We can confidently agree that few dogs can match the playfulness, intelligence, and affection typically found in Golden Retrievers. They’re actually considered the third most common dogs in the US after the Labrador Retrievers and the German Shepherds.
Since they’re categorized as large dogs, some people may get cold feet when they’re considering them as pets. That’s why we decided to write this article.
In addition to the outright answer, we’ll explore what other factors can affect the size of your dogs like food, exercise, and breeder choice. So, without any further ado, let’s get going!
How Big Do Golden Retrievers Get?
According to the American Kennel Club, the male Golden Retriever can grow up to 23-24 inches in shoulder height. The female is slightly shorter, at the range of 21.5-22.5 inches.
If you’re considering heaviness, a male weighs around 65-75 pounds, while the female ranges around 55-65 pounds.
Although Golden Retrievers aren’t as big as Great Danes, these numbers still place them in the large breeds category. A dog this size would be quite manageable for owners with small houses and young kids.
However, a Golden Retriever isn’t your only “large” option. Check out our A-Z list of large dog breeds if you want to know what other breeds lie in this category.
How Long Does It Take Them to Reach the Full Size?
Generally speaking, expect your Goldie to go from a puppy to full height in about two years. However, it will take him an additional year to mature mentally.
Even after the mental maturation, your Golden Retriever will maintain his playfulness. This is indeed one of his unique characteristics.
Goofy Looks at the 5th Month
We usually suggest owning a Golden before he becomes 5 months old, as he looks super lovely at this age.
You’ll find that your dog’s tails and legs become fairly long when compared to his torso. The nose and ears will also sprout out of the head. Lastly, the hind legs usually get longer than the front ones.
Don’t worry, though. Nothing of these growth patterns reflect a bad diet or insufficient exercise. The growth will normalize after this period until your dog reaches the full proportionate size.
When Is the Crucial Period?
A Golden Retriever, like most breeds, has a period that’s absolutely crucial for his growth. Between 7 and 12 months after birth, Goldie’s bones and joints become somewhat fragile and prone to permanent damage.
Therefore, it’s important to avoid exposing your dog to any aggressive physical activities. This includes long walks, abrupt stopping after a run, and most importantly, running down the stairs.
The Risk of Rapid Growth
You should pay attention to the growth pace of your golden retriever, or any other breed for what it’s worth. Take a look at the charts below. You’ll find the suitable weight of males and females from 7 weeks of age and until they mature completely.
Male Weight Chart
|7 weeks||9 lb||3 lb||25 lb|
|8 weeks||11 lb||3 lb||27 lb|
|9 weeks||13 lb||7 lb||27 lb|
|10 weeks||17 lb||10 lb||28 lb|
|11 weeks||17 lb||6 lb||24 lb|
|3 months||23 lb||9 lb||34 lb|
|4 months||33 lb||15 lb||55 lb|
|5 months||42 lb||20 lb||67 lb|
|6 months||52 lb||38 lb||75 lb|
|7 months||59 lb||35 lb||75 lb|
|8 months||61 lb||40 lb||77 lb|
|9 months||61 lb||45 lb||77 lb|
|10 months||63 lb||50 lb||77 lb|
|11 months||66 lb||55 lb||77 lb|
|1 year||68 lb||65 lb||77 lb|
|2 year||73 lb||65 lb||80 lb|
Female Weight Chart
|7 weeks||9 lb||5 lb||17 lb|
|8 weeks||10 lb||5 lb||17 lb|
|9 weeks||12 lb||8 lb||17 lb|
|10 weeks||15 lb||13 lb||22 lb|
|11 weeks||17 lb||12 lb||22 lb|
|3 months||22 lb||16 lb||43 lb|
|4 months||30 lb||25 lb||44 lb|
|5 months||40 lb||25 lb||57 lb|
|6 months||44 lb||27 lb||72 lb|
|7 months||45 lb||27 lb||67 lb|
|8 months||52 lb||40 lb||67 lb|
|9 months||52 lb||44 lb||68 lb|
|10 months||60 lb||50 lb||68 lb|
|11 months||65 lb||52 lb||80 lb|
|1 year||70 lb||55 lb||90 lb|
|2 year||70 lb||55 lb||90 lb|
Should You Worry If Your Dog Doesn’t Follow These Numbers?
It depends. It’s important to know that each dog has a unique growth pattern. A puppy can outgrow his brother even if you feed them similarly.
However, if your dog wanders off these numbers rapidly and by a large difference, it might be a bad sign.
The dog’s bones and joints are made to support a certain weight for each given age. Overloading them will increase the likelihood of bone diseases and arthritis. This is especially true for a large dog like the Golden Retriever.
So, what to do in this case? Reconsider the diet. Rapid growth is usually caused by either overfeeding or low-quality food.
Does Exercising Influence Their Size?
That’s a big yes. As their name suggests, Golden Retrievers were bred to catch the fallen game in the Scottish Highlands since the 19th century. If you haven’t seen what it looks like, the Scottish Highlands features a very challenging mountainous landscape with ponds, lakes, and streams.
Such an environment demanded a strong dog with lots of stamina and strength, and this is exactly how the Golden Retriever turned out.
Knowing this information is crucial to understand your pet’s needs. For instance, this breeding has programmed the Golden to highly crave food. He’ll empty his bowl every time regardless of what you serve.
This food craving was balanced by the excessive work they had to do back in the 19th century. Therefore, you’d have to mimic a similar level of exercise for today’s pets to decrease the likelihood of obesity.
Needless to say, obesity is extremely bad for any dog breed. It exposes your pet to the risk of heart diseases, diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis.
So, How Much Exercise Is Considered Enough?
This varies according to age. As we established, a Golden Retriever younger than 1 year shouldn’t be excessively exercised to avoid joint damage.
You could follow the 5-minute rule to make sure you satisfy the right amount. This rule states to exercise your puppy 5 minutes per day for every month of age. For instance, a 3-month-old puppy should exercise for 15 minutes each day.
When we say “exercise”, we’re talking about the physically-demanding exercises like running, playing fetch, swimming, etc. You can let your puppy play for whatever time he wants, though.
Goldens older than one year should be given 1 hour of daily exercise, to say the least. You’ll notice that your dog will positively respond to the exercise and will eventually ask for more than 1 hour.
Don’t worry about over-exercising your adult Golden Retriever. It’s written in his genes, after all.
It’s worth mentioning that Golden Retrievers are a bit less energetic than labrador retrievers. If you’re trying to choose between them, check out our detailed comparison between Labrador and Golden Retriever.
Does the Breeder Choice Affect the Size?
Yes, it can do. The puppy size is solely determined by the size of parent dogs. Some breeders try to make a certain style for their breeds. So they might have big, small, or medium parents.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to ask if you could see the parent dogs, to have an estimate about how much your dog will grow. It’s worth mentioning that the mother dog will probably look smaller than usual due to the breastfeeding.
Bonus: Feeding a Golden Retriever
As we established, Golden Retrievers love food. That’s why you need to avoid overfeeding, or else they’d become obese.
Start feeding your 2-month-old puppy 1.5 cups of dry food per day. It’s preferable to divide this amount to three times to maintain proper nutritious support.
Increase 0.5 cup for every additional month of age until you reach 6 cups per day for the 1-year-old dog. Maintain this amount for the rest of his life.
You can alternate your dog’s diet between dry food and wet food, whatever you choose. However, always refrain from the following:
- Raw Meats, Eggs, or Fish
- Fatty Meats
- Cooked Bones
- Food rich in salt
- Dairy Products like milk and ice cream
- Foods with High Levels of Sugar
- Grapes and Raisins
- Garlic or Onions
Since improper feeding may lead to rapid growth, we’ve prepared a complete guide on how to feed your Golden Retriever puppy, so make sure to give it a look!
To Sum Up
How big do Golden Retrievers get? A male can reach 23-24 inches in height and 65-75 pounds in weight. On the other hand, a female falls slightly shorter and thinner at 21.5-22.5 inches and 55-65 pounds.
It’s important to maintain a sufficient amount of exercise to feed the instinct of your Golden Retriever and prevent obesity. Don’t overdo it with puppies, though. Otherwise, their delicate joints could be affected.
Overfeeding your Golden is a sure way to make him increase in size, too. Aside from this, your Golden is guaranteed to give you the most affectionate experience ever!
Forrest is a lover of dogs, the wild outdoors, deep mysterious conversations… and coffee. He is the owner of several websites, including Canine Weekly. He resides in Austin, Texas.