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Golden Retriever Turns 20 Years Old


Guiness World Records doesn't qualify dogs by breed, so they list August (or "Augie") as the 19th oldest dog in the world. But - of the first 18 oldest dogs, none were Golden Retrievers.  So that makes Augie a record-breaker as the oldest Golden Retriever  on record!


If dog owners could change one thing about their furry friends, I think it would be their life span. As a general rule, small dogs live longer than large ones. For example, a Great Dane might live to be eight or nine years old, while a smaller dog like a terrier could live to be fifteen years old or longer. We had a mixed terrier that lived to be about nineteen years old.

One dog is making history with her age. August is a Golden Retriever, a breed with an average life expectancy of about ten to twelve years. With good care and some luck, a Golden might live to be close to fifteen years old. But August celebrated her twentieth birthday this year!

“Augie” didn’t have a fairy tale life, by any means. At age fourteen, through no fault of her own, she was in need of a new home, again, because she had already had at least two – and a new home can be hard to come by for a dog that has already outlived its average life span.

Fortunately for August, she ended up in the hands of the Golden Retriever Rescue of Southern Nevada, who put the word out on a blog, and a couple from Oakland, Tennessee agreed to adopt her. They had been involved in the Golden rescue community for several years, so they knew it would likely be a short-term relationship.

They are pleasantly surprised that they still have their sweet “Augie” six years later! Sure she may have mobility issuesfirst think in the morning, and some kidney problems, but with special food and supplements, she enjoys getting out for a walk around the yard, going on RV trips, swimming, playing fetch, just being a dog. She celebrated her special day with her family; her cat and dog siblings helped her celebrate with a special carrot cake.

There have been reports of Golden Retrievers living to the ripe old age of seventeen or eighteen, and a few to age nineteen, but August seems to be the first Golden Retriever to reach the magic age of twenty! In my book, that is truly something to celebrate, when you’re speaking of pets.


Mindy Norton has been “Speaking of Pets” on Alabama Public Radio since 1995.
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