If your Golden Retriever has recently snapped at you this post will show you common reasons why and what you can do about it.

So, why does my Golden Retriever snap at me? Possible reasons are that it is injured, it feels threatened, mistreatment, a lack of training or possessiveness.

There are many possible reasons why it might snap at you and it might do it for many different reasons. However, there are a number of things you can do about it and there are some things you can consider when figuring out the most likely causes.

Why your Golden Retriever snaps at you

Below are some common causes of Golden Retriever snapping at their owners and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours has been doing it.

Injury

It might be the case that an injury has been causing it to be in pain and that it snapped at you due to frustration. This would be more likely if it has been showing other signs of being injured such as being fatigued or limping. If it does seem like an injury could be the cause the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Feeling threatened

It could also be the case that it snapped at you because it was feeling threatened. This would be more likely if you approached it in a threatening way by doing things such as make large movements, shout or by trapping it in a corner.

Mistreatment

The reason why it did it might also be that it thought that you were mistreating it. This would be more likely if it did it when you were being aggressive towards it or you were neglecting it in some way such as by not feeding it.

It would help to consider if your own actions could have made it feel like it was being mistreated in some way.

A lack of training

If you do not give your Golden Retriever training, it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. The way it feels like behaving is unlikely to be the way you want it to behave which is why it is important to give it training. It would help to start by training it to do simple things and then to build up from there.

Dominating behavior

The reason might be that it was being dominating. This would be more likely if it did it in a situation such as when you were trying to sit in the spot that it normally sits in or to get it to move. It would also be more likely if it does dominating things such as sit in higher spots than you or be unresponsive to your command.

Possessiveness

Sometimes, dogs will snap out when they are protecting things that they think belong to them. This will commonly happen when someone tries to take something such as a bone away from them or when going near them while they are eating. This could be the reason why your Golden Retriever has been snapping at you. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when it is eating or sitting in a certain spot.

In this case, it would help to do lots of leave it training. But, if it is aggressive, getting the help of a dog trainer or behaviorist would likely help the most.

Frustration

Being frustrated could also be why it did it. This would be more likely if it did it after you had been telling it to do something repeatedly or after you had been touching it in a way that it did not like.

Things to consider

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

When it started lashing out

It could be the case that there was an event that occurred that caused it to do it.

If it started doing it suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as being mistreated, getting injured or feeling threatened.

What is different when it snaps at you

It would also help to consider the timing of when it does it since the timing might also have something to do with it.

If it snaps at you when you are shouting it would make it more likely that it feels threatened. Whereas, if it does it when it is eating it would make it more likely that it is resource guarding.

How many times it has done it

It would also help to consider how many times it has done it.

If it only snapped at you once then it would make it more likely to be because it was feeling threatened or because it was in pain at the time. However, it could still have been due to one of the other reasons mentioned above.

How to get your Golden Retriever to stop snapping at you

Below are a number of options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop snapping at you. Using a combination of them will likely be the best approach.

Make sure that it is not ill or injured

If it seems like it might be ill or injured 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 and to rule out injury as a possible cause.

Get help

If you think that your Golden Retriever is likely to bite you or be aggressive in certain situations such as when it is eating it would be best for you to get the help of an expert in your area. Experts could include certified dog trainers or certified dog behaviorists.

By doing so you will be able to get expert guidance tailored to your particular Golden Retriever and they will be able to show you the most appropriate course of action to take in a safe manner.

Make sure that you are feeding it correctly

It would also help to make sure that it has been getting the right diet since it could be the case that an issue in its diet has been contributing to it. It would help to consult with your local vet on what you have been feeding them when you see them next. You can also look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your Golden Retriever.

Avoid punishing it

It might be tempting for you to punish your Golden Retriever when it misbehaves but you should avoid doing so. If you punish it your Golden Retriever might not know why, it could lead to it having feelings of resentment and it might be why it has been snapping at you. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training as discussed below and to be consistent with the training.

Use positive reinforcement training

Positive reinforcement training is where you reward your Golden Retriever for behaving the way that you want it to and avoid rewarding it when it does not.

If you have not trained your Golden Retriever to behave the way that you want it to then it would help to start doing so.

Avoid encouraging the behavior

It would also help to avoid giving it things that it wants when it behaves in a way that you do not like. Instead, it would help to train it to behave a certain way with the use of positive reinforcement training.

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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.