Female Golden Retriever – Are Females Better Than Males?

Updated: March 10th, 2023

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female golden retriever

Golden retrievers are friendly, trusting, and kind dogs that make wonderful family pets and companions. If you are looking to welcome one of these loving dogs into your family, you’re probably wondering whether you should get a male or a female golden.

At first glance, you won’t find many differences between a boy and a girl golden retriever, especially while they are puppies. However, there are subtle differences between males and females that you should consider before bringing a puppy home.

In this article, I will tell you everything there is to know about golden retriever gals and help you decide whether a female is a right choice for your family!

Female Golden Retriever Appearance

A fully grown golden retriever is a medium to large-size dog with an athletic build. But while both males and females have the same build and appearance, there are subtle differences between the two genders. 

If you compare the two, you will notice that the biggest difference between male vs. female golden retrievers is their size. Let’s get into details, shall we?

Size, Height & Weight

Female Golden Retriever Appearance

Adult golden retrievers weigh between 55 and 75 pounds and are usually between 21 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder.

An average female is generally between 21.5 and 22.5 inches tall and can weigh anywhere from 55 to 65 pounds. Male golden retrievers, on the other hand, generally weigh from 65 to 75 pounds and are between 23 and 24 inches tall at the shoulder.

Besides being smaller than their male counterparts, females are also lighter. You will notice too that female dogs have a slightly more delicate appearance and a narrower head and muzzle.

Coat & Color

Golden retrievers have a dense, lustrous coat that can come in any shade of gold. The coat can be straight or wavy, and consists of a firm and resilient topcoat and a soft, dense undercoat.

Male goldens have a naturally thick and prominent ruff around the neck, and heavy feathering on the front of the chest, back of the thighs, and tail. Female goldens, on the other hand, have a slightly shorter coat and less pronounced mane and feathering.

Golden Retriever Girl Temperament

A lot of new owners ask whether there is any difference between male vs. female golden retrievers when it comes to temperament and behavior.

You may have heard that male goldens are more affectionate, or that females are calmer or easier to train. However, that’s simply not true!

There is no evidence that gender plays any role in determining the temperament and personality of any dog.

As a breed, golden retrievers are people-oriented, active, intelligent, and highly trainable dogs with amazing working skills. Both male and female dogs are bred to possess the same temperamental traits, which make them a great choice for first-time owners and families with children.

Still, you may come across an extremely affectionate female and others that are more independent, but the same can be said for male goldens. Ultimately, regardless of their gender, all golden retrievers are individuals that can exhibit unique personality traits.

One thing to keep in mind is that females mature mentally faster than males and are usually out of the “puppy stage” when they turn one year old. Male goldens, however, need more time to “grow up” and tend to be in the puppy phase until they are two years of age.

Due to this, training female puppies tends to be easier, and they generally learn commands more quickly than males. However, with positive reinforcement training and consistency, both males and females show the same level of obedience when they are adults.

Are They Healthy?

Overall, goldens are a generally healthy breed but are like all other purebred dogs in that they are prone to certain health problems.

Female goldens are more likely to develop adrenocortical insufficiency and extraocular myositis than males. However, they are less likely to suffer from idiopathic epilepsy than male golden retrievers.

Furthermore, unspayed female dogs are at higher risk of developing hip dysplasia, a uterine infection called pyometra, and mammary tumors. If you don’t plan to breed your female golden, talk with your vet about spaying her when she’s around six months old.

How Long Do Girl Golden Retrievers Live?

Golden retrievers have an average lifespan of 10 to 12 years. However, many can live shorter or longer depending on the level of care they receive during their lives.

Female goldens have a slightly longer average lifespan of 11.3 years compared to males, who on average live for 10.7 years.

Caring For Female Golden Retrievers

Caring For Female Golden Retrievers

While most new owners think that caring for a golden girl involves brushing her coat and giving her a bath a few times a year, proper care isn’t just grooming your dog. Caring for your dog means that you will have to maintain every part of her body in pristine condition.

Golden retrievers have a long, dense coat that sheds moderately all year round and goes through a heavy shed during spring and fall. You will have to brush your golden girl three or four times a week to keep her coat clean and prevent mats and tangles from forming.

Your golden will also need a bath every six weeks, or less often depending on your dog’s activity level and tendency to get dirty.

Furthermore, you will need to trim your girl’s nails every 10 or 12 weeks depending on how quickly they grow. You will know that it’s time to trim your dog’s nails when you hear them clicking on the floor.

Goldens have floppy ears, which means that dirt and moisture easily get trapped inside, which can lead to painful ear infections. Hence, you will need to check your girl’s ears daily and clean them once a week or as necessary with an ear cleaning solution.

Lastly, don’t neglect your dog’s oral health, since dogs like people can suffer from gum disease, rotten teeth, plaque, and tartar buildup. Ideally, brush your golden’s teeth every day, or at least four times a week, using dog toothpaste and a toothbrush.

At A Glance: Best-Selling Care Products For Golden Retrievers We Recommend

When Does A Golden Retriever Go Into Heat?

The biggest difference between female and male golden retrievers is the heat cycle. Most female goldens will go into heat when they are 10 to 14 months old, sometimes as early as seven months.

The estrus cycle, or heat, happens once in every six months and is the time when your golden can become pregnant. This is also the time when your female may bleed a little and is the most receptive to males.

Most reputable breeders don’t advise breeding a female golden retriever during her first heat cycle since they are too young to bear puppies. If you plan on breeding your dog, talk with your vet first and spend some time finding a perfect mate for her.

However, if you don’t plan to breed your girl, you should talk with your vet about spaying her when the time is right.

FAQs About Golden Retriever Girls

Is It Better To Get Male Or Female Golden Retriever?

Both female and male golden retrievers make wonderful pets and are equally active, devoted, and friendly. Gender doesn’t affect a golden’s personality, and both boys and girls are good choices for first-time owners.

Are Female Golden Retrievers Calmer Than Males?

Although active and energetic, golden retrievers aren’t a hyperactive breed, and both males and females have calm and gentle temperaments. However, female goldens mentally mature faster than males and will grow out of the puppy stage when they are one year old. This means they tend to calm down sooner than their male counterparts.

How Much Is A Female Golden Retriever Puppy?

Expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000 for a female golden retriever puppy from a reputable breeder. Show-quality puppies with breeding rights are on the higher end of the price range and may even cost more depending on the coat color, breeder, and lineage.


A friendly, trainable, and loving golden retriever makes a great choice for first-time owners and families with small children. If you are struggling to decide between a male and female golden, know that both make amazing pets and that you can’t go wrong choosing either one.

However, there are subtle differences between golden boys and golden girls. Females are slightly smaller and lighter than males, they go into heat twice a year, and they become mentally mature sooner. If you decide to get a female dog, you will have to keep a close eye on her while she is in heat to prevent unwanted pregnancies or opt to spay her.

While some people prefer male goldens over females or vice versa, it is better that you make your decision based on the puppy’s personality and temperament rather than on gender.

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Written By

Wendy is a self-employed beauty therapist, mother of two, life-long pet parent and lover of dogs who somehow manages to squeeze in the time to satisfy another of her loves - writing. Wendy is the founder, main contributor to and editor of TotallyGoldens.

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