If your Golden Retriever is hard to train you might want to know why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you common causes of Golden Retrievers being difficult to train and what you can do about it.
So, why is my Golden Retriever hard to train? Possible reasons are that you have been training it in distracting environments too soon in its training, you haven’t been training it in small steps, your training method is inappropriate, it could be an issue with its diet or it might need to get more exercise.
There are actually many reasons why it might be hard to train and it might be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can consider when figuring out the main reason and there are many things you can do about it.
Why your Golden Retriever is so hard to train
Below are common reasons why it might be difficult to train and what would make them more likely to be the main cause.
You have been training it in a distracting environment
It could be the case that the environment you have been training it in has too many distractions. If you train it in an environment with lots of distractions too soon, your Golden Retriever will struggle to keep its focus on you. When training your Golden Retriever it would help to start out by training it in an environment without too many distractions and then to build up to one that has them.
You haven’t been training it in small steps
Another possible cause is that you have made the training too difficult too soon. If you ask it to do difficult tasks before it has learned easier tasks it will be unlikely to know what you want it to do. This is why it would help to start out by training it to do easy things and then to build up to getting it to do more challenging tasks.
You have been using the wrong training method
It might also be the case that the training method you have been using is not appropriate.
The training method that I would recommend would be positive reinforcement training. This is where you gradually build up to training it to do difficult things by rewarding your Golden Retriever each time it does a task correctly.
It might also be the case that there is an issue with its diet that is causing it to struggle to keep its attention on you. This would be more likely if it has started behaving differently after you changed its diet or if it is harder to train when it eats certain foods.
You can look here to see what you should and should not be feeding your Golden Retriever. If you’re unsure if its diet is causing issues then it would help to consult with your vet. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you and that
A lack of exercise
Golden Retriever are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. If your Golden Retriever is not getting a lot of exercise it could be causing it to have a lot of excess energy and to be unable to keep its focus on you easily when training it.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day. If your Golden Retriever is not getting that much exercise it would help to make sure that it does by walking it yourself or by getting a dog walker to do it for you.
The training needs to be consistent
If you do not train your Golden Retriever consistently, it will be less likely to remember the training. When training your Golden Retriever it is important to be consistent with the training.
It is unlikely that you will be able to get drastic results with just one training session but if you train it consistently you will be able to get better results over the course of weeks and months.
How to train your Golden Retriever
Below are some things you can do to in order to train your Golden Retriever more effectively.
Train it in small steps
When training your Golden Retriever it would help to avoid asking too much of it too soon. If you do ask too much of it then your Golden Retriever will be more likely to fail the task and it won’t learn anything.
Instead, it would help to start out with an easy task in an environment without distractions and then to build up to training it more difficult trasks in a more distracting environment.
The video below shows you how you can train a dog to stay in small steps:
Give it exercise
It would also help to make sure that your Golden Retriever is able to get sufficient exercise so that it can pay attention to you more easily. It is generally recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
Avoid encouraging the behavior
It might be the case that you have been encouraging it not to listen to you by giving it things it wants when it does not listen to you.
Instead, it would help to use positive reinforcement training and to train it using small steps so that you are able to give your Golden Retriever rewards for doing things correctly. It would also help to avoid rewarding it when it does not do it correctly so that you avoid encouraging the behavior.
It might be tempting to punish your Golden Retriever for not doing things correctly. However, it would be advised that you avoid doing so. If you do punish it then it will likely not know what you are punishing it for and it will be less likely to listen to you.
If you cannot figure out why your Golden Retriever is hard to train or everything that you try doesn’t work, consider getting the help of a certified dog trainer or behaviorist in your area. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored to your particular Golden Retriever.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider when figuring out why it has been doing it.
When it started being hard to train
If your Golden Retriever was not always hard to train, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started being hard to train.
If it did start being difficult to train suddenly it would help to consider what else happened at around the same time. It would also make it more likely to be due to things such as rewarding it for not listening to you, illness or a change in its diet.
How old it is
It would also help to consider the age of your Golden Retriever. If your Golden Retriever is still a puppy it would make it more likely to be the case that it won’t be as easy to get it to keep its focus on you since it will be full of energy.
You can make things easier by training it after giving it exercise and using treats to keep its attention on you (while making sure not to reward it when it does it wrong).
If your Golden Retriever is older it would be more likely that you have been rewarding it for not listening to you but it could also be due to some of the other things mentioned above. In this case, it would help to start training it basic things using positive reinforcement training and then to build up to training it to do more challenging things.
When it is easier to train
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it is easier to train since the timing might have something to do with it.
For example, if it is easier to train after it has gotten exercise it would make it more likely to be the case that it needs more exercise.