If your Golden Retriever seems to be scared of you this post will show you some possible reasons why and what you can do about it.

So, why is my Golden Retriever scared of me? Possible reasons are that you were aggressive towards it, it’s in a new environment, previous owners mistreated it or it is ill or injured.

There are a number of reasons why it might be doing it. But there are some things you can consider when figuring out the exact reason. There are also a number of things you can do about it.

Why your Golden Retriever is scared of you

Below are a number of possible reasons why your Golden Retriever is scared of you and what would make them more likely.

You were aggressive towards it

If you were aggressive towards your Golden Retriever it could be why it has been being afraid. This would be more likely to be the reason if it became scared of you at around the same time that you were aggressive towards it and if it is only scared of you.

If this is the case, then it would help to stop being aggressive towards it, to be calmer around your Golden Retriever and to use positive reinforcement training instead of punishing it.

It is unsure of its environment

The cause could also be that it is unsure about its environment. This would be more likely to be the reason if you have recently adopted it. In this case, it would help to give it attention throughout the day by playing with it, training it and exercising it. If it does not begin to improve its behavior after a few weeks it would help to seek the advice of a vet or a dog behaviorist.

Previous owners

The cause could be that previous owners mistreated it and it is now afraid of people. This would also be more likely if you adopted it from a shelter and if it is also afraid of other people as well.

In this case, it is also likely that your Golden Retriever will become less afraid over time. You can speed the process up by giving it positive attention. It would also be recommended to seek professional help if it does not improve after a few weeks.

It is ill or injured

The cause could also be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely to be the reason if it has started doing it suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill such as limping, vomiting or crying. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.

Encouraging the behavior

It could also be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it does it. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is not afraid, to try to redirect its behavior when it seems like it is about to start being afraid and to avoid rewarding it when it starts being afraid.

Things to consider

Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out the exact reason.

When your Golden Retriever became afraid of you

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

Things that you could consider would include:

  • If you moved home
  • If someone was mean to it
  • If started showing signs of injury or illness

If it only becomes scared of you at certain times

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

For example, if it tends to start being afraid when a certain person is around, it could actually be the case that it is afraid of that person.

Its age

It would also help to consider how old your Golden Retriever is. If your Golden Retriever is still young then it would be likely that it will become less afraid as it gets older since it could be going through a more timid stage. However, it would still help to give it positive attention throughout the day.

What to do about your Golden Retriever being scared of you

Below are some options you have when trying to get it to be less scared.

Be calmer around your Golden Retriever

Golden Retrievers tend to be very responsive to their owner’s emotions. If you get emotional or aggressive around your Golden Retriever then it will usually cause it to react itself.

When you are interacting with your Golden Retriever it would help to be calm with it and to avoid getting overly emotional.

Play and exercise

One way to get your Golden Retriever to be comfortable around you would be to play with it and to exercise it.

You can play with it by playing tug of war, training it or playing fetch with it. Some ways to exercise it would be to walk it or to teach it to swim.

Avoid physical punishment

It is also important to avoid punishing it. This is because it might not understand why it is being punished and it might lead to it developing feelings of resentment. Instead, it would help to give it lots of positive reinforcement training so that it learns how to behave.

Be patient

When training your Golden Retriever, it is important to be patient. It is unlikely that you will be able to get drastic results with just one training session but, if you stick with it, you will be able to get much better results over the course of weeks.

Take it to a vet

If you are unsure of why your Golden Retriever has been being afraid, it has been behaving that way for more than a few weeks or it has been showing signs of illness or injury, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your Golden Retriever in particular and to rule out the possibility of it being due to medical causes.

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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.