Meet The Oldest Golden Retriever: 20-Year-Old Augie

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At 20 years old, Augie is the oldest golden retriever in history!

There are many accounts of 17 or 18-year-old goldens, and even a few stories about 19-year-old goldens, but Augie is the first golden retriever to ever reach the big two-oh.

In this article, we’ll dive into Augie’s story a little bit more, cover how old golden retrievers normally live to be, and talk about how you can help your golden live a long happy life.

Let’s go!

Meet Augie

On April 24, 2000, August (affectionately known as Augie) was born.

After being rehomed twice (due to no fault of her own), she eventually landed with Jennifer and Steve Hetterscheidt of Oakland, Tennessee, and it’s still unclear who the lucky ones are here.

Jennifer and Steve, who were active in their local golden retriever rescue organization when they got Augie, adopted her when she was 14 years old.

They figured that most people wouldn’t want such an elderly golden, but they had no idea of the upcoming journey they would be on with Augie.

They’ve taken her on RV trips all around the country, she’s got several canine and feline siblings, and she gets to play fetch in the pool.

On the other hand, Jennifer and Steve have been rewarded with over six years of love and loyalty from this wonderful (and now record-holding) golden.

The 20-Year-Old Golden Retriever

So how does a 20-year-old golden retriever celebrate her record-setting birthday?

With a dog-friendly carrot cake and some quality time with her golden retriever siblings, Sherman, Belle, and Bruce!

Her owner, Jennifer, says she’s surprisingly healthy.

She can still move around well (although she’s a bit shaky when she first gets up) and enjoys daily walks around the yard.

Since she was diagnosed with some kidney issues when she was 14, she now eats a mixture of wet and dry Hill’s Prescription Diet k/d, and takes some supplements for her kidneys and joints.

She also gets SQ fluids twice a week, which has helped her perk up quite a bit.

How Long Do Golden Retrievers Normally Live?

Augie is a very special girl, and she’s definitely not the norm.

Most golden retrievers live to about 10-12 years old.

Of course, many goldens live to 13, 14, or 15 years old, and, unfortunately, many live shorter than the average.

Now let’s talk about how to help your golden retriever live to that upper part of the spectrum.

5 Tips For Helping Your Golden Retriever Live A Long Life

Here are some tips to help your golden retriever live a long life like Augie.

1. Listen to your veterinarian.

This is probably the most important tip.

Your vet will know your dog, and have the best recommendations and action plan to keep them healthy.

This includes flea, tick, and heartworm medicines, food and exercise advice, and much more.

2. Listen to your dog.

When Oliver was a puppy, we spent countless hours researching what the best food for golden retriever puppies was.

Well, guess what?

After a few weeks of us feeding him the “best food for golden retriever puppies”, he stopped eating and became more lethargic.

We listened to what he was trying to tell us, we talked with our vet about it, and we decided to switch foods.

Right away he loved the new food, started eating more, and started getting his normal, crazy energy back.

Just because something is popular for many dogs, doesn’t necessarily mean that it’ll be good for your dog, so pay attention to them and how they’re feeling so you can work with your vet to keep them happy and healthy.

3. Feed your dog a quality dog food.

Yes, Walmart brand food may be cheaper at first, but you’ll probably end up paying more in vet bills down the road.

Not to mention, with a quality dog food, your dog will probably be happier and healthier for it.

Talk to your veterinarian, do your research, and feed your pup a quality food.

4. Groom your golden retriever regularly.

Keeping their nails, paws, coat, teeth, and ears clean will keep them looking their best, while also keeping them healthy.

Grooming them regularly can prevent ear infections, gum or teeth issues, or skin issues, which could all snowball into something worse if not taken care of.

5. Exercise your golden retriever regularly.

Most goldens are inclined to become obese, so regular exercise can prevent that, as well as keep their heart and muscles strong.

Even Augie gets regular exercise, and as Jennifer says, “Motion is lotion!” for those old bones.

How You Can Help Senior Golden Retrievers

One thing that amazes me is that Jennifer adopted Augie when she was 14 years old!

Most people don’t want to adopt an older golden retriever, fearing that their time here is limited, but that doesn’t mean these dogs can’t be wonderful companions for you.

Golden retriever puppies are tough, and there are many sweet senior goldens out there like Augie that need good, loving homes, so consider stepping up to the plate and adopting a golden, fostering goldens, or volunteering or donating to your local golden retriever rescue.

Below is a list of golden retriever rescues in every state, but also don’t forget to look at rescues in states nearby if you’re looking to rescue a golden.

Here’s a list of golden retriever rescues in every state.


oldest living golden retriever

Huge congratulations to Augie for being the world’s oldest golden retriever!

At 20 years old, she’s just about doubled the expected lifespan for golden retrievers and she’s still kicking.

She’s lived so long largely because she’s got great genetics, but also her owner, Jennifer, has done a great job of taking care of her and ensuring that they have a good relationship with Augie’s vet.

As Jennifer says, “We care for them as long as we have them, and love them forever.”

Do you have any questions about Augie, or about golden retriever lifespans?

Let us know in the comments below!

And please share this with your fellow golden retriever lovers!

P.S. If you liked this article, you’ll love our complete guide to golden retrievers.

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122 thoughts on “Meet The Oldest Golden Retriever: 20-Year-Old Augie”

  1. Happy Birthday Augie! Your post made me so happy!
    I’m the mother to a 13 year old Golden, Chauncey. He’s my 3rd Golden over the years and reading your post gives me hope that he’ll be around a while longer. I have to say that all 3 of my Goldens have been housebroken in 5 days and never an accident in the house. They’re so intelligent that it doesn’t take long for them to pick most anything, in fact more so than the humans in my house:).
    I had the same experience with the high end “Golden” food when was a puppy. Goldens can be picky eaters and love their human food. We finally landed on Purina Pro Plan Grain Free with some “mix in’s”:) I have found that my Goldens never seem to do well with grains and I do avoid meds, if possible. He gets hemp joint chews and basic vaccines, nothing that isn’t necessary. My vet suggested CBD oil for his aging pains when necessary and that seems to do the trick. I apologize for the lengthy comment, but you know us Golden people:) Thank you again for the wonderful post!

    • I have 3 golden retrievers… 2 are brothers that are 10 yrs old and a white golden that just turned 3… thier the best dogs and they are treated like angels….thier gentle and very sweet…. always have something in thier mouth… toys … blankets… I love them

      • Omg, I have 3 goldens too, both boys are 10, brothers, and a white golden 3, best boys in the world, love to swim, always have stuff animals in the mouth, blankie,and toys

    • We use Solid Gold … the ingredients are all natural and holistic. Our dog loves it . The one he eats is a dry kibble called Sundancer… I’m trying to find out what age is the best age to have him fixed ( if ever) to avoid cancer later in life . I was reading about the golden that lived to be 20 but the article didn’t say if he was intact or not . Good luck and enjoy your life with the best dogs on earth !

  2. Hi,
    even if with a little delay to AUGIE a very very HAPPY BIRTHDAY. I loved always those dogs even if I have not one. I am in Finland
    A kiss to Augie

  3. My Ginger is a Golden I rescued from an owner surrender when she was 18 months old. She will be 16 Oct 28, 2020. She had a medical issue which has now cleared up and she is back to hunting moles and rats. (aagghh!) but if that is what she wants to do, we don’t deny her. And guess what? She lives in Tennessee too! I love this breed. Happy Birthday Augie and many more. Long live the Goldens!

  4. What a wonderful story! Happy Birthday to Augie! And kudos to Jennifer and family for taking such good care of her. This is so inspirational to all of us golden owners out there. Keep going Augie!

  5. This is such an awesome story. When my son was 4/5yrs old (He’s25 now) his grandma got him a golden retriever and she stayed with his grandmother. Unfortunately his grandma became ill back in 2012 and we were unable to keep “Goldie”. I had to turn her over to a rescue and I truly hope that she ended up with a wonderful family that took care of her. She was such a sweet dog. Happy Birthday Augie!!

  6. We rescued our Sammy (formerly known as Rambler) from G.R.I.N. in 2009…he is now 15 years old. He’s a great joy, even during his stumbling years, and he definitely still has a mind of his own. Preparing for his time, reading the story on Augie gives us hope for several more years. God Bless all goldens…they’re the best.

  7. Hi! I just saw this on Twitter, me and Augie were born the same day 20 years ago! I just think this is the coolest thing that I share a birthday with a record holding doggo!

  8. Kia ora from New Zealand I have Illy who is 18yrs old and would like to wish Augie a very Happy Birthday.💛💚💜

  9. Congratulations to beautiful Augie.
    Twenty years is really amazing and stil going strong. What a beauty.
    And very nice that the owners took her in at the age of 14. A true heart for animals.
    We wish you many more years together.
    And a paw from our dog Happy for Augie

  10. I am going to get a Golden Retriever soon. I love Augie’s story!!I would like to know what to feed my dog, how much and how often.

    • Feed them the best food that you can afford. Make sure they get lots of excercise, as the article said, they put on weight fast. Mine tend to get a little heavy in the winter, especially when there is a lot of snow. If my vet tells me to give them 4 cups a day, I usually give them 3 and suppliment with green beans, broccoli, carrots. Try to keep the human food to a minimum. Brush them often, check their ears, they are prone to infections. Get them used to getting their teeth brushed at an early age and brush often. Give them a lot of love and you’ll get it back multiplied by infinity. Good luck!

  11. Congratulations Augie!! And family :). She was so lucky you adopted her. I can’t imagine her first families just getting rid of her. Augie you are beautiful! Have a great birthday. I have Goldens that live to 13, 14, 15, and 16. Altho I am thrilled with their ages it is such a heartache when they go because they really are part of the family. I just adore Goldens! From puppy hood to adult hood they are the best dogs ever!

    • Amazing Story. Augie is one special dog for sure. Goldens are such wonderful loyal dogs. My first Barney lived to 16 and my current one Molly is 8. Congrats to Augie on her 20th Birthday. Hope she celebrates many more.

  12. Happy Birthday Auggie! 🍖That’s amazing. So sweet of her parents to adopt her at 14. Very special ppl indeed. 🐾Enjoy your cake sweetheart and go play in ur yard w/ your brothers and sisters. 😍

  13. What a great story. We have a Lab/Retriever mix who is 13 and a half. got Molly at 8 weeks old. Everyday is a gift with her. Regular vet visits, walks, and good food. Only issues she has had been two ACL repairs (both legs) years ago. Still brings a toy to you when you walk in the door. So glad I saw this story.

  14. What a great story. I had a golden retriever live for 21 one years. The vet was amazed but I didn’t know it was a record!

  15. Just wanted to say my golden lived for 18 yrs. Moose was born in Tahoe and lived his whole life here. I fixed his food for him. So he ate people food his whole life. Now days they say it’s good for the fur babies to ate veggies and other things. He swim in the lake every day of his life. When he turned 16 he would go out with me next to him. I can tell u it was hard when it was time. His back froze This happen on Thanksgiving Day couldn’t called my vet until Fri morning. Just so happen all of my family was here and they loved Moose.

    • Hi Lauri,

      I just had to have my 15 year old Golden put down on May 1, 2020. It’s so very hard to make that decision and harder yet to live without her. She was born in Truckee and I have a place in South Shore. I have so many memories of our walks together and time at the lake. She is missed.

  16. Beautiful story about a beautiful baby girl. My 85 lb Goldy “Ringo” will be 14 this Thanksgiving. Belated congrats to Auggie and to Jennifer and Steve from both of us : ) Always love these inspirational stories, and totally agree with Jake above. Goldens are the greatest!

  17. Grew up in the 50’s with a German shorthair, he got to be 24! We knew he was rather old, but read an article in Fur Fish and Game magazine and a man wrote in saying his was 27 yo. Bismark was active up until he died, one morning we came downstairs and he had passed. My mother fed him a diet of chicken or kidneys and rice. He loved chewing on bones. Teeth were worn to about nothing, sway back and his eyes were glazed. subsequent dogs didn’t fare nearly as well, Irish setters 11 and 13, English Cocker 13, Mastiff 10.5, Rott 12.

  18. Sweet, sweet, sweet!!! Happy birthday to a beautiful olden golden. Our Maverick will be 13 next month. Golden retrievers are the best! 🐾❤️🐾

  19. I love this so much! I’ve had goldens for twenty years. My current is 10-1/2

    What food do you feed Augie??

    Happy birthday to this lucky lady 🥰🥰

  20. Happy Birthday Auge, you are such a wonderful, faithful & brave Goldie.May the creator of all things bless you and keep you safe, with love from an Australian Golden mum, Lisa🥰🤗

  21. This is fabulous, both as for Augie’s record longevity, but also in encouraging senior/ special needs pet adoptions. I would highly encourage them to reach out to Morris Animal Foundation and have Augie’s DNA banked (if they haven’t already). There are a number of health & research projects on Golden Retrievers specifically through MAF. I’ve adopted several 8+ year old large breed dogs, one 24 -year old horse (who lived to 30.5), and a blind draft horse.

    • Has any1 already written and said of course Auggie is a GOLDEN golden- he was born in the year of the GOLDEN DRAGON 💛🐕🐉! It only happens every 60 years !! !! !! !! !! !!
      Happy Birthday🏵🐾🐾

  22. My golden left me too early
    I cry every day so i am so happy for u and augie.crying now. But i was blessed for 9 years. Many more years

    • Omg, I have 3 goldens too, both boys are 10, brothers, and a white golden 3, best boys in the world, love to swim, always have stuff animals in the mouth, blankie,and toys

  23. Oh my goodness, that face!!! ♥️ It takes some pretty special people to adopt dogs that are already past their prime. I’m so thankful that they gave Augie such a wonderful, happy home. Thanks for sharing their story. Happy birthday, Augie!

  24. Happy Birthday Augie , I have. 17 year old Golden Chlo’e O’Hare is her lil Irish name. She is the best dog I’ve had and still has a lot spunk in her.

  25. Happy birthday Augie. You look fantastic. Your eyes look good. Beautiful face. Your siblings are beautiful, too. My boy Biskit is over 15 now. He’s a Westie.

  26. Interesting. My Grandmother, Susan Jennings’ brother got a Golden Retriever puppy in 1944. He was called up for the war. Unfortunately, his plane went down during a bombing run. His sister, Kaye Anderson raised the puppy in Duluth, MN until it passed away (I believe in 1968). The dog ended up living longer than her brother. The next dog they had, a black lab, ended up living 21 years ( I met this dog). Not sure what is in the water of Duluth but pretty amazing. The dog were only fed leftovers from their meals. Kaye passed away, but I wish I could verify the dates of their dog, which could have been the longest living Golden Retriever. Congratulations to Auggie on his 20th.

    • That’s a great blessing to have a fur baby this long. We had a JRT he was 9 years old when we adopted him from Austin Animal Shelter, Austin, Texas. Born 2003 – 2019. He was a owner surrender. I don’t know how people can do that to a loving dog. We went to get a pitbull mix that was injured, fortunately the JRT was in the same display room. We got the pit and the JRT kept barking and starring at my daughter. Well we got him too. We have 6 rescue dogs from there. The pit we named Opie for the Sons of Anarchy character and the JRT was named Dr. Sheldon Lee Cooper from The Big Bang Theory. All are named after TV characters.

      Happy Birthday to Augie!!! May he have many more years.

  27. Happy Birthday Augie! From your furry friends in Oklahoma! Woof! Woof! Woof!
    PS June 24th is my birthday!! 😉
    Rooster & Bunny

  28. Just curious if you have her original birth information or if she was surrendered and she estimate at 14 years? Being a rescue it is often difficult to have a true birthdate on an animal given up/surrendered or just found.

  29. Happy Birthday Augie!! Thank you so much for sharing your story! Our golden is a rescue as well. He’s from Istanbul, Turkey so we are unsure of his actual age but he’s celebrating his 5th gotcha day this week! We hope we get 10 more. So inspirational. Thank you to your parents for believing in rescuing, and rescuing a senior! ❤️

  30. Happy birthday Augie.
    We have Athena our 10 yr old golden.
    The thing about Goldens is that when we are not looking , they have a tendency to unfurl their angelic wings.
    Remember to be the person who your dogs think you are.
    Make them proud.

  31. Happy Birthday 🎂🎈🎉, Augie you’re a Special Dog! Love You, Janice, Cotton, and Champ, Champagne, Princess

  32. Congratulations to a truly beautiful Golden Girl🐾
    Since 1993 I’ve had nine beautiful Golden children. My oldest lived to be 13 years and 7 months and the youngest died at 9 years and 6 months. I have one now and she’s six. They all had cancer. Most had hermangioscarcoma. It breaks your heart in a million pieces when they leave you. But I’d never be without a Golden Retriever.
    May Augie continue to bless your lives with love and happiness!!

  33. Augie, you are the most beautiful pup I’ve ever seen. I’ve has Golden’s for over 30 years and am so proud of you. My oldest golden, Chloe, left me at 13 and my precious 12 year old, Pica Boo, crossed over the Rainbow Bridge to n January 31. My first golden, Goldie, was a beach dog who loved time in the sand and surf. I now have Jasmine, 7 months and Valiant, 3 years.

    Live long, sweet girl. You are precious.

  34. Happy Birthday, Miss Augie!
    It’s a testament to your parents’ love and care that you celebrate your big 2-0!
    Enjoy sunning yourself in your yard, eating your cake, and having fun times with your
    brothers and sisters!

  35. I wanted to know if Augie’s actual birthdate is known seeing that he was adopted or was it an estimation by the shelter?

    • It’s entirely possible – and given her wonderful genetics, probable – that she is from champion bloodlines and is AKC registered. They say she was rehomed twice. Most likely it was a loving owner that died or had some huge life event that forced their hand to rehome. If that be the case, and they were loving owners, they would absolutely pass along her registration papers.

  36. Happy Birthday Augie! What an accomplishment! Hope you live many more healthy years. I have a 6 year old Auggie, who is also a golden and I hope he lives that long. It’s so sad that this breed’s longevity has decreased so much over the years. It makes me happy to hear there are some that defy the odds. Sending kisses to that sweet sugar face.

  37. So happy to read about this today. What a sweetheart and so beautiful. Wishing her all the best and a virtual hug. Just love goldens.

  38. Happy 20th Birthday Augie! I think that’s great! You have a terrific and loving family taking such great care of you!

  39. It’s nice to know I’m not the only goofy person who takes birthday pics with her dog. I have have an American Eskimo named Riley, who is 17. He has been with us since he was 9 weeks old and wouldn’t trade him for the world.

  40. Wow that is amazing. What awesome parents Augie has. And what a blessing they have too. We have two beautiful girls goldies. We can’t imagine what life would be without them.

  41. What a beautiful girl you are Auggie and a very happy birthday to you! am hoping I will get to spend 20 years with my Goldie, his name is Indo and he’s 7 months old. Goldies are truly the sweetest, most loving and loyal dogs. Me and Indo are sending a big goldie hug and kiss from Sydney, Australia ❤️❤️❤️

  42. Thats awesome for your golden to live such a long life & how wonderful yoi gave hrr a forever hpme at such an age.
    Happy Birthday to your sweet “Sugar Face.”
    We have a 13 year old golden & hoping she can have long life. We raw feed her & go as holistic as possible, including her vet.

  43. I Really enjoyed your post! I follow Ms. Beautiful Sweet Augie on one of the Golden Retriever Sites That I Look at! My Heart just melts EVERY time I see that sweet little face of hers!! I Believe both of them are Truly Blessed to have each other!!🦮🙎🏼‍♀️🦴🍦🎂❣️

  44. Congratulations to mum and daddy of Augei 💐and many congratulations to Augie and a big hug ti her ❤️🤗🐶
    Beautiful and very informative story I ever read about my Goldy ..!
    I finded so many tips from it and wanted to know more and more about our first goldy baby ..
    Keep updating ❤️💐

  45. Have Augies family or vet looking into contributing blood to the OFA genetic database so her amazing pedigree can be researched. also Dr Wendy Townsend Purdue University studying golden retriever specific eye condition. Pigmentary uveitis. Please contact Rhonda Hovan to get Augie involved in health research.

  46. This is amazing. Happy Birthday to Augie! I have an 11 y.o. female golden, Baylee who has really slowed down the past 10 months. Been to the vet several times – x-rays and lab work perfect. They say just getting older and probably arthritis. Breaks my heart when it is hard for her (randomly) to come up the stairs. I feed her raw but she’s been very picky lately so wondering if switching to kibble would be better. Except Judyth above claims they feed raw as well. Baylee always has been very healthy – no issues whatsoever. Thank you for sharing your story – inspiring.

    • I highly recommend putting your arthritic dogs on a glucosamine chondroutin msm suppliment for dogs like Glyclo Flex3 or NaturVet Joint Health level 3. I give my dogs NaturVet brand. My senior dog is on level 3 and my 7 year old dog is on level 2 since he turned five for prevention and strength. The level 3 has done a miracle on my 12 year old Sheltie. They are a chewable treat tablet and are time release.

  47. Some years ago, a friend had a golden live to 21. No, it’s not the norm and I had often wished I had the pedigree on Mark’s dog.

    • Augie eats Hill’s Science Prescription diet that helps keep her kidneys healthy (she has slight kidney issues).

  48. We’ve had 6 goldens over the past 39(!) years. Dulce is now 13 1/2 and Oso 12 1/2. The best thing we ever did was switch to a raw food diet about 20 years ago. NO more allergies. Vet appointments are rare. And we are homeopathic doctors, so we can avoid meds most of the time (Dulce is hypothyroid and one other was as well). Goldens are true love dogs!


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