Firstly, you should take into account that all dogs bark.
As long as it’s not excessive, this is a perfectly normal behavior in all dog breeds.
Just like us, man’s best friend also feels the need to communicate their needs and wants, to express themselves, to release pent-up energy, and to communicate with others.
This means that when a dog barks, it’s usually expressing emotion, communicating with other dogs, or trying to catch someone’s attention.
Dogs should not be punished by their owners for barking a lot– they can, however, be conditioned to bark less, especially if you identify what is causing the barking.
Do Golden Retrievers Bark A Lot?
When it comes to Golden Retrievers, it can’t be said that they are excessive barkers. Compared to other dog breeds, Golden Retrievers don’t bark as much. Excessive barking is usually associated with more aggressive dog breeds, such as the Rottweiler or Pitbull Terrier.
Whether or not a Golden Retriever barks a lot usually depends on the environment it finds itself in, the people and other pets around, as well as how it is handled.
Although Golden Retrievers are known for their somewhat goofy behavior, they are still considered especially intelligent dogs, which are able to learn a multitude of skills faster than other breeds. This is why Golden Retrievers are often the breed chosen to perform search and rescue missions after a disaster.
Most of the time, when a Golden Retriever barks, it’s a positive bark: the greeting of an owner or the excitement over going out for a walk. Like other dog breeds, when a Golden Retriever feels curiosity, it’s likely to bark too.
This means that this breed’s barking is usually a natural response to an immediate stimulus. For this reason, Golden Retrievers don’t usually bark for very long periods — they bark while the stimulus is still relevant, like a car passing or the doorbell ringing, and they will stop after it has ended.
Why Is My Golden Retriever Barking So Much?
If you spend a lot of time away from home or are busy a lot and ignore your dog, this may be the reason for excessive and unexplainable barking.
Dogs, including Golden Retrievers, enjoy receiving attention from their owners and may be driven to bark if that is the only way they can get the attention they’re looking for.
This explains why your Golden Retriever barks when you get home and wags its tail– your dog is letting you know how much it has missed you. If you pat your dog when this happens, they will associate this positive response to their barking and are likely to continue doing it.
Keep in mind that this isn’t necessarily negative and is part of communication in dogs.
Similarly, your dog may be barking out of sheer excitement and energy. Golden Retrievers are very lively and energetic dogs.
Just like they will bark out of happiness for seeing you after a long day’s work, they may bark while playing out of excitement and built-up energy. As in the previous case, this is part of a Golden Retriever’s normal behavior.
How Do I Get My Golden Retriever’s Barking Under Control?
If your Golden Retriever barks for long periods or is particularly noisy, you may want to find ways to put a stop to this behavior and encourage them to quit.
Firstly, you can start by picking a command word. Be careful to pick a single command word that is intended to get your Golden Retriever to be quiet; something like “stop” or “quiet”.
Like your dog responds to its name or the words “come” or “fetch”, it will learn to respond to this new command word with quiet behavior. Do remember that you need to be consistent with the word and actions.
Then the next time there is a situation in which your Golden Retriever starts to bark, use the command word and give it a treat once it stops barking (or if it doesn’t bark at all).
By repeating these actions, your Golden Retriever will learn to associate a certain behavior (being quiet) with the reward (affection or a treat). It will take a lot of patience and you will have to repeat this command and the reward several times before it sets in. But eventually, your dog will follow this command as it follows other commands, like “fetch”.
It’s also important to keep in mind that using a command may not be the answer if your dog’s needs aren’t being met. Your dog may bark or have a multitude of other unusual behaviors if it’s hungry or thirsty or if it feels lonely or has a lot of energy built up that is not being released in better ways.
It’s essential that you care for your dog and make sure you are fulfilling all of its needs. Go for long walks and find time to play with your dog.
Make sure it doesn’t go through any physical discomforts, such as cold or hunger. If you notice that your dog barks at random times or without any apparent stimuli, it may be time for a veterinarian check-up, as this may be some type of pain-induced behavior.
Visit the Off Leash blog at TryFi.com for more helpful articles about pet-parenting tips.
Would you like to learn more about TryFi.com? The Fi Dog Collar is a GPS tracking collar that not only tracks your dog's location, activity level, and sleep pattern, but also alerts you if your dog escapes. If your dog escapes, this is the fastest way to find him. Give the Fi Dog Collar a try today!