Golden Retrievers have one of the best dispositions among dog breeds for life as a family pet and companion. Their kindly expressions are true to their nature. They are friendly, upbeat and trustworthy with everyone.
Golden Retrievers are friendly with basically everyone, and their barks are very eager and welcoming.
This means that they do not make very effective guard dogs, though they might make decent watch dogs. However, they are not prone to aggression and are not suspicious of strangers. Rather than barking for warning, they will bark their welcome and likely follow it up with an endearing lick.
A Golden Retriever makes a wonderful playmate for the kids, as they not only love to romp and play but they are extremely tolerant and patient. They are loving and gentle and will put up with a lot of tugging and tumbling and ‘rough love’.
Although their general temperament is gentle and loving, they are physically big dogs and their bodies are quite robust and strong. In order to avoid unfortunate mishaps, it is important to train your Golden Retriever early on in the proper etiquette and manners around children.
Golden Retrievers are highly enthusiastic and energetic. They love their owners and are eager to please but can also get easily distracted by whatever is of interest around them. For this reason, as an owner, you will need a lot of patience and consistency during training.
Your Golden Retriever will require plenty of good exercise. This can come in the form of a hearty romp in the backyard at least once per day with the kids. They also love to play fetch and go on a good walk or run. With plenty of chances to burn off energy, a Golden Retriever will easily adjust and adapt to almost any type of lifestyle.
Golden Retrievers also retain their enthusiastic and easily excitable temperaments for quite a while past their puppy years. In fact, you may wonder if your puppy will ever ‘grow up’ and behave like an ‘adult’. They will most certainly eventually mature, but starting training early can help them learn self control and good manners.
Golden Retrievers love to please and a very responsive to training.
Leash training is especially important to accomplish while your Golden Retriever is young and small enough for you to lead and control without too much physical strain. As mentioned above, Golden Retrievers get large and strong, which can make leash training much more difficult and tricky.
When preparing for leash training your Golden Retriever, first gather the supplies you will need. You will want a good quality leash that is about 6 feet in length and that is lightweight and durable.
Your Golden Retriever will need to be properly fitted with a collar that is comfortable, yet also durable and sturdy. Last, but far from least in the eyes of your Golden Retriever, you will want to have some of their favorite treats on hand. These will serve as rewards and motivation during the training process.
If during your training process, you find that your Golden Retriever develops a Houdini like ability to pull and slip out of their collar, consider a limited slip collar.
These are designed to prevent your dog from being able to slip out by tightening just enough when your dog pulls to stop escape and then adjusting back to a comfortable fit as your dog lets off from straining.
Leash training can be started with your Golden Retriever as early as 4 to 6 weeks of age. To begin with, strap the collar on to your pup and give them some time to get used to wearing it. Once they have adjusted to wearing their collar, attach your leash to the collar and let your pup drag it around to get used to having it attached.
Aside from interfering when your pup decide to chew on his leash, ignore him for a bit and let him go about his normal play with the leash attached. In many cases, pups will completely ignore the leash and continue on as if they don’t notice it. Sometimes it will distract them enough that they will stand still while it is on.
Either way, after a little while of allowing them to get used to it being there, pick up the end and move around with your dog. Follow them around wherever they want to go and don’t interfere with their direction.
If your Golden Retriever decides they don’t want to move around with the leash on, encourage movement by standing a little ways from them and offering a hand to pet or even a treat to encourage them forward. Eventually your pup should get used to moving around with the leash attached to them.
Once you are ready to move forward, take them out on their leash and walk them to a new place. When your Golden Retriever tries to pull at the leash, simply hold it steady and stop walking. When he is calmed down and stops pulling, resume your walk.
If your Golden Retriever decides to be persistant and pull harder, give him a firm tug and use a chosen command. As you progress you can shorten the length of the leash until your dog is walking obediently beside you. Remember to use positive reinforcement in the form of praise or treats when they behave appropriately.
House training should be started as soon as your Golden Retriever comes home. When started early and combined with positive reinforcement methods, potty training should be accomplished very easily.
When it comes to house training your Golden Retriever, the key is preventing accidents before they happen and rewarding your pup when they eliminate appropriately. When you are at home, this requires taking your pup outside in regular and consistent intervals.
Up until about 6 months of age, be sure to take them outside once every hour. Also be consistent to take them out every time they wake up, in the mornings and after naps or coming out of their crates, after every mealtime and before bedtime.
When they eliminate outside, reward them with praise and even a treat to sweeten the deal. The more chances that you provide them with to do their business out of doors, the better chance you will have of avoiding mishaps in your house.
Consistency is very much key while potty training your pup. This applies not only to regular outings, but also to feeding your dog at the same time every day. Keeping his schedule consistent not only prompts him to potty properly but also helps you to anticipate when he will need to go out.
Taking your pup to the same spot to eliminate every time will also help to prompt them as they will learn to associate the scent with the action. Also, the scent of the previous elimination will encourage and prompt your pup to want to remark the spot.
Using a consistent potty command of your choosing, is also helpful to ensure that your Golden Retriever understands what is expected of him.
An added step in potty training is training your dog to stay in a crate. This is very effective in helping to eliminate messes at night and while you are gone. Not only does it keep messes from happening in the house, but an appropriately sized crate can completely eliminate messes of any kind even in the crate.
Be sure that your Golden Retriever crate is only large enough for them to have room to turn around and lie down. Generally a dog will never eliminate where they sleep, so if you give them enough room to eliminate then get comfortably far away from their mess to sleep, then the point of the crate is defeated.
Remember that accidents will happen, especially during the puppy stages. Positive reinforcement for good behavior is very effective, but your pup will also need to know when bad behavior is unacceptable.
When the inevitable happens, show your pup that they have done wrong by showing them their mess and using a selected command in a scolding tone. Follow this with an immediate trip outside.
As soon as your pup is old enough, and if they are not intended for breeding purposes, it is highly advised to spay or neuter. This can greatly help with potty training. Also remember that regular trips to the vet for health checkups is a great idea.
It is not only convenient and pleasant to have your Golden Retriever capable of obeying appropriately, but it is also important.
It adds a measure of safety not only for you and whoever else your dog will be around but also for your dog.
Teaching them to drop things on command could save their life, should they accidentally pick up something harmful or poisonous. Teaching them to return immediately on command could keep them from getting hurt.
Since Golden Retrievers are prone to mouth, teaching them that only toys and food are meant to go in their mouth, can help to keep valuables from getting ruined. This can also help to avoid someone getting hurt, either by the Golden Retrievers intent, or not.
Several beginner things to train your pup on from the beginning include coming, sitting and staying on command. Remember that with this gentle breed, positive reinforcement through the use of treat and praise rewards is highly effective.
Be consistent with your training and soon your beautiful Golden Retriever will be on the fast track to providing you with a wonderful and fulfilling companionship that can last a lifetime.
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