Do Golden Retrievers Like to Cuddle?

Pet Care


August 30, 2022

To say that golden retrievers are an affectionate and friendly breed of dog would be an understatement. They are the ultimate people-pleasers, constantly looking to earn their owner’s approval in myriad ways.

They love giving and receiving attention, they are easy to train, and they definitely are easy on the eyes. For all those reasons and more, goldens are one of the most desired breeds of dogs there are. But do they like to cuddle?

Why Do Golden Retrievers Like to Cuddle?

The short answer to “Do golden retrievers like to cuddle?” is yes! This is just one of the many ways that golden retrievers express their love for their owners. That said, some golden retrievers may be more of the cuddly type than others.

Females, for instance, tend to be less of the cuddly type than their male counterparts. And golden retrievers don’t just limit the cuddling to humans. It is not uncommon to see your golden cuddling with other animals like cats.

Golden Retrievers and Showing Affection

If you have asked yourself, “Why do golden retrievers like to cuddle?” the answer is quite simple. They will go to great lengths to garner favor and approval from their owners. This is how they communicate their love.

Cuddling is just one of the ways in which they demonstrate their love. They can do so by lying or sitting close to you, hugging or kissing, resting their bodies on you, licking you, sharing a bed, putting their paws on you, and simply wagging their tail as they look at you.

Through these gestures, they are working to communicate that they not only care about you but hope to bond with you. At heart, golden retrievers are just big lap dogs.

Stress Reliever

There are a few reasons why golden retrievers like to cuddle. One of them is simply to release the “feel good” hormone, known as oxytocin, within their bodies. This is known as the love hormone, and the levels of oxytocin increase when they get pets and cuddles. This also helps them to develop not only trust but also a greater connection with their human.

There is also scientific research that shows they get the same hormonal response by simply gazing into your eyes for a few minutes. This is similar to the way connections are formed between babies and their parents.

Providing Warmth

It is no secret that golden retrievers like to be outdoors, enjoying activities and being active. They will also take on activities that help them to stay cool, which is mostly due to the fact that they have a thick double coat.

That said, when the weather changes and becomes colder, they will like to get nice and close to their humans to share body heat and stay warm. Even when it comes to their routines, they may be hesitant to get out of bed. That sounds a lot like most humans.

Naturally Loving

When it all comes down to it, golden retrievers are some of the most loyal, loving dogs out there. They will look to spend as much time with their family as they can. It is part of the process of forming a connection and feeling safe with you.

One of their favorite ways to express their love is to get as close as possible to their owners. This can be as simple as sitting or lying nearby, or it can mean cuddling up on the bed or couch. Wherever they can be close, they will do so.

It is also probable that they have figured out how much humans love cuddling, too. Golden retrievers are among the smartest breeds on the planet despite their friendly, sometimes goofy demeanors. They will find any way they can to cuddle up and be part of the group.

With a golden retriever, you will also notice how frequently they put their paws up on you. This is basically their version of holding hands.

Aiming to Please

At the end of the day, a golden retriever is looking to please its owner. When the golden earns a positive response, it is likely to repeat that action to elicit the positive response again. So it would only stand to reason that they also enjoy cuddling because it elicits a strong positive reaction from their owner.

As friendly as golden retrievers are, they have a much stronger desire than other breeds to please their owners. By giving them a positive response for cuddling, it is encouraging them to want to repeat the action to earn the positive reaction from their owner. Besides, the owners probably love the cuddles, too.


There are few dogs that like to show affection to their owners in the way that golden retrievers do. This means that, from time to time, they like to be cuddly. They like showing affection so much that they may even cuddle with other animals in the home.

Though the level of cuddling can vary from dog to dog, with females tending to be less cuddly than their male counterparts, the golden is one of the biggest people-pleasers out there. If you are looking for a cuddle buddy, look no further than the golden retriever.