Are Golden Retrievers Lazy? Golden Retriever Energy Levels Explained!

Some dogs of every breed can be lazy because not all dogs are the same. Some dogs, regardless of breeding, will be lazy due to health reasons like injury or illness, and age also affects how energetic, athletic or lazy they behave. Still, some breeds, like terriers, have lots of energy, while others, like bulldogs, are couch potatoes. What about Golden Retrievers?

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Are Golden Retrievers Lazy?

Golden Retrievers are not lazy; they are energetic with a zest full of life that’s hard to ignore. The breed is active, loves the outdoors, and has fun. They can never be considered lazy unless there are existing health issues, injuries, or age-related issues.

According to the American Kennel Club, Golden Retrievers are in the sporting dog breed class. The dogs in this class are naturally athletic, energetic, and active by nature, and they love the outdoors and going on many adventures.

Golden Retrievers were bred to be hunting companions and love nothing more than a great outdoor adventure. They have an abundance of energy and are capable of working long hours at whatever activity they enjoy.

This dog breed can never be considered lazy; they are the dogs that make great family members because they will help keep a family active. Golden Retrievers will also get right in the mix of the kids who rough house or have a fun adventure.

Even older Golden Retrievers will be energetic and enthusiastic about life. They might slow down or need more breaks, but Golden Retrievers always have a zest for life that’s hard to match. 

What are some good activities for preventing laziness in my Golden Retriever?

Some good activities for preventing laziness in your Golden Retriever include water sports. Water sports are a favorite of every dog, and games with the Golden Retriever chasing after and retrieving something can be especially fun.

These activities easily align with who the Golden Retriever is as a dog and in relation to their breeding. As their name implies, Retrievers like to retrieve things. Toss a toy far across the yard and send a retriever off to retrieve it.

Nothing can be more delightful for a Golden Retriever than to play this game repeatedly. Any other outdoor games will be interesting and engage the Golden Retriever. Keeping their mind stimulated, as well as their body, will ensure that they love what they are doing.

After these types of adventures, no Golden Retriever could ever be considered or act lazy. It can be very easy to confuse laziness with boredom, and boredom can have a dog sulking and lazing around just like a kid might.

What happens for a Golden Retriever is different than what happens for kids. Golden Retrievers can’t verbally express their displeasure with their day, and they can’t tell anyone they’re bored and need something to do, so a Golden Retriever might sulk or lay around seeming lazy.

With closer inspection, parents may note they are just bored, and a change of scenery and activity might be in order. Any activity inside or outside can be beneficial to promoting an active lifestyle and reducing laziness.

The main idea is to keep things interesting and change things up periodically to prevent boredom.

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What causes a Golden Retriever to be lazy?

The things which can cause laziness in a Golden Retriever include boredom, age, too much exercise, excessive weight, health issues, poor diet, and emotional problems.


Boredom can happen to any dog at any time, regardless of breeding. A lack of adventures, activities, or fun things to do can bring anyone down and make them lazy. Adding fun activities to Golden Retrievers’ day and changing things up often will prevent this issue from happening.


Age is unavoidable for every dog, and a healthy lifestyle and good nutrition can help make a Golden Retriever as healthy as it can be with age. In this case, any laziness that arises should be respected as it can be related to undiagnosed health issues.

At the same time, parents can encourage continued gentle activity and playtime for youthfulness to reduce laziness.

Too Much Exercise

Excessive exercise can tire a dog out physically, even for a Golden Retriever. Tiredness could seem like laziness, but in this case, rest should be promoted to restore the body so the next day’s adventures can be enjoyed. In this case, it’s not true laziness and just fatigue.

Excessive Weight

Golden Retrievers can gain too much weight like any other dog. Whether it’s related to age or one too many treats doesn’t matter.   More daily exercise and fun playtime can promote better health, weight loss, and less laziness in the event of laziness brought on by excessive weight gain.

Health Issues

Health issues can strike at any time in a Golden Retrievers’ life. Diagnosed or not diagnosed illnesses can cause a dog to act lazy. This form of laziness isn’t true laziness and is a side effect of the health problem. Once the health problem is cured or managed as best as possible, laziness might go away.

In some instances, the health problem may not disappear, and laziness as a side effect may persist. In this case, it should be allowed as it can promote healing or, at the very least, prevent illness from progressing. It’s not true laziness and can be thought of as restfulness. 

Poor Diet

Laziness can creep up when a Golden Retriever eats an unhealthy or poor diet.   Unhealthy food can promote a sluggish digestive system and a sluggish body. Change their diet and provide lots of nutritious foods while promoting exercise and a healthy lifestyle. Laziness will soon disappear after they have recovered from eating a poor diet.

Emotional Problems

Like humans, a Golden Retriever or other dog can suffer emotional stressors for various reasons. One example would be separation anxiety. This issue can crop up when a Golden Retriever is forced to spend too much time away from its loving family.

When these issues arise, they can suffer laziness out of emotional upset they can’t express. The best way to resolve this is for parents to address issues that make their dogs unhappy actively. Once issues are addressed, so everyone’s needs are met, laziness will go away.

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are not usually a lazy dog breed, but they can happen occasionally. At the same time, there are various causes, and it’s often easy to remedy the issue.

Promoting exercise and good health can help lessen these symptoms if the issue can’t be remedied.

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