There are many differences between Male and Female Golden Retrievers. However, most of these are related to personality and overall appearance. Determining which is better will ultimately be your decision, but to help make that choice, here are some explanations of all of the distinguishing traits. Even with the differences, a Golden Retriever of either sex will be a lovable addition to any family.
Male vs. Female Golden Retriever – Is There a Real, Distinguishable Difference?
Yes, there is, in fact, a real, distinguishable difference between male and female golden retrievers. Visually, behaviorally, and in terms of maturity, there are many differences between the male and female golden retrievers and due to their gender. However, many of these differences can be quite subtle, and overall, both male and female golden retrievers are very loving and make great pets.
Characteristics of Male Golden Retrievers That Differ From Females
Male Golden Retrievers differ from females in their size and weight, as well as appearance. When it comes to maturity differences, males golden retriever tend to be slower mentally than females. If you’re looking at behavioral differences in males vs. females, males tend to be a bit more affectionate with their owners, but in return, that can lead to clingy behavior and separation issues. Let’s take a look at each of these male golden traits a bit further.
Male Golden Retrievers Are Larger in Size & Weight
Size and weight would be one of the most distinguishable differences between male and female golden retrievers. Males tend to be around 10 to 20 pounds heavier than the average female counterpart and approximately 2 to 4 inches taller. Yet, these are not substantial variations, and they can usually only be noticed once the male and female are next to each other. Males also have differences in facial structure. They have a broader nose and head and also tend to be more muscular than females.
Golden Males Tend to Have Thicker, Longer Coats
In addition to their size and weight difference, male golden retrievers have thicker and longer coats. This is one of the main reasons that male Golden Retrievers are the top pick for show dogs amongst the breed. Males also have longer fur around their neck area, much like a mane. Females do not have this feature, and it is one of the easiest ways to identify the differences in the sexes.
Physically, Golden Retriever Males Mature Faster Than Females
Physically, male golden retrievers mature faster than females in size, weight, and in their bladders. Male goldens’ bladders and bladder control mature faster than their counterparts, making it much easier to potty train. This is one of the plus sides to the differences, which may sway your opinion, but it is essential to remember that the ease of training is also very dependent on the patience of the person training the dog.
Golden Males Can Be Territorial and Have a Tendency to Mark
Golden Retrievers, as a breed, are one of the least territorial and aggressive dog breeds. However, male golden retrievers still tend to be territorial and to mark frequently, especially while they are young and unneutered. These behaviors will lessen indoors with potty training but generally do not disappear completely unless they are neutered. Once they are properly potty trained, the markings will only occur outside when your dog encounters new and unfamiliar scents. If you get them fixed at an appropriately young age, they will usually lessen the leg lifting and urinate as females do by squatting.
Golden Retrievers are rarely aggressive, but it is more likely, a male golden will be aggressive rather than a female. This is because they are inherently more protective and territorial around their owners. Aggression in dogs comes from inadequate training or traumatic experiences, so it is not expected in dogs that have a loving family from puppyhood to adulthood.
Male Golden Retrievers Crave More Attention
Due to their evolutionary pack mentality, male Golden Retrievers are constantly showing their owners affection and loyalty. They see their owner as their pack leader and in a survivalist setting a Golden would shower the leader with love and attention to win their favor and protection. Male golden retrievers are very needy and need constant affirmation and affection from their owners. They can even become depressed or get anxious if they do not receive enough attention from their owners. So, if you have a male Golden Retriever, be sure you have enough time to baby them and show them enough affection so that they don’t get distressed.
Characteristics of Female Golden Retrievers That Differ From Males
Female Golden Retrievers differ from males in a few ways. Most tend to be subtle but could sway a potential owner’s opinion, primarily based on personality. Females tend to be calmer in temperament and more independent when it comes to relationships with their owners. They are also generally more patient with commands and easier to train because they mentally mature faster than males. Let’s take a look at these differences in-depth.
Female Golden Retrievers Tend to Be Calmer
Female golden retrievers tend to be calmer than males. While both require attention, the females are slightly less high maintenance. This means they will welcome your affection and seek it out when they want it, but they will also do their own thing if they have had their fill of attention. This does not diminish their snuggly qualities, as female Golden Retrievers still want your love and affection. They are just more content cuddling on the couch than following you for constant belly rubs.
Females Are Smaller, Weigh Less, And are of Shorter Stature
As previously stated, there is a difference in size and appearance regarding male vs. female golden retrievers. Females tend to be around 10 to 20 pounds lighter and about 2 to 4 inches shorter. They also have slightly thinner coats and lack the additional neck hair or mane that males have. When it comes to shedding, their coat may be thinner, but if the female is not spayed, she will shed twice as much as the male while she is in heat. They will shed roughly the same amount if the female is spayed.
Golden Retriever Females are Easier to Train and Tend to be Smarter
Intelligence is a trait highly prevalent in Golden Retrievers, and this shows much faster in females. They are very intelligent at a young age, and while the males are easier to potty train, females do much better in obedience training. They have a longer attention span and pick up on directives quickly, which means they can learn many things in one session. This trait would also be beneficial as a service dog, which is actually why Golden Retrievers are a popular breed of choice for service animals.
Mentally, Golden Females Mature Faster
Goldens have a long puppyhood compared to some other breeds, and this usually means they are energetic at a higher level for a more extended period of time. Females of the breed mature faster mentally, which means they tend to calm down more quickly than males. This is a plus for anyone who may prefer more occasional movie nights or games of fetch in the yard rather than extensive hikes and jogs.
Female Golden Retrievers Are More Independent & Less Needy
Females mature faster and excel in obedience training, as aforementioned. Due to their mental maturity, female golden retrievers are seen as more independent and confident in themselves. This means that, unlike males, the females will be less likely to follow you around and pine for your constant attention. They are also unlikely to become distressed due to a lack of affection from their owners. Females also seem to require less physical touch than males. Males will want you to pet them for as long as possible, while females will enjoy it but will leave when they feel satisfied.
Is It Better To Get Male Or Female Golden Retriever?
That answer is up to you! It depends on the nuances of your own lifestyle and personality. Golden Retrievers, as a whole, will need attention and a yard to let out their abundant energy, but some of these differences will fade away as the dogs leave puppyhood. Females are less clingy, calmer, and do better in obedience trials. Males require a lot of attention, maintain their playful energy for longer, and are easier to potty train early on. The choice lies with you and ultimately which dog you fall in love with first, but you can be sure, when you choose a Golden Retriever, you’ll have a friend for life.
fab post!!! very informative… we prefer males, it is in our breed that males are easier to handle than da girls (sort of LOL)
Kim - Life at Golden Pines says
I love this post! Having had goldens for 20+ years now, you’ve reminded me about why they will and do have their very own place in my heart and my life too!!
Jill DeLuce says
I love this article and love my two golden girls!! I started reading your blog in 2007 when I had a golden male who I also loved dearly. My girls much are smaller then he was. All have hearts of gold!!
William Miranda says
Ducky & Bogie's Mom says
Great post! Thank you! I grew up with female dogs – and until we fostered Radar had never had a male dog in my life other than my brother’s dog. They were, with only 2 exceptions over the years, quite independent. Radar was mostly independent, but that probably sprung from his having been a stray before the local breed rescue got him. Our puppy, Bogie, is going to be – I’m sure – a 75-lb. lap dog when he reaches adulthood. He is quite attached to me right now; but we’re hopeful that spending time at daycare 2-3 days a week will help him develop at least some independence. He’s a lovebug for sure, and he does quite well in his crate both at night and when we have to leave him and Ducky home alone for an hour or two. He’s even pretty quiet right now in the kitchen while I’m busy elsewhere in the house. He has learned “sit” very well, is getting better at “stay”, but we have to work at “down”, “come”, and “off” some more. He tends to follow Ducky’s lead, so as long as she can keep helping me/us train him, I think we’ll do fine.