If your Golden Retriever appears to be sad you might want to know why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of possible reasons why it is sad and what you can do to get it to be less sad.
So, why is my Golden Retriever sad? Possible reasons are that it is depressed, not getting enough exercise, ill, wanting more attention, it has an issue with its diet or it might have been mistreated.
There are actually many different reasons why it might be sad and it could be due to a number of different reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. There are also a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever is sad
Each of the different reasons why it is sad will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
Dogs are able to get depression like humans can and it might be the reason why your Golden Retriever seems to be sad. This would be more likely if your Golden Retriever started doing it after something happened that might have made it depressed such as an owner or another pet dying or if it started being left alone for a long time.
In this case, it might improve over the course of a few weeks. You can help by giving it positive attention in the form of exercise, training and by playing with it. If it does not improve it would help to get the help of a vet or dog behaviorist.
Not enough exercise
Golden Retrievers are meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be why it seems to be sad. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day when they are healthy adults.
Getting an illness could also be the reason why it has been seeming to be sad. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as being fatigued. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
The reason why it has been sad could be that there is an issue with its diet. It could be that it’s not being fed enough, it’s being fed too much, it’s diet doesn’t contain the right nutrients or that someone is feeding it foods that it should not be eating.
It would help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing and it would help to consult with your local vet on its diet when you see them next.
It was mistreated
The cause might also be that someone mistreated it. This would be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter. This would be more likely if it started doing it suddenly or if it suddenly changes its behavior when a certain person is around.
How to tell if your Golden Retriever is actually sad
Below are some ways to tell whether or not it is actually sad or it just seems sad.
It eats less
If your Golden Retriever has suddenly started eating less but it doesn’t seem to have an illness it would be a sign that it is because it is sad. However, this could also be due to other things such as the weather being much hotter or having done less exercise.
It is less active
Another sign would be if it has suddenly started being less active. However, it could also be a sign that it is ill, injured or that it has eaten something it shouldn’t have.
It avoids you
If your Golden Retriever has suddenly started avoiding you it would also be a sign that it is sad or depressed. However, it might be the case that it does it due to being fearful if you have been aggressive towards it.
It’s displaying compulsive behaviors
Suddenly displaying compulsive behaviors such as constantly licking itself would also be a sign that it is sad or that something is causing it to be stressed.
Things to consider
What happened when it started being sad
It could help to consider what else happened when it first started being sad since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as a an owner leaving, another pet dying, illness, a change in its diet, getting less attention or getting less exercise.
When it is not sad
It would also help to consider the timing of when it seems to be sad since the timing might also have something to do with it.
For example, if it is less sad on days where it has gotten a lot of exercise it could be a sign that it needs more exercise regularly. Whereas, if it is less sad on your days off from work it could be a sign that it has separation anxiety.
How to get your Golden Retriever to be less sad
Below are some things you can do to get your Golden Retriever to be happier.
Ensure that its diet is right
As mentioned above, it could be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without you knowing and it would help to consult your vet about its diet.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t figure out why it has been doing it or it has been showing signs of illness, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Golden Retriever and to rule out illness as the cause.
Give it exericse
If your Golden Retriever is healthy, it is important to make sure that it is able to get exercise on a daily basis. There are apps you can download that will allow you to find a dog walker in your local area.
Give it attention
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it.
Reward it when it is not sad
It would also help to reward it when it is not sad so that you can encourage the good behavior.
Avoid rewarding the sadness
It would also help to avoid giving it rewards when it becomes sad so that you can avoid encouraging it to continue behaving in a sad way. Instead, it would help to try to redirect its behavior when it seems like it is about to be sad and to use positive reinforcement training to encourage it to behave in a different way.