If your Golden Retriever has been barking at you, this post will show you a number of possible reasons why and what you can do about it.
So, why does my Golden Retriever bark at me? Possible reasons are that it wants your attention, you have been inadvertently encouraging the behavior, it’s bored, it’s excited, it is being aggressive or that it is being possessive.
There are a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever barks at you
Below, I will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be barking at you and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants attention
The reason why it does it could be that it is trying to get attention from you. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by walking it, playing with it and training it. But, it would help to avoid rewarding it with extra attention when it doesn’t behave the way you want.
You have been encouraging it
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it barks.
Instead of giving it things such as attention, toys or treats when it barks, try to reward it when it is well behaved and to redirect its attention before it starts barking.
Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get daily exercise. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours has been barking. This would be more likely if it tends to bark more on days where it has not gotten exercise.
Generally, it is recommended for Golden Retrievers to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
Sometimes, dogs will bark when they are excited. If your Golden Retriever tends to bark in situations such as when you are about to walk it or when you come home then it would be more likely that it is barking to show its excitement.
The reason why it has been doing it could be that it is being aggressive. This would be more likely if it shows signs of aggression when it does it.
If it is the case that your Golden Retriever seems to bark at you in an aggressive way then the best option for you would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.
It could be the case that it does it because it is resource guarding. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when it is eating or when protecting its spot on the bed.
It would be important to be careful in these situations since dogs can become aggressive when they are resource guarding. If your Golden Retriever is a puppy then it would be very important to train it out of this behavior now while it is still young.
You can watch the video for some advice on what to do about your Golden Retriever resource guarding.
It is being dominating
The reason why it does it could be that it is being dominating. This would be more likely if it barks in situations such as when you sit where it would normally sit and if it is reluctant to follow your command.
In this case, it would be important to give it lots of training so that it learns how to behave.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Golden Retriever barking at you.
When it started barking
If it did not always bark at you, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.
If it started barking suddenly then it would help to consider what else changed at around the same time that it started barking.
Things to consider would be:
- If it might have gotten injured
- If you moved home
- If someone moved away
- If someone was aggressive towards it
When and where it barks
It would also help to consider the timing of when it barks since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it barks more at around the same time that you would normally walk it then it might be trying to remind you to walk it.
The way that it barks
It would also help to consider the body language that it shows when barking.
If it seems to be doing it aggressively or you feel like it is warning you not to go near it then the best option would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist who will help you train it in a secure manner.
How to get your Golden Retriever stop barking at you
Below are some ways you can get your Golden Retriever to stop barking at you.
Positive reinforcement training
The first thing you can do is to give it positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your Golden Retriever for behaving the way you want and avoid rewarding it when it does not.
To use it to get your Golden Retriever to stop barking you would do something such as:
- Stop giving it attention when it starts barking at you
- Give it attention when it stops barking at you
- Stop giving it attention again if it starts to bark at you again
- Repeat the above and reward it with treats when it does not bark at you when it normally would
Avoid negative reinforcement training
As mentioned above, it could be the case that you have been inadvertently training it to bark.
Instead of giving it things that it wants when it barks, try to stop rewarding it when it barks and to reward it when it does not bark.
Get help from a trainer
If you can’t get it to stop barking or it is aggressive, it would also be an option to get help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. By doing so you should be able to see how to train it to stop and what is causing it to do it.
When training your Golden Retriever, it is important to be consistent. It is not likely that you will be able to get it to change its behavior drastically with just a single training session. But, you can get good results over the course of weeks and months.