If your Golden Retriever has been grumbling a lot you might be wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to stop.
So, why does my Golden Retriever grumble? Possible causes are that it is excited, bored, wanting your attention, protecting food or possessions, fearful or that it is ill or injured.
There are many different reasons why it might be doing it and it could be the result of a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out exactly why it has been doing it. There are also a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever grumbles
Each of the different reasons why your Golden Retriever does it will likely come with some clues.
Below are a number of possible causes and what would make them more likely.
The cause could be that it is understimulated. Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get quite a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they do not get enough exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it might be why yours has been grumbling.
It is generally recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily. If yours is healthy and it has not been getting that much it would help to make sure that it does.
Sometimes dogs will grumble when they are excited and it could be why yours has been doing it. This would be more likely to be the reason if it does it in situations such as when you are about to walk it or when you come home.
It wants your attention
The reason why it does it might be that it is trying to get attention from you. This would be more likely to be the reason if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention or if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
It could also be the case that it is trying to get your attention because it wants something such as to be fed or to get a walk. This would be more likely if it tends to do it more at the same time that it would normally get those things.
It’s protecting food or possessions
If it grumbles when it is eating or when you are trying to sit where it normally sits, it could be the case that it is doing it because it is trying to protect its food or possessions.
Dogs that are normally well behaved can become dangerous when they are being possessive. So, it would be recommended to seek the guidance of a professional dog trainer or behaviorist so that you can see how to train it in a secure manner.
The cause could also be that something is causing it to be fearful. This would be more likely if it does it more in situations such as when there are noises outside.
In this case, it would help to try and reduce its exposure to the thing that makes it fearful or you could try desensitization training.
Illness or injury
The reason that it has been grumbling could be that it is ill or injured. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing signs of being ill or injured such as limping, being fatigued or vomiting. In this case, it would be the best option to take it to a vet.
The reason why your Golden Retriever grumbles might be that it is being aggressive or warning you.
This would be more likely if it shows its teeth when it grumbles, it has its ears erect and it moves stiffly from side to side.
If it is the case that your Golden Retriever seems to grumble in an aggressive way then the best option for you would be to get the help of a dog behaviorist in your area.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason why it has been grumbling.
The way that it grumbles
It would help to consider the way that it grumbles since the way that it does it will have an impact on what you should do about it.
If it shows its teeth, lunges towards you, stands more erect and moves stiffly then it would be a strong sign of aggression. In this case, it would be best to keep your distance from it and to get the help of a professional dog behaviorist.
Whereas, if your Golden Retriever does not show many signs of aggression when it grumbles, it might still be the case that it is doing it as a warning since dogs can still be aggressive when they are not showing signs of aggression. So, it would still be important to be cautious when dealing with its grumbling.
When it first started to grumble
It would also help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that occurred that caused it to start doing it.
If it did start doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards when it does it, becoming ill or injured or a sudden change in its daily routine.
When it grumbles
It would also help to consider the timing of the grumbling since the timing could also have something to do with it.
For example, if it tends to grumble at the same time that you would normally feed it then it would be more likely that it is trying to remind you to feed it.
How to stop your Golden Retriever from grumbling
Below are some options you have when getting it to stop.
Positive reinforcement training
One option would be to train it to stop doing it with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your Golden Retriever for behaving in a way that you want it to and avoid rewarding it when it does not behave the way you want.
To use it to get it to stop grumbling you would do something such as:
- Stop giving it attention when it starts to grumble
- Give it attention when it stops grumbling
- Stop giving it attention again if it starts to grumble
- Repeat the above and reward it with treats when it does not grumble when it normally would
Avoid negative reinforcement training
Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently reinforce bad behaviors by giving your dog things it wants when it misbehaves. Instead of giving your Golden Retriever things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it grumbles, try to wait for it to stop before giving it things that it wants unless it seems to be doing it for a reason such as wanting to go outside to pee.
Make sure it isn’t ill or injured
If your Golden Retriever has started doing it suddenly and you’re not sure why or it has been showing signs of illness or injury, the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you can get expert advice tailored to your particular Golden Retriever and to rule out the possibility of it being due to illness or injury.
Give it attention throughout the day
It would also help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise or by playing with it so that it doesn’t feel the need as much to seek attention from you.
Get the help of a dog behaviorist
If you cannot get your Golden Retriever to stop doing it or it seems to be doing it aggressively, consider getting help from a dog trainer or behaviorist. Doing so should help you to see how to get it to stop safely.