Are Golden Retrievers Good First Dogs?

Pet Type


September 9, 2022

There are more people than ever before who are getting into the joys of dog ownership. Even if you were never a big “dog person,” there can come a time when owning a dog makes sense for a lot of reasons.

Golden retrievers are some of the most aesthetically beautiful, friendly dogs out there. Which begs the question as to whether they are good as first-time dogs. Here is what you need to know if you plan to be a new dog owner.

Are Golden Retrievers Good for New Dog Owners?

So, the question becomes, “are golden retrievers good first dogs?” There can be a strong case made that not only are golden retrievers good for first-time owners, but they might also be the best breed possible for new dog owners as well.

The reasons are simple and numerous. They are obedient, affectionate, loyal, and easygoing. They have little in the way of behavioral problems. Most of all, they are happiest when they are around their owner, which should satisfy the need for companionship that leads to dog ownership in the first place.

Golden retrievers are also eager learners, which makes them likely to soak up any training that you might be wanting to implement. There are some breeds, like huskies or bulldogs, that will test you during training. Golden retrievers, however, are eager to learn and eager to please.

Another thing that can put dog owners at ease is the fact that they are not prone to aggression. Those who aren’t quite sure if getting a dog is the right move can rest easy knowing that the golden retriever is laid back and fun.

What, If any, Negatives are There to Owning a Golden?

You can’t look at just the positives when it comes to the question “Are golden retrievers good first dogs” without considering the negatives. That said, the negatives generally are not nearly as bad as some other dog breeds out there.

Perhaps the biggest drawback to owning a golden retriever is that they have high energy levels. Owners who are homebodies or who don’t really like to get out and be active might not like having a golden retriever as a pet.

Goldens can be quite rambunctious and energetic. To keep that energy level in check, you need to make sure that they are active for anywhere between one to two hours each day. Not only that, but you will also need to spend some time training them, playing fetch with them, walking them, and just generally paying attention to them.

There is another major issue that even the most stringent of supporters will point to, and that is the level of fur that they shed. They have a lot of fur and will leave it everywhere without the proper grooming implemented along the way.

They need to be bathed often. Along with bathing them, they will need to be brushed regularly as well. Either that or make peace with the fact that just about every surface in your home will be covered in fur. For family members who have allergies, this can be a particularly large difficulty to manage.

Finally, there is another limitation to having a golden retriever, and that is their usefulness as guard dogs. They aren’t much for barking, so if an intruder were to break into your home, then just know that they are going to be greeted by a happy face and a wagging tail rather than snarls and bared teeth.

Golden Retrievers are Best for Active, Outdoor People

Though they are lovable and some of the most aesthetically pleasing dogs out there, not everyone is suited to have a golden retriever. Because of their high levels of energy, a golden retriever owner has to be ready to keep up with the energy that these dogs bring to the table.

Being an outdoor or active person is highly recommended. Taking them for walks, playing with them, and generally giving them attention are actions that are needed to ensure that golden retrievers are getting the activity that they require to remain healthy.

There are just some things that are part of the package and can’t be ignored. For those who aren’t comfortable with high levels of energy, golden retrievers may not be the best breed for those who are first-time dog owners.


If you have never owned a dog before and are wondering whether a dog is right for you, there are certain breeds that are better to own than others. The golden retriever is an optimal breed for new dog owners, bringing a laid-back attitude and a knack for pleasing to the table.

Golden retrievers are one of the most desirable breeds available for not just first-time dog owners, but for any dog owner in general. There is a lot to like about golden retrievers, making them a perfect fit for newbies and experienced dog people alike.