Golden retrievers are among the most easy-going dog breeds in existence. They also learn things quickly, but still training them can be challenging. That’s why it’s recommended that you begin training a Golden Retriever as soon as you bring him home.
It’s important to know that these dogs were bred originally for hunting, and therefore, are filled with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. So before you embark on any training session, you should ensure that your dog gets sufficient exercise. This will not only enable them to burn off the excess energy, but also to improve their conduct and make it easier for you to control them. Here’s how to train a Golden Retriever into a trustworthy and obedient companion:
Start your dog’s training with essential commands such as “sit”, “down” and “stay”. Because Retrievers are prone to hip problems, teaching them early how to sit calmly can help their hips to stay healthy longer. In addition, these dogs are usually large in size and can harm you when they jump on you, so it’s important to train them as early as possible to know that jumping on people isn’t good.
Discouraging His Jumping Behavior
To discourage this behavior, don’t pat him when he jumps on you whenever you get home. Instead, fold both of your arms and look away until he calms down. If he still continues to jump, raise your knees, and give him a firm “Down” command. As a reflex action, this should make him stop jumping and back away.
The basic commands “sit,” “stay” and “down” if done correctly, should be able to address this problem. Just ensure that you’re consistent, and repeat the process several times till he no longer jumps. And don’t forget to praise him when he quits the behavior.
Overcoming Biting and Nipping Fetish
Golden Retrievers naturally love biting or chewing when they are still young; it’s their way of investigating the new things around them, as well as playing. To help him overcome this behavior, get him some chew toys while he is still teething. Encourage your dog to bite the right objects (preferably toys) through praises and food treats; it always works very well.
When they bite the wrong things, discourage them by saying a firm “NO”, and replace the object with either a toy or training equipment. If need be, use bitter spray on things that you don’t want him to chew, such as your shoes, to stop him from biting and chewing them. Alternatively, you should consider crate training him if he has the habit of chewing household stuff while you are away.
Note that as your Golden Retriever gets older, he will need new bigger toys to play with, since he can accidentally swallow a small one while playing and get chocked.
Obedience Training Tips
Your dog learns faster when he is in a familiar surrounding, so you should always start a training session in the home where he stays. Start by working on a single command or trick per session to allow him to learn, understand and familiarize himself better and faster with each new training.
Ensure that you always use and repeat the same command for each specific training. Note that your Retriever has a short attention span and easily gets distracted, so maintain short, frequent sessions.
With the right training, your Golden Retriever can become a very sociable, obedient and happy companion.