Dog Training Tips for Golden Retrievers

golden retriever training

Golden Retrievers are one of the most versatile and intelligent breeds of dogs to ever walk the planet. They have been used as search and rescue dogs, arson detection dogs, service dogs, seeing-eye dogs, emotional response dogs, therapy dogs, and more.

During one of the nation’s worst crises, it was a Golden Retriever who led her blind handler out of one of the crumbling towers on 9-11 and then was credited with going back inside and helping others escape the building.

Their nature is to work hard, play hard, and enjoy life. Golden Retrievers rarely have time to be aggressive; they are far too busy enjoying all the day has to offer. Their motto is surely Carpe Diem!

They can be found in use as hunting dogs, which was their primary purpose for breeding, but they can, as attested to above, have many jobs in this world. The reason for this is their intelligence and their unmatched ability to adapt to all circumstances.

golden retriever training

If you’re looking for a calm dog with a scholarly demeanor, you are looking for a Golden Retriever.


Are Golden Retrievers easy to train?

These guys respond best to positive training methods and if you can master them, you’ll master training the Golden. They respond well to praise, treats, and playtime as rewards.

They have a strong work ethic that was likely bred into them for their excellence in retrieving game birds. Their soft, sweet demeanor was also thanks to these genetics that kept them a soft-mouthed dog, for the most part.

golden retriever training


A hunter doesn’t want his bird to be brought back all chewed to pieces so a retriever with a very soft-mouthed style is preferred. This is likely part of what keeps them sweet and congenial.

As puppies, they are sponges that will absorb anything you are willing to teach them. In fact, their brain craves new things to learn and this is why they are so prized for so many working positions around the world. They like to learn and they are people-pleasers at heart.

How long does it take to train a golden retriever?

You should begin working with your puppy from day one. As soon as he comes to your home, at 8 weeks of age, he is ready to learn.

Be gentle with him and be patient. He will have a short attention span and make a lot of mistakes but he will continue trying as long as you make his golden retriever training fun.

Training is a life-long process because they are truly always learning. You can expect your pup to learn basic obedience, such as ‘sit’ and ‘stay’ by 16 weeks of age if you begin at 8 weeks, however.

He will not be rock solid until he is older, but by the age of a year old, your Golden should have incredible skill and the ability to hold an extended stay for several minutes.

How can I train my golden retriever puppy at home?

For most people, training is something that they either know little about or they think they know more than they actually do.

Old-school methods of rolling up the newspaper and spanking puppies are not only old, they don’t work to do anything but teach your dog that you cannot be trusted to keep them safe from harm.

golden retriever training


Nowadays, experts study dog behavior and ethologists study the behavior of all animals. This research has led to animal behaviorists specializing in what makes animals think, misbehave, become aggressive, and much more.

When a dog has a very strange issue that can’t be helped by a trainer, sometimes it is in your best interest to call in a behaviorist.

That said, when you start with a new puppy, joining a group class is one of the best things that you can do for golden retriever training.

This allows you to go to a class once per week and learn together, with your dog, how to properly teach them the basics of obedience. Then you can go home and practice all week until you go back to class and learn something new.

This is an ideal way to learn something about canine behavior and how to properly train a dog from start to finish.


Should I get a male or female golden retriever?

When it comes to male or female, there are really only subtle differences between the two and it may not truly make any difference at all.

Some people think there are differences in personality, but that is not likely. This is more dependent upon genetics and early socialization than anything else.


golden retriever training


Having a male can be challenging to teach them not to lift their leg. Neutering them early on in life is the best way to help curb this behavior.

An intact male will lift his leg to mark and may sometimes do so indoors as well. Early Golden Retriever training is crucial and neutering them is also best for their overall health as they age.

Female Golden Retrievers are slightly smaller in stature than the males. They have the same personality and easily learn trained tasks.

If you are hoping to breed her you’ll need to understand the health risks for her that include ovarian cancer risks, pyometra and tumors. She will also come into heat cycles every 6 to 9 months and this may make male dogs come to your house.

They will also try to breed her through the fence. If you have male dogs around of your own, they can get aggressive when a female is around who is in heat.

If you do not wish to breed her, you should have her spayed within her first year of life. She will live much longer and be healthier if you do.


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