If your Golden Retriever attacks you this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever attack me? Possible reasons are that you mistreated it, injury, it has been trained to be aggressive, resource guarding or that it felt threatened. If it is aggressive, the best option is to get help from a dog behaviorist or trainer.
Your Golden Retriever might be doing it for many different reasons and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason. Once you have a good idea of the cause it will become a lot easier to get it to stop.
Why your Golden Retriever attacks you
Below are a number of common reasons why Golden Retrievers do it and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours does it.
The reason why it does it might be that it feels like it has been mistreated. It could be that you mistreated it yourself but it could also be the case that someone mistreated it in the past and it has caused behavioral issues.
Instead of being aggressive towards your Golden Retriever, it would help to be calm around it and to use positive reinforcement training to get it to behave the way that you want it to.
Another possible cause is that an injury has been causing it to lash out. This would be more likely if it has started acting aggressively suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being injured such as by limping. If it does seem like injury could be the cause it would help to take it to the vet for a checkup.
You have inadvertently trained it to be aggressive
Another possible reason is that you have trained it to behave that way by giving it things it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it behaves that way, it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave.
It could be the case that it became aggressive because it was protecting something that it believed belonged to it. Examples would be if it was protecting a spot on the sofa or if it did it when it was eating.
In this case, it would help to avoid putting yourself in situations where it might become aggressive and to get the help of a certified dog trainer to deal with the aggression in those situations.
It felt threatened
The reason why it did it could also be that it felt threatened. This would be more likely if it did it when you approached it in an aggressive way or if it did it when it was stuck in a corner.
A lack of training
Golden Retrievers were bred to work alongside their owners for hours daily. As a result, they will often look to their owners for direction.
If your Golden Retriever has not received much training it will behave the way it wants to and it will be much harder to control. This is why it is important to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave and to respect you as the leader.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Golden Retriever being aggressive towards you.
When it started doing it
If it was not always aggressive, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started becoming aggressive suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as being injured, mistreated or feeling threatened. But, it would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started doing it.
If it has always been that way it would make it more likely to be due to things such as a lack of training or reinforcing the behavior. But, it could still be due to one of the other reasons mentioned above.
What is different when it becomes more aggressive
If it tends to do it at certain times, it would also help to consider what is different at the times that it does it.
For example, if it is only aggressive when it is eating then it would be more likely that it is resource guarding.
Whereas, if it is aggressive in multiple situations it would be due to things such as being inadvertently trained to be that way, injury, mistreatment or a lack of training.
What to do about your Golden Retriever attacking you
Below are a number of options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop doing it.
Get help from a dog behaviorist
Instead of training your Golden Retriever not to attack you yourself, it would be best to get the help of a professional dog behaviorist or trainer. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been behaving that way and how to get it to stop safely.
Take it to a vet
If you can’t figure out why it has been doing it or it has started doing it suddenly it would also help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to rule out the possibility of it being injured.
Avoid putting yourself in situations where it might become aggressive
If your Golden Retriever becomes aggressive in certain situations it would be helpful to avoid those situations and to seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer. By doing so, you should be able to see why it has been behaving that way and what you can do to get it to stop.
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