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Golden Border Retriever

Nicole Cosgrove

June 18, 2021


The Golden Border Retriever is a mixed breed also known as a hybrid, the offspring of a Golden Retriever and a Border Collie. He has a life span of 10 to 15 years and is a very responsive and resilient dog, full of stamina and energetic. He has talents in agility, watchdog, military work, guard dog and obedience. He is a medium to large sized dog and can be fairly high maintenance between his exercise needs and his grooming needs so he needs an owner prepared for this.

Here is the Golden Border Retriever at a Glance
Average height up to 24 inches
Average weight 45 to 75 pounds
Coat type Dense, harsh, water repellent, corded
Hypoallergenic? No
Grooming Needs Moderate
Shedding Moderate
Brushing Daily
Touchiness Highly sensitive
Tolerant to Solitude? Low to moderate
Barking Occasional
Tolerance to Heat Very good
Tolerance to Cold Very good
Good Family Pet? Very good
Good with Children? Very good
Good with other Dogs? Good to very good with socialization
Good with other Pets? Good to very good with socialization or when raised with them
A roamer or Wanderer? Low
A Good Apartment Dweller? Low – moves around a lot and has a lot of energy so needs room
Good Pet for new Owner? Moderate to good – high need when it comes to exercise
Trainability Excellent – use positive methods due to high sensitivity
Exercise Needs Very high
Tendency to get Fat Moderate to fairly high
Major Health Concerns Heart problems, OCD, bloat, epilepsy, cancer
Other Health Concerns Joint dysplasia, eye problems, allergies
Life Span 10 – 15 years
Average new Puppy Price $300 – $800
Average Annual Medical Expense $485 – $600
Average Annual Non-Medical Expense $500 – $600

Where does the Golden Border Retriever come from?

Through the 1990s, 2000s and 2010s there has been an increase in popularity for designer dogs, what these hybrids have become known as. Origins are unclear for most of them, and being so recent they do not have a history of their own. We can though get a better understanding of what is going into the mix by looking at the parent purebreds, in this case the Golden Retriever and the Border Collie.

The Golden Retriever

In Scotland in the mid to late 1800s a man called Lord Tweedmouth, who was an avid waterfowl hunter started to breed a dog who would be not just a better retriever than the ones he was using, but also one who was even tempered and a good family companion. He liked the look of the yellow puppies so kept just them and gave away any other colors. His dog attracted attention for his skill as a retriever and for how attentive he was with his hunter. The breed was recognized in 1911 but it was not until 1920 when the name was officially made the Golden Retriever.

This dog today is gentle and trustworthy, great with children, calm and even tempered still and very much a people dog. He is happiest when with his owner and family and can suffer from seperation anxiety if left too long. He is quite active needing a good hour a day of brisk exercise. He is very easy to train being so eager to please and intelligent too. He is prove to obesity as he will over eat if allowed to.

The Border Collie

This is a very old dog, the ancestors of the Border Collie have been around since people in what is now called Britain first began to herd sheep. His name comes from where he originates on the border between Scotland and England. He was a herding dog, helped keep the sheep together and helped the Shepherd guard them and move them. The word collie is from a Scottish dialect and means sheepdog. In the mid to late 1800s they performed well in sheepdog trials (as they continue to do so today) and Queen Victoria when she saw them became a firm fan. In 1995 he was recognized by the AKC.

He is an alert, hardworking and very smart dog and learns so quickly it is hard to stay ahead of him. This means while he learns very quickly training is still somewhat tricky as you need to keep him interested. If he is under exercised or under stimulated he will get bored very quickly and become destructive. He is not the type of dog who is happy to lay down all day and relax. He is very sensitive but he can also be independent and strong willed. If not trained and socialized and kept busy he can be shy and has a tendency to gather and herd other pets and even children!


The Golden Border Retriever is an intelligent dog who learns quickly and is very active and alert. He is good with his family, affectionate, friendly, playful and loving. He is very responsive and socialization and training are important as he can sometimes be shy without it.

What does a Golden Border Retriever look like

He is a medium to large dog weighing 45 to 75 pounds and measuring up to 24 inches tall. He has almond shaped eyes that are deep set and flappy ears that hang to his cheeks. His muzzle is medium length and he has a fairly long tail. His coat can be dense, rough and corded like a Collie’s or water-repellent like the Golden Retriever’s. Common colors are black, white, brown, golden, chocolate and yellow.

Training and Exercise Needs

How active does the Golden Border Retriever need to be?

This dog has quite high exercise needs, he should get between an hour to three hours a day with a mix of hard exercise and play, and a mix of mental as well as physical challenges. He has a lot of stamina and is best suited to a very active owner that way you can take him out with you when you do your activities like jogging, running, cycling, hiking and so on. He is best in a home with some room with a yard so he has space to play. If not given enough exercise he can become obese and destructive.

Does he train quickly?

He is very intelligent, eager to please, sensitive to all your cues and loves to work so training happens very quickly for him You do need to make sure you use positive techniques as he does not respond well to harsh techniques. You also need to be firm and clearly establish yourself as leader. Early socialization and training will ensure there are fewer if any behavioral problems when he is older and will also ensure he is not shy which he can get from the Border Collie parents sometimes.

Living with a Golden Border Retriever

How much grooming is needed?

Use a solid bristle brush once a day to brush his coat as he does shed a moderate amount so there will be loose hair to keep up with. You can expect to have dog hair on your furniture and clothes. Bathe him when he is especially dirty to avoid stripping the natural oils from his coat. When it is bath time use a doggy shampoo. He will also need his nails clipping occasionally, as their nails have nerves and vessels in the lower part you may want to leave that to a groomer. His ears need to be checked once a week and use a vet recommended solution on a cotton ball or cloth to wipe then clean. His teeth too will need brushing preferable once a day, or at least three times a week. Use a toothbrush and toothpaste designed for dogs.

What is he like with children and other animals?

To ensure he is at his best around other pets, dogs and children carry out early socialization and training. This will help curb his inclination to herd and chase them too. He plays with children and is affectionate with them. Being raised with other pets and children also helps. Teach the children how to be kind to dogs and how to play safely with them.

General information

The Golden Border Retriever is a dog that is well suited to most climates. He is a good watchdog as he will bark to alert you of an intruder but otherwise he will bark occasionally. He will 21/2 to 3 cups of high quality dry dog food each day divided into at least two meals.

Health Concerns

Long term health issues are not known for this mixed breed as he is fairly new. To lower the chances of getting a puppy with health issues buy from trusted breeders and ask to see health clearances for the parents. The Golden Border Retriever could inherit some of its parents issues such as Heart problems, OCD, bloat, epilepsy, cancer, joint dysplasia, eye problems and allergies.

Costs involved in owning a Golden Border Retriever

Puppies can range in cost depending on how popular they are at the time of purchase, their health and age, if any extras are included and location. $300 to $800 per puppy is the current range. If it has not been done he will need to be neutered, micro chipped, have some blood tests done, then he will need a crate, and a collar and leash. This will be around $450 – $500. Your dog will need to be fed, have some toys, some treats, a license each year, and training. All these non medical costs will be $500 – $600 per annum. Then there are medical check ups, shots, tick and flea prevention and pet insurance costs of $485 – $600 per annum.


Looking for a Golden Border Retriever Puppy Name? Let select one from our list!

This lovely mixed breed really needs an active owner who can commit to regular and intense exercise each day along with being willing to offer mental stimulation. This dog will not be as happy with anyone who cannot offer them that. In return he will be eager, responsive, friendly and affectionate. You can be fit and healthy together!

Featured Image Credit: Erik_Lam, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.

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