I thought all dogs had a pretty similar need for attention, until I got my Golden Retriever, Cody. That’s when I realized that he needed a lot more attention, and I’ll explain how this goofy dog makes my life better every day.
Do Golden Retrievers need a lot of attention?
Yes. Goldens need extra attention and want to be pet whenever you have a free hand. Walking to the other room? Your Golden will most likely follow you. They love you unconditionally with their big hearts and will show you by trying to get your attention.
There is so much to learn about Goldens and their amazing (yet needy) temperament.
Golden Retrievers are one of America’s favorite pets, and for good reason! Their gentle temperament, soft eyes, wavy fur, and lovable face makes them hard to pass by and not pet. Great with kids and such a perfect snuggle buddy, they are the perfect pup for any home.
Cody, my 5-year-old Golden, absolutely loves doing everything with me: taking naps on the couch, walking to get the mail, taking the trash out, doing laundry, and following me around as I do chores around the house. If I’m in a room, so is he!
My Border Collie, on the other hand, is fine sitting in her bed or looking out the window until I grab their leashes for a walk. Not Cody!
He is the first face to great me at the door when I get home and will sit next to me as I work on my laptop while working from home. Cody loves attention and will often interrupt me on a phone call or while writing an email just to tell me that his head needs a little scratch behind the ear. I wouldn’t have life any other way.
What are some signs that my dog wants my attention?
Every dog is different, and you will learn your dog’s signs over time!
Cody lets me know that he needs some scratches by putting a paw down on my leg or setting his head in my lap. Sometimes he will nudge his head in-between my arm and side, just so he can get my hand free from whatever task I was working on before.
Some dogs show they would like attention by chewing or grabbing on to things that you use a lot, such as shoes or pillows. Goldens are known for their love of socks. These things smell like you and they associate them with you, too! Other dogs may nudge their head under your arm or whine next to you; It all depends on the pup. Some Goldens are known to whine in a high-pitched sound with excitement when their owners return home after a long day at work. They may also do this when seeing people that they remember, such as your friends or family.
Golden Retrievers are happy dogs and just want to share their joy with you!
My pup seems restless, what are some ways I can entertain them?
While dogs do sleep 12-14 hours a day, the time they are awake and active, they are sure to want to spend time with you! There are tons of things that you can do with your pet. Goldens love to play with tennis balls and some even love tug of war!
Keeping your pet active, no matter the breed, is an important step of keeping your dog healthy and happy. Dogs that are kept active receive tons of health benefits, including decrease blood pressure, weight control, nail grinding on pavement, bone and muscle improvement, and overall mental health. Not to mention the benefits of the person that walks them!
Dogs that are walked or played with more often are less bored and possibly less destructive. Redirecting their energy towards positive behaviors, such as walking them or playing ball, can bring their attention away from their negative actions when they are looking for attention or exercise.
Check out this website for some more awesome ideas.
Is my Golden barking to get my attention?
There are a few reasons why your pup may be barking and getting your attention may be one of them. Golden Retrievers are a quiet breed of dogs and when they bark, it is for a reason. They may bark at a toy while trying to get the squeaker out, bark at their playmate as a form of communication, or bark at you so you look at them.
If you have a multiple dog household, they may begin barking to copy the other dogs they live with as well.
Check out our other post to learn more about why your Golden may be barking!
Does my Golden Retriever enjoy being snuggled?
That is the best part of their day! Goldens are very social dogs and enjoy being pet, but also getting close to those that they love. Unlike some dogs that don’t enjoy snuggling, such as Border Collies that were bred to be working dogs, Goldens were born to be the ultimate best friend.
Goldens make great service and therapy dogs due to their love of pleasing their humans. They are able to create a deep and meaningful bond with those around them and can sense when they are upset. All of their features make them very warm and inviting to people and closely resemble the classic teddy bear look.
Golden Retrievers have been used in all categories of service, including guide dogs, early warning alert for health issues, and psychiatric service dogs. They are willing to work hard and learn new tasks in order to please their human, including snuggling them.
Read more about your snuggly pup here!
What are some tips for treating separation anxiety?
With neediness, often comes separation anxiety in some dogs. Big changes in schedules, moving houses, new owners, and other massive changes in a dog’s life may lead to signs of separation anxiety. Some signs include pacing, destructive actions, howling, urinating inside, and escaping.
There are a few things that you can do to lessen the stress that your dog may go through when they are left alone through counterconditioning:
- Leaving your dog with a treat puzzle to solve
- Frozen treats or pupsicles
- Gradually accustoming them to a new schedule
- Change up predeparture cues (such as putting on your jacket outside or putting your keys in your pocket the night before)
Worried about your dog? Read more about separation anxiety on the ASPCA page here.
When in doubt, refer to a professional.
So my Golden Retriever wants a lot of attention, now what?
Now is the time for you to love on your pup! Belly rubs, ear scratches, playing fetch, couch naps, and everything and anything you do, your Golden Retriever would love to do with you.
You know the signs of a Golden that wants your attention, ways to keep your pup entertained, and the fact that they absolutely love making your life better. They make your life better in so many ways, they deserve all of the belly rubs that they ask for! There have been plenty of scientific studies about how petting animals is a proven way to lower stress and anxiety. So why not bust out the tennis ball and have a day in the sun with your Golden! Remember to get the scratches behind the ear!
Have more questions?
We have tons of blog posts about Goldens and other Retriever breeds! Need more information? See the full selection of articles on our homepage today and remember that life is better with a Retriever!