Golden Retriever Training & Breed Advice

Golden Retrievers are recognized as being one of the most loving and loyal of all dog breeds. Golden Retriever training is relatively easy as they are very alert and active, and are extremely playful, sociable and eager to please. They are one of the best companions for families and are happy both indoors and outdoors. Essentially, Goldens are happiest when they are with you.

The Golden Retriever is a beautiful breed that has always been a popular favorite among dog lovers everywhere. Their gentle, sweet and easy going temperament has made them a breed that warms the hearts of virtually everyone – even cat people! It is not uncommon for people who own a Golden to stick with the breed, adopting them again and again.

The History of Golden Retrievers

Golden Retrievers are a relatively new breed, only dating as far back as the 19th century. They were developed in England and Scotland due to the popularity of the retriever dogs that were already used for hunting purposes. Retrievers were highly desirable because of their medium size, and because they could pursue both upland game and waterfowl.

The Golden Retrievers that we have come to know today were developed from the crossbreeding of different dogs including Yellow Retriever, Tweed Water Spaniels, Irish Setters and Bloodhounds. Of all the dogs used, the Yellow Retriever and Tweed Water Spaniels had the most influence on the Golden Retriever, as they were used to obtain the Golden’s yellow color, as well as for some of their more positive characteristics: intelligence, courage and retrieving ability. The development of the Golden Retriever is credited to Lord Tweedmouth at Inverness-Shire, Scotland.

Golden Retrievers became very popular in England at the end of the 1800’s, and when first shown in England, were called “Golden Flat-Coats”. It wasn’t until 1913 when the Golden Retriever Club of England was formed that Golden Retrievers achieved their individual status. In 1920, the breed finally made its way to North America, and was registered with the American Kennel Club in 1925.

Golden Retrievers were practically an instant success from the time they were developed, and have yet to lose their popularity with dog owners. They are one of the most beloved and cherished dog breeds in the world.

Golden Retrievers and You

Golden Retrievers are an outstanding breed of dog. They are completely deserving of their popularity as their devotion and obedience are amiable traits that can’t be compared.

Goldens are apart of the Sporting dog group which means by nature they are hard working, active and loyal. They are champion show and sport dogs. They have a strong build, weighing between 65-70 pounds, and a medium height averaging 24 inches at the shoulders. Throughout history their incredible sense of smell, intelligence, and natural retrieving instincts have made them ideal hunters, police dogs and seeing-eye dogs for the blind.

Golden’s are easy to groom and only need to be brushed bi-weekly. Keep in mind they do shed, especially during their two major shedding seasons. Therefore, twice a year, expect to find large tufts of fur kicking around your home if you have a Golden.

Golden Retrievers are gentle and laid-back, which makes them excellent with children, and other family pets of all species and sizes including cats, fellow Goldens, and mini rodents. However, due to their friendly and carefree personality, Golden’s do not make good guard dogs.

Goldens love to swim and play outdoors, and will want to be with you everywhere you go. They crave attention and need plenty of it. They also need plenty of training so they can grow up as a credit to their breed. In addition, Goldens – especially younger dogs – have high energy and can be destructive if not provided with the necessary exercise or training. Moreover, Goldens are incredibly playful and mischievous, and won’t think twice about trying to outsmart you if you don’t show them who is boss.

Although Golden’s can adapt well to both country and city life, Golden Retrievers require a good amount of exercise, and should be walked at least twice a day for at least 20 minutes each time.

Golden Retrievers make a wonderful family pet, and are a fine choice for the first time dog owner. If you are interested in obtaining this breed, you need to do thorough research to ensure that you can meet their needs and commit to them for the duration of their life span which is usually between 12 – 14 years.

When all is said and done, Golden Retrievers are the best friends you could ever ask for.

Golden Retriever Training Tips

It is true that Golden Retrievers are incredibly loyal, social and friendly. However, if you want to make the most of these qualities you need to provide your dog with Golden Retriever Training. Training is essential to the development and wellbeing of any dog breed. Without training, a dog will be left to his own devices. It would be like letting a kid run wild without any discipline…not a pretty picture.

There are many things you will need to teach your Golden to do and not to do. For instance, while you’ll want to housebreak him, you will also want to teach him not to jump up on people.

There is a right and a wrong way to train a dog. The best way to learn proper training is to enroll your Golden in an obedience class. Find out the age requirement of your local obedience school and sign him up as soon as he meets it.

However, before you take your dog to obedience training, there are certain basic Golden Retriever training commands you can teach your puppy. One such command is “Stay”.

Here are the guidelines you can follow to effectively teach your Golden Retriever to stay.

Training Your Golden To Stay

Before you begin the lesson, take your Golden puppy to a quiet room where no one else is present and there are no distractions. Make sure you have plenty of treats ready.

1. Have your dog sit and hold a treat in your hand, so your dog knows you have it. As your Golden reaches for the treat, close your hand. As soon as he pulls his head slightly back, immediately praise him and give him the treat. Timing is everything at this point of the lesson. Continue to repeat this session, until your dog instantly pulls back when he sees the treat, instead of reaching for it.
Once you are successful, take a short break, and have a play time with your pup. Remember, your puppy has a short attention span. Therefore, it is important you break up Golden Retriever training sessions, so you don’t bore your puppy and your training remains effective.

2. Once you have taken a break, start training again by repeating the first lesson. Except this time, wait for two seconds after your Golden pulls back before you praise him and give him a treat. Make sure your dog is sitting when you give him a treat. If he stands, take a few steps away from your dog and try again. You will want to repeat this exercise until your Golden is sitting for 5 seconds before you give him a treat. Don’t move away from the dog during this time. Make sure you stay by his side during these lessons.

One of the biggest problems owners have when teaching the “stay” command is they try to leave their dogs too quickly. Think about it: if your Golden won’t stay when you’re right beside him, he’s not going to stay when you move away. Take a break after the second lesson.

3. Repeat the second lesson, but this time when you show your dog the treat, tell your dog in a firm voice to “stay”. When you give your dog the treat say something like “OK”. This is a release word which will eventually tell your Golden that he’s permitted to move for the stay position. Repeat this lesson, and each time increase the number of seconds you wait before giving your dog the treat. Your goal is to have your dog sit for 30 seconds without moving.

If your Golden moves before you want him to, say “uh-uh” quietly and try the lesson again. Your goal is to teach your dog that “uh-uh” means no treat.
If you Golden is moving too quickly, you will want to lower the number of seconds he has to wait. For instance if you were trying for 15, but he is moving, go back and try 10 seconds for a few times before going back to 15. If your dog is continuously making mistakes more than 1 or 2 times in a row, you are moving to fast. Take a break and when going back to the lesson take it slow.

4. Repeat the third lesson, but this time as your dog is sitting, move away from him slightly. Take a single step back then return to your initial position. Then take one step to the side and then the other. Continue to repeat this movement until you can complete an entire circle around your dog without him getting up. Should he move, say “uh-uh” and try again. Just remember to take it slow.

5. Once you can successfully move a full circle around your dog, you will want to further the distance between you and your dog. Take 5 steps away from your Golden. Repeat this lesson until your Golden will stay for 30 seconds.

6. As soon as your Golden Retriever is staying for thirty seconds in the room with no distractions, try the “stay” command in other areas of the house. When practicing in this new area, go back to short stays and stay with your dog. Repeat the entire process until your Golden is staying for the 30 seconds, and you can move 5 steps away.

7. As your Golden becomes more and more successful with the “stay” command, you will want to lengthen the distance you are away from him, and the amount of time you make your dog stay. Your ultimate goal is to have 30 ft. between you and your dog, and have your dog stay for 1 minute.

All Golden Retriever training needs to be taken slow and must be consistent. You need to have patience and determination to effectively train your dog.