Golden Retriever disadvantages

Golden Retriever Disadvantages: Are There Any?

Golden Retriever is the third most popular dog breed in the 2019 American Kennel Club (AKC) list. This isn’t surprising because Goldies, as they are fondly called, are total sweethearts. They have a big heart for people, kids, and other pets. But despite these attractive characteristics, there are some Golden Retriever disadvantages you have to know. Just like any breed, Goldies has its downsides, too.

Golden Retriever disadvantages

1. Large size

Golden Retriever disadvantages

One of the biggest challenges of owning a Golden Retriever is its large size. This pooch can be as heavy as 75 lbs. with a maximum height of 24 inches. Not all dog owners can handle this breed size since it also entails other disadvantages like more grooming, higher costs, and space.

Aside from the body size, Golden Retrievers also have powerful tails that can shove a coffee mug and fragile items. And while Goldies are huggable, their large size and excitable behavior can easily topple a child.

2. Intense shedding

Golden Retriever disadvantages

Another thing you should know about Golden Retrievers is that they shed intensely. This shedding happens all year long, but there are periods where it gets heavier. It’s usually before winter and before summer.

Due to intense shedding, Golden Retrievers are high maintenance. You need to brush them daily and trim their fur to prevent it from matting. Aside from that, Goldies are notorious for their doggy smell, especially when not groomed properly.

If you’re someone who doesn’t want his rugs or furniture to get dirty, a Golden Retriever isn’t the best breed to get.

3. High energy levels

Golden Retriever disadvantages

Golden Retrievers are never indoor dogs. They are athletic and need ample exercise to stay happy. If you don’t have a yard, it could be challenging to raise this breed.

The high energy levels of Golden Retrievers call for daily walks, lots of playtime, and tons of exercise. If you don’t drain their excess energy, the pooch will become bored and destructive. It will fuel their chewing habits due to boredom.

For those with laidback lifestyles, Golden Retrievers are not the best dogs to have. As a sporting dog, it’s no surprise that Goldies are made for the outdoors.

4. Lousy guard dogs

If you’re looking for guard dogs, Golden Retrievers are definitely off the list. This is a friendly breed, so friendly that they will welcome every stranger that will break into your house. Goldies love people and they can befriend a stranger they just met.

While Golden Retrievers may bark and howl over a burglar, they will not fight back. It only takes some yummy treats and affection to calm them down.

5. Higher costs

Golden Retrievers come at a high cost. On average, you’d have to spend $500 to $2,000 for a Golden Retriever pup. Show quality Goldies will cost even more so they are not for the pet owner on a budget.

Aside from the upfront cost of getting a pup, ongoing expenses will also take its toll on your pocket. Golden Retrievers need visits to the professional groomer more often than other breeds. Add vet bills to that and you will surely spend more on this breed.

While it costs a lot to raise a Golden Retriever, every dollar is truly worth it. This pooch is a total sweetheart who will shower you with love for as long as it lives.

6. Separation anxiety

Golden Retrievers are very prone to separation anxiety. They have a very low tolerance for being left alone. This is understandable because they were bred to be companions of hunters.

If you leave a Goldie home alone, it will become anxious and stressed. This will develop into full-on separation anxiety with symptoms including excessive barking, aggressive chewing, and accidents.

If there’s no one to accompany your Golden Retriever at home, it would be a challenge to combat separation anxiety. This is the reason why it’s rare for a Golden Retriever owner to have just one dog. You need someone or another canine to be your Goldie’s buddy at home while you’re away.

7. Not for apartment living

For those living in apartment buildings, Golden Retrievers are no-nos. This is a large doggo that will occupy a lot of space in your small apartment. Also, they are meant to run outdoors, something that you don’t have access to in an apartment setting. Unless you’re willing to move to a bigger house with a yard, this breed isn’t for you.

Take note that Golden Retrievers need regular exercise and playtime because they are prone to obesity. If you house them in an apartment, the pooch will try to find ways to drain its energy. It could be chewing your couch, barking, or escaping. All of these can put you in trouble, one way or another.

8. Susceptibility to health problems

Lastly, Golden Retrievers have a higher susceptibility to certain health problems than other dogs. Still, it doesn’t mean that a Goldie will automatically develop such conditions. Just like any dog, this breed has medical predispositions that could discourage an aspiring owner.

First of all, Goldies are notorious for hip dysplasia. It’s commonly a genetic problem wherein the hip joint didn’t fully develop. This is in addition to other orthopedic problems they are likely to develop due to their large size.

Aside from that, a Golden Retriever has a high risk of developing cataracts, progressive retinal atrophy, Von Willebrand’s disease, and gastric torsion. You should also watch out for potential allergies and hypothyroidism.

This is why you should get pet insurance if you plan to own a Golden Retriever. This is an additional cost, but very much needed as a safety net in case your pooch gets sick. If not, you’ll have to shell out large sums of money for every vet visit.

In this video, Will Atherton of the Fenrir Golden Retriever Show, shares why you shouldn’t get a Golden Retriever: 


While there are Golden Retriever disadvantages, this breed remains a topnotch choice for many aspiring dog owners. Just like any canine, there are ugly parts that you have to live with. Still, it doesn’t change the fact that Golden Retrievers are sweet, affectionate, and a beautiful dog to have. You just have to be prepared.

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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