Do Golden Retrievers Smile?

By John Martin - May 7, 2021

Golden Retriever smiling on a boat

No matter how bad your day was, when you come home to your Golden Retriever who is smiling at you, your day would become bright as heaven! 

Golden Retrievers are best known for being active, adherent, and warm-hearted. But, how does a person know if a dog is smiling or not? Here’s your chance to find out, keep reading!

Do Golden Retrievers Smile?

As a matter-of-fact, dogs do not smile. It will apply for Golden Retrievers as well. At least, it does not mean that the smiley dogs are happy when they are smiling. It is a part of human nature to assume human qualities to their pet that is part of their family – commonly known as Anthropomorphism.

Types of Smiles

Facial expressions are the most integral way to express feelings to this world. We, the humans, use this facial expression to express our happiness, fear, anger, and love to others. 

The facial expression applies to dogs as well. They also use some sets of facial expressions to express their feelings. 

But it is quite difficult for human beings to recognize the expression of the dogs as we are not the same species. A smiley dog is assumed to be a happy dog that sometimes it is not. Here are the different types of smiles you are likely to notice in your Golden Retriever:

Panting Smile

One of the reasons why Golden Retrievers are called smiley dogs is because they might be panting. We know that Golden Retrievers are very energetic. 

These cute and fluffy dogs are used to be active, and they would be running around the house without any break time. It will result in lots of panting. 

A dog of this breed will be panting because they do not sweat as we do! Their sweat makes them pant quite often. 

Sometimes, your dog might get caught panting where the tongue will be hanging outside the mouth. It will eventually lead to us who will be thinking that our Golden is smiling.

Related: Do Golden Retrievers Drool a Lot?

Reasons Behind the Smile

Make sure that your Golden Retriever is not panting too much. If this fluffy companion does, it is better to consult a vet. 

There are a few common reasons why your dog might be panting too much:

  • Rising body temperature
  • Feeling a lot of pain.
  • Having a strong feeling of excitement or anxiety.
  • Allergic reaction to something which might be blocking their airway.
  • Ingesting poison or something that is not good for them.
  • Illness
  • The side effect of any medication that they have taken.

Submissive Smile

Submissive is an act of showing that a person is ready to obey another person and do whatever they want. In the case of Golden Retrievers, they show their teeth full of a smile that is sometimes mistaken for an aggressive smile. 

It is advisable to inform the new friend that your Golden Retriever is having a submissive smile showing that the dog trusts that person. It would be a problem to recognize the smile for a person who is new to all this.

But one can identify the difference quite clearly if they notice the body language of a Golden Retriever when he is in submissive mode.

The dog will have a smile with low body posture, peeking eyes, an upturned neck, wagging tail, and generally relaxed. 

This type of smile can be called the happiest smile. It might happen when the dog is in a new place and surrounded by new people.

The Golden Retrievers will let their guards down when they are in this state. They wanted someone to approach them, play with them, and spend time with them. 

Aggressive Smile

Mostly, the Golden Retrievers will not show their aggressive smile. They will use it when they feel threatened or angry. 

A dog will have a smile with all their teeth ready to attack, crumpled muzzle, wide eyes, and ears withdrawn from their usual place. Dogs would be barking or growl at the thing or person that threatens them.  

So, the aggressive smile is easy to differentiate from other smiles because it is easy to notice. Usually, a Golden Retriever will not be having this problem because they hardly give an aggressive smile.

You can see the Golden Retriever might get in this situation when an intruder is in your house. If the dog does this at casual times, you should get him/her out to calm down.

Related: Can Golden Retrievers Be Aggressive?

Why Are Golden Retrievers The Ideal Symbol Of Friendship?

Golden Retrievers would be the best match for the designation – “Family Dog.” Their less aggressiveness and more friendliness type of nature makes them perfect family dogs with whom the entire family would like to spend time.

But why are they so friendly? Because the breed is for this essential trait – friendship. They would accompany the hunters and retrieve the shot game without damaging because of their soft mouth.

While hunting, you don’t want your dog to be fighting with your hunting companions’ dogs. The Golden will be gentle and amiable with your companions and their dogs.  

Because of their friendly behavior, most of the patients would prefer a golden retriever as their service dog to help the patients. They would also help kids to overcome their disability and fear.

It is said that the evolution of dogs’ species that made them more friendly. Even if the Golden Retrievers are not a part of nature’s creation, the theory still applies to them too. 

We no longer wanted them as fast and aggressive to the intruders, but we want them to be friendly, affectionate, cheerful, and cuddly.

How To Teach Your Golden Retriever To Smile

Golden Retrievers are very intelligent breeds because they could understand what their owners want. So, it is easy for the owners to train their Goldens.

But, it will take some time for them to understand and express the smile when you command them to do it. You may think that your Golden Retriever is too old to learn this, but it is the opposite.

Many say that it is essential to train a dog because your companion needs to be alert and active when it gets old. It is easy to train adult dogs because they are very energetic and less distracted. 

4 Steps To Teach Your Golden To Smile On Command

  • Watch the golden closely. You can notice that the golden retriever is going to smile.
  • When he smiles, give a treat, pat him, and, most importantly, adore him. Rewarding the dogs would make them do the action more.
  • Repeat it again and again and then do the rewarding method occasionally.
  • You can also use a hand signal to make your golden retriever smile. If you have started training with the hand signal, it would be easy for your dog to pace up the smile with the hand signal.

Can Golden Retrievers Understand Smiles?

Golden Retrievers are most likely able to understand the body language of other dogs. 

The revealing teeth, eye contact, and posture of the aggressive smile, the calm eyes, and tongue position of panting smile, and the sympathetic body language of the submissive smile is clear as drinking water to them.

But, can a Golden Retriever understand a human’s smile? There is a common saying that a dog can understand human’s feelings and moods. 

A study states that dogs can understand when their owners are smiling. In the study, the dogs showed a positive signal when their loving owners smiled.

Another study showed some photographs of dogs doing the facial expression of their owners. But the scientists say that the evidence is indefinite.

But most of the owners believe that their Goldens understand the human’s smile. It doesn’t matter what others say to them.

Final Thoughts

Whether it is a panting smile, aggressive smile, or submissive smile, what matters is that these smiles are usual for the Golden Retrievers. 

The cute smile has its own needs – family photos, parties, and usually pleasant moments. A Golden Retriever smile will melt your heart and distract you from any stress.