But let's be real—you wouldn't have it any other way.
golden retriever taking over your spot on the couch; 10 signs you're a golden retriever parent
Credit: Elizabethsalleebauer / Getty

Goldens are truly a special breed, and so it's no surprise that there are several telltale signs you have a golden retriever—things that only golden retriever parents understand. For example, when's the last time you felt lonely? Probably not since you brought home your golden bundle of joy, right? That desire to be as close to you as possible, at all times, is part of the charm of this gorgeously goofy breed—and it's only one of the things that pet parents with a golden in their lives love about them.

Here are 10 signs you're definitely a golden retriever parent.

1. Dog Hair Is Part of Your Signature Look

No outfit is complete without it! Or, at least, that's a wise attitude to affect if you're going to have a golden retriever in your life because they shed frequently and with abandon. Add that to the fact that they're Extremely Serious Snugglers who love to be in physical contact with their people, and you've got a recipe for a pant leg full of fur. The way we see it, you've got three options: Keep a lint roller on you at all times, adopt a wardrobe color scheme that allows the fur to blend in, or just own the fact that you're living that golden retriever life.

2. You Don't Feel At Home Unless You See Tumbleweeds of Dog Fur

Home is where the dog hair is. Isn't that how the saying goes? Goldens shed—heavily—and pet parents of this breed are used to seeing fur on the carpet, on their furniture, as balls of fluff floating by on an invisible breeze … often within moments of putting away the vacuum. And yes, regular brushing and grooming (baths included) will help, as will having a vacuum designed to tackle pet hair, but just know that even if you win the battle today, you're not going to win this war. The fur will keep coming, so you might as well embrace it as part of your decor, at least to some extent.

3. They Make Friends Way Easier Than You

Sure, you might have a really nice name, but you're never going to hear it again. From here on out, you'll be known solely as Ginger's dad or Charlie's mom. (Hope that's cool with you.) Because, let's face it—when it comes to winning hearts and cementing lifelong friendships instantly, it's your golden retriever doing the heavy lifting. You're just the person holding the poop bag. Children, adults, and other friendly dogs tend to come out of the woodwork to say hello when goldens and their people are out on walkies, and nothing brings these dogs more joy than making a new friend.

But seriously, most golden retrievers have never met a stranger. Those beautiful smiles, those loving eyes, and those friendly, wagging tails draw people right toward them, and fortunately, the feeling is mutual because they're drawn to all kinds of people as well. After all, the only thing better than getting lots of pets and attention from you is getting pets from everyone!

4. They Know How You're Feeling (Sometimes Before You Do)

"They are the most socially, emotionally intuitive, and sensitive of dogs," says Scott Osborne, who has been a parent to five lovely goldens—and insists that every single one has had that quality. "They know what I feel and what I need, they know which visitor needs a head to pet and who wants to play, they know to move slowly around old people," she says. They tend to be especially wonderful with children—after all, they share their love of play! But even so, remember that no dog should be left unsupervised with a small child, and children need to understand how to play respectfully with any dog, no matter how friendly they are.

5. You Haven't Gone to the Bathroom Alone Since You Brought Them Home

You also haven't gone hiking or swimming, cooked dinner, or watched your favorite show without company because wherever you go, your best furry friend is right by your side. Between the breed's loyal tendencies and desire for affection, they're happiest when they get to spend time with their favorite people. And that works out well because their people are generally happiest when they get to spend time with their goldens! Talk about a win-win.

6. Your Favorite Thing to Watch Isn't On Netflix

Goldens are noted goofballs, and pet parents who have them in their lives love nothing more than watching them do their thing—whatever that thing may be. Retrieving all the things, rolling in grass, splashing in the pool, seeing how many toys they can fit in their mouths, figuring out puzzle toys, and learning new tricks … throughout it all, golden retrievers simply exude happiness, and it's easy to watch, laugh, and be swept up in their playful spirit. And as far as we're concerned, there's zero reason to fight it!

7. You've Learned How to Do Just About Anything While Giving Pets

If you weren't a multitasker before you added a golden retriever to your life, we bet you are now! It probably took no time at all for your golden to train you to pay attention to her with one hand while reading, cooking, checking for the latest golden retriever videos on TikTok … you get the idea. As far as a golden retriever is concerned, anything you can do, you can do while giving her ear scritches, belly rubs, or perhaps a little doggie massage.

8. Your Home Is Fully Puppy-Proofed—Even if Your Golden Isn't a Puppy Anymore

Golden retrievers love to eat, and we don't just mean food. (Although, let's be real, they really, really love food, to the point where it's important to keep tabs on how much kibble they're consuming to avoid excess weight!) Providing them with plenty of exercise and a variety of chew toys is a helpful way to avoid inappropriate chewing, but that desire to chew (and eat) is real, so golden parents know that any shoe that isn't put away may be mistaken for a chew toy—even as their golden reaches adulthood.

9. You USED to Have Your Own Spot on the Couch

Remember how you used to curl up in your corner of the couch? It was so comfy, right? Well, the good news is that it's still super cozy, it just doesn't belong solely to you anymore. Because your golden has claimed it as his own. But try as you might, you really can't get upset when he looks that adorable (and is so darn happy to snuggle up next to you). Besides, with as wonderfully trainable as golden retrievers are, you know it wouldn't be difficult at all to teach him to stay off the furniture—you just don't have the heart to do it.

10. You're Aware That Almost Any Party Can Be a Pool Party With the Right Attitude

You can probably also eyeball the precise distance of the splash zone following a swim or a bath, right? Between their fun-loving approach to life and their background as hunting and retrieving dogs, golden retrievers tend to be extremely enthusiastic swimmers, whether you want them to take a dip or not. If you've got a ball and a body of water, you've got the recipe for a super fun, perhaps slightly soggy, afternoon of fetch. Just make sure to keep close tabs on those adorable fold-over ears, since that shape creates an environment that makes ear infections a common issue.

For all these reasons and many more, it's a joy to share your life with a golden retriever.