Are Golden Retrievers High Maintenance?

Quick Answer

Yes, Golden Retrievers are typically considered a high maintenance dog breed by most dog owners.

are golden retrievers high maintenance? a female golden retriever lounging on a couch
Luna thinking “am I high maintenance?”

When it comes to owning a dog, it’s essential to understand the commitment and responsibility required. They are living, breathing creatures, after all.

While Golden Retrievers are an amazing breed, they do have specific needs and requirements that owners should be aware of. This post aims to educate readers on the characteristics, maintenance needs, time and financial investment required to own a Golden Retriever.

Buying a golden retriever without being absolutely sure that you can handle it from a time and financial point of view is doing a massive disservice to these dogs. It’s not something to do on a whim, and both you and your golden will be unhappy if it ends up being a bad match.

Golden Retriever Breed Overview

Golden Retrievers are a large breed that typically weighs between 55-75 pounds and can stand up to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. They have a thick, golden coat that is water-repellent and sheds seasonally.

When it comes to personality, Golden Retrievers are known for being friendly, loyal, and gentle. They are great with children and make excellent family pets. Here are some of their physical and behavioral characteristics to give you an idea of what you’re dealing with:

Physical Characteristics


Golden Retrievers have a thick, golden coat that is water-repellent and sheds seasonally. They require regular grooming to maintain their coat’s health and prevent matting, tangles, and odors.


Golden Retrievers are a large breed that typically weighs between 55-75 pounds and can stand up to 24 inches tall at the shoulder. They require plenty of space to move around and stretch their legs.

Behavioral Characteristics


Golden Retrievers are known for their friendly, loyal, and gentle nature. They are great with children and make excellent family pets. They are also intelligent and eager to please, making them easy to train.

Activity Level

Golden Retrievers are an active breed and require plenty of exercise and playtime. They enjoy outdoor activities and require daily walks and playtime to stay healthy and happy.


Golden Retrievers require socialization from an early age to prevent shyness or anxiety around strangers, other dogs, and new experiences. Early socialization helps them become well-adjusted and adaptable adult dogs.

Understanding these characteristics is crucial to providing the best possible care for your Golden Retriever.

Are Golden Retrievers A High Maintenance Dog Breed?

Golden Retrievers are considered high maintenance dogs that need a lot of care. Goldens require regular grooming, exercise, and medical care. As a responsible owner, it’s essential to understand their needs and requirements to ensure they live a healthy and happy life.

Here are some of the maintenance needs of Golden Retrievers:

Grooming Requirements

Golden Retrievers have a thick, double-layered coat that requires regular grooming to maintain its health and appearance. They shed seasonally, so brushing them several times a week is necessary to prevent matting and tangles. Regular bathing is also important to keep their coat clean and odor-free.

Other grooming requirements include nail trimming, ear cleaning, and dental care. Neglecting these grooming requirements can lead to health problems and discomfort for your Golden Retriever.

Exercise and Activity Needs

Golden Retrievers are an active breed that requires plenty of exercise and playing to stay healthy and happy. They enjoy outdoor activities like swimming, hiking, and fetch. Owners should provide them with at least one hour of physical activity per day, split into several sessions.

Regular exercise and activity not only keep them physically fit but also help prevent behavior problems like destructive chewing and excessive barking. A tired dog is a happy dog.

Feeding and Nutrition Requirements

Golden Retrievers need a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain their health and energy levels. Owners should provide them with high-quality dog food that contains all the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Overfeeding can lead to obesity, which can cause health problems like joint issues, heart disease, and diabetes.

It’s important to consult with your veterinarian to determine the best feeding and nutrition plan for your Golden Retriever.

Health and Medical Needs

Golden Retrievers are prone to several health issues like hip dysplasia, cancer, and allergies. Regular veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative treatments are necessary to keep them healthy and prevent health issues.

Owners should also be aware of their Golden Retriever’s specific health needs and provide them with any necessary medical care and attention. Even if you get your golden from a highly reputed breeder, medical issues often come down to the luck of the draw at the end of the day.

Time And Financial Investment Required To Own A Golden Retriever

Owning a Golden Retriever requires a significant time and financial investment. While they make great family pets, their high-maintenance needs can be costly and time-consuming. Here are some factors to consider before bringing a Golden Retriever into your life:

Time Investment

Golden Retrievers require plenty of attention and time from their owners. They need daily exercise, and mental stimulation to stay healthy and happy. Owners should be prepared to devote at least one hour per day (but ideally 2-3) to provide their Golden Retriever with the necessary attention and care.

They also require training and socialization from an early age to prevent behavioral problems, such as aggression and separation anxiety. This training requires time and patience from the owner to ensure their Golden Retriever becomes a well-adjusted and well-behaved adult dog.

Golden Retriever puppies specifically are absolutely not low maintenance dogs. They cannot be left alone for long at all until they’re house-trained, and they’ll persistently chew up anything they can get their mouths on until they eventually calm down in their adult years.

Financial Investment

Golden Retrievers are one of the more expensive dog breeds to own. The initial cost of purchasing a Golden Retriever can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, depending on the breeder’s reputation and location. They require various items like a crate, leash, food, and water bowls, and toys, which can add up quickly. You’ll likely have to buy multiple version of each, too, as your golden grows in size.

Grooming and medical expenses can also be costly. Regular grooming, veterinary check-ups, vaccinations, and preventative treatments can add up to thousands of dollars per year. Owners should also be prepared to handle any unforeseen medical emergencies, which can be exorbitantly expensive depending on the issue.

Tips for Managing Expenses and Time

While owning a Golden Retriever can be costly and time-consuming, there are ways to manage expenses and time effectively:

  • Research breeders and adopt from a reputable rescue organization to save on initial costs.
  • Purchase high-quality dog food in bulk to save money.
  • Brush your Golden Retriever’s teeth regularly to prevent dental problems.
  • Exercise and play with your Golden Retriever regularly to prevent behavior problems.
  • Research pet insurance, which can help manage unexpected medical expenses.

Understanding the massive time and financial investment required to own a Golden Retriever is crucial to making an informed decision.

In Conclusion – Maintenance Requirements For Your Golden Canine Pal

Golden Retrievers do require a significant time and financial investment. However, many owners would argue that the benefits of owning a Golden Retriever greatly outweigh the costs.

Owning a Golden Retriever is a significant commitment, but one that can be incredibly rewarding. If you’re prepared to provide them with the care, attention, and love they need and deserve, then a Golden Retriever may be the perfect addition to your family.

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roger stanley site owner and primary author
Meet The Author Roger Stanley

Co-owner of 15 years of experience living life with Golden Retrievers and 15 years of experience spending way too much money on them – I believe life’s not worth living without a Golden involved!

We want to remind our readers that the articles or content found on do not constitute nor replace professional veterinary advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The information provided on our website is purely educational and informational, and should not be used as a substitute for advice from a licensed veterinarian.