Golden Retrievers are very intelligent dogs. They also love to please their humans. These two traits make them easily trainable, but those same traits also make these dogs particularly susceptible to incorrect training methods and that’s when training a golden retriever can get a little tricky.
Because Golden Retrievers pick up on things very quickly, they will pick up on bad behavior just as quickly as good behavior. Many owners of this breed make the mistake of thinking that because they are easy to train that they can just go it on their own.
Unless you have some experience in dog training, this can be a mistake. When you get a Golden Retriever puppy, you should get him into obedience classes as soon as possible. Goldens have some habits that you’ll want to break early such as nipping and chewing.
Anyone who has owned a Golden can testify that, without proper training, the dog will chew anything in its path. By attending obedience classes when the dog is a puppy, you will be able to learn proper techniques about how to break this habit while your dog is still young.
Training a Golden Retriever, as mentioned above, should start when they are puppies. That doesn’t mean if you put off training or got your dog as an adult that it is too late to train them. Again, these are very smart dogs. Once they know what you want, they are very likely to comply.
Crate training a Golden Retriever may be of particular importance, especially when they are young. The reason goes back to their aforementioned propensity to chew shoes, books, furniture and just about anything else they can get in their mouths. Proper crate training will help you preserve your home and will give the dog a place to feel safe and secure while you’re away.
If you choose to work with a professional dog trainer, try to find one that has experience working with Golden Retrievers. Trainers experienced with the breed will be best able to channel the dog’s intelligence and make the most of the training experience.
While Golden Retrievers make fabulous family pets, they do have those behaviors, such as chewing and digging, that owner will need to work on with them. As with every dog, punishing bad behavior will not be as effective as rewarding good behavior.
If you decide that you want to try to train a Golden Retriever yourself, you should read some books by experts on the subjects so that you will not use poor training methods that will do more harm than good.
Yelling, hitting or locking in a crate for punishment are just a few examples of extremely poor “training” methods. These actions will only cause your Golden to be afraid and confused and will do almost nothing in the way of getting him to behave properly.
Instead, you will want to learn techniques for positive reinforcement such as clicker training. There are many great books that focus specifically on training a Golden Retriever.
Whether you do it yourself or bring your dog to school, training a Golden is easier than you might think.