Tips for Overly Friendly Golden Retrievers

Overly Friendly Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever is consistently ranked as the second most popular breed in the country according to American Kennel Club (AKC) registration statistics. Part of what makes this breed so popular is its friendly nature. Golden Retrievers love people and they make fast friends with strangers. While this can sometimes be a good thing, it could also put your dog into a potentially dangerous situation if the stranger he makes friends with means him harm. Keep reading to learn how to protect your Golden Retriever from this kind of situation.

The Downside of Your Golden’s Friendly Personality

The Golden Retriever is naturally a people-oriented breed and they have the ability to get along with anyone and everyone they meet. Usually this is a good thing but it could also get your dog into trouble one day if you are not careful. There are people in the world who steal dogs and sell them for a profit – many of these dogs are never reunited with their owners and many of them end up as bait for dog fighting rings or as test subjects in research facilities. If your Golden has an overly trusting nature, there is nothing to stop him from walking right up to a thief and being taken away.

Your Golden Retriever’s trusting nature could also get him into trouble even when you are around. Goldens have a tendency to become overly excited when they meet new people or other dogs and that excitement could keep them from noticing a potentially dangerous situation. For example, if your Golden sees another dog across the street that he wants to greet, he could run right out into traffic without even realizing the danger. There is also the risk that your dog might follow the commands of someone else over your commands and that should never be the case.

Tips for Training Your Dog to Only Listen to You

Many Golden Retriever owners express concern about their dogs being overly friendly around strangers, worrying that it might get them into a dangerous situation. It is a fine line to walk, however, between being friendly and being too friendly. The last thing you want is for your dog to spike toward the opposite end of the spectrum, learning to fear strangers. Instead of trying to teach your dog to be warier around strangers, focus instead on reinforcing his training so that he listens and responds to your commands over the commands of anyone else. Teaching your Golden Retriever basic obedience is one of your most important tasks as a dog owner but you should seriously consider taking your training a few steps further than just the basics.

The first step is, of course, to train your Golden to respond to the Sit, Down, Come, and Stay commands – work with your dog in all kinds of environments to reinforce his mastery of these commands so he responds appropriately each and every time. One thing you might try is teaching your dog to Sit when he is approached by someone other than you. Training your dog to sit and then wait for you to release him means that even if he is approached by a stranger, he will still look to you to tell him what to do. Teaching your dog to do this is actually fairly simple, you just have to be consistent about commanding your dog to Sit when someone approaches him and reward him for doing so. Wait for a few seconds then tell the dog “Okay” and let the person pet him at that point.

You cannot change your Golden Retriever’s friendly nature, but you can do some extra training keep him from becoming too friendly with strangers. The more you work with your dog, the stronger your bond will become and the more likely he will be to listen to your commands anyway – just be sure to reward him for doing so!

Photo credit: myke/Flickr


The article, Tips for Overly Friendly Golden Retrievers was originally posted on October 26, 2016 and was last updated on October 26, 2016. It was posted in the category, Training with the Tags: , , ,

Leave a Comment

Name (required)

Mail (will not be published) (required)