Do Golden Retrievers Like to Cuddle?

Yes, Golden Retrievers love to cuddle! They’re highly affectionate and intelligent dogs that thrive from interaction with their owners. Even Golden Retriever puppies will take comfort from cuddling – whether it’s with their littermates, mothers, or owners. 

You might even see a Golden Retriever cuddling with cats or other pets around them. They’re generally friendly, affectionate creatures who won’t discriminate against who they’re cuddling with!

Read on to find out why Golden Retrievers like to cuddle, what it means if they don’t want to cuddle, and more.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Like to Cuddle?

Golden Retrievers like to cuddle for a bunch of reasons. Some of them are instinctive and survival-based but quite a few are just based on personality.

Golden Retrievers like to cuddle to:

  • Relieve stress: Cuddling (for Goldens and humans) causes the release of the hormone oxycontin. This is also known as the ‘feel good hormone’.
  • Build bonds: One way to build and strengthen bonds with their owners or other animals is by spending quality time together. This can include sitting together and cuddling.
  • Aid breeding: Breeders will often get Golden Retriever puppies used to being handled and teach them to crave attention from their owners. This makes them easier to sell if the prospective owners fall in love with the cuddly, outgoing pups.
  • Keep warm: In colder temperatures, Golden Retrievers will cuddle together to share body heat. This can be a difference-maker in their survival if they’re somewhere freezing cold. 
  • Show love: Golden Retrievers love their family, and they show affection in a variety of ways. One of them is by cuddling, having seen this and if you would hold and cuddle them when they were a pup, they learn to reciprocate it.

What Does It Mean if My Golden Retriever Doesn’t Like to Cuddle?

Although most Golden Retrievers will love to cuddle, there will be occasions when a normally cuddly Golden Retriever suddenly doesn’t want one. And there’s also a possibility that they simply don’t enjoy cuddles.

These problems could make your Golden Retriever not want to cuddle:

  • Pain: Any sudden changes in behaviour could indicate that they’re injured or sick. A dog in pain might act defensively because something is wrong and all they feel is the pain. Always take them to a vet if you suspect that your Golden is in pain.
  • Fear: Loud noises, new environments, and change can make Golden Retrievers nervous and anxious. When a dog is scared, they’re more likely to want to hide or bite if they feel backed into a corner. Try to comfort them and reduce the source of their fear.
  • Negative experience: If a Golden Retriever has been mistreated – perhaps you adopted them and they’d been neglected or abused previously –  they might fear or misunderstand affection. Patience and kindness will be needed to help them here.
  • Depression: Golden Retrievers can become depressed. This can be shown through lethargy, withdrawal, and acting out of character. If this is the case, try to support your pet and help them recover.
  • Age: Some Golden Retriever puppies will be so full of energy that they don’t want to sit still. As they get older and their energy levels drop, they might enjoy cuddles more.

Sometimes you can reverse a problem that is making your Goldie reluctant to cuddle and sometimes you have to cut your losses and accept that you haven’t got a cuddler.

How Can I Encourage My Golden Retriever to Cuddle?

If your Golden Retriever isn’t inclined to be cuddly, there are a few tricks you can try to increase your cuddle time with them.

The first thing you can try is to spend more time together. This will lead to more opportunities to be affectionate with your Golden Retriever and strengthen the bond between you both. 

Remember to be patient – trying to constantly cuddle your Golden Retriever might overwhelm them. Keep any cuddles short and sweet.

Also, praise your Golden Retriever after a cuddle – either with treats or kind words so they associate cuddles with a positive experience. 

Avoid any punishment, negative reinforcement, and getting too emotional around your Goldie. This’ll create resentment and fear which in turn will train them to not want to cuddle – which is the opposite of what you want.

When Are Golden Retrievers Most Likely to Cuddle?

Golden Retrievers are family-orientated pets – their favourite way to pass the time is to be with the people they love. They’re also highly intelligent, meaning they can detect emotions, read situations, and respond accordingly.

Because of this, Golden Retrievers are more likely to cuddle in situations like:

  • When you’re sad or down.
  • In the winter or when it’s cold.
  • When you return home after being out all day.
  • In unfamiliar surroundings.
  • At bedtime.

They truly are gems, they’ll go out of their way to comfort you if they notice that you’re not your normal self or if they’ve missed you.

Will My Golden Retriever Cuddle Other People?

Most Golden Retrievers love people. They’re delighted to make new acquaintances and give out cuddles to everyone within reach. This will often depend on the personality of your Golden Retriever.

Keep in mind that some people might not feel comfortable around dogs or want cuddles so make sure your Golden Retriever responds to basic commands. You can train them to cuddle or train them not to cuddle visitors, depending on what you want. Also, try to give them some attention yourself so they don’t feel left out when you have visitors.

Related Questions

Why Are Golden Retrievers So Cuddly?

There are several reasons why Golden Retrievers are brilliant cuddlers. They’re big, warm, and always up for a cuddle. They’re also people-pleasers – eager to do anything that makes their loved ones happy. 

How Do Golden Retrievers Show Affection?

As well as cuddling, your Golden Retriever might show affection by licking, staying close to you, and looking into your eyes while wagging their tail. As an affectionate breed, Golden Retrievers thrive off physical contact and are happy to show their love.

Can Golden Retrievers Be Too Clingy?

The answer to this depends on if you have a personal limit for how clingy your Golden Retriever is. They can be dependent on your attention and struggle when you’re not around though. However, Golden Retrievers have strong emotional intelligence so they can often read the situation and know when to keep their distance.

Do Golden Retriever Service Dogs Cuddle?

Yes, Golden Retrievers as therapy or service dogs do sometimes cuddle while they’re working. It will depend entirely on the people they’re working with, and how they’ve been trained. But sometimes the company, a cuddle, or even just seeing a dog can be massively beneficial to both parties.

Why Do Golden Retrievers Put Their Paws on You?

If your Golden Retriever puts their paw on you, it’s their way of asking for your attention. They’ll usually look into your eyes and touch you with their paw. This could be because they want to be fed, they need to go to the toilet, or any number of other reasons. It could also simply be because they want attention like a cuddle.

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