If your Golden Retriever sometimes circles you this post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever circle me? Possible reasons are that it is excited, being dominating, looking for attention or it might be a herding instinct.

There are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason why it circles you. Once you have a good idea of the cause, it should become easier for you to get it to stop.

Why your Golden Retriever circles you

Below are some common reasons why Golden Retrievers circle their owners and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.

It’s excited

The reason why your Golden Retriever circles you might be that it is excited. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when you come home or when you are about to take it for a walk. In this case, it could be that it is trying to show its excitement or that it wants to get you to exercise it sooner.

It is being dominating

Another possible reason is that it circles you because it is being dominating. This would be more likely if it does it in a way that gets you to move.

To stop this it would be important to give your Golden Retriever lots of training and to follow the other tips mentioned below.

It wants attention

The reason why it does it could be that it is looking for attention. This would be more likely if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention or if you give it extra attention when it circles you.

In this case, it would help to reward it when it is well behaved and to follow the tips mentioned below to get it to stop doing it.

It’s a herding instinct

The reason why your Golden Retriever does it could be that it is a herding instinct. This would be more likely if it does it a lot more when you are walking it and if it does it to other people as well. To prevent this kind of circling, try walking in the opposite direction that it circles you especially if it tries to move you.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider when figuring out why your Golden Retriever has been doing it.

When it started doing it

It would help to consider what else changed when it first started circling you if it did not always do it.

If it did not always do it then it would be more likely that it started because it learned that it gets rewards when it does it.

Whereas, if it has always done it then it would be more likely to be due to being a herding instinct.

When and where it tends to do it more

It would also help to consider if it tends to do it more in certain situations since the timing might have something to do with it.

For example, if it does it more when you are on walks then it would be more likely that it is either a herding instinct or that it is being dominating if it tries to move you.

What to do about your Golden Retriever circling you

Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop circling you.

Walk in the opposite direction to it

If it does it when you are walking it, one option would be to try to walk in the opposite direction to it since this will force it to stop and to see you as the leader.

You could also try stopping walking whenever it does it so that it learns that circling causes you to stop walking it. You can watch the video below to see how this is done.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

The cause might be that you have encouraged it to do it 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 circles you, 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, to wait for it to stop circling you before rewarding it and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training.

Give it lots of training

If you have not been giving your Golden Retriever much training it would help to start now by teaching it the basics in an environment without too many distractions. Later, it would help to train it to do more challenging things in more distracting environments.

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Author

I created and currently manage Pet Dog Owner, the website you can go to when you have questions about your dog's behavior. It is my hope that you find Pet Dog Owner to be a helpful resource. It is also my hope that it will help you to improve your relationship with your dog. You can read more about me and my website here.