If your Golden Retriever puppy is afraid of other dogs, you’re probably wondering why and what you can do about it.
This post will show you a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever puppy could be scared of other dogs and what you can do to get it to be less afraid.
So, why is my Golden Retriever puppy scared of other dogs? Possible reasons are that it has not learned to trust other dogs yet, another dog snapped at it and it is now afraid of it happening again or it might be naturally submissive.
There are a number of reasons why it might be doing it and it could be due to a combination of reasons. However, there are a number of things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever puppy is scared of other dogs
Below, I will show you some reasons why your Golden Retriever puppy might be doing it and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It hasn’t learned to trust certain dogs yet
The reason why it has been being afraid around other dogs might be that it is not sure whether or not it can trust them yet. When Golden Retrievers are puppies the other dogs that they would normally interact with would be the other puppies and their mothers and they will usually be nervous around other dogs since they might be a threat.
If your Golden Retriever puppy doesn’t have other puppies to play with it is likely it is naturally scared of the other dogs since it does not know them and they might be unfriendly.
In this case, it would help to try and socialize it with other friendly dogs as much as you can and with puppies in particular. It is also likely that it will become less afraid of other dogs as it gets older.
Another dog snapped at it
The cause could also be that another dog snapped at it and it now does not like being around other dogs because it does not want it to happen again. This would be more likely if you know that another dog snapped at it and it started being afraid suddenly afterward.
In this case, it would help to let it socialize with other friendly dogs and puppies when possible.
It could be the case that your Golden Retriever is naturally submissive. This would be more likely if it tends to hide behind you, put its tail between your legs and roll onto its back. It would also be more likely if it only gets afraid around dogs that are bigger than it or ones that are slightly aggressive.
Things to consider
When it first started doing it
If your Golden Retriever has only started doing it suddenly, it would help to consider if anything 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 was not always afraid of other dogs, it would be more likely that it is either afraid now because another dog snapped at it or your Golden Retriever wasn’t afraid before because the other dogs were other puppies.
If it has always been afraid of other dogs it is likely to be because it sees them as a threat especially if it gets afraid more around larger dogs. In this case, it would help to socialize it with puppies if possible or other friendly dogs.
If it becomes afraid around every dog
It would also help to consider what dogs it tends to be afraid of.
If it gets afraid some of the time it would be more likely that it is being submissive especially if the other dog is bigger than it or aggressive. It could also be the case that it was mistreated by a similar dog in the past.
Whereas, if it becomes afraid around all dogs it could be the case that it was mistreated in the past, you have inadvertently rewarded the behavior or that it is naturally timider.
How to get your Golden Retriever puppy to be less afraid of other dogs
Below are some things you can do about it being afraid of other dogs.
Desensitizing it to other dogs
One option would be to get it used to being around other friendly dogs.
It will be difficult for it to learn what dogs it can trust if it is not able to socialize with them.
However, before socializing it with other dogs it is important to make sure that it has the appropriate vaccines so you may want to check on that with your vet beforehand.
When introducing your Golden Retriever puppy to other dogs it would help to do so in a controlled environment with the dogs on their leashes.
You can watch the video below to see more tips on how to do it:
Positive reinforcement training is where you train your Golden Retriever to behave in a certain way by rewarding it when it shows signs of behaving that way.
To use positive reinforcement training to get it to be less afraid of other dogs you would reward it after interactions where it was not afraid, reward it while it is near other dogs and it is not being afraid and stop rewarding it when it starts to become afraid.
Avoid negative reinforcement
Negative reinforcement training is where you inadvertently encourage behaviors that you do not want to see by rewarding them.
Instead of giving your Golden Retriever things such as treats or extra attention when it becomes afraid, try to recognize when it is likely to be about to start being afraid and to prevent it by redirecting its focus. It would also help to train it not to be afraid using the tips mentioned above and to reward it when it behaves the way that you want it to.
Best Dog Training Program
Our favorite: The Dunbar Academy Training Program. If you want a happy and obedient dog, this is one of the best online dog training programs available right now. You can get the first month free using This link