If you’re on the search for the absolute best and most essential tips for training your Golden Retriever, let me give you a hand.
We’ll sort through all the noise and outdated advice to give you exactly what you need to know for well-behaved pooch!
From basic commands to tips to stop chewing and more, we’ve got your back.
Let’s get started!
Related: How to teach a golden retriever to sit
Tips For Training Your Golden Retriever
Before we get into specifics, it’s a good idea to go over the different types of training that your Golden needs.
First and foremost, you’ll want to teach your Golden what’s expected of him.
While most people think that falls under obedience training, it’s actually a whole different thing.
Behavior training teaches a Golden Retriever to be a good dog in general.
It includes things like house breaking, good manners, leash training, and other types of things that will make him a better companion.
While obedience training has a lot in common with behavior training, it takes the latter a step farther.
This is where things like the “sit,” “stay,” and “come” command will come into play.
If you’re not confident in your abilities to teach your dog on your own, obedience classes are a great way to go.
Activity training teaches your Golden things like hunting, herding, search and rescue, and other things that you can do together.
It is very popular with the Golden breed, as it helps not only to cement your bond but also release pent-up energy.
By concentrating on tasks that the Golden breed was bred to do, activity training is always very beneficial to your Golden Retriever.
How to choose the right training class for your Golden
Like I said above, there may be times when you don’t feel like you can train your Golden on your own. That’s where training classes come in handy.
Keep in mind that there are certain lines and distinctions with each type of training.
When you select a class for your Golden, you always want to select a class that fits his needs at that time.
If you are having trouble controlling your dog, you may want to start him off with behavior training, which is what most Golden owners tend to do.
When you look for a training class, you should also know what area your dog needs help with.
Sometimes, a behavior pattern can be the result of boredom, which can easily be fixed by spending more time with your dog.
Once you have spent more time with him, you’ll sometimes notice his pattern to stop.
Other times however, he may need a bit more help with certain behavior patterns, which is where training comes into play.
Although Golden Retrievers are smart dogs, they won’t know if they are doing something wrong unless you show them.
Training Tips for Unwanted Behaviors
Your Golden sits on command, comes when called, and goes potty outside. However, he chews everything in sight, hates the leash, and digs up your garden.
What do you do? Read on for some tips on curbing unwanted behaviors in Goldens.
Golden puppies love to chew and will chew anything they can get, including your favorite shoes!
He’s not being destructive, though. Chances are, he’s in pain from teething and trying to soothe his aching gums.
Although chew toys are preferred, there are other ways that you can help your Golden fulfill his natural instinct to chew and help him to ease the pain of teething as well.
- To start, simply fill an old sock you have with several ice cubes.
- Next, put a knot in the sock and place the sock with the cubes in the freezer.
- When your puppy starts to chew on things, simply give him the sock.
You can keep several socks with ice in it in your freezer if you want, so your puppy will always have a chew toy.
Although this is great to use, you should never leave your dog alone with the sock.
He could end up chewing the sock and swallowing pieces of it, which could lead to very serious health problems.
If he’s biting YOU, check out the video below for some tips!
All you want to do is take your Golden for a nice walk around the park. He, however, has other ideas!
He’d rather drag you down the block! Or worse, he completely freaks out when you bring out the leash.
During leash training, a lot of people prefer to attach the leash to the Golden then drag him in the direction they want him to go.
This isn’t the best way to train, as it often sends the wrong signal to the puppy.
Instead, you should first get your Golden puppy used to the collar and the leash.
You can do this by putting his collar and leash on inside the house or outside in a fenced in area, so that he can walk around and move about freely with the leash on, dragging it alongside him.
Once you have given him some time, pick the leash up, then start calling him to you.
Once he comes over to you, start praising him for it, so he knows that he is on the right track.
Always be patient when leash training, as it will take some time for him to get used to it.
If you continue to praise him when he is doing it right and continue giving him time to get used to the leash, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Digging is something that Golden Retrievers love, as it is essential to their nature.
However, it can also be somewhat frustrating if you don’t give your Golden an area to himself, as he will dig holes in your yard.
If you keep your Golden indoors, he may try to dig in the floor, on the couch, or on the bed.
It’s part of their nature, and you should never punish a Golden for digging.
To help him fill this need, you should give him an area to dig in.
You can get him a kiddie pool or sandbox, filling it with either soil or sand. Then, try burying a treat or toy in inside, so your Golden will dig to get it out.
Once he learns this is where he should dig, he will more than likely head to that area when he has the need to dig.
Later on, when he becomes a bit older, you should invest in obedience training classes that will help him to get his digging habits under control.
General Golden Retriever Training Tips
Let’s finish things off with a few basic tips that incorporate everything we discussed above. When it comes to basic obedience training for Golden Retrievers, consistency, patience, and positive reinforcement are key. Here are a couple of tips to help you with the training process:
- Start early and be consistent: Begin training your Golden Retriever as early as possible, ideally when they are puppies. Establish a consistent routine for training sessions and stick to it. Dogs thrive on consistency, so regular and predictable training sessions will help them understand and retain commands more effectively.
- Use positive reinforcement: Golden Retrievers are eager to please and respond well to positive reinforcement. Reward your dog with treats, praise, and affection when they successfully follow a command. This positive association will motivate them to repeat the desired behavior. Avoid using harsh punishment or physical corrections, as these can create fear or anxiety in your dog and hinder the training process.
- Keep training sessions short and engaging: Golden Retrievers have a natural curiosity and love to learn, but they also have a relatively short attention span, especially as puppies. Keep training sessions short, usually around 10-15 minutes, to prevent your dog from becoming bored or restless. Make the sessions fun and engaging by incorporating toys, games, and interactive activities to maintain their interest.
- Focus on basic commands: Teach your Golden Retriever the essential commands such as sit, stay, lie down, come, and heel. Start with one command at a time, using clear and consistent verbal cues accompanied by hand signals. Break down each command into simple steps, rewarding your dog for incremental progress until they master the full command.
- Socialize your Golden Retriever: Alongside obedience training, it’s crucial to socialize your Golden Retriever with other dogs, animals, and people. Expose them to different environments, sounds, and experiences to help them become well-rounded and confident dogs. This will also contribute to their overall obedience and make them more comfortable in various situations.
Remember, each dog is unique, and training progress may vary. Stay patient, consistent, and positive throughout the training process. If you encounter challenges or feel overwhelmed, consider enlisting the help of a professional dog trainer who specializes in positive reinforcement techniques to assist you in achieving the best results.
The above tips can help a great deal when training your Golden Retriever puppy.
Goldens are great dogs, although you’ll need to have a bit of patience with them.
Even though they are very smart dogs, it may take them time to learn. Once they start learning however – they will become an integral part of your family that you couldn’t begin to live without.
Do you have any other great tips for training Golden Retrievers? Share below!
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As always, a very complete post about training our companion. When I was younger I trained my parent’s dog. It was a fun experience, nonetheless difficult sometimes. Love learning from your expertise.
I know training can be a lot of work, but it can also be very rewarding. I’ll definitely return to this when I get a dog of my own (hopefully in the near future).
This is very helpful. As much as I want to train our dog, I can’t seem to find time for it. I guess, I’ll just ask for professional help.
I have never got a chance to train any dog! I have few friends who are quite passionate about pets especially dogs and I am sure they could relate to this post. I have tried to learn a bit about dogs since when I go to friends place, I could connect with his pet.
People forget that training any pets is very hard work and you need to devote time to this…great advice
Thanks for the information. I’ll have to see if they work on my dogs.
I love Golden Retriever. My favourite kind of dog. This is very thorough post. I will pass this on to my friend who is thinking of getting a dog also. Thank you for the information.
I think the one tip I have is remember it’s not always about the breed. Each dog has it’s own personality. People always ask me (dalmatian owner) “aren’t dalmatians hyper?”. Me with a couch potato dog: No! lol!