Golden Retrievers are very popular dogs around the world because they are one of the happiest, loveliest, dog breeds around. They are the perfect family pet; they are friendly, caring, love everyone, and get along well with other dogs and breeds.
What’s really not to love about Golden Retrievers? Not much. It seems that they are almost always in a good mood, and I have collected a list of the reasons why are golden retrievers so happy all the time and why we love them so much.
20 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers are So Happy
Golden Retrievers are very special dogs, and the reasons listed below only scratch the surface of what makes these dogs so amazing.
1.Intentional Selective Breeding
Over the last two centuries, the business of dog breeding saw an incredible boom thanks to the explosion in demand. And like any business, dog breeders want to sell as much as they can, and they quickly figured out that Golden Retrievers made for the perfect family dogs.
So, they started breeding only the friendliest, happiest, most easy-going of their litters to produce even friendlier, happier golden retrievers that were more appealing to people. This strategy worked like a charm.
Over time, they have turned golden retrievers from retriever dogs that work along hunters to the fluffy balls of happiness we know and adore today.
2.Unintentional Selective Breeding
What I mean by “unintentional selective breeding can mean a couple of things.
First, dogs watch each other, and a young puppy wants the most attention, love, and affection they could get.
So, when a young pup sees that another pup in the litter is getting the most affection, they will start acting more like this one. So, the friendly dog that gets the most rewards and most attention will make the other puppies copy them and become friendlier, and the cycle continues.
Second; people (mostly) will adopt or buy only the cutest, happiest pup, and these dogs are the ones that get the chance to breed, while other less-friendly dogs will not get the same chance.
3.Good-Natured All Around
Golden Retrievers are genuinely nice dogs by nature. They don’t assume well-intentions and have little to no territorial instincts, which means they are not wary of people.
They are also easily socializable, so they get the chance to meet more people and animals while they’re young and this only makes them younger.
When a stranger approaches a golden retriever, the dogs think “Hey, a new friend”, while other dogs may think “stranger danger”.
Thanks to their good nature and intelligence, golden retrievers are usually calm dogs. They are not “twitchy” or nervous about their surroundings since they don’t fear strangers, and they are not wary of strangers so they can tolerate people walking past the house and so on.
This makes them calm dogs, which may make them more loveable for families, also undermines them as guard dogs and make them not suitable for protection duties.
Golden Retrievers are very gentle, which makes them good family dogs especially for families with children. This gentleness makes children love them and parents trust them. A golden, especially if it’s well trained, will almost never play rough with kids and will never push them too strongly.
A reasonable explanation for that is that the dog will not see the children as competition and sees them as family, so they will never try to be dominant or show force, and instead will just enjoy the time with them and try to make the most of it by being gentle and calm so the playtime can keep happening.
This gentleness also makes them good with smaller pets such as cats as it makes the smaller pets less afraid of these big dogs. Golden retrievers are indeed big dogs, but they are gentle giants in every sense of the world, and this makes everyone loves them more.
While Golden Retrievers can definitely bark and they can be loud, they don’t bark nearly as much as other dogs do. The reason is simple; they have no reasons to keep barking loudly.
They are not wary of strangers, they are not territorial, and they know how to get your attention in other peaceful ways. So there are very little reasons for them to bark.
They are also very easy to train, so you can more easily train them to stop barking on command than you can with other dogs. This means that even when they do bark, you can quickly command them to be quiet again.
7. Active Dogs
Golden Retrievers are very energetic and active dogs who like the outdoors and the fresh air. They were bred to be athletic animals that can keep high levels of physical activities for hours with no problem, and it shows.
They are very agile dogs which made them excel in sports, agility competitions. Their love for all activities make them excellent partners for athletes and active people.
Their love for everything athletic and active means that they are always ready for adventure, and they welcome new experiences with open hearts, which makes them excellent partners for active people like runners, travelers, and hikers.
8. Intelligent Dogs
According to Canine Psychologists (1), The Golden Retriever is the fourth smartest dog breed and can learn a new command in less than 5 repetition, which puts them among the top tier when it comes to canine intelligence.
The first three spots on this list goes to Border Collies, Poodles, and German Shepherds, but the differences can be negligible.
An Adult golden is actually as smart as a 2 or a 2.5 year-old-human and can learn up to 165 words with no problem.
And while intelligence can be a blessing and a curse with other dogs – such as the husky – because it makes them stubborn, the good nature of the golden retriever almost cancels out this stubbornness to a great extent.
9. Emotionally Intelligent
Emotional Intelligence is the ability to understand, use, and manage one’s emotions in positive ways to release stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome some challenges, and defuse conflict smoothly.
Golden Retrievers are indeed emotionally intelligent because they are very much able of understanding emotions and reacting accordingly. This emotional intelligence is one of the most important reasons why different people bond with dogs differently.
We have all been there when we were down and our dogs knew exactly what we were going through and stood by our side while we went through the roughest of times. This emotional intelligence is why Golden Retrievers are the second most common therapy dogs just after Labrador Retrievers (2).
10. Excellent Readers of Body Language
Golden Retrievers can know exactly what you’re feeling and what you’re thinking from your body language, and they just get better at it with time.
They will be able to tell you’re mad or annoyed from your movements, posture, and your voice’s tone and volume. They can tell when you’re sad, mad, depressed, happy, or excited, and they can react accordingly.
They can also tell when you’re preparing to go for a walk, go for work, or do something else, and they learn more from watching you all the time and can then start predicting it. They are creatures of habit just like us, so they can connect your body language to your habits and actions.
11. Aware of their Surroundings
Golden Retrievers are amongst the top 10 dog breeds with the strongest sense of smell (3). Combine this with their excellent hearing and vision, and you get a dog who is always very well aware of their surrounding.
Being aware of their surroundings most of the time, Goldens are always feeling safe knowing they can detect anything in their perimeter before it becomes a serious issue.
Their intelligence can also help them identify and remember things, so when they are spooked by something the first time, they can remember it for when they encounter it somewhere else at another time.
12. Receptive and Open to New Ideas
Golden Retrievers are always open to new ideas, new places, and new people. This makes them excited to go with you wherever you go and meet whomever you’re going to meet. They are just always onboard with whatever is on your mind.
This receptiveness makes them seem like they are always happy to do whatever, which is true. Goldens are always willing to do whatever as long as it includes spending more time with you, which is what matters to them at the end of the day.
Golden Retrievers, along with labrador retrievers, are patient dogs by nature. This is why they make such good therapy dogs and guide dogs for the blind; they are just not in rush and are willing to wait patiently by your side.
This patience is attributed to their intelligence and empathy, because they can expect what’s come from their patience, they understand that patience is sometimes needed to get good things.
They are also empathetic and genuinely care your well-being as well as the well-being of your family and other pets, so they are willing to sacrifice instant gratification for the overall good.
Refer back to our emotional intelligence point if you have not read it already for this to make more sense to you.
14. Natural Extroverts
Golden Retrievers are easily socialized when they’re young because they are natural extroverts. They not only enjoy the attention and company of others, but actively seek it whenever possible.
Throughout their lives, you will see them countless times initiating play with other dogs, welcome strangers with hugs (and jumps), and joyfully playing around with children for hours on end.
I have even seen some goldens that will see a shy dog and try to include them in the play as much as possible, which is always heart-warming to watch.
This extroversion of them makes them seem happy and joyful all the time, because they are always trying to make everyone have a good time and be included in the fun.
15. Eager to Please
Your Golden Retriever is always willing to please you in any way they can. This can mean staying by your side during a difficult time or it can mean bringing you a stick while you’re playing.
They always want to see you smiling and having fun, and they want nothing in the world but to make you pleased with them.
This is why phrases like “good boy” are sometimes as good as a treat because they know that both mean the same thing which is that you’re pleased with them.
16. Very Confident
Golden Retrievers know they are big and strong. They know they are intelligent and they know they are so darn cute. They can tell from the smiles of everyone who sees them that they’re loved and appreciated.
All of these make them very confident dogs. They are sure of themselves, and they know they can handle whatever life throws at them. This means they have less to worry about, which means they can just be happy and enjoy themselves.
Your positive words also boost their confidence, and make them even more sure of themselves.
It is good to be a golden retriever, and they know it!
17. Contagious Joy
The joy of a golden retriever is so contagious. Once they go in a place, everyone’s attention shifts to them and whatever was on discussion is put on pause while everyone is busy greeting the bundle of joy that has just walked into the room.
It’s also contagious to other dogs. Golden retrievers can change anyone’s mood quickly, which is not something any other living or nonliving thing can do, which must make them feel pretty good about themselves.
18. Great Swimmers
Unlike other dogs who may be afraid of water, Goldens will rush into the water once they spot it.
They have so many qualities that make them such good swimmers – such as their double coat. You can check how the retrievers’ webbed feet make them better swimmers here by the way.
They were bred to be excellent in water in order to retriever shot game (birds) from lakes and other bodies of water.
Since we mentioned their coats, it’s quite an effort to take care of these, so make sure to check my recommended brushes here.
19. Loyal & Dedicated
Golden Retrievers are incredibly loyal dogs. They will get attached to their owners quickly and this bond will get incredibly strong with time.
They are loyal from the moment they see you till the moment they leave this world, even if you leave and travel abroad for years, they will always remember you and wait patiently for you to come back.
20. Great Hunters
Although docile and calm most of the time, Golden Retrievers still have great hunting instincts.
However, while they are good hunters and can do fine on their own, anyone who wants a hunting dog should expect that they will need to do more work on training a Golden Retriever than they have to do, say, with a Labrador Retriever.
Their confidence in hunting skills is an important contributor to their self confidence, which we’ve explained before is one of the major reasons why golden retrievers seem to be always happy.
Why are Golden Retrievers so Gentle?
Golden Retrievers were bred and are easily trained to ‘soft-mouth’ birds, which means to hold birds back in their mouth without biting hard on them. Golden Retriever moms also do a good job of teaching their puppies bite inhibition by stopping them from play when they bite too hard.
Do Golden Retrievers have a favorite person?
Golden Retrievers can love family members equally and can often not have a favorite person, however, if you’re the person that spends the most time with them, you’re going to be their favorite person.
Goldens have the ability to love more than one person equally, but if a certain person spends significantly more time with them and does more activities with them, it’s natural for their bond to be stronger with that person.