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How to make a Golden Retriever Smile

smiling dog

How often do you make your golden retriever smile?

Goldens are just like any other energetic breed that don’t need the moon or a sizable chunk of our bank balance to make them happy. Small things and the simple toys can keep them busy for hours. But there are certain things that retrievers like very much and can respond to with a cheese smile on their face.

Golden retrievers smile while guitar is played. They also smile for camera or when you scratch their head. But, four things bring maximum smile on a golden retriever’s face- A) The whistle for a walk B) Their favorite toy C) Belly rubs and scratches D) Special treats to keep their taste buds happy.

Golden Retriever is an exceptionally intelligent breed, first developed by Lord Tweed mouth in the Scottish highlands in the 1800’s.

Even the famous neuropsychologist Stanley Coren in his book “Intelligence of Dogs” has ranked Golden Retrievers as the fourth best breed out of 79 intelligent dogs.

Let’s see how these tricks work to bring smile on your golden baby’s face.

Four Tips to make your golden retriever smile

training your dog to smile

The whistle for a walk

Such short lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home everyday. –John Grohan

The Goldens get happy on seeing their hooman with the prospect of a walk down the street. It brings smile on their face and gives them a chance to spend their pent up energy which otherwise would make them restless and cause behavioral issues.

Studies have shown that walking dogs not just gives them a healthy life but decreases the risk of our heart problems and stress levels as well. A win-win situation for both, isn’t it?

Their favorite toy

Like paw prints differ from golden to golden, the choice of a favorite toy also varies from golden to golden. Some like squeaky toys while some find their human’s slippers as the ideal bet. Being certified chewers with retrievers, and chances are they might shred a new toy to pieces in minutes or carry it around like a prized possession in their mouths for hours or even days. Either ways it makes them happy and keeps them busy for quite a while.

Belly rubs and scratches

Bellyrubs are great for Goldens in a lot of ways. It makes them comfortable, and make them socialize with your guests with ease. According to various research and dog behaviorists, Belly rubs and gentle stroking activate a neuron called MRGPRB4+ present in their hair follicles of dogs and even help in lowering their heart rate.

Some Goldens may not like it at all. Rather, they may prefer a gentle scratch behind the ears or any part of their body which they find hard to scratch by their paws. But once they get in the mood for it, Belly rubs and scratches would be your ideal bet to bring a smile on your retriever’s face.

Tasty Treats

Treats to Goldens are like surprise gifts to humans – never fails to make them happy. But be cautious about the quantity otherwise you may end up overfeeding your baby.

They never realize that food has to be consumed in moderation. Treats should not exceed 10% of their daily calorie intake .

That being said, Goldens can be really choosy when it comes to treats. Some prefer soft treats while some like to chew hard bones depending on their age and teeth.

Its perfectly normal for Goldens to guzzle their food owning to their canine instinct of eating quickly when in the wild. But lets not forget that Goldens are a mixture of flat coated retriever – a breed of Tweed Water Spaniel ( now extinct) , the Irish Setter and the bloodhound. So plan their treats in accordance to the nutrition they are supposed to have.

It doesn’t have to be a store bought packaged treat . Natural treats like apples, watermelons, corncobs, carrots work as great treats as long as they are cut in the right size so as to not create any choking hazards ( Yes….some Goldens do swallow their treats without chewing)

Let’s know some commonly asked questions about our Goldens

Do golden retrievers really smile?

All dogs smile occasionally. According to this journal by Current Biology, dogs have oxytocin hormone which make them highly social and skilled at mimicking facial expressions of human after a long time of observation. They can copy how humans laugh which actually starts with a small smile and resembles to panting.

How can I make my golden retriever happy?

The very fact that you are asking this question makes it clear that you are trying your best to give the best life to your golden. Goldens are the happiest when in the company of their loved human. Your very presence is the best thing to make them happy.

How do Goldens show affection?

Some Golden retrievers wag their tails, some lick your skin off and some just give you the ‘buddy’ look to show their affection.
Some even prefer to surprise you by dropping unexpected things to your lap, starting from flowers to a dead mouse. Don’t forget, they think of you as fellow friends and therefore try to surprise with gifts that a fellow golden would appreciate in the first place.

What is a golden retrievers favorite toy?

Goldens like Chew toys, Plush toys, Dental toys or Interactive toys . But it depends only on the golden and the atmosphere you give it as to what becomes it’s favorite toy.
A golden can make a battered cap it’s favorite toy and chew the plush toy to shreds and not touch the dental toy. They are capricious creatures and can choose or reject almost anything as toys.

Do golden retrievers like to be hugged?

Golden Retrievers are suckers for hugs.Infinite hugs and cuddles are something they totally thrive on.

Do Golden Retrievers have a favorite person?

They do. And it necessarily doesn’t have to be the person who feeds them. Unlike some hound breeds and Rottweiler’s who bond strongly with one person, Goldens have a wider area of bonding. But when they find someone who makes them comfortable and has a calming effect on them, that person becomes one of their favorites.

Do Golden Retrievers get attached to one person?

Yes, Goldens get easily attached to any person who has treats and Bellyrubs for them. Making them almost ineligible candidates as watchdogs. But yes, they form strong bonds with the person who feeds them and believe in spreading love equally irrespective of creed and caste.

All things said and remembered, Goldens are one of the most intelligent and social breeds making them valuable as therapy dogs, guide dogs, police dogs and family dogs.They tail waggingly shoulder the responsibility of the world on their furry backs and by bringing a smile on their goofy and sometimes smelly faces, we help them help us in making the world a safer, happier and golden place.