If your Golden Retriever has been being out of control you might be wondering why and what you can do about it. In this post, I will show you common causes of them being out of control and what you can do to stop it.
So, why is my Golden Retriever out of control?
If you have not been giving it much exercise then it can cause it to become hyperactive and hard to control. It might also be that it hasn’t been given enough training.
Other possible reasons would be that it’s looking for attention, that you have accidentally been rewarding the behavior, command nagging, fear or being in a new location.
And, how can I get my Golden Retriever to calm down?
The first thing is to make sure that it gets enough exercise as this can influence its behavior.
Next, you’ll want to start giving it basic training in an environment where there are not many distractions and to build up from there.
You can also do positive reinforcement training, you can ignore its attention seeking behavior and you can give it lots of toys to be distracted with.
There are a number of possible reasons why your Golden Retriever is out of control and it could be due to a combination of them. However, there are also a number of things you can consider in figuring out the main cause and there are a number of things you can do about it.
Possible reasons why your Golden Retriever is out of control
Below are some common causes of Golden Retrievers being out of control and what would make them more likely to be the reason why yours is.
Golden Retrievers are a breed that is meant to get a lot of daily exercise. When Golden Retrievers do not get enough exercise, they will often become a lot harder to control. This would be more likely if your Golden Retriever is normally harder to control when it is not able to get exercise. Generally, it is recommended for them to get at least an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
Another cause might be that it does it to get extra attention from you. This would be more likely if it tends to behave that way when you have not been giving it attention and you tend to give it extra attention when it does it.
Instead, it would help to give it attention when it is being well behaved, to wait for it to calm down before giving it attention and to give it lots of positive reinforcement training to change its behavior.
If you often punish your Golden Retriever, when it misbehaves, it could be the reason why it is hard to control. One of the reasons for that is that if you punish it then it might think that you are punishing it for something different. It can also cause it to be resentful towards you.
For example, if your Golden Retriever bolts out the door and you punish it when it comes back then it will likely think that you are punishing it for the last thing that it did which was to come back to you. This is why this method of training doesn’t normally work. It can also cause other problems such as fear, aggression, anxiety, distrust, and destruction.
An alternative strategy would be to do lots of positive reinforcement training instead. This is where you train your Golden Retriever by rewarding it for doing the things that you want it to do or at least for making steps in the right direction.
The cause of your Golden Retriever’s behavior could be because it is scared of what will happen. If your Golden Retriever thinks that it will be punished by you then it will make it less likely to listen to you.
The reason that your Golden Retriever is out of control could be due to a lack of training. Golden Retrievers (and other dogs) do not understand spoken language like we do. Just telling it to “come here” is not going to do much if it has not been taught what that means through specific training for that command.
This is why it is important to take the time to teach your Golden Retriever to do the things that you want it to do. You should start with the basics in an easy environment and then work your way up to harder tasks and environments from there.
If you can get your Golden Retriever to listen to you in one location but you can’t in another then don’t be discouraged since it is not unusual. When you bring your Golden Retriever into a new environment it will cause it to get distracted by the things going on around it and it will not be as mindful of your command. This is why it’s important to take the time to train your Golden Retriever in multiple environments.
You’ve been rewarding it
It could be that you have been inadvertently encouraging the behavior by giving it things that it wants in order to get it to calm down. It would be better to save rewards for good behavior and signs of good behavior.
It might also be the case that you have been doing something called “command nagging” which is where you repeat a command multiple times despite it not working the first time. When this happens, take a step back and train it to do what you want again starting at an earlier step or even the beginning.
An issue with its diet
It could also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It might be eating too much, not enough, it might not be getting the right nutrients in its diet or it might be eating things that it should not be. This would be more likely if it has started behaving that way since a change in its diet and if it behaves that way when it eats certain foods.
How to stop your Golden Retriever being out of control
Below are some options you have when getting your Golden Retriever to be easier to control.
To get your Golden Retriever to listen to you more it will be necessary to give it lots of training.
Training your Golden Retriever will have a number of benefits. It will make it more responsive to your command so you will be able to get it to stop misbehaving more easily. It will make things easier for you in social situations where you need your Golden Retriever to behave. It will also help you to have a more rewarding relationship with your Golden Retriever.
You should start by teaching it the basics such as to sit and stay in an environment where there are not many distractions. Then you can build up to teaching it harder things such as to come when you call it.
If your Golden Retriever is quite energetic then giving it some exercise before you start training it should help to make it more focused on you when you try to train it.
You can watch the video below to see how to get started on teaching your dog the basics.
As mentioned above, it is important to make sure that your Golden Retriever is able to get daily exercise. It is recommended for them to get an hour of exercise per day as healthy adults.
One way to train your Golden Retriever is with the use of positive reinforcement training. This is where you reward your Golden Retriever. normally with treats, for making small steps towards behaving the way that you want it to, requiring more from it, to get the treats, each time.
For example, if you’re trying to teach it the “down” command then you would initially reward it for simply lowering its head towards the ground and then you would build up how much you require to get the treat until it goes down when you tell it to. You can see positive reinforcement training in the video above.
Don’t reward bad behavior
As mentioned above, it might be the case that you have encouraged the behavior by giving it things it wants when it behaves that way. Instead, it would help to reward it when it is behaving the way you want, to stop rewarding it when it misbehaves and to give it positive reinforcement training.
You could get your Golden Retriever to vent its excess energy onto things that you don’t mind it doing it with by giving it lots of toys to play with. But, make sure to use this in conjunction with giving it training and exercise.
If you can’t get your Golden Retriever to listen to you when you tell it to then consider getting help from a dog behaviorist since they will be able to give you tailored advice on what to do.
Ensure that it is getting the right diet
As mentioned above, it might also be the case that there is an issue with its diet. It would help to make sure that your Golden Retriever has not been eating things that it should not be and that it has been getting the right diet.
Things to consider
Below are some things to consider about your Golden Retriever being out of control.
When you’re training your Golden Retriever to be less out of control it’s important to have a lot of patience. Changing your Golden Retriever’s behavior will be a gradual thing. You might not be able to make big changes over the course of days but over the course of months, you can. So, it will help you a lot to approach it with a long-term focus.
It’s also important to be very consistent with your training. If you train it to do something but then neglect to follow up on that training in the weeks following then your progress will likely be slow.
If your Golden Retriever is still young then it is likely that you will be able to get it to calm down a lot as it gets older. To maximize how well behaved it becomes as an adult it’s still important to take the time now to make sure that it gets lots of training.
When it first started doing it
When trying to figure out why your Golden Retriever has been behaving that way, it would help to consider what else happened when it first started doing it.
If it started doing it suddenly, it could be due to things such as a change in its diet, a lack of exercise or encouraging the behavior by rewarding it when it behaves that way.
When it is out of control
It would also help to consider if there is a certain time that it tends to be out of control. If there is, it might be the case that the timing has something to do with it.
For example, if it behaves that way after eating a certain food, it would be more likely that there is an issue with its diet.