When you picture the perfect family dog, what breeds first come to mind? 

One of the first breeds you’ll likely imagine is a golden retriever. This is probably because golden retrievers are considered to be in the “top 3” of the most loved dog breeds in the world, especially when you get one from a certified good dog breeder like Rejoice Retrievers.

With that in mind, it’s probably no surprise that golden retrievers (American, English, or Canadian) make great family pets. But what exactly is it that makes them fit to be your family dog? 

This article will give you all the important information you’ll need to understand the golden retriever breed and trust that they’ll be the perfect addition to your family!

Top 10: Golden Retriever Temperament Traits

One of the main reasons golden retrievers (especially English golden retrievers) are such a loved breed is due to their temperament. 

When it comes to personality, the golden retriever has all the traits you could want in a family dog (plus more)! Here are some of the most desirable traits you’ll find in a golden retriever: 

1) Adaptable – Golden retrievers are often described as being adaptable because of their ability to adapt to various situations and living environments. 

Perhaps you’ve been wanting to add a dog to your family but you’ve hesitated due to lack of space. Well, the golden retriever would be a great fit for your family regardless of how big your home (or your yard) is. 

They are adaptable to any living environment so long as they’re receiving their desired amount of exercise and affection! 

They’re also adaptable to various lifestyles. If you’re a very active family who loves to go on adventures, a golden retriever would love to tag along with you all. Or, if you’re more of a laid-back family of homebodies, a golden retriever would be just as happy lounging around and cuddling with you all for most of the day! Just make sure they’re still getting daily exercise.

2) Affectionate – One of the best things about having a dog is getting to cuddle with them, right? Thankfully, golden retrievers are very affectionate dogs. 

They will cuddle with adults, kids, babies, and even other pets. They seek affection too so you won’t always have to initiate the cuddling!

Golden retrievers are known for being so affectionate, in fact, that they’re prone to getting depressed or developing separation anxiety if left alone for too long. F.Y.I. “too long” to a golden retriever is usually 7 hours or more. 

3) Gentle – When you’re searching for a “family” dog, that means you’re looking for a dog that will be great with your entire family (not just adults). 

One thing that makes golden retrievers great family pets is that they are gentle, meaning they will have that same approach with your entire family – adults, teenagers, toddlers, babies, and even other animals (if you have any). 

So you can rest assured that your golden retriever won’t be too rough when playing with any member of your family! 

It doesn’t just stop there, though. Your golden retriever will even be great with visitors so you don’t have to worry when other people are around. The last thing you want is to worry about your dog being aggressive when you are around company. 

4) Intelligent – Did you know that golden retrievers are ranked in the top 5 of most intelligent dog breeds? 

Their intelligence stems from their history of being bred for hunting/sporting as they were used for retrieving game on both land and water. Hence their name – golden “retrievers”. 

If you’re not planning to use your dog for hunting, though, the golden retriever will still make for a great family dog as their intelligence will enable them to be easy to train.

5) LoyalWhen you think of any breed of dog, you think of them as being loyal, right? This is also true in golden retrievers. 

Your golden retriever will be very devoted to you and they’ll form a strong bond with your entire family. 

They will want to be around you all the majority of the time to prove their loyalty. 

6) Obedient – Another sought-after quality when looking for great family pets is obedience. 

Golden retrievers consistently rank as one of the top dog breeds in terms of being obedient. Their consistent temperament is what makes them considered to be so obedient. 

They are also very patient and tolerant which proves to be wonderful when being in families with children. Just imagine having a toddler who often pulls your dog’s tail or ears… you’d need a dog who is obedient and won’t retaliate.

7) Outgoing – You may not think of “outgoing” as a quality when describing a dog. However, golden retrievers are very outgoing. What does this mean, exactly?

Golden retrievers are very confident dogs. They’re also eager to please their owners. They seek positive attention and respond well to positive reinforcement (which is great when working with training a puppy). 

Also, golden retrievers aren’t easily intimidated. They’ll often approach new situations and regularly seek human interaction. 

In terms of having a great family pet, a golden retriever’s outgoing personality will mean that they regularly seek attention from your whole family and are always eager to do what they know will please you. 

8) Playful – Imagine playing with an adorable little puppy… Everyone loves doing that, right? This is one of the main reasons people are drawn to getting a puppy. 

That being said, it’s always sad when puppies grow out of that playful stage. One of the most appealing things about golden retrievers is that they’ll maintain that “playful puppy” spirit until they’re about 3 or 4 years old! 

Golden retrievers love playing! There are many fun activities you and your family can do with your golden retriever such as playing fetch, swimming, dock diving, bird hunting, agility training, walking/running, tracking, or even playing with indoor or outdoor dog toys!

9) Trainable – Any time you decide to bring a puppy home, it’s always important to give your puppy some sort of training. When it comes to golden retrievers, this is no different. 

Due to the high energy level of golden retrievers, it’s vital to ensure that they receive training from an early age (when they’re puppies). 

When you get an English golden retriever from Rejoice Retrievers, you can set them up for success early on by leaving them with us for any of our training sessions. 

We offer Level One (Basic Training) for 8-12 week-old puppies and Level Two (Advanced Puppy Training) for 3-5 month-old puppies. Learn more about what your puppy will learn at our training sessions!

Golden retrievers are highly intelligent which means they’re also easy to train (especially given their nature to always want to please their owners). It’s no wonder golden retrievers are often the dog of choice for movies!

10) Trustworthy – Now that you understand the importance of training your golden retriever, you know that when given proper training, they can be consistently well-behaved. 

Your golden retriever will be considered trustworthy because you should be able to leave them home alone (just not for long periods) and trust that they won’t get into trouble. 

Just commit to giving them proper training early on and giving them their daily dose of exercise and you can confidently leave them home unattended! 

This also makes them great family pets because your kids won’t have to worry about their toys getting eaten while your dog is home alone. Because we all know that kids often leave their toys lying around the house, right?

More Reasons Golden Retrievers Make Great Family Pets

When it comes to golden retrievers, their temperament traits aren’t the only things to love. Many factors make them a great family pet. Take a look at some of the other reasons you and your family will fall in love with this breed: 

  • They’re highly active and love to swim. Your kids will also think it’s cool that golden retrievers have water-repellant coats!
  • Golden retrievers are so trustworthy, gentle, and loyal that they’re often used as search and rescue dogs or guide dogs for blind people. 
  • Because of their “retrieving” nature, they have what is known as a “soft mouth” meaning that they will hold things in their mouth without biting down too hard and crushing things. 
  • If your kids tend to run around a lot and make a lot of loud noises, you won’t have to worry about your golden retriever getting upset. Their adaptive nature and calm demeanor allow them to remain calm in “crazy” environments!
  • If you’re an early bird, you and your golden retriever will be two peas in a pod because they’re most active early in the morning due to their hunting/retrieving heritage.
  • Golden retrievers’ shoulder blades aren’t attached to the rest of their bones which allows them to be very fast runners. They have been known to run up to 30 mph. So if you’re an active family (especially a family who loves running), then you can take your golden retriever with you on runs!
  • They are known to be very expressive dogs in their eyes and facial expressions (often referred to as having human-like expressions) so you can feel them on a deeper level than other dogs. 
  • They’re not aggressive so they don’t make the best “protective” dogs. However, they will bark when they need to inform you of an intruder or in other situations you’d need to be aware of. 
  • Their lifespan usually ranges from 10 to 12 years so you and your family will get about a decade of love and memories from your golden retriever. 



Now you know of many reasons why golden retrievers are ranked in the top 3 most loved dog breeds in the world. You also understand what qualities make golden retrievers great family pets. 

So regardless of how active or non-active your family is or how big or small your home is, a golden retriever will adapt to your living situation and environment. 

When you add a golden retriever to your family, you’re guaranteed a (dog) lifetime of all the love, fun, and memories you could ever want (and more). 

Ready to find your perfect golden retriever? Fill out our puppy application now!

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