Differences Between Male & Female Golden Retrievers

Written by laura wood
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Differences Between Male & Female Golden Retrievers
A female golden retriever gives birth to puppies. (Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

The golden retriever is medium-sized domestic dog. It gets its name from the flat or wavy golden fur coat. The dog is popular family pet due to its kind and friendly nature towards humans. It may be difficult to tell the difference between a male and female. The differences are in physical features and behaviour.


There is a slight difference between the height of male and female golden retriever. The female grows approximately 20 to 22 inches tall. The male is slightly taller, between 22 and 24 inches.


The weight between a male and female is different, but it depends on each individual dog. On average, a female will weigh between 60 and 71lbs. In comparison, the male is slightly heavier, between 66 and 75lbs.

Sexual Anatomy

The most obvious difference is the difference in sexual anatomy. The male should have two testicles fully descended into the scrotum. If only one is visible the other may be inside the abdominal wall and needs to be removed. The female golden retriever carries young and therefore has a menstrual cycle. She will reach sexual maturity around age 2.


There is believed to be a general difference in behaviour between female and male dogs. Females are believed to be prone to mood swings. This may be due to a hormonal reaction when they're in heat. When a female's menstrual cycle returns she will be less tolerant of male dogs. A female golden retriever is considered more independent than males. In comparison, the male may be much more affectionate than a female.

Marking Territory

If a dog lifts his leg to mark his territory, he can be identified as an unneutered male. Female dogs squat. Male dogs that have been neutered before they reach 18 months will also squat.


A female gives birth to a litter of puppies; males do not. She will attend to her young by licking, cleaning and feeding them. A female also has the ability to become a surrogate to other animals. For example, a female golden retriever at the Kansas City Zoo was able to become a surrogate to tiger cubs after weaning her litter of puppies.

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