How To Train Golden Retrievers

How To Train Golden Retrievers


Years ago on black and white television, Lassie rose to fame as the wonderfully smart and well-behaved family dog of the Martin family and of course Lassie’s pal, Timmy.

In most episodes, Lassie was saving Timmy or other residents of the town and alerting everyone to danger.

Everyone wants a dog like Lassie that is perfect and never chews on anything or has an accident in the house. Well, this is television, definitely not real life!


One thing that a future dog of yours has in common with Lassie is that all dogs need training and even though Lassie was an “actor” and playing a part, this dog had training as a puppy and beyond to perform the job they did.

Golden retrievers also need training.Opens in a new tab. They are happy-go-lucky and friendly to all kinds of dogs, but with their puppy-like exuberance can easily bowl someone over as an adult by jumping and giving sloppy kisses.

This may seem loving and funny but can be quite dangerous and even though we love dogs, and it’s hard to believe, not everyone likes dogs! Golden retrieversOpens in a new tab. are strong and need to learn through training that jumping is unacceptable.


In the following post, you will learn the Golden retriever training age and information about how to train golden retrievers as well as Golden retriever training problems.

To check your Golden Retrievers’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet Opens in a new tab.website for all the help you may need.

How To Train Golden Retrievers
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Golden Retriever Training Age

Training for your Golden retriever puppyOpens in a new tab. should begin at the same time as you bring your puppy home from the breeder’s which will be around eight weeks of age.

Sometimes, breeders will begin some light training before eight weeks, so your puppy may have a bit of a head start.


When beginning training at eight weeks, keep in mind that your Golden retriever is just a puppy Opens in a new tab.and even though they are an intelligent breed, puppies have a short attention span and tire quickly. Keep training sessions short.

Often people adopt an adult retriever from a shelter or rescue group. These dogs probably have been trained in some ways but because they are older, this doesn’t mean they can’t be trained. You can “teach an old dog new tricks.”

They may have been at the shelter due to some training issue that a former owner couldn’t deal with. Some people expect their puppy to be “perfect” from day one and are shocked and dismayed when this is not the case, which is very unrealistic.

With either a puppy or an adult, training takes time and patience, Shelter and rescue dogs can often be the best companion, as they can often sense that you gave them a second chance.

How To Train Golden Retrievers

There are many aspects to training and an obedient, well-mannered pup does not happen overnight. You will have some victories and some defeats, but just have patience and remain steadfast.

Before you take a golden retriever puppyOpens in a new tab. home, you should do a little research about their personality and temperament so you are familiar with the breed.

Your objectives, when adding a Golden retriever Opens in a new tab.to your family are bonding with them, helping them to be at ease in their new home, and guiding them with rules and regulations to become obedient and well-mannered. Below are some basics and tips for training your Golden retriever.Opens in a new tab.

House training

When taking a new puppy homeOpens in a new tab., someone should be around for a few weeks, not only to bond and familiarize your Golden puppy with their new home but to begin potty training.

This is something that requires patience and persistence because once your retriever puppy Opens in a new tab.gets the gist of this it will be smooth sailing!

That’s why it’s imperative that someone in your family be present. This is why many animals are brought to shelters. Time is needed in raising a dog and is most important for house training.

  • Take your pup out after naps and meals.
  • When there is a success, bring out the marching band and make an extraordinary fuss!
  • Accidents will happen. If you see it, tell them “no.” If you don’t see it happen, just clean it up well. They won’t have any idea why they’re being scolded “after the fact.”
  • Keep their designated potty area clean. Scoop when they go. No one likes a dirty toilet and neither will they. If the area is clean, no one will step in it and track it indoors.

Socialization

Even though Golden retrieversOpens in a new tab. are known as the greeters and social butterflies of the dog world, they do require much-needed socialization.

Just because you took home a happy friendly Golden retriever doesn’t mean they can’t become fearful or even aggressive.

That’s what socialization is for, to acclimate your pup to other people, dogs, sights, sounds, noises, places, and as many social situations as you can so that your pup grows into a laid back, never fearful adult who is calm and self-assured in any environment.

Alpha leader


You must assume the alpha leadership role when raising any dog. This does not mean you have to yell or use physical force, which should never be. You just need to be assertive and in charge and your pup will trust you and follow your lead.

Crate training


If you choose, crates are an excellent way for your pup to have their own space. Adding their bed, blanket, and toys will be a safe space to go to if things become too noisy or hectic in your home.

When they become accustomed to their crate, they will nap in there and it will be their place of “Zen.”

Crates are great if you work outside the home or just for a short shopping trip. Crates are never for punishment or for your puppy to be home alone for hours and hours.

Basic obedience

Obedience training is a necessary part of training as a whole. Short sessions 10-15 minutes three times a day are sufficient for a puppy to teach them the basics of “sit,” “stay” and “come” and puppy obedience classes are an excellent way to combine training and socialization.


Training should be continued as your Golden retriever grows to practice and reinforce commands.

More advanced classes are always available. With all types of training, consistency is the key along with positive reinforcement.


Leash training

Leash training is a big part of training your Golden retriever. They are extremely friendly and view all people as friends, thinking that everyone who meets them wants to pet them; not so.

Some people are very fearful of dogs. This is one reason you want an obedient Golden retriever and one that walks well on a leash. Retrievers can weigh up to 75lbs.

Having them pull consistently on the leash is not enjoyable for you or your pup and can even be dangerous if they see something exciting like a rabbit and decide to lunge.

This shows that you aren’t in control and they are. If they pull, stop and wait. Do this every time and they will see that this kind of action will get them nowhere with no fun.

Golden Retriever Training Problems
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Golden Retriever Training Problems

Even though golden retrievers are intelligent and eager to please, you may run into a few training issues. Some are listed below.

  • Destructive behavior

Because these dogs were bred for retrieving, they love to have something in their mouth. Be sure to provide a variety of chew toys and bones, otherwise, your pup will find other things to chew on like furniture or household items or even steal food off of your counter.

All dogs need to be physically and mentally stimulated with plenty of exercises and play so they don’t become bored. If they are tired out or busy with a toy, they won’t be bored.

  • Jumping

Golden retrievers only greet friends and that’s virtually everyone. They’ve never met a stranger they didn’t like! They can also greet people with an overexuberant display that involves jumping.

Jumping is never acceptable for a dog whether large or small, but take a 75lb golden and an elderly 80 year old and this is a recipe for a disaster, injury, and a possible lawsuit.

No matter who the person your pup jumps on or how much they weigh, there should be no jumping. If you allow it as a puppy because you think it’s cute, it will lead to big problems down the road.

They need to be taught that this behavior is unacceptable all of the time. This can be accomplished in many ways.

Turning your back and ignoring your pup until they are calm will give them no attention, which they crave. No attention; no praise; no greeting.

They will soon learn that jumping equals no attention. Dropping a cookie sheet with a loud clatter when they jump will also quickly deter them.

  • Seeking attention and hyperactivity


Golden retrievers think everyone adores them but this is not always the case. Not everyone likes dogs.

They may also bark and whine just to get your attention too. Ignoring them is the best way to deal with attention seekers.

Hyperactivity can be resolved through plenty of exercises. A tired pup is a happy, calm, and content dog.

A few ways to help correct bad behavior is through exercise or redirecting with mental stimulation such as outdoor games or puzzle toys.

Obedience training in classes or private classes with a professional trainer will also help you know what you are doing right or wrong and can help guide you as you guide your retriever.

Having a routine can also help everyone in the household know what’s going on and when including your pup.

Meals should be basically at the same times and also exercise and walks. You will be surprised how quickly your pup picks up on these things and is ready and willing.

Training your Golden retriever will take time and patience, but also love. You need to bond with your pup to help with the process, but at the same time, let them know that you call the shots.

This time may be challenging but it will also be rewarding and fun as you add this ball of fluff to your family.

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