Why Does My Golden Retriever Bring Me Things? 8 Explanations

Goldens are very playful dogs, and they could literally spend all day playing with you and still have energy and love to spare. This might at times manifest in them bringing their toys to you.

But it doesn’t have to be only about playing, it could also have other meanings, and you should know what it could mean so you know what to do.

So, Why does my golden retriever bring me things? Your golden retriever could be bringing you things because they’re trying to get your attention, they are telling you that they are happy to see you, they’re connected bringing you things with your smiles or praise, or because it’s their way to tell you they trust you. 

This was the short and sweet answer, but of course, nothing is quite this simple. So, let’s discuss why your golden retriever brings you things (even when they are not theirs in the first place) and what you need to do about it.

8 Reasons Why Golden Retrievers Steal Things and Bring Them to You 

Golden retrievers with umbrella to answer why does my golden retriever bring me things

Here are the 8 most common reasons why golden retrievers could be bringing you things:

  1. Trying to make you happy 
  2. They are letting out their extra energy 
  3.  They want to play with you 
  4. Showing off 
  5. They are happy to see you 
  6. They like to carry things in their mouth 
  7. They trust you 
  8. They think of you as their leader

Let’s discuss each of these quickly so you can learn more about why your dog does it.

Trying to make you happy

 Golden retrievers are one of the most caring and kind dogs, they care about their owners greatly and they can do anything trying to make you happy, so one of the things they can do to make you happy is bringing you their toys since the toys make them happy and it might make you happy as well.

Also, if you showed any signs of happiness or excitement when they do it, they will keep doing it to cheer you up.

They can start bringing things for other people such as your guests and if they can’t find toys laying around, they can bring them anything they can find such as a dirty sock, stick, or even a shoe.

They are letting out their extra energy

 Golden retrievers are known for their energy and that is why they need regular exercise to burn some energy.

So, it could be they are letting out their extra energy on a toy especially if you are not home and when you come home they come to greet you with that toy still in their mouth.  

They want to play with you 

It could be that your dog is bringing you things such as a toy, ball, or a stick because they want to play with you and that is their way to express that they want to spend some quality time with you.

Showing off 

Most people had a toy or a game they wished for when they were younger and when they finally owned that toy, they got incredibly excited and couldn’t wait to show it off.

Your golden retriever could do the same thing, if you brought them a new toy, they could carry it around all the time because they are showing it off.

It doesn’t have to be a toy or something that you got for them, it could be that they found a stick or anything that they find unique and they are proud of it so they are showing it off as well.

They are happy to see you 

Golden retrievers are one of the most caring and kind dogs and they love their owners more than anything in this world and the happiest moment of their day is when you come back home to them and you don’t need to know that because you already see their excitement when they see you.

So, when they see you they grab the first thing that they can find as a sign of happiness and excitement. 

Goldens are very social animals and they don’t like to stay alone for long. If you leave them for long, they become genuinely excited and happy to see you come back home.

If you leave your dog alone for hours every day, you really need to know how to leave golden retrievers alone (click here) so they don’t suffer from separation anxiety or get stressed when you’re away.

They like to carry things in their mouth 

It’s in their name that golden retrievers are bred to retrieve so it’s no surprise that they like to carry things in their mouths and bring them to you, also, if they are still puppies they could be carrying toys or anything in their mouth because they are teething. 

They trust you

Every dog’s toy is one of the most important things in their life and your dog could bring you their toy or anything that is special to them to let you know that they trust you. 

They think of you as their leader 

It could be that your golden retriever thinks of you as their leader or their “alpha” and them bringing you a toy, ball, or literally, anything is their way to ensure that they have a spot in your pack.

How to Deal with Their Fetching Needs?

Golden retrievers were bred to fetch and retrieve but what most people do not know is they are not born with it, so what makes them different from any other dog? Golden retrievers are easier to train how to retrieve and fetch than other dogs.

However, if you trained them how to fetch then you will need to know how to deal with their fetching needs so that they don’t bring you stuff all day long.

There are many things you can do for your golden retriever fetching need such as 

  • Daily fetching 
  • Fetching toys 
  • Alternative games 

Daily fetching 

You can make time for your dog to play fetch at least for 30 minutes up to 2 hours per day beside their daily walk, in that way they will not have built-up energy.

Fetching toys

If you do not have time to play fetch with your golden retriever, you can buy a fetching toy for them, so you can do whatever you have to do and they can still play fetch and get it out of their system.

My dogs really like this automatic ball launcher (check on Amazon here) as it can keep them busy for hours even when I’m not available to play with them.

When I’m not at home, the Furbo camera can also keep them busy by tossing treats, and this way they can still feel I’m there with there thanks to the two-way audio communications. I really like the Furbo Dog Camera and think it’s totally worth it. You can check it on Amazon here.

Lastly, you can tie a ball or toy to a rope or string, in this way you can play with them while doing other chores.

Alternative games 

You can play other games that are similar to fetching with your dog such as tug of war, doggy treat hunt, blanket hurdles, hide and seek, and round-robin, you can learn much more about these games in my post on golden retrievers that don’t like to fetch and the alternative games for them.

How to Deal with their Chewing Needs 

You can deal with chewing needs by giving them some chewing toys and praise them when they use them so they would chew on these toys instead of your favorite shoes or your new sofa.

Here are some chew toys you can get on Amazon for your dog.

How to Train Them to Stop Getting Things Unrequested 

Here is how to train your golden retriever to stop getting you things without your request.

  • First of all, you can make the things they can carry in their mouths unavailable such as shoes, socks, sticks in your backyard, clothes, or trash.
  • Always make toys available for them so they can grab one whenever they want 
  • Provide them with plenty of daily exercises so they won’t have built-up energy that needs release
  • If you see them grabbing something unwanted, immediately interrupt the behavior with a loud no, give, or drop it and when they do, give them a treat and praise them.
  • Do NOT look angry or upset when they bring you something unrequested and if you see them grabbing something, do not run to stop them because they will think you are playing with them and they will keep doing it to get your attention 
  • Don’t give them attention when they bring you something unrequested because you are giving them what they want and they will keep bringing you anything they can find 

Why does my golden retriever bring me socks?

Golden retrievers love to bring things for their owner, it’s in their nature, after all.

They will start bringing you toys at first and it can develop to bring you anything they can find including your socks. Socks are also soft and appealing for them to chew on, kinda like their chewing toys.

So, they won’t bring you socks on purpose to mess with you, they just found a sock laying around and they thought hey, this will make my human happy, must give it to them.

Also, it could be that the socks smell like you a little bit and that’s why they like it. 

Why do golden retrievers bring you their blankets?

If they are still puppies they could be carrying their blanket around or to you because they are using it as a teething device and if the blanket has your smell on it even a little bit they will carry it around like a comfort item to calm them down or to overcome their fears.

You can learn more about when golden retrievers need blankets here.

Why does my golden retriever carry around stuffed animals?

Golden retrievers like to carry the stuffed animals because they are soft and fluffy.

If your golden retriever likes to carry around stuffed animals, you need to make sure that the stuffed animals are clean and wash them regularly so they won’t build up bacteria or dirt.

Do not wash them with fabric softener because it may irritate their skin, however, carrying around stuffed animals is completely normal and is considered healthy behavior.  


In conclusion, whatever the reason your golden retriever brings you toys, socks, or anything else, they are doing out of love and to make you happy and it’s not something to worry about, it’s completely normal.

Your golden retriever could be bringing you things because they are trying to make you happy, they think of you as their leader and they want to save a spot in your “pack”, they are happy to see you, they are giving you their treat to tell you they trust you, they are trying to give you a gift, they are showing off, they are letting out their extra energy, they like to carry things in their mouth, and lastly, they want to play with you.  

Related Questions 

Why does my golden retriever carry socks? 

They could be carrying your socks because it smells like you or because it’s fluffy and feels like their chewing toys so they think it’s good chewing for them. Get your dog chewing toys and teach them to chew on the toys but not the socks and spend enough time with them.

You should try to always spend enough time with your golden retriever to make them not miss you to the point they need your smells to relieve their anxiety.

Why does my golden retriever bring me their toys? 

Your golden retriever could be bringing you their toys because they are bored and they want to play with you, they are telling you that that they trust you, they are trying to give you a gift, they are showing off their toys, trying to make you happy, or they like to carry their toy in their mouth.

Why do dogs put something in their mouth when excited?

Dogs put toys or anything in their mouth when they are excited because they want to share their joy with you, also, they may be using toys or whatever is in their mouth to calm their excitement.

If you like this article and it was helpful to you, you can share it with your friends and family, it may be useful to them as well and it will certainly be grateful for it. You will find the share and pin articles at the end of the post.

Useful Resources

Why Do Dogs? Bring gifts to us when we arrive home? by Katelyn Schutz, CPDT

Why Do Dogs Bring You Their Toys to Greet You?


Hey there, I'm Matt, the author behind Retrievershub.com. With a deep love for dogs and a dedication to strengthening the bond between owners and their retrievers, I've created a hub of resources for enthusiasts like you. Through engaging articles, training guides, and product reviews, I aim to provide practical advice that makes a real difference in your life as a dog owner. Whether you're a seasoned pro or new to the world of retrievers, my approachable and informative writing style ensures that you'll find valuable insights. Join me on this incredible journey of discovering what makes retrievers tick, unlocking their potential, and creating an unbreakable bond with your furry companion. Let's embark on an adventure of dog ownership together. Thank you for visiting Retrievershub.com and being part of our vibrant community.

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