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Golden Retriever Average Height (Puppy to Adult)

Updated November 19, 2022
Golden Retriever Average Height (Puppy to Adult)

Knowing a golden retriever’s height is crucial for every owner to buy size-appropriate accessories, participate in dog shows, and keep track of puppy development.

Furthermore, drastic deviations from the standard height may signal severe health conditions.

A common misconception is that all golden retrievers grow up to the same height, but more often than not, their size deviates from the average. Still, the average figures serve as a great point of reference.

A dog’s height depends on many variables, including its gender, age, genetics, bloodlines, and health state, but the golden retriever breed standard sets a pretty narrow height range.

However, there’s no need to worry if your dog doesn’t fit the breed standard unless you notice signs of health issues. Short or tall, golden retrievers have big hearts and love their owners unconditionally.

Golden Retriever Female Puppy Height

Keeping track of a golden retriever puppy’s growth rate until it celebrates its first birthday is crucial to adjust its food consumption and spot development issues. Compare your puppy’s height with the golden retriever average height chart every month or two.

When puppies just arrive in their new homes at two months old, female golden retrievers weigh approximately ten pounds and are about six-seven inches tall. By four months old, female golden retrievers reach about half of their adult height – 10-12 inches.

By six months old, female golden retrievers typically reach about two-thirds of their adult height, 14-15 inches. However, monitoring the puppy’s weight is more important than tracking its height because puppies can grow in any direction.

From about four months old until adulthood, golden retriever puppies may look awkward. In a way, they resemble human teenagers because some puppies grow more in height and others in length.

Golden Retriever Male Puppy Height

Male golden retriever puppies tend to be slightly larger than females, and the difference typically becomes apparent at two to three months old. A four-month-old golden retriever puppy should be about half of his adult height, 11-13 inches tall.

By six months old, a male golden retriever puppy’s height should range from 15 to 17 inches. Male golden retriever puppies typically reach their full height by one year old, but some puppies grow up faster and reach their full size by ten months.

In contrast, golden retriever weight doesn’t stop growing until 18 months old, so many young goldens appear too lanky.

Note that the golden retriever puppy height chart is generalized. Puppies don’t always grow proportionately – they may grow rapidly in height, then stop growing in height for a while and only grow in length, and vice versa.

Adult Golden Retriever Height

Adult female golden retrievers typically are 20-22.5 inches tall, and male golden retrievers’ height ranges from 22 to 24 inches. Most dogs reach their full height by one year old, but some may grow faster or take more time to develop.

Many people wonder how is golden retriever height measured because 20-24 inches seems too short for such large dogs. Professionals measure golden retriever height from the withers to the ground.

The withers is the highest point of a dog’s shoulder blades, located just behind the base of its neck. To measure your golden retriever, find the top bony point on your dog’s shoulders, ensuring its legs are perpendicular to the floor.

Then, use a measuring tape to find out your dog’s height. If measured from the top of the head to the ground, a golden retriever’s height should be 28-32 inches.

Height Differences By Type

Golden retrievers come in three types: American, British, and Canadian. Technically, American, Canadian, and British golden retrievers are the same breed, but they have some visual distinctions.

Canadian golden retrievers tend to be the biggest out of the three, with a broader chest and longer legs. Female Canadian golden retrievers usually reach 21.5-22.5 inches in height, and males are 23-24 inches tall.

Canadian golden retrievers also weigh slightly more than average. The standard weight of a male Canadian golden retriever is 70 to 75 pounds, and a female’s 60 to 70 pounds as opposed to an average of 55 to 65 pounds.

British golden retrievers are also heavier than American because they have a more muscular build, but they are typically shorter. Female British golden usually don’t exceed 21 inches in height, and most males reach 22.5-23 inches.

American golden retrievers aren’t as stocky as British goldens and are taller, about the same height as Canadian goldens. The average male American golden retriever’s height is 23 to 24 inches, and females measure 21.5 to 22.5 inches.

Why Is My Golden Retriever Shorter Than Average?

Golden retrievers don’t always grow to the average size, making the owners wonder, “why is my dog so short?”. The reasons a golden retriever is shorter than average include genetics, bloodlines, age, and developmental issues.

If your golden retriever is under 18 months old, don’t give up on its height – give it more time. Although most goldens reach their full height by 12 months old, some dogs take longer to develop.

From two months old until one year old, golden retriever puppy height doesn’t matter much because the growth rate varies from dog to dog. Most importantly, a golden retriever puppy’s weight should be healthy.

If your golden retriever is too short in adult age, the most plausible explanation is genetics. Like in humans, genes play a crucial role in determining a dog’s height. Short dogs produce short puppies; that’s normal.

For this reason, meeting the sire and dam is essential when choosing a puppy. The height may not play a role for a pet-quality puppy but is critical for show-class puppies.

The only way to predict how tall a golden retriever puppy will grow is to look at its parents. Another reason a golden retriever is shorter than average is British bloodlines. You can determine whether that’s the case with your dog by checking its pedigree.

A puppy may stop growing due to malnutrition or intestinal parasites, but it should regain its standard growth rate when the problem is resolved.

Dwarfism doesn’t typically occur in purebred golden retrievers but may occur in hybrid goldens mixed with other breeds.

Lastly, some dogs may be shorter than average because of hip dysplasia or developmental orthopedic diseases (DODs). Such disorders may not impact the growth rate but affect the dog’s posture, making it appear shorter than it is.

Why Is My Golden Retriever Taller Than Average?

Genetics and bloodlines are the most common reasons a golden retriever is taller than average. Some puppies are bound to be tall because their parents are tall or have Canadian goldens in their ancestry.

Some studies have shown that early spaying or neutering affects a golden retriever’s growth rate. If a golden retriever is spayed or neutered until it’s 18 months old, its growth plate closure may be delayed, causing it to be taller than average.

Late growth plate closure in golden retrievers and other large dog breeds can also cause joint problems. Another potential cause of excess height in golden retrievers is acromegaly. Acromegaly is a severe endocrine disorder that causes overproduction of the growth hormone.

However, acromegaly is rare, and if it was the reason for your dog’s excess height, it wouldn’t be left unnoticed because it causes a wide range of unpleasant and even life-threatening symptoms.

If a golden retriever puppy is taller than average, it may be overeating. Too rapid growth can cause joint issues in the future, so you may need to adjust the serving sizes.

What Does The Breed Standard Say?

Slight deviations from the average breed height make no difference for golden retrievers intended for couch snuggles and exploring wild terrains with their owners.

However, even a subtle deviation from the breed standard can be a serious fault for a show golden retriever.

According to the golden retriever breed standard published by the American Kennel Club, a female golden retriever’s height should be 21.5 to 22.5 inches. A male golden retriever’s height should be 23 to 24 inches.

Judges at dog shows should penalize dogs shorter or taller than the standard by under an inch proportionately to their height deviation.

However, if a dog’s height differs from the breed standard by over an inch, it should be disqualified from the competition.

Not only the dog’s height but also its body proportions matter. The length to height ratio should be close to 12:11, meaning that a golden retriever’s length should be slightly greater than its height.

So, if your golden retriever stopped growing after 20 inches or has grown to 25 inches tall, it won’t have a chance at American kennel shows, even if it has a perfect head and face.

That’s the cruel reality of dog shows. The good news is that owners of smaller than average golden retrievers may still have a chance to win a dog show in the U.K.

The British golden retriever breed standard allows female goldens to be 20-22 inches tall and males 22-24 inches tall.

Dog judges don’t consider golden retriever puppy height critical because it may vary. Typically, judges neglect deviations from the expected size for the age if a puppy has excellent show potential.

Image credit: Pexels