Do Golden Retrievers Really Smile? (Pictures & Video!)

You say those six magic words, “Want to go for a walk?” and your Golden Retriever shimmies with excitement.  And what’s that on your beloved Golden’s face? Is your dog actually smiling?

What Could Be the Meaning of Your Golden Retriever’s “Smile”?

Relaxation: In this way, that “smile” can be something like a human smile.

Exhaustion: Watch to see if their tongue is hanging out—that’s an indication that they might need a break.

How to Tell if Your Golden Is Happy

If smiling isn’t a great way to tell if your Golden Retriever is happy, are there any reliable signs that your dog is happy and feeling good? Absolutely! Learn to watch for both body language and behavior that demonstrate your canine companion’s happiness:

Body Language

Relaxed: Mouth slightly open, ears and tail are neutral, soft-looking eyes, and frequent blinking. Excited: Head up, tail wagging freely, body wiggling, and “hopping” or “bouncing” motion.


Playful: “Bowing” with the front of the body low and the back of the body still standing. Affectionate: When your dog leans into you, looks for pets and scratches, and licks you, it’s showing love and happiness.

How Your Golden Can Tell if You’re Happy

Dogs are born with an ability to notice different facial expressions in other dogs.  Through experience with their human owners, dogs can learn to recognize human facial expressions, as well.

Your Golden has a range of instinctive body language gestures that can tell you whether he’s happy, relaxed, frightened, or attempting to bond. Learning this dog “language” is a great way to get closer to your Golden Retriever.


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