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Do Golden Retrievers Like To Cuddle?

Do Golden Retrievers Like To Cuddle?

Golden Retrievers have consistently been among the most popular dog breeds in the US for years. They are known for being a good-natured, affectionate dog breed. This makes them ideal for families.

If you are on the lookout for a cuddly family dog, this article will help. Today, BarksInThePark are going to explore everything you need to know about Golden Retrievers’ cuddling habits.

Do Golden Retrievers Like to Cuddle?

Golden Retrievers are naturally affectionate dogs. They love to be around their families and are no strangers to cuddling. If you have ever been in the company of a Golden Retriever, you will know how much they love to please the people around them. Cuddling is just one way they show this.

They were originally bred as hunting dogs. However, they love showing affection around people and sometimes with other animals.

As a medium to large dog breed, they aren’t lap dogs. However, given half an opportunity, they will snuggle up with you on the couch.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Cuddle?

Golden Retrievers love to show their affectionate nature. They are an even-tempered breed that wants to ensure everyone around them is happy. Here are some of the top reasons your Golden might want to cuddle you.

Relive Stress

Have you ever wondered why dogs love getting cuddled or petted? The reason is that cuddling releases a hormone called oxytocin. Oxytocin is a hormone that is produced to make you feel a surge of happy emotions.

It is sometimes referred to as the “love hormone.” It can also elicit feelings of trust.

This makes it perfect for dogs and people that feel stressed.

For Warmth

Hands up, who has ever struggled to get out of bed or a nice warm shower in the depths of winter? Well, dogs are no different. They will often enjoy snuggling under a blanket during the winter months.

Dogs also love getting close to people and sharing body warmth. The reciprocal nature of this action is one of the reasons they make such great companion and therapy dogs.

To Show Affection

Golden Retrievers are very people-oriented. They love attention and knowing everyone around them is in good spirits. One of the main ways they show their friendly and affectionate nature is by cuddling.

Physical contact is a huge part of these loving dogs. They will actively seek human interaction from family members. At relaxing times when they aren’t too energetic, they love some snuggle time.

Hereditary Instinct

Golden Retrievers are bred to be hunting dogs. These instincts are passed down through generations. They continue, with some training, to make them perfect for working.

However, these are not the only instincts passed down. They are also coveted for their great nature. This includes being a family-friendly, affectionate breed that is ideal for companionship.

Can Golden Retrievers Cuddling Too Much be Bad?

Building a good relationship with your pet dog is essential to a happy home. However, you will want to avoid complete reliance. This can lead to separation anxiety. In some cases, dogs may also become protective over a member of the family.

Most Goldens won’t display aggressive behavior because of this. However, it can cause tension if you have another pet.

Each Golden Retriever owner should judge their own personal circumstances. More often than not, your Golden Retriever will understand when it is a suitable time for snuggle sessions.

Should I Increase Cuddle Time with my Golden Retriever?

Increasing cuddle time with a Golden Retriever can be a good way to solidify your bond with them.

Introducing Golden Retriever puppies to cuddle time can be a good way to teach them acceptable behavior in the home.

Not all Golden Retrievers will want to cuddle all the time. They all have their own unique personalities. You should never try to force a dog to cuddle whose body language shows it does not want to.

How to Get a Golden Retriever to Cuddle More

If you enjoy cuddling your Golden Retriever, the following tips can help you increase your cuddling time.

Positive Reinforcement

Positive reinforcement training can help to encourage your Golden Retriever to cuddle. This technique involves rewarding the dog for obeying commands.

This can be a great way to train Golden Retriever puppies. Puppies can lose patience and focus more easily than adult dogs.

This type of training helps to form your bond with the dog. Positive reinforcement will show the dog that when they behave as they should around you, they will be rewarded. They will then begin to show more affection towards you.

Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent dogs. They are typically easily trainable, so this should be a great technique to start with.

Exercise Your Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers are naturally athletic and energetic dogs. They will suit owners that are active and able to give them the exercise they need.

Exercise can be another great way to spend time with your Golden Retriever in a fun way. If you forget to exercise your dog, it will have excess energy. This can cause behavioral issues that lead to losing focus and concentration.

On the contrary, a well-exercised dog will like nothing more than cuddling up and relaxing with you on the couch.

Avoid Punishments

All dogs have distinct personalities, and some can be a little rambunctious at times. The important thing is to keep calm and don’t lose your temper.

Your dog will not intentionally try to frustrate you. Punishing your dog or shouting at them can make them scared.

Try to focus your energy on positive alternatives. A well-trained and exercised dog is significantly less likely to have behavioral issues.

Should I Let my Golden Retriever Cuddle Houseguests?

Allowing your dog to cuddle with houseguests will be up to the person in question. However, you should not allow you dog to jump up on anyone. This could lead to them jumping up on a stranger in public. Though your dog may have good intentions, it can frighten people that aren’t used to it.

Some house guests may be afraid of dogs or have allergies. In these cases, it will be your responsibility to stop the dog.

You should avoid making a fuss and telling the dog off. Instead, diversion tactics can be a great idea. You could direct the dog to someone that does enjoy cuddling. Alternatively, you could use a toy to get the dog’s attention.

Is it Bad if my Golden Retriever Avoids Cuddles?

Each dog is different. Some may be more affectionate than others. While some dogs crave the physical touch of a cuddle, others are much more independently minded.

However, if your dog used to enjoy cuddles, it could be that something has happened to change this. Alternatively, some rescue dogs may have experiences that make them warier of cuddling up to humans.

Why Golden Retrievers Avoid Cuddles

Finding out whether your dog just doesn’t like cuddles or if there is an underlying issue is important.

The following reasons could explain why your Golden Retriever doesn’t like cuddles.

Bad Experience

If you haven’t had your Golden Retriever since it was a puppy, you will never know the kind of upbringing it had. This could explain its aversion to cuddling.

Rescue dogs from abusive homes could associate physical contact with humans with punishments. If this is the case, it may take a lot of time and patience from the new owner.

This scenario is best left to experienced dog owners. They will be able to give the Golden Retriever the time it needs to feel safe.

Injury or Illness

Another reason your Golden Retriever may not enjoy cuddling could be due to illness or injury. If this is the case, you will notice the dog will have been out of sorts. If this is the case, arranging an appointment with your vet will help to diagnose the cause.


Changes in routine, loneliness or the death of family members or other dogs can cause your dog to become depressed.

If this is the case, your Golden Retriever will typically become withdrawn and lethargic.

Making the effort to interact with your dog and enjoy fun activities can help.


Fear can cause your Golden Retrievers to shy away from cuddling. This could be caused by a number of factors, such as fireworks, strangers, and other pets. New environments can also impact your dog’s confidence. Moving to a new home or being on holiday can do this.

If you are in a different place, giving your dog some time to adjust will help it grow in confidence.

If there are strangers or other pets in the room, make an effort to show they are not a threat. Providing your dog with treats and giving them positive reinforcement can help.

If noise from fireworks is distressing your pet, closing your doors, windows, and curtains can help to muffle the sounds. If you are watching TV, turning the volume up can also work.


What other ways do Golden Retrievers show affection?

Golden Retrievers love showing people their affection. They can do this in a number of ways. As well as cuddling, Golden Retrievers can show affection in the following ways;

  • Kissing – Dog licks (kisses to their owners) can be a great way for a dog to show you affection. Just make sure you regularly brush your dog’s teeth to avoid them being too smelly!
  • Sitting near you – Dogs show they are comfortable by lying or sitting close to people they love and trust.
  • Sitting on your lap – Many big dogs, like Golden Retrievers, can confuse themselves for lap dogs or cats. Sitting on the lap of their owner is about as close as they can get to you!
  • Sleeping with you – Some dog homes have strict restrictions about the furniture they are allowed on. Others allow their dogs free rein of the house. Dogs that sleep with you show they trust you and want to be close to you at all times.
  • Putting their paws on you – If your dog is putting their paw on you, it could be they are trying to pet you. Golden Retrievers love getting petted. In their heads, you will love it too.
  • Wagging its tail – If your dog is staring into your eyes and wagging its tail, it could not be happier. This is a true sign of affection that warms the heart of any dog owner.

How can I avoid getting covered in hair while cuddling my Golden Retriever?

Regularly brushing Golden Retrievers can reduce the amount of hair that comes off them. They are heavy shedders, so it is inevitable that you will get some hair on you. Keeping a lint roller on hand can help. Getting covered in hair is just part of being a Goldie owner, so embrace it! 

Are Golden Retrievers clingy?

Golden Retrievers could be considered clingy. This is because they form strong bonds with their owners and want to be around them all the time. They have a lot of love to give and are perfect for families looking for affectionate companions.

Final Thoughts

Golden Retrievers are exceptionally cuddly dogs. If you aren’t looking for an affectionate dog, other breeds may be more suited.

The warm, loving nature of the Golden Retriever makes them a firm favorite among American families, despite Goldies originally coming from the UK. They make wonderful companion pets. They are also highly intelligent, making it relatively straightforward to train them.

If you like to cuddle dogs, this is definitely the breed for you! Just make sure you are in a position to give it the love and exercise it needs for a happy life.