The best Golden Retriever training guide you’ll ever need

Last Updated on April 13, 2023

Golden Retrievers are well-known for their sweet and calm nature. They even remain puppies-at-heart throughout their life.

Another trait that we all love about this breed is that they’re eager to please. With a little bit of patience, they make excellent and well-behaved companions.

Golden Retriever puppy training

To help you achieve that, we’ve compiled the best Golden Retriever training tips for your journey. But, before we get into the details, we first need to understand the concept of training.

Do Golden Retrievers need training?

Golden Retriever in messy room

All dogs require training. You may have heard this saying before – “An untrained dog is an unhappy dog.” That’s because physical and mental stimulation shouldn’t be limited to exercise, so this will be a great activity, and she’ll get the attention she needs.

Untrained canines would also have trouble realizing that they’re misbehaving. In the end, they’ll be confused and hurt when punished.

Training is a great way to communicate with your Golden Retriever on what is expected from her. She’ll be well-adjusted to your house rules, and undesirable behaviors wouldn’t develop.

Any dog that’s being naughty, especially with Goldie’s size, is a nuisance and can’t be trusted. They’re more likely to be locked up, which is frustrating for the dog and the owner.

But if your fido is well-trained, you can bring her to the dog park to socialize, and even have guests over because you know she’s a calm and obedient pooch.

Training also prevents accidents. You won’t have to fight with your Golden Retriever when she’s chewing or eating something that can potentially harm her.

One good example is recalled, which will stop your canine buddy from running out into the road.

Is it easy to train a Golden Retriever?

Golden Retrievers are intelligent dogs and are highly trainable. With just a little effort and time, you’ll see how your pup can quickly respond when motivated by her favorite treat or toy. Even a little praise goes a long way.

Consistency will let your Goldie figure out that you’re teaching her. Once she gets the hang of it, you’ll notice her anticipating your command, which is a very good sign.

It’s incredible how your bond with your pet will grow, and she becomes more attuned to you.

Without enough attention and stimulation, they will let their owners know how they feel by seeking out self-rewarding behaviors.

It can be stealing food from the table, chewing shoes, chasing fellow pets, and jumping on people.

Golden Retriever training timeline

Golden Retriever puppy training with hourglass

Owners and professionals will recommend that dogs should be trained the moment they’re brought home. It doesn’t matter if the dog’s eight weeks or a year old because the goal is to allow that fido to start anew.

Being consistent means establishing a routine, like meals should be given at the same time and spot daily.

Doing so will create a strong foundation for your Golden Retriever to understand that everything should be done at a specific schedule and place. This includes potty, walks, and even bedtime.

Socialization for your Golden Retriever

Getting your Goldie to socialize is an essential aspect of training. This generally occurs between 3 to 12 weeks old, but even senior dogs need it.

Older pets have to be introduced gradually to new environments, strangers, and pets.

Even a visit to the zoo or a farm will be an excellent experience for any dog. Then there are simple things at home that your fido has to get used to, like grooming and vacuuming, to avoid being fearful, which can lead to aggression.

Golden Retriever recall training

One of the first things you want to teach your dog is her name. Whenever she responds to you, give her a treat and lots of praise.

Her name is essentially a command for her attention. If you need to reprimand her, don’t use her name. This is important for recall. It would be best if you associate her name with positivity.

Imagine if you punish her every time she “sits.” She’ll stop responding to the command because she fears that it’s associated with punishment.

Golden Retriever crate training

A crate is your dog’s comfort zone, and it will also make training much more straightforward. You can teach her to “go to bed” when you want her out of your way or at bedtime.

Pets won’t soil their sleeping quarters out of instinct, but crate training will minimize the frequency of accidents.

Familiarize your dog with the crate by playing near it. Give her treats when she goes inside. You should never push her into the crate or lock her up as punishment. The crate should be seen as a safe place.

Golden Retriever house training 

Golden Retriever playing with toilet paper

Puppies have small bladders and will need to relieve themselves frequently. Bring your Goldie to the same spot after every meal, and don’t use commands such as “hurry up” or “poo-poo” when potty training your pup.

Once she’s done, give her lots of praise. If she doesn’t do anything, go inside after five minutes and keep an eye on her.

If you notice her sniffing around, immediately call your dog to go outside because it means she’s ready for her toilet break.

You’ll know if it’s time for her toilet break when she’s sniffing around, then immediately call her to go outside. Accidents do happen, so be chill about it. Give the command in a gentle tone and still bring her out.

Like we mentioned before, associate the command with action and positivity – consistently.

Training your Golden Retriever not to bite

Golden Retrievers are mouthy, meaning they love putting things into their mouths. Keep your doggo from chewing furniture or your favorite pair of shoes, give her chew toys, then reward her when she chews on them with a pat and praise.

You can buy her one that dispenses treats, flavored, or a chew toy you can keep cool in the fridge, which soothes teething pups.

Teaching this to your Goldie will also avoid going after things that she shouldn’t have her sniffer and mouth on, like the garbage, the toilet bowl, and anything that can be harmful to her.

You’ll want to encourage her “soft bite” so you can allow her to hold your hand with her mouth.

If she bites and hurts you, make a high-pitched yelp, and ignore her for a minute. This will teach her not to repeat it because since Goldies don’t like being ignored.

Golden Retriever leash training

Golden Retriever puppy wearing harness

Play with your dog while she’s wearing her collar or harness while letting her drag the leash around the house or yard. This will allow her to get used to it.

Once your Golden Retriever is used to wearing a harness and leash, you can start guiding her around gently, partnered with lots of praise and treats.

Dragging your pooch by pulling on the leash, hoping she gets the hang of it, is NOT the right way. It essentially sends the message that she’s the pack leader.

Strive to have your Golden walking beside you on a slack or loose leash.

Reinforce the idea that walking beside you is good. If she walks ahead, stop, and don’t give her any attention until she returns to your side.

Here’s a quick video on how your dog should be on a loose leash training:

Golden Retriever training tips

Training should be short yet fun for you and your Golden Retriever. When done right and consistently, it will deepen the bond between the two of you.

Being busy shouldn’t keep you from reinforcing the rules and commands you taught your Goldie. Keep in mind that you want her to be a well-behaved pooch showing good habits anytime, anywhere.

Everyone in the family should also know and follow the Do’s & Don’ts when it comes to your Goldie.

A simple, unexpected reward when she does something desirable will help your pup understand what’s expected from her.

For older dogs, they might take more time and patience, but everything still applies to them. If you notice their attention wavering, cut the lesson short immediately.

Golden Retriever training tools

You can use a clicker to help your dog identify what they are doing right. It offers more precision.

Take a look at Harlow being a good girl while her owner uses clicker training to teach her: 

Shock collars shouldn’t be used because they’re cruel and unnecessary. If your dog is being difficult during training or is exhibiting unwanted behavior, divert her attention to something she prefers.

Does she keep chewing on your shoe? Give her a chew toy instead. Maybe she’s bored and has pent up energy, so take her out on a short walk.

Golden Retriever training problems

Around the 8th- to 10th-months mark, your Golden might start misbehaving, and it is normal. It’s like a teenager testing her boundaries.

But never let your doggo ignore you, or she might get used to it. Keep her irresistible treats ready, so you can reward her when she being a very good girl.

Golden Retriever education, training, and obedience classes

Golden Retriever with other dogs
Golden Retriever with other dogs

Golden Retrievers are highly trainable. You can either train your Goldie by yourself or enroll her in an obedience class.

If you want a Golden Retriever as a show or field dog, she’ll need to learn different commands and skills.

Here are a few dog training academies you might want to check out:

  • Dog Training Elite (San Antonio, TX)
  • All American Dog Training Academy (Tampa, Clearwater, Saint Petersburg, FL)
  • Upstate Canine Academy (Clifton Park, NY)

We also recommend these great dog training books that you can read. They can be helpful if you decide to train your dog on your own.

Give your Golden Retriever the life he deserves

Golden Retriever leap training

As puppies, Golden Retrievers learn social skills and acceptable behavior from their mom and littermates. That’s why you should NEVER bring home a puppy that’s younger than eight weeks old. This is a vital stage in their life.

You shouldn’t also believe that “you can’t teach old dogs new tricks.” They may have some behavioral problems, or some are slower when it comes to learning, but anything’s possible with perseverance.

Training is a dog owner’s responsibility. You can expect a well-trained Golden Retriever to behave and perform in canine jobs, or help you out with your chores.

What can you say about the Golden Retriever’s training needs? Do you have a well-behaved Goldie? Show us how proud you are of your fur buddy by sharing your stories and tips below.


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