Training Your Golden Retriever – Tips You Should Know
Golden retrievers are one of the best dog breeds in the world in terms of sociability. They’re really good family dogs, but only if they’re trained properly in their youth. And golden retriever puppy training can be a joy if you know what you’re doing.
For golden retrievers (“Goldens” for short), everything starts at puppyhood. Everything they’re taught and familiarized with during their first year will often get carried over into adulthood. So it’s important to know what works and what doesn’t because even Goldens need proper training in order to be part of the family.
Rule #1 – Keep things positive!
Goldens particularly take well to positive reinforcement, so praising them for doing something right is a great way to make good habits last a lifetime. So make sure to have a handful of treats ready on your training sessions, whether you’re training your golden retriever puppy to go potty at the right places or simply to “sit.”
And remember the opposite, as well — try not to do too much negative reinforcement on your Golden pups. It often has a worse effect on their temperament than on other dog breeds, so be careful. Keep things positive — ignore him if he does something you don’t want, and praise him if he does something you do. Stay consistent!
Rule #2 – Make sure your pup has a social life.
A big part of golden retriever puppy training revolves around socialization. Goldens have no problem getting along with kids, adults, cats, and other dogs — but only as long as they’ve been exposed to such companions while they’re only puppies.
Goldens LOVE being around people, so they basically do better as “indoor” dogs than “outdoor” ones. So feel free to treat it as a member of the family — just make sure that your pup knows the pecking order. He or she has to remember that even the smallest, youngest member of the family has more “authority”.
Another thing — Goldens are particularly susceptible to separation anxiety. So it’s not advisable to get a golden retriever as a pet if you’re likely to leave home long periods of time.
Rule #3 – Potty train early.
Since Goldens are better as indoor dogs, it’s important to potty-train as early as possible. Fortunately, with enough positive reinforcement, potty-training Goldens can be easy.
Crate training is done by keeping your Golden puppy in a cage at times when you can’t watch him. This keeps the little guy from soiling himself too much since even dogs don’t like sleeping in their own poo and pee. When you have time to watch over the pup and play again, take your buddy out of the cage, let him do his business on a good spot outside the house, and then heap lots of praise afterward.
Rule #4 – Groom the puppy regularly.
One more thing — Goldens SHED a lot. So part of good golden retriever puppy training is to get your dog used to be handled and groomed. The earlier the puppy realizes that grooming is part of good hygiene, the better!
Look for brushes and grooming gloves that are best suited to their thick, smooth coats. Goldens were initially bred to be hunters and, well, retrievers, so their coats are thick enough to keep them warm whenever they jumped into lakes and such.
You’ll also need to wash your Golden’s coat around once a month because their coat picks up a lot of stuff. It’ll also get rid of any “wet dog” smell that sticks!
Golden retrievers are great family dogs and taught correctly, they’ll give you and your family many, many years of loyalty and companionship.