Golden retrievers is one of the most popular breed of dogs, mostly because of their friendly temperament and eagerness to please. This coupled with their natural tendency towards being quite intelligent, alert, fairly active and well balanced made them a good household pet, and a even better outdoors companion.
They are quite intelligent and prefer human companionship, enjoy learning and pleasing their owners, making their training much more easy and pleasant. Any sort of special golden retrievers training is not required to make sure their attitude remains under control, they only require their owner’s attention and free time to play with them.
What Makes Golden Retrievers Different
Golden retrievers are easily trained and patient. They are responsive, very playful, alert, well mannered and they do well with children and offer a high tolerance to them. Golden retrievers are also kind, affectionate and like having your attention, for that reason they have a eagerness to please people, specially their owner, this makes obedience training specially effective with them.
They excel in competitions and are friendly with everyone, including other dogs and pets, because of that, golden retrievers have very little, if any, guarding instincts. Instead they make good watchdogs, barking loudly signaling a stranger approaching.
Golden retrievers training is more effective when conducted by owners who have a strong social position as this breed needs to be around people who display leadership to be happy, this trait in their personality favors alpha training, while not necessarily required vigorous alpha training exercises, the breed has a natural tendency to follow and listen to their owner. However Golden Retrievers need to know that you are the alpha dog and that you are in charge.
While being a patient and well mannered breed, keep in mind not to disregard your Golden Retriever, they require daily mental and physical exercises, the lack of their off, will lead to behavioral problems. Remember, this is a retriever breed, they were bred to hunting, tracking and retrieving, and although they make good household pets, they still require exercise and care.
They need to be taken on a daily, long walk, jog or run alongside with you or behind you, not in front of you, dog instincts tells them that the leader leads the way, so your dog must accompany you and follow you, not lead you.
Golden Retrievers shed a reasonably amount of hair and have to be groomed weekly with a firm bristle brush or comb. During Spring season they should receive a few grooming sessions, as this is their time to shed, and bathe only when required.
The Fundamentals of Golden Retrievers Training
It is always easier to training dogs from an early age and becomes harder with older dogs, but not impossible, and with Golden Retrievers it is the same. Golden’s are by nature easily trained, energetic and intelligent, they love to run, retrieve balls and other toys, this can be done from early age and it is gratifying for the dog and the owner, as both will develop a strong bond and exercise themselves.
You will find that during golden retrievers training session, positive reinforcement will work very well, toys, treats and people affection work beautifully after the dog does or learn what was supposed to, this does not mean you should only give him these things after he has done something right. On the other hand, negative reinforcement doesn’t work nearly as well, and in excess it leads to behavioral problems, and sadness on the dog.
Owners will often realize it is much more effective to talk slowly, calm, and not shout with the dog, whenever he does something he shouldn’t. Sometimes showing them the mistake they have made, and tell them not to do it again works well, remember this is a intelligent breed and a living being like us. When the mistake is repeated enough times, taking one of their favorite toys and tell them again not to do it will work, but remember, no one can go back and give him another toy, treat or any sort of positive reinforcement, because then the dog will think he did the right thing and will repeat the mistake. It’s almost like when a small child does something wrong and doesn’t listen, you ground him without the toy he likes the most for the rest of the day, what you cannot have is someone else go and give him another toy.
There are many reasons why dogs do something they shouldn’t do, like for example, chewing something or jump on to the furniture, here a list of the common reasons:
- The dog might not have known it was doing something wrong;
- Perhaps he could have forgotten that it shouldn’t do whatever was doing, this is common on the early years;
- He did it because he though it was doing the right thing, they can sometimes think this whenever they do something wrong and after a short while they are positive reinforced with a treat or toy for example;
- It is possible he didn’t understand the first time that what he did was wrong therefore did it again;
- For last, a very common reason. You might not have given your Golden Retriever enough exercise, they love to do a lot of things and are quite intelligent, you can teach them lots of games to play, so this can be accomplished quite easily, and trust me you will have fun too.
Every dog must respond to their name, this is very important and should be the first part of any golden retrievers training course. Does your dog looks at you whenever you call him by name? Well, If your Golden Retriever doesn’t respond to his name, his not paying attention to you for training and teaching.
To make sure he recognizes his own name, a common way teaching him is: take a treat and hold it away from your body in your hand. Call you Golden Retriever by the name you’ve given him. Most likely he will look at your hand where the treat is. Keep calling him, and whenever he does turn and look at your eyes give him the treat immediately. Repeat this exercise now holding the treat in another hand. Once you’re sure he learned to recognize his name, just call him and reward him for looking at you by patting or hugging him.
Lastly, not every dog is the same, even among the same breed, different dogs respond better to different treatment, training and environment. Just like children aren’t all the same, neither are dogs, some learn quickly and don’t cause many problems, others take more time to learn, and remember Golden Retrievers respond far better to positive than they do to negative reinforcement.