment then this breed might not be for you. 

Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot? 

Golden retrievers do bark, but typically less than other breeds such as terriers. They tend to bark when something unusual is happening or when they want attention from their owners. With proper training, however, barking can be minimized or even eliminated. 

Which Is Calmer Labrador or Golden Retriever?                        

Generally speaking, Labrador retrievers are calmer than golden retrievers—but there is no guarantee that any individual dog will fit this stereotype perfectly! Labradors tend to have an easygoing nature and are less active than golden retrievers; however, both breeds need regular exercise to stay healthy and happy. 

Can Golden Retriever Be Left Alone? 

It is not recommended that any dog be left alone for long periods—not just golden retrievers. Since it could result in separation anxiety in dogs. If you plan on leaving your pet alone for extended periods then it’s best to look for another breed that can handle being alone better such as a poodle or bichon frise. However, if someone will always be home with them then maybe a golden retriever would still be suitable for your family. 

Is A Golden Retriever A Good First Dog? 

The answer depends largely on your experience level with dogs and how much time you can dedicate to training and exercising your pet. A first-time dog owner may find it difficult to manage all the energy and intelligence of a golden retriever puppy without guidance from an experienced trainer or breeder; therefore, it might not be the best choice for someone who isn’t ready for all the responsibility that comes with owning one of these dogs. 

Final Words

Ultimately, it’s up to the individual dog owner to determine whether a golden retriever is a high maintenance or not. With their friendly and gentle demeanor, they could fit in with large households just as well as single-person homes. Though much depends on how much time and effort an owner is willing to put into training them.

All breeds require regular exercise, regardless of if they’re high maintenance. Ultimately, if provided with the right amount of love, devotion, and attention, even a high maintenance dog breed can make for a wonderful pet. 

About Tom Thorpe

Tom Thorpe has overtime interacted with different species of dogs mostly through breeding and training; according to him, man’s best friend is yet to find solace in the company of man, as they are continuously mistreated. He, therefore, runs a rescue center that provides shelter to stray dogs, and has been advocating for the rights of animals; the Golden Retriever dogs are among his favorites, the reason he came up with the extensive excerpts to help educate the society on the right treatment and care of the respective breed. Tom spends most of his time running his dog shelter; he is a husband and proud father of two boys and loves to go fishing during his free time.

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