Male vs. Female Golden Retriever   


I have often been asked what the difference is between male and female Golden Retrievers.   

Personally, I believe there is very little  difference  between the genders of this breed.  (Be aware that this may not be the case in other breeds.)  This is especially true if the puppy is spayed or neutered at the proper time.  

To me, the biggest difference in the genders will be the  size of the adult dog.  Males generally run around 65 to 75 lbs and 23"-24" inches at the withers while a female generally runs 55 to 65 lbs and 21.5"-22.5" inches as per the Golden Retriever Standard.  Concerning appearance, males should therefore have more bone and bigger heads.  They also carry a bit more of a "mane" or  slightly longer coat around their neck area.  

Differences in their temperament can vary just as it can  in humans.  It will largely depend upon the temperament of their parents.  However, within a given litter, it is my opinion that the male puppy will generally be a bit calmer in nature as an adult than a female puppy will be.  However, this is not a hard and fast rule.  It is a generality.

Neither sex is easier to house train and both are equally as intelligent, sweet, and affectionate.  Both females and males are excellent with children and other dogs. They both make excellent companion, obedience, therapy, hunting, or working dogs. 

I have also talked some with people that have never had a male dog before who are concerned that a male dog will always want to lift his leg.  This is not necessarily true.  To begin, a male puppy that is neutered will not have the tendency to be a territorial marker.  Many times a neutered male will continue to just stand as he does his "job." If he does lift his leg to relieve himself, it isn't usually until he is about one and a half years old, and he doesn't necessarily need a tree to do so.  Sometimes it can be in the middle of the yard with just a semi-lift (pardon my detailed description).  However, if you're concerned about him relieving himself during a walk, remember, whether it is a female or male, if (s)he has to go, then (s)he has to go!   This is simply a training issue.  Before leaving for your walk let your dog potty at home before ever letting on that it is time for a walk.  From the onset, you should train your puppy to learn to either "heel" or walk "close" as I call it (not an exact heel, but right around your side area).  Once you've accomplished this training, your dog will happily walk alongside you without unwarranted pit stops regardless of its gender, and you will appreciate it not only for this reason, but also for the sake of having a well-behaved dog that does not pull on the leash.

I would like to conclude with a comment by Bearpuppy, who describes the "difference" between male and female Golden Retrievers perfectly:

"Let me add probably the most important bit of advice and forget what my breeder said. REGARDLESS of the dog, male or female, you will be starting out with the most friendly, loving breed there is. The dog will be what you make them; training, attention, lots of love. I don't think then it will matter which sex it is....it will love you back. With goldens, you get back what you give, in spades!!!!!"

(Top Golden Retriever Sites, Discussion Forums)


Once you find a puppy from parents with sound genetic make-up, it ultimately comes down to the love, time and training you put into him/her.

It is not my goal to bias you with this information.  I simply want to give you all of the facts so that your decision-making process can be easier.  If you are still uncertain whether a male or a female would suit you best, Google "female vs. male Golden Retrievers" and see what advice others are giving.  

Thank you.

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