Golden Retriever Temperature Tolerance

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Golden retrievers seem to be the perfect dog - able to handle children, life and hot weather in general.

But what we don't know is that the Golden Retriever temperature tolerance for cold isn't as good as we think. 

If you have a golden retriever or have even been around one long enough, you know that they don’t tolerate low temperatures. Specifically, if the weather outside is colder than 20°F (-6.7°C), you should get your golden retriever inside.

Essentially, while they can tolerate cold weather and even be happy when it's cold, it's usually up to specific temperatures.

his article will explain how long golden retrievers handle cold weather and share a few tips on keeping them warm during cold nights.

TL;DR - Golden retrievers have an ideal temperature range of  60°F to 80°F (16°C to 27°C). If it gets below 45°F (7°C), bring your retriever inside to warm and cozy up, especially if they've been out for too long.
 Any temperature higher than 103°F (39°C) is also going to overheat your Golden, as well as possibly burning their paws.

What Temperature is Ideal for A Golden Retriever?

It would be best not to expose your dog to freezing cold temperatures, weather too cold or too hot.

Golden retriever owners know that this dog breed has a double-layered coat that tolerates colder temperatures. The top layer of a golden retriever’s coat is called Topcoat or Guard, and it is long and flowing golden hair.

The undercoat keeps your retriever warm in winters and cool in summers. It produces a protective oil that keeps their skin dry. Both coats work as UV protection and help regulate the temperature of the dog’s body.

The temperature range where they feel most comfortable is between 60°F to 80°F or 16°C to 27°C.

That is what we would want to define as the idea Golden retriever temperature tolerance, for a normal day.

Remember that any temperature that is below 45°F (7°C) is too cold for Golden Retrievers, and any temperature below 20°F (-6.7°C) is a sign that you should bring ALL your dogs inside, minus those bred for the cold, like Huskies and Malamutes.


The same goes for extremely hot weather. Any temperature higher than 103°F (39°C) is too hot for Golden Retrievers, and when the temperature reaches 90°F or higher, it is time to bring the dog home.

To keep track of the temperature, you need to consider more than the thermometer reading. Humidity and wind can make the outside feel much colder than it is, which can be very dangerous for your dog.   

How to Know if Your Dog is Too Cold?

Certain signs can help you recognize whether your dog is feeling too cold. For example, if you notice that a golden retriever is shivering, whining, or limping, you should immediately take it inside.

Other things such as showing anxiety or lethargy are also a serious sign that the dog is feeling too cold.

Bring the dog home, position it near a heater, and cover it with blankets if you observe any signs.

Other things that indicate how cold your golden retriever feels are your dog’s weight, age, and health. Body fat is an excellent insulator that protects the heat in cold climates; if your dog is slightly overweight, it can tolerate cold weather better than fitter dogs with less body fat.

Like people, older retrievers are more frigid than golden retriever puppies. Veterinarians recommend that you should not leave a golden retriever puppy or a senior dog outside in the cold since they cannot regulate normal body temperature.

The last thing to look out for is the dog’s health. If a dog is healthy, it can tolerate cold weather more quickly. However, if the dog is sick, the immune system is weaker than usual, and it can catch diseases easier than a healthy dog.  


Can Golden Retrievers Get Hypothermia?

There are many indicators that animals are very similar to humans. Like people, dogs can get hypothermia if they stay out in very cold weather for a long time.

The risk of hypothermia is higher if the temperatures drop below 45°F or 7°C.

Some signs indicate that your dog is suffering from hypothermia: feeling sluggish or weak, experiencing muscle stiffness, slow and shallow breathing, lack of mental awareness, dilated and fixed pupils, and ultimately losing consciousness.

If you see any of these, your dog’s body temperature is inevitably under 98°F, and it will reach a state of hypothermia. In this case, you should immediately take it to the hospital and attempt to keep your golden retriever warm with blankets or hot water bottles.

How to Make My Retriever Comfortable at Night?

Golden Retrievers are generally outdoor dogs. However, if you live in areas where the temperature can significantly drop at night, it is your responsibility to keep your dog warm and comfortable.

Try adding more warm blankets, covers, and a kennel mat to your dog’s house. Many studies indicate that we lose most of our body heat due to the coldness of the ground. For this reason, you need to warm up the land on which your dog is sleeping.

Another important thing is having the right dog house. To make sure your golden retriever is warm at all times, buy an insulated kennel cover and an appropriate doghouse. Ensure that the house comes with a heavy-duty flap that keeps the wind out.

To maximize the effect, keep the doghouse in a protected area of your yard. This way, it will be easier to keep the dog warm and dry.

To avoid the risks of being too cold, you can also add an extra bowl of food and water to your dog during the night. Proper calorie intake and hydration are essential to keep your dog healthy, therefore, more prone to extreme weather conditions.


Golden Retrievers are large but sensitive pups. When taking care of one, you need to be wise and keep them safe. Remember the golden retriever temperature tolerance!

Take into consideration that puppies and older dogs are more sensitive to extreme temperatures. Also, bring them home straight away if the temperature is below 45°F or 7°C and you notice that your dog is shivering and whining.

If you let these dogs stay out in the cold for too long, they will catch several diseases and fall into a state of hypothermia. Keep a cozy blanket and a warm area to ensure dogs stay warm. It will help them feel more secure and comfortable.

about the author

Frank Harrigan

Frank loves tacos and dogs - the good, bad and ugly sides of dog ownership.

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