Golden Retrievers are one of America’s most beloved breeds. With their beautiful golden coats, their eager-to-please disposition and those sweet eyes, they can successfully turn any frown upside down.
If you ever wondered how you can reciprocate your Golden Retriever’s unconditional affection, the answer can be quite simple: play together. The form that play can take, however, can vary tremendously.
After explaining just why this breed thrives when burning up energy with their owner, this article will give you 10 fun ideas of how to best enjoy your time with your Golden Retriever while building a strong bond together.
What Type of Dog is the Golden Retriever?
When asked to describe the Golden Retriever in one word, most people would say they are “friendly.” A second adjective that might come to mind is “active.” Both describe this dog well, and they give you a sense of what Golden Retrievers need to thrive.
Though the Golden Retriever is often used as work dog, the truth is that this breed loves people. They are playful and eager-to-please, and their life-long puppy-like behavior could almost be considered clingy if it wasn’t so adorable.
And despite not being what the Golden Retriever Club of America calls a “self-exerciser,” the truth is that they also love to exercise – as long as they are doing with their owner, that is.
While many dogs would contently amuse themselves in a large, fenced-in backyard, the Golden Retriever needs a companion to be properly stimulated.
Daily accompanied exercised is necessary if you want your Golden Retriever to be happy.
By tiring your dog out by playing together, you can ensure that all that pent-up energy is not channeled into something destructive while also forging a deep, loving bond between the two of you.
Do Golden Retrievers Get Attached to One Person?
Golden Retrievers are as loyal as they are outgoing, always seeing the best in people and always wanting to indulge in their affection. This behavior is not reserved for one person alone, which why they are such a great family dog.
If the parents take the time to properly teach their kids how to behave around dogs, then the Golden Retriever can be amazing with children of all ages, their patience and playful nature making them a beloved friend. This is one of the main reasons why they became so popular with American families.
However, remember to not take the Golden Retriever’s easy-going temperament for granted. It is still your responsibility, as the owner, to care for your dog and ensure they are properly socialized.
Each dog is an individual, and while breed standards can help us better understand our dogs, it is also important to know how your dog deviates from the expected so you can meet their needs accordingly.
How Do you Know a Golden Retriever Loves You?
Once more we must begin by stating that every dog is an individual. Just like people, they each have their own unique personalities and their own preferred ways of showing affection.
That being said, here are some of the ways Golden Retrievers show their love for their owners:
- They follow their owners around constantly,
- They lick their owners faces,
- They greet their owners at the door when they return home,
- They cuddle together on the couch,
- They bring their owners things,
- They show vulnerability around their owners.
Take notice if your Golden Retriever’s behavior suddenly changes and they do not seem as affectionate as before, as this could be a sign that they need to go to the vet.
10 Ways to Bond with your Golden Retriever
Now that you understand your dog a little bit better, it’s time to find out 10 ways to build a strong bond with your Golden Retriever.
Though this may seem like a simple activity, do not underestimate how much your Golden Retriever would love to do this with you. If you go a daily run – or even just a daily walk– then consider taking them with you as a fitness buddy.
Be it first thing in the morning or late in the afternoon, this simple 20-minute exercise routine is guaranteed to be the highlight of your dog’s day.
If you’re looking for something that will break your routine, then taking your Golden Retriever hiking during the weekend is the way to go.
Not only will they get the exercise they need while keeping you company, but the new smells and sights will be incredibly exciting to them.
Just remember to bring tons of water so they’ll stay hydrated, to research the area beforehand, to make sure the trail is dog-friendly, and to always have a leash with you.
3. Obedience Training your Golden Retriever
If you want to stimulate your dog mentally while still bonding with them, then you can’t go wrong with obedience training.
Not only does obedience training help your dog develop useful skills and learn new tricks, in the case of the Golden Retriever, this gives them the joy of pleasing their owners while spending some much-adored time together.
4. Agility Training
If you’ve ever seen a Golden Retriever complete an agility course, then you’ve seen a happy dog. This is the best way for your Golden Retriever to simultaneous exercise both mind and body.
There are many local groups that create courses for dog owners to use, but if you have the space, you can just as easily build your very own course in your backyard.
The pride you’ll feel every time you watch your dog race through the obstacles will be unparalleled.
That beautiful coat the Golden Retriever is so famous is part of what them such great swimmer. Preventing them from feeling cold and drying off quickly, it allows this breed to partake in one of their favorite activities.
If you have a pool or have access to a dog-friendly lake or beach, consider taking your dog out for a swim during a hot summer day! They’ll love it, you’ll love, and you’ll be able to bond together over fun water activities.
6. Dock Diving
If your Golden Retriever already loves swimming and they love to play fetch, then Dock Diving is a natural extension of both activities.
This is a simple enough game: all you must do is toss a floating toy into the water and watch as your dog runs, jumps, and then swims to retrieve it.
An activity best suited for adult dogs, repeating this over and over again will give your Golden Retriever a great workout and bring a smile to your face.
7. Treat Scavenging
Treat Scavenging is a great way to tire out your Golden Retriever while getting them to exercise their minds.
Simply hide your dog’s favorite dry treats so that they must smell their way through small obstacles and problem solve their way to their reward. This is something you can do at home, making it the perfect bonding activity for a rainy day.
8. Hide and Seek with your Golden Retriever
However, if you want to cut back on their treats intake, then considering playing hide and seek. To do this effectively, play a bit with your dog by giving them a toy, and as soon as they are distracted, go hide.
Then, call their name and watch as they run around seeking you. This will help them meet some of their daily exercise quota, and their excitement when they finally find you will be adorable.
9. Tug of War
Most dogs love a good play of Tug of War, and the Golden Retriever is no exception. This is a great game that can be played both indoors and out, and all it involves is you grabbing a rope on the opposite end of your dog as each of you pull.
However, pay close attention to your dog when playing this game. While most Golden Retrievers are very laid-back, this type of game can trigger some predatory instincts in some dogs, and if you notice your dog getting a bit too aggressive, then it is best to cut the game short and switch to a different activity.
Finally, a simple yet great way to bond with your Golden Retriever while helping them get their exercise is through jumping. There are many ways to encourage your dog to jump: you can hold their toys up high and encourage them to catch them, or you can simply blow bubbles.
Some companies caught on to just how popular this activity is for dogs, and as a result, they created specially flavored, non-toxic bubbles to be used specifically for this bonding activity.
Golden Retrievers are incredibly friendly dogs who adore their owners. They are never quite as happy as when they are with their family, and their playful presence can always turn a bad day into a good one.
If you are looking for ways to return your Golden Retriever’s unconditional love, activities that not only help them meet their daily exercise needs but that also allow them to do so while spending quality time with you is the best way to go.
These are guaranteed to be not only the highlight of your dog’s day, but yours as well, forging that deep bond we all want to have with our canine family members.