If your Golden Retriever is restless this post will show you some possible reasons why and what you can do to get it to be calmer.
So, why is my Golden Retriever so restless? Possible reasons are needing more exercise, an issue with its diet, anxiety, wanting attention, rewarding the behavior or an injury.
There are actually a number of possible reasons why it is restless and it might be the result of a combination of reasons. However, there are also a number of things you can do to get it to be calmer.
Why your Golden Retriever is so restless
Each of the different reasons why your Golden Retriever is restless will likely come with some clues in the way that it does it.
Below are some possible causes and what would make them more likely.
It needs more exercise
Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of exercise on a daily basis. When they don’t get much exercise it can cause them to behave abnormally and it could be why yours has been so restless.
Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise daily. If your Golden Retriever is healthy and it is not currently getting much exercise, it would help to make sure that it does start getting more exercise.
There is something wrong with its diet
It could also be the case that an issue with its diet has been causing it to behave differently. This would be more likely if it starts being more restless after being fed a certain food or if it has started being restless since you changed its diet.
You can look at this article to see what you should feed your Golden Retriever. You can also consult with your vet about its diet for more tailored advice for your Golden Retriever in particular.
Being anxious could also be what has been causing it to be restless. This would be more likely if it becomes restless at times where it is more likely to be anxious such as when you are about to leave home which would suggest that it has some separation anxiety.
It wants attention
The cause could also be that it is doing it for attention. This would be more likely if it tends to become more restless when you have not been giving it much attention and if you tend to give it more attention when it does it.
In this case, it would help to avoid rewarding it with attention until after it has calmed down. It would also help to give it attention throughout the day in the form of training, exercise and by playing with it so that it doesn’t feel the need to get attention from you as much.
Illness or injury
The cause could also be due to illness or injury. This would be more likely to be the cause if it has started being restless suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as limping or vomiting. If it does seem like it might be ill or injured, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
Rewarding the behavior
The cause could also be due to rewarding the behavior. If you tend to give it things such as extra attention, toys or treats when it starts being hyper it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being calm and to wait for it to calm down before rewarding it.
Things to consider
Below are some things you can consider when trying to figure out why it has been doing it.
When it started to become restless
It would help to consider when your Golden Retriever first started being restless since it could be the case that there was an event that caused it to start.
If it started doing it suddenly, it would be more likely to be due to things such as becoming ill or injured, a sudden change in its diet, getting less exercise suddenly or getting less attention suddenly. It would help to consider what else changed when it first started doing it.
When it is restless
It would also help to consider the timing of when it starts being restless since the timing could also have something to do with it.
If it becomes restless when you come home then it would be more likely to be due to excitement and it would be normal behavior. Whereas, if it starts doing it when you are about to leave home then it would be a sign of separation anxiety.
How old it is
It would also help to consider how old your Golden Retriever is.
If it is still young, it would be likely that it will calm down as it gets older. But, it could still be the case that the reasons mentioned above could be contributing to it and it would be helpful to start training it now so it is well behaved as an adult.
If it is an adult it would be more likely to be due to one of the reasons mentioned above.
How to stop your Golden Retriever from being so restless
Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to be calmer.
Give it exercise
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Golden Retriever is able to get exercise on a daily basis. Generally, it is recommended to give them at least an hour of exercise daily. If yours is healthy and it is not getting much exercise it would help to make sure that it does get exercise daily. You can walk it yourself or you could get a dog walker to do it for you when you are unable to.
Give it training
Another thing you can do is to give it lots of training. By giving it training you will be able to keep it occupied and to channel the extra energy it has onto doing the training.
It would help to start by teaching it to do easy things such as to sit and stay in an environment like the home where there are not many external distractions. Once you can get it to do that you can build up to teaching it harder things such as to come to you on command.
Once you’re able to get your Golden Retriever to listen to your command in less distracting environments, you should build up to teaching it to do the same in more challenging environments.
You can watch the video below for advice on training restless dogs.
Don’t reward it
It would also likely help to avoid rewarding it when it becomes restless. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is calm and to wait for it to calm down when it becomes restless before giving it what it wants.
If it seems to be doing it in order to get attention from you, it would also be an option to stop giving it attention until it calms down and then to go back to giving it attention until it starts being restless again.
Give it distractions
In addition to the above, you could also give it things to be distracted with so that it is less likely to do things you do not want it to. Things you could give it could include toys, bones or puzzle games.
Make sure that its diet is correct
It would also help to make sure that it is getting the right diet. You can look here to see what to feed it and it would help to consult on its diet with your local vet.
Get help from a vet
If you are unsure of why it has been doing it or it seems like it could be due to illness, injury or a medical issue then 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.