Imagining your golden retriever biting you may seem like a stretch as the breed is known for being gentle and mild-mannered. However, all dogs can bite in some circumstances, and this is no different with golden retrievers. You can reduce the risk of biting by getting your golden retriever puppy from a reputable breeder, such as Golden Meadow Retrievers, and training it to exhibit positive behaviors.
When Will a Golden Retriever Stop Biting?
Your golden retriever puppy biting is especially common. Golden retriever puppies nip, and biting and chewing behaviors can strengthen their gums and teeth as well as burn off excess energy through play. Most young puppies nip and bite as part of play behaviors that mimic hunting. This is an important part of their development — golden retrievers were bred as game dogs, so biting is also part of the breed.
While seeing your golden retriever puppy biting and nipping is cute, you don’t want to encourage this behavior. As the puppy grows, unchecked biting can lead to injury and aggressive behaviors. Your puppy will be discouraged from biting too hard by littermates and its mom until it's about 8 weeks old. Socialization will then teach puppies that hard bites have consequences.
By the time puppies are 8 to 12 weeks old, they are exploring the world around them and puppy biting can become an issue. During this time, you will want to discourage biting to make sure the behavior doesn’t become habitual.
Training Golden Retrievers Not to Bite
You can discourage biting in a few important ways:
- Start early: When your puppy bites or nips, make a squealing sound and immediately ignore it and walk away. This helps reinforce that biting is a negative behavior.
- Check with your vet: If an older dog starts to bite or nip, it may have a medical condition causing pain. Addressing that illness can help stop the biting.
- Provide lots of activity and safe biting options: For golden retriever puppies, especially, it’s important to provide chew toys and lots of activity. Golden retrievers are high-energy dogs. Multiple walks, playtime and toys will help them burn off excess energy, so they don’t bite out of boredom.
- Socialize your dog: Dogs can communicate effectively with each other, so if your golden retriever socializes with other dogs, it will get positive reinforcement for not biting.
- Get professional help if you need it: If your golden retriever continues to nip, consider training with a professional who can address these issues.
Even with biting discouragement and training, golden retrievers can bite if they are scared, hurt or poorly trained. For this reason, it’s important to always supervise them around children.
Start With a Well-Rounded Puppy From Golden Meadows Retrievers
Golden Meadows Retrievers has been breeding and showing golden retrievers for over 25 years. We use early socialization and Early Neurological Stimulation (ENS) for our puppies, which can help reduce some problem behaviors. Contact us to learn more or fill out a puppy request form to find your perfect puppy.