A golden retriever is a medium-sized breed of dog that was developed in the United States, and is now one of the most popular breeds in the world. The average lifespan for a golden retriever is 13 years, but some dogs live as long as 18 years.

The what is the average age for a golden retriever to die? is a question that many people have asked. The answer to this question is around 13 years old.

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Our golden retrievers are such cherished family members that we wish they could live forever.

Larger dogs, on average, have shorter lives than smaller dogs. 

A research published in the American Naturalist used data from the Veterinary Data Base to examine when and how 74 breeds and more than 50,000 dogs died. 

They came to the conclusion that big dogs age more quickly than smaller canines.

Unfortunately, goldens are prone to health problems that cause them to live shorter lifetimes.

Golden Retrievers’ Average Lifespan

According to the American Kennel Club (AKC) and other sources, golden retrievers have an average lifetime of 10 to 12 years.

Unfortunately, the lifetime of golden retrievers has been declining over time. 

Goldens used to live to be 16 or 17 years old in the 1970s. That is now the exception rather than the norm.

Augie, a twenty-year-old golden retriever, was claimed to be the world’s oldest living golden retriever at the time. 

When she was 14 years old, she was adopted. To commemorate the joyful event, she was given a birthday party.

How Long Do Golden Retrievers Live?

People used to believe that dogs lived for seven years for every human year. 

However, according to the American Kennel Club, dogs are considered adolescents when they reach the age of one year. 

They grow nine human years in their second year. 

After then, they mature at a rate of approximately five human years each year. Of course, the timetable is expedited for bigger breeds.

Golden retrievers aren’t considered adults until they’ve reached the age of two to three years.

A Golden Retriever’s Lifespan Is Influenced By Several Factors

A golden’s lifetime is influenced by a variety of things. Of course, heredity plays a role.

In the United States, 60% of goldens succumb to cancer. However, cancer kills fewer than 40% of European goldens.

If you’ve been reading our site for a time, you’ve undoubtedly seen our litters of English Cream Golden Retrievers. Our Goldens were given to service dog groups after we collaborated with a breeder. To create healthier pups, the breeder we worked with used a combination of European and American Goldens.

The Morris Animal Foundation is undertaking a $32 million lifetime study of over 3,000 golden retrievers to determine the variables that influence their longevity. Environmental, genetic, and health variables are all being examined.

Although the cause of the rise in cancer in goldens is unknown, it is believed that a recent genetic mutation is to blame.

Hemangiosarcoma and lymphoma in Goldens are caused by genetic changes that make them more prone to develop the malignancies.

A 2015 Golden Retriever Lifetime Study discovered that Golden Retrievers are more likely than other dog breeds to die of bone cancer, lymphoma, and blood cancer.

The popularity of golden retrievers has damaged this wonderful breed. They are the third most common breed, according to the AKC.

Poorly or over-bred goldens, such as those seen in puppy mills, are also more likely to suffer from health issues than well-bred goldens.

Other health issues that goldens and other big breeds are particularly prone to may also cut a golden’s lifetime short. Bloating, arthritis, and joint issues, as well as obesity-related diseases like diabetes, are among them.

Hip dysplasia, skiing conditions, heart difficulties, cataracts, Von Willebrand Disease, and hypothyroidism are among the health issues that goldens encounter as they age.

Of course, proper diet, exercise, and neutering all have a role in a dog’s lifespan.

How Can You Make Your Golden Retriever Live Longer?

Of course, there are no assurances as to what will lengthen the life of your beloved golden. 

However, there are certain common-sense steps you may take to improve his chances of living a long and healthy life.

1. Select the Best Dog

It may seem self-evident, but selecting a healthy dog may mean a dog that is free of or has fewer health issues.

Choosing a reputable breeder is an excellent place to start. Do some research on the breeder.

Before breeding any dog, knowledgeable, caring breeders do comprehensive health testing. They won’t breed one that doesn’t pass the test.

A reputable breeder would invite you to meet the litter’s mother and will inquire about your reasons for wanting a golden. They’ll also inquire about your knowledge of the breed, how you want to raise the dog, and how you plan to care for him. 

A breeder who has just been breeding for a few years is unlikely to be attractive. 

Another red flag is if the pups haven’t visited a vet and gotten the necessary immunizations and deworming.

Breeders that care for their animals aren’t simply seeking for a fast buck. They are concerned with the improvement of the breed. 

Generally, reputable breeders will give details about the puppy’s pedigree. AKC papers are also available. However, many puppy mill breeders also offer AKC papers, which do not guarantee the dog’s health or breeding.

Puppy mills and other bad breeders are solely interested in making money. 

They don’t screen their dogs and will usually breed any two canines that will earn them money together. 

You won’t be able to meet the mother, who is often ill, malnourished, and unsocialized. 

Breeding parents in puppy mills live in deplorable conditions, confined to rabbit-style hutches or barns until they are no longer able to breed, at which point their lives are generally cut short.

A former puppy mill breeder dog was one of my golden rescues. 

Brandi was depressed and unsocialized when she came to see me. 

She had a bladder stone the size of a paper weight that had been bothering her for a long time. It was taken down by the rescue group. 

Other tests were performed, including an ultrasound for another issue. She was diagnosed with a heart hemangiosarcoma.

I couldn’t let her pass away without giving her some quality time. I

 Her cancer was treated by experts, and she was able to live in freedom for almost nine months. 

She turned out to be the most adorable puppy. She also learnt to play, take walks, and be accepted for who she was.

You have the option of rescuing your precious. 

Of course, not every golden retriever that has been rescued has health or behavioral issues. 

I am a supporter of both excellent breeders and rescue organizations. My goldens have all been rescued. And they’ve all been fantastic dogs.

2. Maintain a Healthy Weight for Your Dog

Consult your veterinarian if you’re unsure how much your golden should weigh. 

A golden should have a well-defined waistline in general. 

He shouldn’t seem fat or plump. He should look thin instead. 

With a little layer of fat covering his ribs, you should be able to feel them rather than see them.

As a result, don’t overfeed him.

Also, make certain that he gets adequate activity for his age and condition. 

Long walks, swimming, and playing may all help him stay in shape. 

And being active will make him happy. However, before beginning any fitness regimen, consult your veterinarian.

Excess weight puts a burden on every major bodily system and puts a dog at risk for joint problems, hypertension, diabetes, and heart failure. 

3. Maintain proper dental hygiene

A dog’s oral hygiene, like ours, may have an impact on their general health. 

A dog’s periodontal disease may be caused by poor oral hygiene. Bacteria may enter the bloodstream and damage the kidneys, liver, heart, and lungs, among other organs.

Unfortunately, by the age of three, 80 percent of dogs have dental problems. 

Brushing your dog’s teeth on a regular basis is recommended by many veterinarians. It’s great if you do it every day. 

It’s a good idea to have your vet examine your golden’s teeth to see if they need to be cleaned or if any need to be extracted.

Every day, I clean the teeth of my dogs. I also follow the vet’s advise when she says they should be properly cleaned.

4. Neuter or Spay Your Golden Retriever

There are many ideas on whether or not to repair your dog and when to do so. Many specialists believe that neutering will aid in the prevention of some cancers later in life.

Breast and uterine malignancies, pyometra, false pregnancy, uterine torsion, and vaginal and uterine prolapse will all be decreased in females.

Many malignancies that afflict male dogs are completely eliminated by neutering. It also reduces the chance of a number of other things. 

Testicular cancer, prostate issues, anal tumors, hernias, and testicular infections are all decreased in neutered dogs.

Neutering also reduces territorialism and hormone-driven behaviors like aggressiveness toward other male canines. 

It also stops a guy from wandering about looking for females to mate with. Mounting and marking habits will also be drastically reduced or eliminated.

5. Take Immediate Action

Be ready to take immediate action with your golden if required. 

Accidents do occur. Make a plan for what you’re going to do. 

It’s a good idea to have an emergency kit on hand. Also, be aware of the whereabouts of your local veterinarian and any emergency veterinary facilities.

And, since fast action may be needed, keeping an eye on and being prepared for any unexpected emergency may be the difference between life and death.

6. Provide routine veterinary care

Taking your golden to the vet for regular check-ups and required immunizations (or titers) may be a critical piece of the jigsaw in keeping your golden in top condition.

Any issue may be identified at an early stage. He should also be less prone to contracting dangerous diseases.

7. Ensure that your golden retriever is groomed on a regular basis.

Grooming offers additional health advantages in addition to maintaining his coat as attractive as possible. It will aid in the maintenance of his skin. 

You’ll also be more likely to notice lumps and bumps, as well as other abnormalities, before they become dangerous.

It’s also essential to keep your golden’s nails properly cut for his structure. 

Goldens are more prone to ear infections due to their flop-type ears. As a result, they must be inspected and cleaned as needed.

8. Use a sunscreen that is safe for dogs.

Goldens, like humans, are susceptible to skin cancer. If they’ll be out in the sun for an extended length of time, it’s a good idea to use dog-safe sunscreen.

9. Reduce Your Golden’s Anxiety

Goldens are known for being very loyal to their family. 

They will be affected by a stressful incident. And, like us, stress may have a negative impact on his health and psyche.

10. Keep Allergens and Dangerous Chemicals to a Minimum

Because goldens are prone to allergies, it’s critical to keep known allergens away from them. 

Some pollutants, like as lawn fertilizers or ice melts, may also make a golden ill–or even kill it. 

As a result, be sure to use dog-friendly products whenever possible.

11. Become a nutritionist for your dog

Of course, if you’re concerned about your golden’s diet, you should get advice from a specialist.

However, you should educate yourself on what foods and pleasures are ideal for him. Feed a high-quality diet to your pet. 

Before deciding on a brand of dog food for my dogs, I did a lot of research. 

Knowledge can also be used to ask questions of your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist.

It’s also crucial to understand which meals are harmful or fatal to dogs.

Even tiny quantities of chocolate, raisins, macadamia nuts, avocado, apple seeds, onions, and xylitol are fatal to dogs. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) has a highly comprehensive page on foods that are harmful to our beloved goldens.

12. Create a Dog Lovers’ Network

Participating in or attending dog-related events may keep you better educated, in addition to being entertaining and possibly establishing long-term connections.

Any concerns you have about your golden should be directed to your veterinarian. 

To learn as much as you can about your golden’s health, go to dog shows and speak to “dog people.” 

At dog shows, there are usually a lot of goldens competing in obedience, conformation, rally, and agility.

Talking about dogs is something that most dog enthusiasts like doing. If goldens are “their breed,” this is especially true.

Join a dog group, even if it’s only for golden retriever owners. 

The more we know about our particular dogs, the better we can care for them.

13. Work on Your Golden Retriever

Goldens, being a working breed, need a “job.” They may get upset, bored, and lethargic if they don’t have one, which is bad for their mental and physical health.

Teaching your golden basic instructions and tricks can help him or her enjoy life and be emotionally and physically healthy.

A well-trained golden is less likely to engage in harmful behavior and cause injury, such as eating something he shouldn’t or getting free and refusing to respond when called.

In addition, training will strengthen your connection. And since your dog is well-behaved, he will be welcomed everywhere he goes.

Because of poor behavior, many dogs are surrendered to shelters or rehomed.

14. Make Your Dog Social

A happy, complete life is far more likely for a well-socialized puppy or dog. A well socialized dog is also less prone to exhibit undesired behaviors such as aggressiveness as a result of dread of the unknown. 

Euthanasia is a possibility for aggressive dogs.

Last Thoughts

We’ve had many Golden Retrievers throughout the years. Kiko, our family dog, died of a brain tumor when she was ten years old. Apache, who is now a functioning service dog, was raised by us. He’s nine years old and still working, as far as we know. Raven, one of our own, celebrated her seventh birthday this summer.

The bad news is that three of our friends’ Golden Retrievers died at the ages of six, six, and seven.

The lifetime of our beloved goldens is never long enough. 

Choosing a healthy golden and taking as many steps as possible to prolong his life may help you live a long and happy life with your best friend.

What is the age of your golden? What is the oldest golden you’ve ever had?

Tell us about it in the comments section below.


The golden retriever life expectancy calculator is a website that calculates the average lifespan of a golden retriever.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a golden retriever live for 15 years?

A golden retriever can live for 15 years.

Can my golden retriever live to 16?


Can Golden Retrievers live longer than 12 years?

Yes, Golden Retrievers can live up to 16 years.

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