The Ultimate Golden Retriever Training Guide

The Ultimate Golden Retriever Training Guide

If you are thinking of bringing an adorable puppy home to your family, a Golden Retriever should without a doubt be near the top of your list, as they are one of the most docile and affection breeds out there. Before you actually commit to purchasing a puppy, however, you probably want to research various ways of conducting Golden Retriever training. Getting a puppy is a lot of fun, but you should make sure you are ready to train your new friend before you bring him into your home. You do not want this little ball of fur to learn bad habits which he will carry through adulthood when it may not be so cute. Take time to think about the Golden Retriever training so that everyone in your family knows and can be consistent with your new puppy.

Golden Retriever Training Methods

Rule of 7

Many trainers recommend Dr. Carmen Battaglia's “Rule of 7," which is an ideal plan to follow when introducing your puppy to new people, places, and objects. According to the Rule of 7, a 3 month old puppy should have experience on seven different types of surfaces such as carpet, grass, and gravel, and should have played with seven different kinds of objects, like squeaky toys, sticks, and balls. Other Rule of 7 situations includes introducing your puppy to seven different locations, and seven different new people. By the time your puppy is twelve weeks old, it is recommended that they be exposed to around 49 different things to give them confidence. The pups are allowed to explore for themselves in a controlled environment so they can become comfortable with the new experiences that they will most likely encounter many other times in their lives. The early exposure to small stresses improves the confidence, obedience, and social behavior of puppies. Check with your breeder to see if they have a Rule of 7 checklist so you can keep track of what your puppy has been exposed to. Positive experiences with different “stresses” like new types of surfaces that can feel strange to them or playing with different objects will increase their social behavior and ability to be trained. Do not forget to introduce sounds like babies crying, loud, sharp, noises, and trains. Introduce your puppy to different types of people, provided they have had their shots.

The Von Falconer Way

The Von Falconer Way of Golden Retriever puppy training organizes external stimulation exercises into a specific time table based on the most crucial learning periods during the first weeks of life. During day 22 to 28, the puppies accept discipline and submission and experience exposure to new objects and environments. The next phase of training is sound conditioning. The puppies experience different sounds, such as a baby crying and traffic, and are conditioned to have control over their bodies. The last phase is the development of the following response, so the puppies learn to automatically follow someone when he or she walks away. Both of these techniques focus on exposing the puppies to all kinds of different stimulation, like surfaces, fabrics, sounds, people, and objects. Having them introduced to many situations helps the puppies to adapt and feel comfortable when encountering new things. These methods have been tried and tested to produce great results. All training should be done with love and encourage the Retrievers to harbor a sense of adventure.

Golden Retriever Training Tips

If you love Golden Retrievers but are nervous about attempting to train one all on your own, you might be interested to learn about your options for adopting dog that has already been through a Golden Retriever training program. Training a young puppy can be a daunting task for a first-time dog owner. Puppies must be housebroken and taught how to walk on a leash, respond to commands, and avoid bad behavior like chewing, barking, or destroying property. If you have never owned a dog before, you might not have any idea where to start. Fortunately, some breeders begin to train their puppies from a very young age, allowing you to adopt a dog that already understands basic commands or even more complex tricks and behavioral techniques. Golden Retrievers are very intelligent dogs. They make very good assistance animals because of their willingness to learn and their desire to please. If you got your puppy from a good breeder who has worked hard to introduce your puppy to new situations and make sure he is socialized, you should not have problems teaching your Golden what you expect.

Exercise Before Training

With Golden Retriever training, you should let your puppy exercise before a training session. Keep the sessions short, as Goldens do not have a long attention span. Three or four short, say 5-minute, sessions a day will get you farther than one long session. Work on one word at a time. Teach him sit, then move on to down once he has that firmly in his memory.

Consistent Positive Reinforcement

You need to be consistent with your puppy. Sometimes, that is the most difficult part about training, especially if you have kids who want their new puppy in their bed or on the couch. You will enjoy your dog more when he is well behaved, so the time you spend now working with him will be worth it in the end. Make sure to reward good behavior, even if you just give your puppy lots of praise.

A Consistent Routine

Following a routine, it is a good idea to take the dog outside after waking up in the morning, after feedings and before going to bed at night. This will set the idea into the dog’s head of when it is time to go. Rewards work just as well on puppies as they do on children. Giving the dog a treat after they go potty outside shows them that this was the correct action and they are likely to repeat it. The last important concept of any kind of puppy training is to supervise the dog at all time. Do not give him the opportunity to be bad in the house. Remember that accidents will happen; it is a normal part of training.


A vital part of Golden Retriever training is helping your puppy learn to love his crate. Dogs are den animals and will instinctively retreat to small and enclosed places like under a table or in a closet. You should provide your puppy with a clean and sturdy crate that is his special place. You can put toys and treats in the crate to help him feel at home. Remember to never use the crate as discipline; the crate should always be your puppy’s “happy place.”

Leash Training

Golden Retriever puppy training should also include leash training. If taking your dog for a walk, always walk in front of it and give the leash a gentle tug whenever it tries to go in a different direction. This helps establish dominance and your role as the leader, which is crucial when establishing yourself as the head of the hierarchical order.

Alpha Positioning

All dogs naturally follow a pack with one dog or person at the top of the ladder; this hierarchical structure is especially ingrained in Retrievers. Without a clear leader, it may establish itself as such and do its own thing regardless of what you command it to do. From the first day you bring your puppy home, make it known that you are the leader. This means always walking in front of it, eating your own meals before feeding it, and always having your dog come to you instead of coming to it.

Sound Conditioning

Sound conditioning is also a useful puppy training exercise. When your puppy is still relatively small, begin exposing them to as many unusual and potentially jarring sounds as possible. For example, if a puppy is exposed to the sound of traffic or the sound of a baby crying, they will be less likely to consider those noises a threat if they are encountered later.

Training to Follow

Teaching your puppy to follow you automatically is extremely useful. Bring your puppy to a large grassy area with no other people and as few potential distractions as possible. Walk a few steps away from your pet and then encourage them to follow you. After they have come to your new location, give them a brief but deliberate caress and repeat the process over again.

Brush Up on Your Listening Skills

It is important to listen to what your dog is trying to tell you. If he seems uncomfortable meeting new people, new dogs or in an unfamiliar environment, then do not push it. There is a reason the dog does not feel comfortable, and while you may never know exactly why, it is important to respect that.

Be Realistic

Any puppy training will take time. Be realistic about the amount of time it is going to take to consistently change behaviors. Some dog actions like digging, barking and jumping may take the most time to break as they are inherent traits in dogs, so do not be too hard on yourself or your dog for mistakes that occur.

Provide Freedom

While training, it is important to allow your dog plenty of time to run and play freely. They have a lot of energy and it needs to be burned somehow. Instead of them ripping into couch cushions to ward off extra energy, take them out to play. Remember that Golden Retriever training should always be centered around positive reinforcement. Puppies should be rewards for doing well, not punished for mistakes. Positive reinforcement and consistent, loving guidance will help your new puppy be the best he can be.

Adopting A Trained Golden Retriever

Adopting a trained dog does not mean that your job as a dog owner is done. When you adopt any dog, your job is only beginning. Golden Retrievers often live for 10-12 years, making them a serious, long-term commitment. Even if your puppy has already learned how to sit, stay, and walk on a leash, it will still need life-long reinforcement of those rules and commands. Without a strong, knowledgeable owner, the Golden Retriever training your dog experienced as a puppy will quickly become nothing more than a dim memory. It is up to you to continue your dog’s training and help your Golden Retriever grow up into a healthy, obedient, socialized companion. When you adopt a dog, be sure to ask the breeder about their training techniques so you can build on those commands. For example, many breeders crate train their puppies, and they may be able to offer advice on finding an appropriate crate for your dog. If you need assistance, there are many Golden Retriever training programs available nationwide to help first-time dog owners learn how to communicate with their pet. Training a dog can be an intimidating idea, but adopting a pre-trained dog can be a great way to get a head start and make it easier for you to continue their training at home.

Ask About Training Methods

Ask your breeder about their Golden Retriever training methods so that you can continue with what they have been doing with the puppy. This gives you a head start when you bring your new companion home. Your puppy will be your faithful friend for a long time, so make sure you get off to a good start.

The Ultimate Golden Retriever Training Guide

2 Responses

  1. I appreciate how you emphasized the need to constantly focus on positive reinforcement while teaching Golden Retrievers. Puppies should not be used as a form of negative reinforcement. Your new puppy will develop to his full potential with continuous, loving supervision and positive reinforcement. This will be useful to my uncle, who recently bought a golden retriever and is thinking about training it. I’ll make sure to share your advice with him by then, and I appreciate it!

  2. I found it helpful when you advised us to be consistent with our Golden Retriever puppy when training them while giving them rewards and praise for their good behavior since positive reinforcement works for them. I’m planning to adopt a puppy soon since I recently got permission from my landlord to raise one in my apartment. I’ll be sure to keep this in mind while I look for English cream Golden Retriever puppies for sale soon.

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