Do Golden Retrievers Bark a Lot?
Before getting a new dog, future owners usually want to know what kind of behavior that specific dog, in this case, a Golden Retriever, might exert. Typically, people want to know whether the dog will be overly energetic, aggressive, or loud. With the generally calm Golden Retrievers, it leads us to the following question:
Do Golden Retrievers bark a lot? Barking is a means of communication for dogs. Golden Retrievers are known to be a calmer dog breed, and that they only bark if they want something such as attention or food. Excessive barking is rare in Golden Retrievers. However, if it still happens, you can curb it through training.
Every dog barks, and it can become excessive regardless of the breed. Therefore, you have to know the possible reasons for such behavior in a Golden Retriever and how to tackle this issue properly.
Why Do Golden Retrievers Bark?
Just like with any other dog breed, there are several different reasons for Golden Retrievers to bark. If you want to understand the causes for your furry darling to bark, you need to be aware of all the potential circumstances that may favor excessive barking.
Don't forget that your Golden Retriever is trying to communicate something when he barks. In the following, I will list the most likely explanations for your canine to bark.
High Energy Levels
Without the generally high energy levels of a Golden Retriever, most of the excessive barking issues would happen less likely. They need more playtime and affection than other dog breeds, but this makes the Golden Retriever so likable.
Especially young Golden Retriever puppies need tons of attention in the forms of petting and games. So be prepared that your neighbor might become bothered by this mainly lovely attribute of your Retriever.
This need for attention and the high level of energy will flatten when your Golden Retrievers becomes older. If there's no change in behavior, you should try applying one of several methods to calm your Golden Retriever down.
The most common reason for your Golden Retriever to bark is the desire for your attention. Because this breed is friendlier and more social than most other dogs, attention-seeking as a reason for your dog to bark prevails.
Usually, if your Retriever exerts this behavior, he wants you to either give him food or caresses, more likely the latter. You might notice your Golden Retriever bark with a lot of short breaks in between when he wants food. For example, they will bark every 20 or 30 seconds and wait a bit every time until you come and feed them.
If your Golden Retriever wants you to pet him, it may get wild if you ignore his first attempt. Your Retriever might have started by cutely looking at you or snuggling himself against you and starts to bark later on if he doesn't get what he wants.
Giving your Golden Retriever enough attention is a prerequisite for him not to bark excessively. However, it depends on the specific case, what kind of attention your dog needs, and whether the demeanor has gotten out of hand.
One of the most common reasons for excessive barking is your Golden Retriever being excited. Although he usually won't bark for very long, it may very well be unnerving. Especially young Golden Retriever puppies often like to bark a lot. They may bark happily when you come home or when they meet another dog while you're out walking them, but this behavior is also present in grown-up Goldens.
You have to keep in mind that Golden Retrievers are sensitive towards the mood they pick up in other people and animals. Therefore, to not stress your dog out unnecessarily, you have to be calm and - in the best case - happy as often as possible when interacting with your dog. Your Golden Retriever will reflect your mood, making training your dog, or playing with him a lot easier.
Unfortunately, positive emotions aren't the only ones that exist inside your dog's brain. Just like your Golden Retriever mirrors your good mood, he will also reflect the negative emotions you feel at that moment.
In the following, I'm going to list the most likely types of negative excitement that cause your Golden Retriever to bark a lot.
The Golden Retriever is a friendly breed that likes to be around other people or animals. Therefore, it is no wonder that separation anxiety is common in Golden Retrievers. You are your furry companion's best friend, and seeing you leave the house will naturally stress him out and eventually lead to barking.
So, by barking at you, your Golden Retriever tells you that he doesn't want you to leave and that he loves you a lot. Luckily, there are methods to curb this behavior.
Golden Retrievers count to the least aggressive dogs out there. But in some cases, it still might happen that your Retriever shows signs of aggression and that you don't even know what caused it.
If your Golden Retriever barks aggressively, it will be slow and combined with growling. Furthermore, the hair on his back will rise, and he will erect his ears to appear more intimidating. You might also notice the tail of your Golden Retriever being high and stiff while moving from side to side.
This kind of behavior may spark when a stranger invades your property or something less threatening such as encountering another person or dog on your daily walk.
Golden Retrievers that are raised in an aggressive or unfriendly environment and aren't trained sufficiently or not at all are more prone to bark aggressively later on.
Depending on the trigger for the aggression in your Golden Retriever, there are several approaches to reduce hostile behavior in your Retriever.
Sometimes, it's an object or situation that causes frustration in your Golden Retriever. It could be situations such as a toy not functioning the way your dog thought it would or the owner not paying enough attention to the dog.
Signs of your Golden Retriever being frustrated are him not being able to settle down and relax, excessive barking, and aggression. Sometimes the moodiness or frustration of your Golden Retriever originates from physical pain.
If you can't get behind the source of the frustration, consult with a veterinarian.
Another reason for your Golden Retriever to bark could be loud noises or scary situations. For many dogs, a stress-inducing scenario is the 4th of July. Fireworks or a generally noisy neighborhood could stress out your dog and lead your Golden Retriever to bark.
An additional frequently occurring anxiety in Goldens is the so-called blood injection phobia, typically referred to as fear of needles. This fear is also prevalent among humans, but humans usually know that those needles are in their own best interest. Your Golden Retriever will likely not know.
When trying to reduce your dog's anxiety or fear, you have to be thoughtful about your actions and potentially consult with a veterinarian.
In case you hear your Golden Retriever bark excessively in the distance, he might be in urgent need of your help. He might have got stuck with his tail somewhere and experiences extreme pain, which causes your dog to bark loudly.
If your Golden Retriever tends to bark chronically, the culprit may very well lie within an undiagnosed medical issue.
Therefore, when your Golden Retriever barks due to pain, be it chronic or acute, it's best to resolve the issue that causes the pain as well as possible and then consult with a veterinarian, to be sure.
How Do I Stop My Golden Retriever From Barking?
Once you've found out your sweetheart likes to bark a lot, it's time to take appropriate countermeasures to keep the noise level of your Retriever reasonable.
Fortunately, there are a couple of methods you can apply to make your Golden Retriever less likely to bark.
Keep Your Golden Retriever Occupied
The key to maintaining a healthy and well-balanced life for your Golden Retriever is to keep him occupied as often as possible. Most of the problems that cause excessive barking have their culprit in too much unspent energy.
Pent-up energy is why you should have a schedule set up containing enough playtime and exercise for your dog. Great and easy ways to exhaust your dog are to play fetch or visit a dog park to socialize your Golden Retriever at the same time. In case you don't have the time to do it yourself, find someone trustworthy to play and be active with your dog.
If you have to leave your dog home alone, opportunities for him to play should be available. The best - and probably also the healthiest - solution would be to get your Golden Retriever a companion he can play with, which will make socialization issues less likely, too.
Have Your Golden Retriever Trained
If you want your Golden Retriever to know when it's not okay to bark and to have him bark on command on other occasions, hiring a professional dog behaviorist or trainer can make all the difference. A professionally trained dog will be more focussed on the owner, awaiting commands, and less commonly behave unpleasantly.
In the beginning, you may want to introduce your Golden Retriever to people or items that he has barked at previously. Bringing such objects to the training may help the professional properly train your dog. Commands that control your dog's vocal behavior, like cease barking or telling your canine when it's okay to bark, are perfect for a Golden Retriever that doesn't seem to stop barking.
Positively reinforcing desired behavior through rewards is most important when training your Golden Retriever, and it should happen as promptly as possible. Most dog owners state that it's easiest to train a dog with treats as motivation.
As we can see, Golden Retrievers bark just like any other breed of dog. However, due to their versatility and high intelligence, they usually can be trained easily, provided the trainer does their job correctly.
The key to keeping your dog from excessive barking is to not react to his attention-seeking barking every time and to give your Golden Retriever opportunities to use up his energy.
To not react to attention-seeking barking but to instantly reward desired behavior is fundamental if you want your dog to be healthy and happy.