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Golden Retrievers are one of the most popular dog breeds for a good reason. As puppies, they are adorable, but that cute quality extends well into adulthood. And a cute dog is a lovable and popular one.
So, what is it about the Golden Retriever that makes them so cute?
As a whole, Golden Retrievers are often considered cute dogs for a variety of reasons, including:
- Sweet temperaments
- Fur coats of gold
- Soulful eyes
- Captivating smiles
- Floppy ears
- Large round heads
- Full body wiggles
- Enthusiast greetings
- Love sponges
- Easy to train
- Playful energy
- Lovable brats
- They’re cuddly
- They’re goofy
- Love growls
- Their love of balls
- Canine Kleptomania: Their Love of Stealing Things
So, yes, Golden Retrievers are very high on the cuteness scale. Of course, this is not entirely unsurprising when they are puppies. Still, as you’ll see, Golden Retrievers stay cute in adulthood.
So, let’s look at each reason Golden Retrievers are so cute.
Why Are Golden Retrievers So Cute?
What do we mean when we say a dog is cute? The definition of cute is attractive in a pretty or endearing way.
So, cute is a common word used with Golden Retriever puppies. How could it not be? The Golden Retriever puppy is amazingly adorable with its big goose-down fur, stubby legs, and oversized head.
It’s the Golden Retriever’s personality that often inspires such love and affection in its owners. Their personalities are without comparison in the dog world. It’s the “endearing” part of the cute definition.
And endear themselves to us they do.
In the following article, we’ll look at the 17 traits that make Golden Retrievers so cute, not just as puppies but as adults too.
To describe a Golden Retriever is to define a pleasant, kind, gentle, and charming dog. Yes, charming. Golden Retrievers are also sensitive and dislike conflict and drama.
These dogs have a great sense of humor (it’s true). In addition, they possess a playfulness born out of there always live in the moment, positive attitudes, and love of life.
A week in our household does not go by (usually a day) where our Golden Retriever isn’t referred to as adorable, funny, or goofy.
Equally common is hearing, “ah, he’s so cute.” That comment is usually from guests. It stems from his ability to charm anyone coming through the door with his sweet personality.
Fur Coats of Gold
What’s the first thing you think of when you think of a lion? Of course, one of the first things I think of or picture is the male lion’s gorgeous and majestic mane.
And, like the majestic lion, when people think of a Golden Retriever, their long coats of gold are often one of the first things that spring to mind. And for a good reason.
As puppies, their fluffy fur makes them look like they just came out of the dryer. In fact, they’re so fluffy at times you think they will float away.
Usually, at a very young age, the puppy’s whitish coat will often show the first signs of its golden or reddish undertones – usually on its ears. It is a first glimpse of the majestic color they’ll show later as juveniles and then adults.
But we’re talking about cute, and its long double coat and gold overtones impart a cuteness factor to the dog. I think it’s a quality that only longer hair dogs possess.
So, whether it’s a Husky, St.Bernard, or Golden Retriever, the best stuffies are long-haired dogs. Why?
With the Golden Retriever, their longer double furry coat made of gold imparts a fluff factor to them. And that fluff factor equates to cuteness.
The fluffier the fur, the greater the cuteness factor. It’s science!!
But don’t worry if you’re Golden Retriever is not high in the fluff factor (not all of them are). There are still 16 reasons other reasons why Goldens rank high on the cuteness scale.
And, if you’re curious as to why some Golden Retrievers are not fluffy, then check out this article I wrote: Not all Golden Retrievers Are Fluffy: This is Why!
Complimenting the Golden Retriever’s gorgeous fur coat of gold are their soulful eyes. The Golden Retriever’s big brown eyes are so expressive of deep feelings and emotions.
Ah, the eyes.
How often do we, as humans, compliment someone based on their eyes? So often, it is the eyes that designate someone as attractive or “cute.” “Their eyes shine or sparkle, are lively or spirited, are seductive or mischievous. The eyes are expressive, the window to the soul,” we often say.
Golden Retrievers are highly intelligent, deep-feeling dogs. But unfortunately, they can’t talk to us, so they communicate their feelings through their body language, including their eyes.
When happy, playful, or mischievous their eyes express a personality of joy and fun that, at the moment, is the epitome of cuteness. It says life is fantastic and made for play – look at me; I’m silly and fun.
Or, it can be in a calm moment when a Golden Retriever is mellow and detached from the drama of a household. The eyes say I’m serene and beautiful; I’m a lover, not a fighter.
Either way, the soulful eyes, framed by the Golden Retriever’s majestic gold coat, add another cuteness factor to the dog.
The Golden Retriever smiles when happy and relaxed, and a captivating smile it is. It is an expression of emotion, and as a dog owner, I will never be convinced by those who say, “dogs don’t smile because they feel happy; it’s just because they are relaxed.”
The Golden Retriever’s captivating smile and its soulful eyes represent a dog that feels deeply and has strong emotions.
And, like the eyes, it’s a trait we often use to judge someone as attractive. Smiles can be infectious, captivating, seductive, and even cute.
We smile at people to say hello and as a friendly gesture, or when we’re happy or find something amusing.
And so it is with the Golden Retriever. The Golden Retriever’s smile is just another physical expression to communicate its emotion.
When the dog is happy or playful or is getting a nice belly rub or ear scratch, you’ll see the smile appear. It’s a smile that says, “all is good in the world, and I’m so content.”
Nope, it’s not some submissive cue or physical reaction. Sorry, I don’t believe that. I see joy and happiness in the Golden Retriever’s smile.
And that smile, when it appears, is pretty darn cute and hard not to notice.
Ah, the Golden Retriever ears. They’re floppy, and they frame their big heads perfectly. Their ears look like the Golden Retriever is perpetually wearing a big pair of Golden ear muffs.
No, the floppy ear may not be as expressive or reactive as ears that point or get pricked up, but make no mistake, the floppy ear group gets the nod on the cuteness scale.
The floppy ears add an adorability factor. Be it that they wobble back and forth or frame the eyes, head, and mouth better, the floppy-eared dog is a hallmark of cute and adorable.
The Golden Retriever belongs to the same floppy-eared cute group of dogs such as the Basset Hound, Beagle, St. Bernard, Newfoundlander, Bernese Mountain dog, Dachshund, Havanese, Bloodhound, and Cocker Spaniel, to name but a few.
As puppies, their floppy ears are unmatched in the cuteness factor. Nor do those floppy ears lose their “ah, so cute ” factor later in adulthood.
Nope, framing its soulful eyes and captivating smile, the Golden Retriever’s floppy ears are just another reason it is so cute.
A Large, Roundish Head
The cuteness factor is exceptionally high in dogs with large round heads or heads that are large in proportion to their body size.
Consider human babies, which have the same big round heads, which are large in proportion to their body size. They also have big eyes. Many researchers believe it’s an evolutionary thing as cuteness elicits in adults the desire to protect and take care of cute things.
So, is it any wonder the Golden Retriever is considered a cute dog? With its oversized round head and big soulful eyes, framed with floppy ears, you have a recipe for a cute dog.
In adult dogs, round faces are often softer and gentler looking than more pointy or well-defined heads such as a Doberman or Pitbull. Even the large St. Bernard or drooling Newfoundland dogs have a smooth, gentle aspect due to the floppy ears and big round heads.
And, those floppy ears and a longer coat seem to add to the plumping of the head, softening it, which in turn ratchets up the cuteness factor.
So, add the Golden Retriever’s big round head to the mix of why it’s so cute.
Full Body Wiggles
The Golden Retriever is the champ of full-body wiggles. Golden Retriever owners know what I’m talking about. And it is something to behold and is the epitome of cute.
It’s so cute that it immediately brings a smile to the face and warms the heart of even the grumpiest of individuals.
What is the full-body wiggle? The full-body wiggle is a Golden Retriever wagging its whole body starting from the tail, moving through the butt into the front shoulders and head. It’s a body wag, but wag is just not the right word. Wiggle is.
Typically, the full-body wiggle is accompanied by a love growl (discussed later), bark, or some vocalization of joy.
Yes, the full-body wiggle is an expression of pure and utter joy. It arises when the Golden Retriever is happy, playful, and mischievous or when it’s been caught doing something it shouldn’t have. There is no other word for it other than cute when you see it.
As we’ll see next, the full-body wiggle is also the hallmark of the Golden Retrievers enthusiast greetings.
While other dogs will greet their owners enthusiastically, the Golden Retrievers’ addition of the full-body wiggle takes its greetings to the top of the cuteness charts.
Golden Retrievers bond closely with their owners, and they hate to be separated from their people. Most Golden Retriever owners will tell you that the feeling is mutual, owed to the Golden Retriever’s sweet temperament and its friendly and kind nature.
After being away from their Golden Retriever, most Golden Retriever owners will tell you that one of the things they look forward to is the enthusiastic greeting they get upon returning.
The greeting from a Golden Retriever is a party. The dog may jump, bark, growl, and squeak in pure joy. It may run around the house, grab a toy, or roll on its back, smile, and wiggle.
If you’re a small dog, cat or child, beware. The Golden Retriever’s greeting is so enthusiastic that it often forgets itself and, like a train, may steamroll anything in its way.
But, the hallmark of the Golden Retriever’s enthusiastic greeting is the addition of its full-body wiggle. Usually, the full-body wiggle is combined with its freight train-like charge to greet you.
The greeting is an explosion of pure energy comprised of pure joy. It almost borders on crazy. But it sure is cute!!
According to Urban Dictionary, a love sponge is,
so sweet and charming, not to mention magnetic and captivating, that they soak up and attract others, with their enchanting ways… soaking up love like a sponge.
Or put another way, Golden Retrievers love, love. They love life and pretty much everything and everyone in it. They hate conflict and drama.
They love giving love, and they love getting love from almost everybody, including strangers, the old, the young, men, women, children, dogs, or cats. They, indeed, are love sponges.
Yup that is a pretty apt description of the Golden Retriever. And, make no mistake, that sweetness and charm are pretty darn cute.
So, cute that most people can’t help showing the Golden Retriever some love, which they are more than happy and eager to soak up!
Easy to Train
I know what you’re thinking; how in the canine world of Zeus and Apollo can a behavioral trait like easy to train to be cute?
But, consider this. You see a Golden Retriever do the trick, like roll over and play dead or dance for a treat! And, often, the response you get is, ah, she’s so cute!!
Or maybe, it’s not a trick but just a well-behaved dog that settles on its mat during super, looking all chill, relaxed and serene.
For example, when I take my Golden Retriever Bailey to doggie daycare, he gets so excited to go to his favorite place. While I’m getting ready and he’s on the leash, I can say, “I can’t reach it,” and he will pick up his leash and run to me and place it in my hand, all while whining and doing a full-body wiggle.
It’s cuteness to the power of 10.
Golden Retrievers are one of the easiest-to-train dog breeds. That is owed mainly to their high level of intelligence (number 4 in the dog world, according to Stanely Cohen).
Golden Retrievers learn commands in about five repetitions and are obedient about 95% of the time. Additionally, they are biddable (willing to learn and follow instructions).
So, whether you consider a nifty trick or just a well-behaved dog cute, the Golden Retriever has the smarts to be trained to rise to the occasion.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a dog as playful as the Golden Retriever. Golden Retrievers love to play.
That playful exuberance starts in puppyhood. Golden Retriever puppies are highly energetic and matched in cuteness only by their just-out-the-dryer fluffy fur, large heads, soulful eyes, and captivating smiles.
And, make no mistake, Golden Retriever puppies have lots of energy. It’s crazy energy, and often that is the word used when they’re in full-on, psycho-play mode.
In fact, it’s a common question; are Golden Retriever puppies crazy, and why? If you want to know the answer to that, then check this post out: Golden Retriever Puppies: Are They Crazy?
But here’s something that a lot of people don’t know. Golden Retrievers are a few breeds of dogs that take that playfulness well in adulthood.
Sure, it’s not the same level of insane hyper-explosive energy as the puppy. But, still, it’s not unusual to find an adult or senior Golden Retriever who loves to play.
And, so it is the Golden Retriever’s playful energy in puppy and adulthood that lands this trait on the cuteness list at number ten.
What do you get when you take a dog that loves to play, is exceptionally smart, has an abundance of energy, and decides to put those qualities to work to entertain itself or even sometimes you?
You have a mischievous dog. You have a Golden Retriever. You have a lovable brat.
You may find your Golden Retriever shredding the toilet paper off the roll, stealing your shoes, or waiting out of sight beside the stairs to pounce on the cat when it comes up. Often these bratty hijinks are born from not being mentally stimulated or exercised enough, i.e., they’re bored.
But often, boredom has nothing to do with it. Instead, the dog is just being silly to engage us. And they know a mischievous prank will work just fine.
Or the dog knows we find it funny, just like a young child who is being silly or even mischievous because we find it endearing and adorable.
Those hijinks are born from a keen doggie intellect, a sweet temperament that is perpetually happy, loves life, enjoys having fun and is goofy (discussed below).
Or maybe it’s to greet you in the morning by jumping on the bed and dropping a stolen pair of underwear or a shoe on your head. It’s to say rise and shine; it’s time to get up to feed me. (Yes, this happened).
And, often, it’s darn near impossible to get mad at those hijinks because it’s so darn cute. Often you know you shouldn’t laugh, but you can’t help it.
For example, recently, my niece was over with the kids, and Bailey stole one of the kid’s shoes. My niece tried to get it back from him, which escalated into a game of chase around the room with the kids laughing hysterically.
While my niece was chasing him, she had the biggest smile and was trying (unsuccessfully) not to laugh.
While the Golden Retriever can be a lovable brat with its mischievous hijinks at times, they are equally adept at melting our hearts with their affectionate nature.
Golden Retrievers are sweet dogs that are love sponges. Which, as we discussed, means that they enjoy giving and receiving love. And when the time comes, which is frequently, they are masters at cuddling.
Often the Golden Retriever will rest its head on your lap while gazing into your eyes. Or you’ll find it sleeping on your feet while watching TV or sleeping.
Speaking of watching TV, that can often be prime cuddle time for the Golden Retriever, as it snuggles with you on the couch. But cuddles can come anytime and be anywhere.
And, when the Golden Retriever is in cuddle mode, they are adorable. It stems from the dog being in a calm and serene state combined with being in love sponge mode.
Oh, and I almost forgot to mention, their soft long fur makes them especially cuddly for those times you want to cuddle these golden furballs. Cuddling goes both ways, right?
Golden Retrievers can often be bratty due to their high intelligence, energy, and playfulness. These same traits also play a part in their behavior when the desire to be kooky strikes them.
Whether it’s an unexpected bout of the zoomies, chasing their tail, or rolling around on its back, the Golden Retriever has a passion for life.
And, when their desire to be nutty strikes, it can be very cute. And these furry goofballs can get you smiling and laughing without warning.
Unlike when they feel mischievous or bratty, when the desire to be goofy strikes them, it’s often an expression of “yea, I’m so happy,” or it’s to get you laughing and to get your attention. In these instances, they’re just being clowns.
Golden Retriever owners take no insult when others call our dogs goofy! It’s part of their endearing charm, and it is a major factor that makes the Golden Retriever so cute.
My Golden Retriever, when he’s happy, glad to see me, is being bratty or just trying to get me to play, will let out an audible growl that sounds like a Wookie from Star Wars.
It’s almost like a half-growl and purr. We call it a love growl because he only does it when he’s happy, playful, or excited to see you.
The love growl or pleasure growling is not at all aggressive. When the Golden Retriever does it, there is no mistaking that it’s in a playful and happy mode. The dog may play bow or full-body wiggle.
Often, other Goldens make more of a love whine or love howl. Regardless of their own unique sound, the meaning is the same, joy!
Oh, and the love growl is adorable. When Bailey love growls, whether it’s guests, strangers, adults, or kids, he is undefeated in getting the “oh, that is so cute” comments.
Their Love of Balls
If you have a Golden Retriever, there is a good chance that your dog has an obsession with balls, especially tennis balls. Their love of balls can border on obsession, and watching them ga-ga over a ball is adorably cute.
Why so ball nuts? It has to do with their breeding as retrievers. The dog was literally bred to play fetch things, go out and get an object and bring it back to me, in assisting hunters, which was the purpose they were bred for, downed waterfowl or game birds.
For us non-hunters, that instinct is still there. And fetch aligns with that innate drive. But, where does the ball come in?
The ball, in a way, mimics a small furry animal.
It is fast, scoots along the ground when thrown, and has erratic motions as it hops and bounces all over the place. Plus, tennis balls have fur. Not unlike a squirrel or bunny.
If you are interested in finding out in detail why Golden Retrievers are obsessed with balls, then take a few minutes to read this article: The Golden Retrievers Obsession With Balls: Solved!
When Bailey wants to play, he will bring me an object and sit in front of me with it in his mouth. It’s his way of saying, I’m in the mood for fetch; go get my ball.
Once he sees the ball, he’s in Golden Retriever heaven, and the love growls and full-body wiggles begin.
I’m often torn between which is cuter. Bailey when he wants to play with his ball or watch him chase his ball without abandon.
Sometimes, he picks the ball up and runs like a crazy dog, the ball zoomies, as I call it, and he only stops briefly to shake the ball before sprinting off again.
Other times, he prances with the ball, so proud and happy, and he’ll throw it up in the air as he plays catch with himself.
Either way, the Golden Retriever’s love of balls lands it on the cute list at number 16.
Canine Kleptomania: Their Love of Stealing Things
Rounding out the list at number 17 of why Golden Retrievers are so cute is they love to steal things.
Golden Retrievers love to steal things. And their dog burglar ways are in their genes. As we previously discussed, Golden Retrievers were bred to assist hunters in retrieving waterfowl.
Part of the breeding was also to gently take the birds in their mouths and softly hold them not to damage the prey while returning it.
So, stealing things is the Golden Retriever expressing its deep-rooted instinct to go get things and hold them softly in its mouth.
However, what makes it so cute is that it often is done in unison with trying to get attention, being playful, or being mischievous. Then to add in a good measure of cuteness, it throws in some full-body wiggles, and love grows.
Because stealing things can be for purposes other than being mischievous, this cuteness trait deserved a standalone mention.
For example, often, they will steal things to bring them back to you, almost like they are bringing you a gift. Or, they will steal something when greeting you – they just have to have something in their mouths.
No matter the reason, stealing things (and often collecting them) is so adorable that it must be added to the cute list.
If you’re interested in why Golden Retrievers steal things such as socks, then check out this post: Canine Kleptomania: Why Golden Retrievers Steal Things.
The video below is a great summary of all the things that make Golden Retrievers so cute.
The first few minutes of the video below show a Golden Retriever greeting, complete with stealing a dish towel and love growls (or is it a love whine?). It’s just missing the full-body wiggle, but this is a close approximation.
The rest of the video is just a Golden Retriever doing all the things that make it so cute and loveable, even as adults. Enjoy.
So, there it is. Seventeen reasons why Golden Retrievers are so cute.
Taken separately or as a whole, each of these seventeen traits endears the Golden Retriever to us and melts our hearts or makes us laugh. And for those reasons, Golden Retrievers are such cute dogs!!