If your Golden Retriever is very vocal you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. This post will show you a number of possible causes and what you can do to get it to be less noisy.
So, why is my Golden Retriever so vocal? Possible causes are that it wants food or water, it wants to go outside, illness, injury, anxiety, boredom or you might have inadvertently rewarded the behavior.
Your Golden Retriever could actually be doing it for a number of reasons and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are a number of things you can do about it depending on the most likely reason.
Why your Golden Retriever is so vocal
Below are a number of reasons why your Golden Retriever might be being vocal and what would make them more likely to be the main reason.
It wants food or water
The cause of your Golden Retriever being vocal could be that it wants food or water. This would be more likely if it does it more when it has not had an opportunity to eat or drink in a while or if it becomes vocal when you would normally feed it.
If it does it while you are eating it could also be the case that it does it because it wants your food. This would be especially likely if you have given it some of your food while you were eating in the past.
In this case, it would help to check that you have been feeding it the right amount and that it has access to water whenever it needs it. It would also help to avoid giving it your own food when you are eating otherwise it will likely continue being vocal when you are eating.
It wants to go outside
The reason why it does it sometimes might be that it wants to go outside. This would be more likely if it does it when standing by the door and waiting for you to let it outside. It would also be more likely if it does it when it has not had the chance to pee in a while.
You have inadvertently reinforced the behavior
It might be the case that you have inadvertently encouraged the behavior by giving it things that it wants when it does it. If you tend to give it things such as toys, treats or extra attention when it is vocal then it will likely do it more in order to get more rewards.
Instead, it would help to reward it when it is being well behaved and to follow the other tips mentioned below.
Illness or injury
The cause could be that it has gotten an illness or injury. This would be more likely if it has started being vocal suddenly and if it has been showing other signs of being ill or injured such as vomiting or limping. In this case, the best option would be to take it to a vet.
If your Golden Retriever becomes more vocal at certain times it could be the case that it is because it is anxious. This would be more likely if it does it in situations such as when you are about to leave home, when someone is around it doesn’t like or when there are construction works outside.
It might be the case that your Golden Retriever is naturally vocal. This would be more likely if it is vocal at random times and if it has always been vocal. However, it could still be the case that it has learned that being vocal gets it things that it wants.
Golden Retrievers are meant to get exercise on a daily basis in order to be fully stimulated. If your Golden Retriever has not been getting much exercise, it could be contributing to it being vocal. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
Things to consider
When it started being vocal
It would help to consider what 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.
Things that might have happened could include:
- Exercising it at different times
- Working different hours
- Moving homes
- Letting it outside at different times
When it becomes more vocal
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to be more vocal since it could also be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it becomes more vocal when you would normally walk it then it would be more likely that it is trying to remind you to walk it.
What to do about your Golden Retriever being vocal
Below are some things you can do about your Golden Retriever being vocal.
Ensure that it is eating right
As mentioned above, it could be the case that your Golden Retriever has been doing it because it is hungry.
With that being the case, it would help to make sure that you have been feeding it the right amount of food and that the food you have been feeding it is appropriate for it. This would be best done by consulting with your local vet when you see them next. It would also help to make sure that no one else has been feeding it without telling you.
Make sure to give it exercise
It would also help to give it exercise on a daily basis if it is a healthy adult. If it is already getting exercise, you could also try wearing it out more by getting it to do things such as play fetch.
Let it go outside when it needs to
It would also help to let your Golden Retriever go outside to pee regularly so that it does not have to wait a long time before it is able to pee. You could do this by leaving the door to the backyard open or you could put a bell on the door so that you know when it needs to go outside.
Deal with its separation anxiety
If your Golden Retriever becomes vocal when you are leaving home it could be because it has some separation anxiety especially if it becomes anxious when you are leaving as well.
In this case, it would help to try to get it to be less anxious when you are leaving.
To do this you could do as follows:
- Make it seem like you are about to leave by doing something such as picking up your keys
- Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat these two steps a few times
- Make more moves towards actually leaving such as by picking up the keys and putting your hand on the door handle
- Reward your Golden Retriever for not being anxious and repeat the process a few times
- Actually open the door and go outside for a few moments then come back and reward your Golden Retriever
- Repeat the above, each time staying outside for slightly longer
You can also watch the video below for more tips on what to do about it.
Avoid negative reinforcement
It would also help to make sure not to encourage the behavior by making sure not to reward it when it becomes vocal. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is quiet, to stop rewarding it when it is vocal and to deal with any possible causes of it being vocal.
Take it to a vet
If you are unable to figure out why it has been doing it or it has been showing signs of being ill or injured, it would help to take it to a vet. By doing so you will be able to get expert advice tailored towards your particular Golden Retriever and to rule out the possibility of it being ill or injured.