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Red Golden Retriever: Breed Info, Pictures, Facts & Traits

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By Nicole Cosgrove

Red Golden Retriever face

Height: 21-24 inches
Weight: 55-75 pounds
Lifespan: 10-12 years
Colors: Red, rust, strawberry blonde
Suitable for: Affectionate and attentive owners, families of any size, families with children, active owners
Temperament: Friendly, outgoing, caring, affectionate, sensitive

The Golden Retriever, including the red variety, is one of the most popular dog breeds in America, and for good reason. These dogs are among the friendliest and most welcoming breeds available. They not only get along with strangers and other animals, but they seem to fall in love instantly with just about anyone they meet.

Many people don’t realize that these are active dogs that need substantial exercise every day. They’re also very intelligent, so some mental stimulation is very good for them and will keep them sharp and happy.

The Red Golden Retriever is the quintessential family dog. They not only will love and fit in with every one of your family members, but they’re also very emotionally needy and will want to be included in all family activities. They thrive on human interaction, so the more attention they get, the happier they will be.

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Red Golden Retriever Puppies


One of the biggest misconceptions about this breed is their energy level and daily exercise needs. Red Golden Retrievers are highly active pups who need about an hour of exercise every single day.

These dogs tend to be mouthy, and this is especially true when they are puppies. If you don’t give them the exercise they need or the attention they desire, you will very likely find them seeking negative attention with chewing or other destructive behavior.

You also need to be prepared for grooming. The Red Golden Retriever has a long, beautiful, reddish coat that should be brushed every day to prevent matting and tangling and to cut down on shedding. With a coat this thick you won’t avoid shedding altogether though, so invest in a quality vacuum along with this dog breed!

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3 Little-Known Facts About the Red Golden Retriever

1. They Aren’t Their Own Breed

That’s right – although they have the red color distinction, Red Golden Retrievers are really just Golden Retrievers with a naturally darker coat. Common Golden Retriever colors include this red or rust color, the standard golden, and lighter cream color.

2. They Were Originally Bred to Work

Many people who are familiar with the calm and affectionate personality of the Red Golden Retriever believe they were bred as companion dogs. However, they were originally bred as working pups!

A Scottish businessman named Dudley Marjoribanks began developing the breed as we know it in the mid-1800s to retrieve waterfowl during hunting.

3. They Have a Famously Gentle Mouth

Possibly because they were bred to retrieve waterfowl without damaging the carcass, the Red Golden Retriever has an extremely gentle mouth.

There have been examples where they are given raw eggs to hold in their mouths and transport, and amazingly, they are able to carry them without breaking the shells.

Red Golden Retriever side angle
Image credit: nlw143, Pixabay

Temperament & Intelligence of the Red Golden Retriever🧠

Red Golden Retrievers are incredibly friendly and outgoing, and they will instantly become best friends with you, your family, your friends, your friends’ families, and just about anyone they come in contact with. They are sweet-tempered, and they always seem to be in a good mood.

Red Goldens are loving, affectionate, and sensitive, and they can become saddened or even a little offended if they see that they are left out of family activities. They always want to be a part of the fun.

Are These Dogs Good for Families?🏡 

Red Golden Retrievers are perhaps the best dogs for families. They have an infinite amount of love and affection to give, and they will adapt instantly to any family setting.

They are great with kids and show amazing patience with them, and they’re energetic and playful, so they do best in families where there is always someone to play with or get attention from.

They love to be involved, so if you and your family are going on an outing or vacation, they will be happiest if they get to go along with you. Given their stellar demeanor, you’ll always want them by your side, so it works out for both of you!

Does This Breed Get Along With Other Pets?🐶 😽 

Red Golden Retrievers have an abundant friendliness that will extend beyond their human owners to all four-legged family members as well. They will usually take no issue with other dogs or cats living in the same home.

They’re also friendly and welcoming toward dogs they meet out on walks or at dog parks. You’ll never see your Red Golden unhappy to meet any new canine friend.Divider 4

Things to Know When Owning a Red Golden Retriever:

Food & Diet Requirements 🦴

Red Golden Retrievers are highly active and playful dogs, so they need food that is formulated for active, medium-sized dogs. This will include a high protein content with different protein sources. You should feed your Red Golden about 2 to 3 cups of dry food each day, and you should split this into two meals.

Red Golden Retriever looking up
Image credit: MBurdich, Pixabay

It’s important to note that this breed is prone to weight gain and obesity, so if you notice your pup uncharacteristically gaining weight, consult your vet for a more appropriate food volume.

These dogs are also prone to bloat, which is a condition that causes a collapsed stomach. This can be life-threatening, and while there is no way to avoid the condition entirely, you should avoid exercising your pup immediately after they consume food or water. Wait at least an hour after meals before going for a walk or playing in the yard.

Exercise 🐕 

Red Golden Retrievers are very energetic dogs, so you should plan on about an hour a day of vigorous exercise. This should be in addition to playing in the house or yard. Ample exercise is critical for keeping your dog happy and healthy and for keeping their weight in check.

Red Goldens are also very intelligent, so mental stimulation will help keep their energy levels regulated. Some puzzle toys or logic games are a great way to engage your dog and keep their minds in tip-top shape.

Training 🦮 

Red Golden Retrievers are intelligent and eager to please, which makes for an easily trainable pooch. They will pick up on commands and tricks quickly, and some consistency in training will lead to a very obedient dog.

You should always use positive reinforcement with this breed, as they are highly sensitive and can become dejected or discouraged if corrected in any other way. Reinforce good behavior, and try to redirect bad behavior gently whenever possible.

Grooming ✂️

Because of the Red Golden Retrievers long, luxurious coat, you should plan on daily grooming, or at least brushing every other day. A quick brushing each day with a wire brush will help keep your pup’s coat healthy and will help reduce shedding a bit.

Red Golden Retriever face
Image credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

You can plan to bathe your Red Golden about once a month or so. Avoid bathing more often, as it can deplete their natural skin oils and cause irritation and skin infection.

The Red Golden Retriever has adorably floppy ears, but drop ears like theirs can lead to ear infections. Plan to wipe your dog’s ears clean once or twice a week to prevent any issues from arising. You should also get out your doggy toothbrush about once a week to maintain good dental hygiene.

Health and Conditions ❤️

Although Red Golden Retrievers are usually fairly healthy and have a long lifespan, they can inherit some medical issues, so you should be on the lookout for the below problems. Schedule regular vet checkups as well just to make sure your pooch remains in the best shape possible.

Minor Conditions
  • Eye issues including Progressive Retinal Atrophy
  • Other joint issues
  • Epilepsy
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Allergies
Serious Conditions
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Elbow dysplasia
  • Subvalvular aortic stenosis
  • Von Willebrand’s disease
  • Bloat
  • Several forms of cancer

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Male vs. Female

Male Red Golden Retrievers will typically be a bit larger and may have more energy than females. Beyond size, there isn’t much of a difference in personality between the two genders. Both will be extremely friendly and outgoing, and they’ll get along with people and other animals instantly.

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Final Thoughts

The Red Golden Retriever is a member of one of the most popular dog breeds in America, and if you’ve ever met one, you won’t be wondering why! These dogs are extremely outgoing and have a lot of love and affection for you, your family, and anyone they meet.

They are energetic and playful, but they’re also affectionate and sensitive, so they make the perfect family pet that brings a positive personality to the table and wants to be included in all family activities.

They’re easy to train, and as long as you can handle the grooming, exercise needs, and the heavy shedding, you’d find it difficult to choose a better breed to bring into your home to be a part of your family.

Featured image credit: MBurdich, Pixabay

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