6 Reasons Why Your Golden Retriever Is So Small? Here Is What You Can Do

Why is your golden retriever so small

Is your Retriever facing difficulties growing up? If your answer is yes. Then, you are probably wondering, why is your Golden Retriever so small? What to do when your Golden Retriever is small?

Undoubtedly, the popularity of the Golden Retrievers is increasing immensely over the years. Therefore, they are now the third most popular dog breed in the USA. But raising a Golden Retriever needs a lot of effort and time.

If you do not care about the Retriever properly, they will suffer from health issues. Besides this, it may also lead to a decrease in their life span and degrade their growth.

There are many reasons why your Golden Retriever is small. In general, your Golden Retriever reaches its maturity within two years after birth. But lack of exercise, insufficient food, diseases, and genes can make your dog smaller than its normal size. However,  you can manage this problem if you give a little focus to Golden Retriever Care. Exercising with your pet, supplying adequate food, proper grooming, regular health checkups, and buying a purebred Golden Retriever can solve this problem. 

I will explain the various reasons why your Retriever is so small further in this article. And also show you some ways to solve this problem. But first, let me give you some idea about the variation of size according to the type of breeds.

What Is The Average Size Of Different Breeds Of Golden Retriever?

In general, the three different breeds of the Retriever vary in size. Though, the variation is not huge. Yet, it can somehow explain to you why your Golden Retriever is small? The size of breeds are:

  1. Canadian Golden Retrievers
  2. American Golden Retriever
  3. English Golden Retriever

Are Canadian Golden Retrievers Small?

Comparing to the other two breeds, the Canadian Golden Retrievers are relatively small with a thinner coat and less feathery golden to yellowish bodies. The males are about 23-24 inches tall and, the females are 31.5-22.5 inches in height.

Similarly, the male Canadian Retriever weighs 65-75 pounds on average whereas, the female weighs 60-65 pounds.

What Is The Size Of American Golden Retriever?

American Golden Retriever has a darker golden fur with a less muscular and leaner body. They are a little shorter than the Canadian Retriever and have a height of 22-24 inches for males. And 21.5-22.5 inches for females.

Besides this, the average weight of a male American breed is 60 pounds. And that of the female is 55 pounds, which is a little less than the other two.

What Is The Size Of The English Golden Retriever?

Though English Golden Retriever has a fair and light golden body with long furs, they are shorter. The male English Retriever is 23-24 inches tall and, the females are 20-22 inches.

The English Retriever is a little leaner than the Canadian type. The average weight is 65 pounds for males and 55 pounds for females. Yet, they are a little heavier than the American Retriever.

Is Golden Retriever Small? Comparative Study Of All Three Breeds At Different Ages

Most of the Golden Retriever grows to mature within two years after their birth. They grow to their full height within one year. But it takes another one to attain their mature weight.

However, the growing pattern of the three different breeds may differ. The following chart can explain a little about the growth and age relation.

Age Canadian Retriever British Retriever American Retriever
Until six months Canadian breeds grow slowly within the first few months. British Retrievers become muscular in the first month. And then they start growing. American Breed does not show typical signs of growth in this stage.
6-12 months Then, they start rapidly growing. And they grow more muscle mass as they reach a year older. After the initial six months they then, start growing and gains muscles.


12-18 months Finally, reaching their maximum size. Then, depending on the amount and quality of food you give. The British Golden Retrievers may reach their maximum size within a year. And they reach their maximum height as well as weight within one year.


After discussing the growth pattern, you can take some ideas about the typical weight of different breeds concerning their age through the chart below.

Age Canadian Retriever (in lbs.) British Retriever (in lbs.) American Retriever (in lbs.)
7 weeks 8 7 7
2 months 10 8 8
3 months 22 20 19
4-5 months 30-40 28-38 27-37
6-8 months 44-55 43-53 42-52
9 months – 1 year 68 66 65
After 1 year 75 72 70


Therefore, before drawing on to a conclusion that your pet is small. You should check whether the age and height of your Retriever match with the above list or not.

Do you still think your Golden Retriever is tiny?

6 Reasons Why Your Golden Retriever Is Small?

If you still feel that your Retriever is small in comparison to other dogs of a similar breed. Then, there may be something going wrong within your pet or in the way you are raising them. However, some of the most common reasons may be:

1. Aging Makes Your Golden Retriever Small

The muscular mass of your pet gradually declines with age. Golden Retriever becomes leaner and thinner because the health of their bones and muscles fades with age. Besides this, the older Retriever is more prone to health issues that eventually degrade their health and growth.

2. Is Diet Influencing Factor?

For proper growth and development of your Golden Retriever, it needs a qualitative and balanced diet. The diet includes nutritious food, healthy natural snacks, probiotics, vitamin supplements, etc. During the development phase (i.e., in the early years of the Retriever), it requires about 1200 calories to gain weight and grow.

But if we fail to supply them with enough qualitative food with the required amount of nutrition. Then, the growth of the Retriever will decline gradually. As a result, they will have many health problems and become small.

3. Exercise Enhances The Growth Of Your Golden Retriever

The Golden Retriever needs at least two hours of exercise daily to maintain their health. Exercises help to improve the growth of muscles and regulates the functions of bones and joints. All this helps in the proper development of your pet.

Apart from this, regular exercising makes your Retriever active and happy. However, balancing the diet and exercise of your Retriever is vital for proper growth. Too little or too much of anyone may lead to serious health issues.

Some Of the exercise that helps in the growth of your pet is:

  • Swimming
  • Jogging
  • Fetching
  • Playing with Kids

Besides this, some other training that will assist to enhances the assistance of your Retriever are:

4. Your Golden Retriever Is Small, Is It An Indication Of Illness?

Another cause in the retardation of growth in your Golden Retriever may be due to certain illnesses. These medical conditions lead your pet to lose its appetite and stop eating. Thus, Illness makes them weaker and affects their whole system disturbing their natural growth.

So, if your pet stops eating suddenly and shows signs of laziness and fatigue, it suggests that your pet may be ill. You must seek the help of the Veterinarian as soon as possible.

5. Stress And Anxiety Cause Your Retriever To Be Small.

When the Golden Retriever is anxious and stressed, they lose their appetite. It may lead to degradation in their growth.

If your pet fears people and other pets, they will abandon themselves from social interaction, food, exercises, etc. They grow quieter and halt their growth along with losing their weight.

For this, you must develop a pet-friendly environment in your home and start the training of your Retriever as early as possible so that they enjoy socialization and eliminate their stress.

6. Genetics Determines Why Your Retriever Is Small

Golden Retriever is a larger breed animal with a beautiful body structure and good height. But Genetics influences the shape of dogs. In general, all dogs and wolves share similar genomes. And, the difference exists when you mix breed them.

Therefore, when the purebred Golden Retriever mix-breeds with a smaller-sized bred, they cannot grow up to their natural size. Thus, the size of breeds with mixed DNA strands is smaller comparing to normal purebred.

Such as miniature Golden Retrievers. They are the mixed breed of Golden Retriever and Cocker Spaniel and look similar to the Golden Retriever. But they are smaller than the purebred ones.

Is your Golden Retriever also small? Then, one of the above may be the reason.

What To Do When Your Golden Retriever Is Small?

The smaller size of Golden Retriever is an indication that your pet is not healthy. Thus, you must solve this problem. You can solve this problem and maintain their growth by following ways:

Improve Diet When Your Golden Retriever Is Small

Food is the most vital factor for adequate growth and to increase the lifespan of your Retriever. Don’t ever imagine that your Retriever will grow to its maturity if you fail to provide them enough qualitative food.

In the growing phase (i.e., until they are one year old), they need about 1200 calories and an enormous amount of food. You should provide them enough protein to regulate their growth. And, the source of protein for them is meat and whole wheat products.

You can also use the guidelines of the Association of American Feed Control Officials to maintain their diet.

Select Purebred

We cannot change the genes of the mixed breed Golden Retriever. So, if you want a big dog in your house, you should select a purebred Retriever. However, if you like being around tiny ones, you can opt for the miniature Golden Retriever.

But be careful that the cross-breed may have much more health complications than the normal ones. Thus, it needs a lot of care and concern.

Include Exercise That Influences The Growth Of Your Golden Retriever

Exercises are a great source of physical fitness. It tightens the muscles and enhances the functioning of bones and joints. Proper exercises and adequate training can help in the growth of your Golden Retriever both physically and mentally.

The Retrievers are originally hunting dogs. Thus, exercises help them to be happy and active.

 Maintain A Healthy And Friendly Environment

The Retriever may find it strange to be around people and noises as soon as you bring them home. Therefore, you should maintain a quiet and friendly environment for them on the initial day until they get familiar.

Making a separate crate from them, introducing and letting them play with your kids, and taking them on walks help them reduce their stress and anxiety. Thus, promoting their growth.

Consult The Vet If Your Golden Retriever Is Small

You should consult the Vet if your Retriever is small. Sometimes, internal health issues may be the reason for the degradation in their growth.

Apart from this, the diseases like Hip and Joint dysplasiaHypothyroidismDiabetesHormonal Imbalance, Spaying, and Neutering may be leading to their growth retardation.

Therefore, consult the Vet about these issues, their diet, and other medical ways that you can use to improve their growth.

Where you aware of these problems?

Do you think you can now manage the growth of your Golden Retriever?

Feel free to give your suggestion and advice below.

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