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Do golden retrievers smile? If you have a golden retriever, then you’ve most probably saw it do a smile. And for whatever reason, you just can’t help but to smile back at this adorable creature. It’s probably the reason why golden retrievers are one of the most popular pet dogs. They smile their way into people’s hearts. In this article, you’ll learn the answer to your question, do golden retrievers smile?

Types of Dog Smiles

Did you know that there are different types of dog smiles that you might see come out of your pet’s lips. You might see this smile depending on different situations.

The Panting Smile

This is the type of smile that your dog has when his lips are pulled back. You can see this when your pet’s mouth start to hang open and when his tongue is out. They usually do this as they try to cool down from their vigorous activity. They are mostly communicating that they are tired but they’re happy  

The Submissive Smile

Your dog will bare their teeth usually in sort of a funny way. You will see that they will also lower their body posture. They also wear their smile with an upturned neck and squinted eyes. This means that they are signaling deference to you. Golden retrievers also do this to other dogs they meet. They are simply showing that they are not a threat.

The Aggressive Smile

Aggressive smile is like an evil grin but for dogs. It also comes with a growl. If they are doing this, it could mean that they are feeling somewhat uncomfortable or even threatened in their surrounding or towards other people. Your golden retriever might also be warning you of a potential threat, so make sure to pay attention.

How to Read Your Dog’s Smile

The smile of your golden retriever can mean a lot of things, which is why it’s very important that you understand what they could be conveying to you at the moment. If you can read their smile, you would know their feelings about a certain situation. There are times when their submissive smile and aggressive smile looks the same. If this happens, the next thing to look out for is your pet’s body language. You’ll be able to determine which is which.

In a submissive smile, your golden retriever’s ear will be in a relaxed state, or it is something that leans forward. Their body will be loose and they will wiggle with excitement. Your pet will be showing you that they’re happy and excited about the situation. On the other hand, an aggressive smile will make your pet’s posture more rigid. Their ears will be pulled back in sort of a tense way. They would feel nervous and uncomfortable. It’s best to remove your dog from this possibly uncomfortable situation he/ she is in. 

It’s quite rare for a Golden Retriever to feel aggressive. This is because they are generally happy – go – lucky dogs, with few things making them feel uncomfortable.

Their panting smile is also one to observe with your pet. You may think they are just panting, but this can also be a signal that your dog is feeling ill or he is in pain. Panting that not caused by exercise or heat generally will come from a dog that is somewhat in pain. Make sure to watch your dog when they get up or down to see if they might be experiencing pain in other parts of their body.


If you notice that your golden retriever is smiling at various circumstances, it’s easy to train your pet to smile on command. Your pet may already be learning how to smile if every time that they smile at you, you make a big deal out of it. If you want to teach you golden retriever to smile, you can do so through a reward. For instance, when you notice that he’s starting to smile, either immediately reward them with a treat or if you have trained your dog with a clicker, click when you dog starts to smile and praise them. Continue to repeat in the same manner you have trained your dog for other skills. Your golden retriever will be able to smile on cue in no time!

Do Dogs Really Understand Smiles?

There has been some debate whether dogs really understand smiles or not. Many people believe that a dog will smile at you in order to appease you. They may also learn how you have reacted when they have previously smiled.  Who knows? Your pet might have also seen you smile and he/ she is imitation you!

Here’s something to keep in mind; dogs are always studying our actions on a daily basis to help better understand how we are feeling and our moods. They’re like children. They are learning and observing everything and these information helps them understand our human nature, or anticipate an event. Many believe that they learn from the cues we display on how we are feeling. One cues is the smile. Whenever you smile, you send a message to your dog that you’re happy, and they learn that. Dogs in general can recognize smiling faces! So smile! We hope this article answered your question, do golden retrievers smile?

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