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Why does my Golden Retriever walk in front of me?

Why does my Golden Retriever walk in front of me?

If your Golden Retriever keeps walking in front of you then you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible reasons why it does it and what would make them more likely.

So, why does my Golden Retriever walk in front of me?

If it does it on walks, it would be more likely to be due to wanting to go faster, wanting to interact with something or a lack of training.

If it walks in front of you around the house it could be due to things such as wanting attention, not realizing it does it or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.

There are actually many reasons why your Golden Retriever might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.

Why your Golden Retriever walks in front of you

Each of the different reasons why your Golden Retriever does it will likely come with some clues.

Below are a number of possible reasons why it might be doing it and what would make them more likely.

It wants to go faster

If it tends to walk in front of you when you are walking it, the reason could be that it wants to go faster. This would be more likely if it normally pulls on the leash as well when you are walking it. If your Golden Retriever does pull on the leash, try following the tips mentioned in this post.

It’s being protective

The reason could be that it is being protective. This would be more likely if it tends to be overly protective when other people, dogs and animals are around. In this case, you could try training it to have a positive association with other people and dogs by giving it a special treat when it sees them and it does not walk in front of you.

It wants to interact with something

Golden Retrievers have a strong sense of smell and the reason why it does it could be that it wants to interact with something. This would be especially likely if it walks in front of you in the direction of a bush or tree and it suddenly stops to sniff things.

It has a lot of energy

Golden Retrievers can become very excitable and they are meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. The reason why it does it could be that it has a lot of energy and it is trying to encourage you to give it more exercise. Generally, it is recommended to give Golden Retrievers an hour of exercise per day. If it isn’t getting that much, it would help to make sure that it does.

It wants attention

The cause could be that it does it for attention from you. This would be more likely if it walks in front of you around the home, you give it more attention when it does it and if it does it more when you have not been giving it much attention.

You haven’t trained it not to

If you have not given your Golden Retriever much training then it will not know how it is meant to behave and it will behave the way that it feels like behaving. This is unlikely to be the way you want it to behave. If you have not trained it to walk by your side on walks then it will not know that you want it to do so. This is why it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training as discussed below.

Things to consider

When your Golden Retriever first started walking in front of you

It would help to consider when it first started doing it since it might be the case that there was an event that caused it to start doing it.

If it started walking in front of you suddenly it would be more likely to be due to things such as learning that it gets rewards when it does it or you changed the route you walk it on and it became curious.

Whereas, if it has always done it then it would be more likely to be due to one of the reasons mentioned above.

When your Golden Retriever walks in front of you

It would also help to consider the timing of when it walks in front of you since the timing might have something to do with it.

If it walks in front of you around the home, it would be more likely that it does it for attention, to get something from you or it might not realize that it is doing it. Whereas, if it does it when you are walking it then it would be more likely it wants to interact with things, to go faster or that it is being protective.

How to get your Golden Retriever to stop walking in front of you

Below, are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to stop walking in front of you depending on the situation.

Use positive reinforcement training to get it to stop walking ahead on the leash

Positive reinforcement training is where you reward the behaviors that you want to see from your Golden Retriever and stop rewarding it when it does not.

To use positive reinforcement training to get your Golden Retriever to stop walking ahead of you on the leash you would do as follows:

  • Start walking it on the leash with some treats
  • Stop when it is about to walk ahead of you and get it to pay attention to you
  • Reward it for stopping and paying attention to you then carry on walking
  • Repeat the above until it stops walking ahead of you

You can watch the video below to see how it is done

Use positive reinforcement training to stop it walking in front of you at home

To use positive reinforcement training to get your Golden Retriever to stop walking in front of you at home you would:

  • Avoid giving it attention when it walks in front of you
  • Get it to pay attention to you when it is about to walk in front of you, reward it and then walk ahead of it
  • Reward it when it does not walk ahead of you when it normally would

You can also give it lots of attention and exercise throughout the day.

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