Scout The Golden Retriever Is Changing The World One Hug At A Time

Scout’s mom lets us know what made this adorable doggo so loving!

By Justyne Yuen-Lee


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

Dogs are awesome. The unconditional love we get from our dogs is like no other, and we even get a major mood boost from just looking at other people’s pups . The online pet community grows tremendously every day spreading love and we live for it! On Instagram you have several types of pet accounts: the regular pet account, the ridiculously popular (pupfluencer) pet accounts, the gorgeous photography adventure pet accounts, and just pet appreciation accounts. Of course, there’s many, many more, but for the sake of simplicity, that covers most bases.


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

When the gorgeous photography type and pupfluencer accounts collide,  you get a feed like @scoutgoldenretriever. Scout is a three-year-old Golden Retriever who lives in Portland, Oregon. His hobbies include: walkies with mom, naps with mom, and hugs to anyone who wants one!


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

Scout and his mom, Melissa, started #scouthugs where Scout wears a “Free Hugs” sign and offers his hugs to strangers! Learn more about this awesome idea and Scout from his mom, Melissa, below.

Tell us about Scout. Did you always want a Golden Retriever? How was he as a puppy?


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

Melissa: We had two Goldens prior to Scout and are in love with the breed. After we lost our last two in the same year our house was way too quiet so we went on a puppy search! Scout was 12 weeks old when we brought him home. So fluffy and so sweet! He had a mellow temperament.

How did your cat, Tosh, take to Scout?


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever
Tosh the kitty, like a lot of older siblings, took some time in getting used to her puppy brother

MelissaTosh has no interest in being friends with Scout in the beginning, but has slowly warmed up. Now they’re the best buds!

What’s your favorite thing to do with Scout?


Melissa: That’s easy, Scouthugs and our therapy work!

Scout and Melissa go far and wide to give as much love as they can to those who need it. It doesn’t matter who you are, if you want a hug, you’re going to get a hug from Scout!

Is Scout a cooperative Instagram model? Does he ever have days where he’s just not up for a photo shoot or is it an “I’ll wear whatever and do whatever for treats” attitude all the time?


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

MelissaHa, Scout is always ready when there’s a treat around!

It takes a whole team of people to get the right shot for Instagram. But Scout’s smart – he knows he’s beautiful, fluffy, and lovable, the great shot is inevitable AND he’ll get lots of treats!

Were you surprised to have gained so many followers on your Instagram account so fast? What’s your favorite thing about the dog community online?


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

Melissa: Yes! I so appreciate every single one of them and am always so thrilled to hear how happy he makes people! [My favorite thing is] Connecting with so many people from all walks of life and knowing that we all share a common love of animals. It’s an instant bond. We actually started our own Golden meet-up group and many of them have become some of our closest friends.

Scout’s Instagram account has over 120 thousand followers!

Was Scout always meant to be a therapy dog? Do you have any advice for others who want to certify their dogs as therapy dogs?


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

Melissa: Our last Golden, Chloe was a therapy dog and I knew what a wonderful thing it was to do for the community. Scout was born ready! As far as advice, socialize your pet from the beginning and take puppy classes. Start with basic obedience and move on from there.

What inspired you to start #ScoutHugs? What has been your favorite experience during one of these hug fests? Are you planning to visit Toronto (please!)?


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever
Scout knows exactly where the people are going and where he can get the most hugs! #GoldenGenius

Melissa: We love to visit the city and Scout is always seeking out attention! So one day I decided that Portland needed some hugs! So I went home, created his free hugs sign and the reactions and smiles from people we met were so wonderful we haven’t stopped!

I would love to visit Toronto someday, but first we plan on doing a summer road trip from Portland to Los Angeles, hugging all along the way!


Do you plan on adding anymore fluffy friends to your family?


By the look of Scout’s face, we don’t think he’s ready to share the spotlight!

Melissa: Not at this time. I’m sure Scout would love another furry sibling, but for now doggy play dates and monthly meet-ups will have to do, but I can’t imagine my life without a Golden in it!

Here are more photos of Scout for us to adore!


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

It takes a lot of dedication and effort to get the hard-to-reach treats, but Scout’s not letting anything get in his way. We’re rooting for you!


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

On his adventures, Scout gets to take all those photos any other Instagram model (fluff or human) wants to take!


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

“Did someone say treats? Or was it hugs? Either way I’m down for both!”

We’re anxiously awaiting the day for Scout to come visit us in Toronto!


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

See, Scout’s totally ready for our extreme cold weather! The jacket helps, but he’d probably stay warm from all the hugs he’d get in Toronto!


Credit: Instagram / @scoutgoldenretriever

We’d like to thank Melissa for taking the time to let us get to know Scout better! Be sure to check out Scout’s Instagram!