How Long Do Golden Retrievers Live? Full Guide and How to Help

golden retriever lifespan

We all wish our dogs could live forever. Dogs are wonderful companions that love unconditionally, after all. And for people that love golden retrievers, it’s important to do everything we can to help them live their best and longest lives. Pets are part of the family, and it’s important to take care of them. Better care equals a longer and healthier life. If you want your Golden Retriever to be around for a long time, you’ve come to the right place. This article does an in-depth examination of the Golden Retriever lifespan and how to help them live longer.

If you’re wondering, “How long do Golden Retrievers live?” read on to learn more!

Golden Retriever Lifespan

Golden Retrievers are a popular breed of dog that is known for their intelligence, sweet nature, and loyalty. They are a medium-sized breed that weighs anywhere from 55 to 75 pounds and grows up to 24 inches tall. They have a dense double coat that is water resistant and sheds twice a year.

Average Lifespan for Golden Retrievers

The life expectancy for Golden Retrievers is 10 to 16 years, depending on their weight and the amount of exercise they get.

Most Golden Retrievers live to be 10-12 years old, but some can live up to 16 years or more with good nutrition, exercise, and regular checkups. Goldens are considered to be seniors after 8 years of age.

How Long Do Male Golden Retrievers Live?

While it’s not a given, larger dogs tend to live shorter lives than smaller dogs. As most male goldens are larger than females, it stands to reason that a male might be shorter-lived than a female.

However, this is not a hard and fast rule. Many other factors play into lifespan besides the sex of your dog.

Life Expectancy for Golden Retrievers Has Decreased Over Time

Unfortunately, Golden Retriever lifespans are not as long as they used to be. Decades ago, the average Golden would live up to 16 years, and some beyond that.

The cause of this is not quite known. It is a safe assumption that overbreeding has a lot to do with it, as unscrupulous breeders will produce puppies with no concerns for health issues.

Things That Affect Golden Retriever Lifespan

Golden Retrievers from a reputable breeder are generally healthy. However, like any animal, they can still have some health issues.


Golden Retrievers can have some genetic health problems like hip dysplasia or eye problems such as cataracts that could lead to blindness.

One major health issue for Goldens is Von Willebrand’s Disease, which is a genetic condition that affects blood clotting. A good breeder will screen to prevent this disease in their pups.

Health Conditions

Goldens are also prone to bloat, which is when their stomach flips over if it’s full of food or water. The chances can be lessened by ensuring they aren’t exercising right after eating or drinking.

One of the biggest killers of Golden Retrievers is cancer. They are especially prone to lymphoma and bone cancer. This is partially genetic and partially the “luck of the draw.”

Besides genetic issues and cancer, Goldens are subject to typical health issues such as skin irritation and allergies.

How to Help Your Golden Retriever Live Longer

Fortunately, there are many things you can do to help your furry friend live a longer and healthier life. If you want to beat the average life expectancy for Golden Retrievers, you can always try your best to help your dog’s health.

Get a Healthy Puppy, With Healthy Parents

If you want to bring a Golden into your life, buy a puppy from a reputable breeder.

Reputable breeders will test their dogs for health issues. Look for an OFA certification, which means both parents passed veterinary checks for things such as hip and elbow dysplasia and other genetic conditions.

Good breeders will also ensure their puppies have the best start possible in life. They will be socialized both with their littermates and with humans, as well as exposed to a variety of sights, sounds, and smells.

Have a Good Diet

Part of a long Golden Retriever lifespan is getting the proper nutrition. You should be supporting your Golden’s health by feeding them the best dog food for golden retrievers.

Avoid cheap pet store kibble. This is generally full of filler ingredients and low in nutrition. When researching a kibble, make sure that meats are the primary ingredient.

You can add certain fruits and vegetables to their kibble, but ensure they are not toxic to dogs. Foods such as eggs, greek yogurt, pumpkin, green beans, chicken, and cuts of meat are also great to supplement their diet.

You should also avoid over-feeding your Golden Retriever. They love to eat and can get obese very easily, which decreases their lifespan and wears on their joints.

Many dogs with allergies and stomach issues do well if you add a probiotic to their food at every meal. This is basically the dog version of yogurt and will keep their gut bacteria in check.

Supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin, and GLM are popular additives that help keep joints healthy and bones strong. Because Goldens are prone to osteoarthritis and dysplasia in later years, consider adding these to their diet.

Finally, bone broth is a popular additive to dry kibble. It contains lots of vitamins and nutrients that promote joint and gut health. It also tastes delicious and can encourage a picky eater.

Exercise Your Golden Retriever Consistently

Golden Retrievers love activity! They are the perfect companion if you enjoy walking, jogging, or hiking. They also thrive on fetch.

Regular moderate daily exercise is healthy and can increase the life expectancy of Golden Retrievers. It helps keep joints strong and the heart healthy.

Exercise is also good for your dog’s mental health. A tired Golden is a well-behaved Golden. This can keep behaviors such as chewing, barking, and acting out to a minimum.

Socialize and Train Them Correctly

Golden Retrievers are very sensitive dogs and can be easily stressed out. They need proper training to learn how to behave in a home environment. Minimizing stress is just as important for a long golden retriever lifespan as food or exercise.

Training helps anxious dogs by teaching them what is expected of them. It also gives them a routine and lets them know that you have things under control.

Untrained dogs do not know if they are doing things right and wrong. Dogs look to us for guidance and boundaries, much like children. If you neglect to train your Golden, don’t be surprised if he or she acts out and misbehaves.

Luckily, Golden Retrievers are extremely smart dogs and love to learn! They are a joy to train, and you might even find yourself doing advanced obedience with your Golden.

Additionally, you should consider crate training your Golden from the very first day they arrive. This gives them a place of their own that is quiet and secure. It also helps reduce anxiety when you leave the house.

Stress in dogs is much like stress in humans: it is not healthy. It wears on the nervous and cardiovascular system and can contribute to obesity and nervous behaviors such as chewing and licking.

Keep Them Groomed and Visit the Vet

In order to keep your dog healthy and happy, it is important to take them to the vet regularly. It’s also important to give them the right medication for their age and size, as well as make sure they are up-to-date on their vaccinations.

When you bring your golden retriever in for an annual vet visit, it will get a thorough physical exam. This will include checking their weight, temperature, heart rate, lungs, eyes, and ears.

Your vet will also want to know about any health issues that your dog has experienced in recent weeks or months. They might ask about how much exercise your dog gets each day or if they have been eating well lately.

Your vet may recommend additional tests if they find anything concerning during the physical exam or if you mention any concerns. Be sure to stay on top of vaccination schedules between visits, as well as things such as heartworm, flea, and tick medication.

Along with vet visits, you’ll want to do routine care on your Golden at home. Trimming claws prevents ripped claws as well as posture issues. Be sure to help strip their coat during shedding season to avoid matting, as well.

Regular teeth brushing is also a good idea, although you will need to train your dog to accept having their teeth brushed. This will keep their teeth healthier and cut down on plaque that can build up in the arteries.

Spay and Neuter, but Not Too Soon

In recent years, evidence has shown that spaying or neutering a dog too soon can actually increase health issues such as joint disorders and certain cancers.

It is important to fix your dog to prevent unwanted puppies and certain health conditions. However, waiting until at least six months of age to spay or neuter is best.

If you can wait until your pup is almost fully grown (between 1-2 years old), this is best.

Giving Your Golden a Long and Healthy Life

As you can see, there is a lot of work that goes into a long golden retriever lifespan! However, these wonderful and loving dogs are worth every ounce of effort to keep them healthy, happy, and long-lived.

If you’re interested in purchasing a Golden Retriever puppy from a good breeder, we’ve got you covered. We host a network of top-tier Golden breeders who can give you the furry friend of your dreams.

Contact us today at (330) 275-1639 to inquire about available puppies or upcoming litters. We look forward to helping you find your new best friend!

Galen has been connecting quality Golden Retriever breeders with loving families since 2012 and is the founder of My Golden Retriever Puppies. He and his wife have four children and love spending time together, traveling (lived oversees for 4 years), enjoying the outdoors and connecting Golden families.