If your Golden Retriever has been itching itself a lot you might want to know why and what you can do about it.

In this post, I will show you a number of reasons why it might be itching itself and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever keep itching itself? Possible reasons are that it has allergies, fleas, it is a compulsive behavior, anxiety, something being stuck in its fur or it could have just been itchy at the time.

There are actually a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can do about it, depending on the most likely cause.

Why your Golden Retriever keeps itching itself

Below, I will show you a number of reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.

Allergies

Allergies or a rash could be causing your Golden Retriever to itch itself. Allergies can be caused by things such as shampoo, other dogs, pollen or household chemicals (source).

It would be more likely that allergies or a rash are the cause if it started doing it after something happened that might have caused it to get allergies or a rash. Examples could be using a different shampoo or a harness that rubs its skin.

Fleas

It could also be the case that flees have been causing it to itch itself. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly and if you have found fleas around the house.

If fleas are causing your Golden Retriever to itch itself, it would help to talk to your vet about what you should do to get rid of the flees.

It would also help to eradicate fleas from your home by doing things such as:

  • Washing the bedding with hot soapy water
  • Vacuuming the carpets and throwing the bad
  • Applying an environmental flee control
  • Applying a spray, pellet or non-toxic treatment for the yard
  • Treating your Golden Retriever with a monthly preventative

Compulsive behavior

It might also be the case that your Golden Retriever has been doing it compulsively. This is where it has an irresistible urge to itch itself and it does it excessively. This would be more likely if it has been doing it a lot over the course of a few weeks, it has been losing fur and if it itches more at the same spot. In this case, the best option would be to get help from a vet.

Boredom

Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. If your Golden Retriever is not getting much exercise it could be causing it to behave abnormally.

Generally, it is recommended for them to be getting at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults. If your Golden Retriever is not getting that much, it would help to make sure that it does, by walking it yourself or getting a dog walker to do it for you.

Anxiety

It could be the case that it has been itching itself because something has been causing it to be anxious. Things that might cause it to get anxious would be if someone moved away recently, another pet died or if you recently adopted it.

It might also be the case that it has separation anxiety. This is where it does not like being left alone and being left alone causes it to become anxious. This would be more likely if it itches itself and it shows signs of being anxious when you are about to leave home.

Injury

The cause could also be that it has gotten an injury. This would be more likely if it has started doing it suddenly, it has been itching the same spot and if you can see things such as a cut. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

There is something stuck in its fur

It might also be the case that there is something stuck in its fur. This would be more likely if it itches at the same spot and if you can see that its fur looks sticky.

It was just itchy

It could be the case that it was just itchy at the time. This would be more likely if it only itches itself occasionally and it does not do it excessively.

Things to consider

Below are some things to consider about your Golden Retriever itching itself.

When it first started itching itself

If it has started doing it suddenly, it would help to consider what else happened at around the same time that it started doing it since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.

If it did start itching itself suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as an injury, something being stuck in its fur, something making it become anxious, fleas or allergies. It would help to consider what else changed at around the same time that it started doing it.

When it does it

It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to do it more. If there is, it could be the case that the timing has something to do with it.

How often it does

How often your Golden Retriever itches itself will have an impact on the most probable causes of it itching itself.

If it rarely does itch itself or if it’s a puppy and it just did it once then less likely to be a problem and it was probably playing.

If it does it a lot then it would make it more likely to be due to things such as a rash, fleas, compulsive behavior or an injury.

How to get your Golden Retriever to stop itching itself

Below are some things you can do about your Golden Retriever itching itself.

Take it to a vet

If you cannot figure out why your Golden Retriever has been itching itself, it seems to be injured or it has been doing it excessively the best option would be to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Golden Retriever.

Give it exercise

If it is not doing it due to an injury and it is healthy, it would also help to give it daily exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day.

Avoid negative reinforcement

Negative reinforcement is where you inadvertently reinforce bad behaviors by giving your Golden Retriever what it wants when it displays them.

Instead of giving your Golden Retriever things it wants when it itches itself, try to redirect its focus when it is about to do it and to reward it when it behaves the way that you want it to.

Make sure that it is not due to shampoo

It could be the case that the shampoo you use on your Golden Retriever is causing it to be itchy. This would be more likely if it only itches itself when you have recently put shampoo on it. In this case, it would help to change the shampoo.

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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.