How to train a Golden Retriever with kindness.

By Sally Gutteridge | Breeds

The Golden Retriever.

The Golden retriever. A wonderful big bear of a dog with the heart of a lion. A sturdy breed of dog that is a favorite as a family pet. Generally trustworthy, the golden is a happy and unquestioning dog.  Many fans of this breed have multiple golden retrievers in their households.

A visitor to any home containing a golden retriever will receive a warm welcome from the dog. Usually, alongside the offer of a carried toy or borrowed item of footwear.

Healthy and happy.

A well and responsibly bred retriever will be a healthy and happy dog. Health risks are predominantly arthritis, hip dysplasia and the joint pressure of weight gain. Alongside others in the retriever group the golden enjoys his food. Working out how to train a golden retriever should not take you far passed the dog biscuit cupboard.

Originally bred for retrieval of game during shooting activity.  The versatile and friendly nature of the golden has led to it being trained in many roles. Dogs of this breed are employed as guide dogs for blind people and assistance dogs for people with other disabilities. Police and military also often employ golden retrievers as search and detection dogs.

In comparison to some other working breeds the golden retriever will need less mental stimulation. Not because he is any less intelligent, as he certainly isn’t but because he is a steady and content dog that is equally happy to learn or relax.  Good with other dogs, the golden retriever enjoys canine interaction.

Because he is bred to travel long distances on foot to fetch and carry injured game birds, the golden retriever will need a lot of exercise.

Researching how to train a golden retriever will show that this dog will respond well to reward based dog training techniques. Your golden is not overly complicated and is intelligent enough to figure out that it is to his benefit to repeat any behavior that is reinforced by a food reward.

How to train your golden retriever with clicker training

Tune your dog into the sound of the clicker. Your aim is to ensure that your golden looks to you for a food reward every time he hears a click. You can do this easily by introducing the sound and promptly following it with a treat multiple times over two to three ten minute dog training sessions.

Test the effectiveness of the click sound by waiting until the dog is looking away from you, and then pressing the clicker. If he looks at you immediately for a treat, then your dog is tuned into the sound. If little attention is paid to the click then you will need to continue the tuning in process.

Once the click is properly conditioned, you can use it to encourage your golden to repeat any behavior that you would like it to regularly offer. You can research how to train your golden retriever with a clicker and positive reinforcement .You will find many tricks that you can teach your dog.

The main thing to remember when deciding how to train your golden retriever is that a click should always result in a treat. Regardless of which behavior you may have reinforced with the sound.

Resource guarding

Resource guarding and possession of food items or other objects should never be directly challenged. Teach your dog to swap any resource from an early age and never place a lot of value on any one item. Confrontation or punishment is not how to train a golden retriever with success. Positive reinforcement and reward is essential when training your dog.

Bite inhibition

Bite inhibition should be taught to every puppy. The mother dog will allow her puppies to mouth her in play and interaction but will correct with a yelp or nip if the bite from her young is too hard. A dog with low bite inhibition does not realize the difference in the severity of a bite. Low bite inhibition means that a biting dog will bite hard. Researching how to train a golden retriever bite inhibition is a must with any new puppy.

Motivation and reward

A pocket of treats and a teddy bear with a squeak will probably ensure the most effective results when working out how to train a golden retriever. This delightful breed of dog will do anything for a biscuit and an extra ear rub.

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  • rachael says:

    🙂 does this only work for younger dogs

    • Jean Cote says:

      No, training will work on any dog regardless of their age. Of course, you will be fighting a history of reinforcement so it will be more difficult to undo a certain behavior, but anything is possible.

  • Marianne Reynolds says:

    🙂 Hi Jean,
    I just want to than you for your information you are sending me. I have been minding 2 golden’s for the past year. They were my neighbours for the 4 years before and they go back with their owners who are moving away. Since having these dogs in our lives we have fallen totally in love with golden retrieveers. We get our new golden puppy in 6 weeks so I am learning all I can how to love and train goldens.
    Again I am so grateful for all your help.

    • Jean Cote says:

      Hi Marianne. It is a pleasure to help and I am glad to hear that my dog training information is helping you. 🙂 By the way, I’ve always wanted a Golden Retriever but already have two now of other breed, so I can’t really get another one. :/

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