Here’s Why Golden Retrievers Are So Happy & Friendly!

Golden Retrievers are all around amazing dogs! They are loyal, eager to please, and incredibly happy and friendly. Goldens are famous for their happy-go-lucky attitudes. So, why are Golden Retrievers such happy dogs? 

Golden Retrievers are happy and friendly because of their breeding. They were originally bred to be companions for hunters, as such they not only had to be good working dogs, they also needed to provide companionship to their owners. Today, Goldens still maintain their friendly and happy personalities.

In this article, I’ll talk about Golden Retriever temperaments, why they’re so nice and friendly, and how to keep them this way! 

A happy Golden Retriever.

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Golden Retriever Temperaments

Golden Retrievers are incredibly happy and outgoing dogs. They love their owners and live to please them! This wonderful breed maintains a fun, puppy-like demeanor well into adulthood. They enjoy playing and cuddling with their owners and typically get along great with other animals. Goldens also love outdoor activities such as swimming, hunting, fetching, and running. 

This breed is very intelligent and eager to please, so they are a breeze to train. If they receive obedience and socialization training as puppies, they generally turn into sweet and obedient adults. 

Golden Retrievers are known for being excellent family pets because of their happy and friendly dispositions. They’re loyal to their loved ones yet also friendly towards newcomers, making them the perfect pet!  

You may be wondering, why Golden retrievers are so happy and friendly? What made them have such fantastic temperaments? Keep reading to find out! 

Why Are Golden Retrievers So Happy and Friendly?

The secret to Golden Retrievers’ amazing personalities is in their breeding. Their breeding lineage is why Goldens are still the happiest and friendliest dogs today! 

Goldens Were Bred to be Friendly 

Golden Retrievers are friendly because that was one of the main characteristics the original breeder was trying to instill! 

In the 1800s, a Scottish man named Lord Tweedmouth set out to create the first Golden Retriever. He wanted to produce a breed that could hunt and retrieve birds in Scotland’s harsh terrain, while still being a friendly companion animal. 

To produce this new breed, he mated his Yellow Retriever with a now-extinct breed, called a Tweed Water Spaniel. Eventually, he incorporated an Irish Setter and a Bloodhound into the mix. These breeds were chosen because they each had traits that Lord Tweedmouth wanted in his new breed.

After all of this mating, Tweedmouth was able to create the first Golden Retriever! The breed turned out to be amazing hunters and swimmers who could easily retrieve downed waterfowl. These first Goldens were also extremely friendly since they had to get along and work well with other dogs and their owners on hunting trips. 

From the very beginning, Golden Retrievers were bred to be athletic, friendly, and happy hunting dogs. No only were they great at retrieving, but they were wonderful at providing loving companionship both at home and in the field.

They are Still Bred to be Friendly 

Today, most Goldens are bred to be show dogs or family pets instead of hunting dogs. While many show breeders prioritize a Golden Retrievers looks over their personalities, many still consider their temperament and try to breed dogs that are good-looking and friendly. 

Temperament is especially important for family pet breeders. They try to breed Goldens that are gentle, playful, and sweet so that they’ll behave well with families and children. Pet owners enjoy having this breed because they’re good with other pets, young kids, and even strangers. 

Many breeders therefore choose to only breed Goldens that have wonderful personalities. These desirable traits are then passed down from generation to generation. This is why Golden Retrievers, in general, are known for being so happy and friendly! 

Here are a few things that every Golden Retriever owner knows.

How to Keep Golden Retrievers Nice, Happy and Friendly

Although Goldens are naturally happy-go-lucky dogs, they need attention, socialization, and exercise to maintain their wonderful personalities. If they don’t receive these things, they may start acting out. 

Provide Them with Lots of Attention 

Golden Retrievers need a lot of attention. If owners are attentive towards them, they’re happy and well-behaved. 

Goldens love to be pet and need a ton of playtime. They still act like puppies even when they’re adults, so even after their first couple of years, they still need frequent play sessions!

Owners need to play with them, pet them, and take them for walks and outings regularly. This will help assure their Goldens are getting all the attention they need to maintain their happy dispositions! 

If Goldens are left by themselves a lot or aren’t given enough attention, they may perform undesirable behaviors such as destroying furniture, barking, and more. 

See our article here to determine if your Golden Retriever is feeling lonely and what to do about it.

Golden Retrievers Need Socialization

Even though Goldens are naturally friendly and happy, without the proper training and socialization early on, they can become unfriendly and aggressive. 

One of the best ways to ensure Goldens will be friendly as adults is to socialize them while they’re puppies. Socialization is the process of exposing dogs to different people, places, animals, and things in their environment. Exposing them to new things in a positive way helps them to feel comfortable in their surroundings. It also makes them feel more confident as adults since they’re less fearful of new things. 

Goldens should be socialized as soon as you get them, especially when they’re between 8 weeks and 8 months old since this is a crucial learning period. To properly socialize a Golden Retriever, begin by introducing them to one thing at a time. Don’t overwhelm them. Try to make every experience a positive one. During walks, if they want to observe something new, allow them to do so and praise them if they act positively around the new thing. 

Make sure to introduce your Golden to many types of people, such as tall people, short people, children, people with beards, and so on. It’s also a good idea to introduce them to a wide variety of dogs, such as puppies, older dogs, big dogs, little dogs, and more. If possible, owners should also let them interact with other types of animals, such as horses, cats, birds, squirrels, and more, so they will feel comfortable around these species in the future! 

If you’d like to learn more about socializing Golden Retrievers, check out this video by Love Goldies. In the video, they go over what socialization is, some genetic and environmental factors that may affect socialization, and how to socialize a Golden Retriever properly: 

Socializing Your Golden Retriever

Discover how to train your Golden Retriever by playing games: 21 games to play with your Golden that will make them smarter and better behaved!

Exercise Them Regularly 

Last but not least, Goldens need a lot of exercise to maintain their happy and friendly selves. Typically, they need at least 20-30 minutes of exercise twice per day to stay healthy. If they don’t get this, they may become overly restless and will start misbehaving. 

Goldens make the perfect companions for people who enjoy outdoor activities, such as going on long runs, bike rides or hikes. They’re also great sidekicks for hunting trips or trips to the beach since they love to swim. If owners want a more convenient way to give their Goldens exercise, they can let them run around in a fenced yard or at an off-leash dog park. 


Golden Retrievers are the happiest and friendliest dogs because they were bred specifically for these traits. They were bred to be hunters and retrievers who needed to have friendly personalities to work well with other dogs and people on hunting trips. Although most people don’t use Goldens as hunting dogs these days, they’re still happy dogs who are incredibly loyal to their owners and friendly towards strangers. 

To keep Golden Retrievers happy and healthy, they need:

  • A lot of attention
  • Good socialization
  • Plenty of exercise

If they get these things, Goldens can be the happiest and friendliest pets of all time! 

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Bryan Mullennix

Bryan's a freelance travel photographer and happy dog dad. He currently lives in Las Vegas with his wife, his son, and two dogs Nom Nom & Speck.

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