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Do Golden Retrievers bark a lot? This is not an uncommon question among prospective owners of Golden Retrievers.
These dogs were originally bred to assist hunters in retrieving waterfowl. The breeders chose some of the noiseless dogs at that time because excessive barkers were not fit for tagging along while hunting.
Golden Retrievers do not bark excessively, especially when compared to other noisy breeds. But they will bark once in a while when necessary.
Keep reading this post as we explore the barking nature of Golden Retrievers and highlight what you can do to tone down excessive barking if it happens.
8 Reasons why Golden Retrievers Bark
1. They want attention
Golden Retrievers are friendly dogs who would love to receive attention from their owner regularly. They may resort to barking as a way of courting your interest.
Your dog might be doing this because they have learned that barking might annoy you and put them in the center of attention.
This type of barking is common among many dogs and it is not necessarily bad. They do this as part of their communication with humans.
2. They are scared
A Golden Retriever might suddenly break into a series of fearful barking as a way of raising an alarm. They might have been scared by something in their immediate environment.
Your Goldie might have encountered a dashing squirrel in the woods when hiking with you, and this might prompt them to bark in awe to express their fear.
Some dogs might just be scared by the sound of a starting engine while others cannot stand the roaring sound of thunder in a storm.
Every dog has that stimuli which can get them scared even in the presence of other dogs in the pack. You need to know your dog’s dreadful fears and work towards making them comfortable in such situations.
3. They are communicating
Unluckily, our canine companions do not have the human vocal cords to communicate with us in our language.
They, therefore, use what they know best to relay a message to their human caregivers and other pets as well.
Your Golden Retriever may bark to greet you after you get back home after a busy day at work. They may also bark during meal time, potty time, or when they need a walk around the neighborhood.
Fortunately, each dog has their own request-barking style and with a good understanding, you can be able to know what every single bark means.
We recommend that you train your dog on how to engage with you properly since this will minimize excessive barking as a way of communication.
4. They are bored
Golden Retrievers can sometimes bark as a way of expressing their dullness and frustration. They are simply calling anyone around them for something engaging.
Boredom barking is always in a monotone and done with some levels of frustration with short breaks in between.
The affected dog could also bark towards whatever is denying their joy or what they think would make them happy.
A good example is when your Goldie is trying hard to get some kibbles from a Kong. They may bark out of frustration when the Kong becomes tough to deal with.
You should always remember that Golden Retrievers are high-energy dogs. You need to provide them with positive outlets to vent their energy.
5. They are anxious
Golden Retrievers who have been left alone might bark with sadness to express their loneliness and seclusion.
Anxiety barking is often accompanied by other vocalizations such as howling, and some destructive behaviors such as chewing on items.
Knowing how long dogs can be left alone is crucial in keeping your Goldie healthy and in a good emotional state.
6. They are responding to stimuli
If you accidentally step on your dog’s tail, they will bark in a response to the pain incurred. This is the vocal tool that dogs use to naturally respond to certain inducements.
Your dog could also bark at the passing traffic on the freeway while taking them for a walk. High-frequency noises that may be inaudible to the human ear may stimulate your dog to bark.
There are several things that may awaken your Goldie’s need for barking and with proper training, you can train them on how to respond to such.
7. They are being territorial
A Golden Retriever may bark to protect their territories from encroachment by other pets or humans. This can make them to serve as watchdogs or guard dogs after training.
These double-coated dogs are known for their gentle demeanor but, like all other dogs, they can sometimes be provoked into protecting what is theirs.
A good example will be when you bring a new dog home. The resident Golden Retriever will bark excessively to protest the new dog’s invasion of his space.
Resource-guarding barking is unusually accompanied by other voices such as growling. You can reduce the territorial behavior of your Goldie with proper training, introduction, and socialization in different settings.
8. They feel threatened
A threatened Golden Retriever will resort to barking as a way of vexing their disappointment.
Factors that may threaten your dog include the presence of other dogs while outdoors, strangers, and unfamiliar sounds and smells.
You can know if your dog is threatened by observing their body language which is usually subdued and with a tucked tail.
Understanding This Behavior
Barking is a natural behavior in all dog breeds including Golden Retrievers. It is their primary way of communicating with humans and with their fellow animals.
You should never punish or scold your pup for expressing themselves through barking – it’s the only language they know.
When you punish your dog for doing that which is natural, you are only confusing them and spoiling your relationship.
We also understand that excessive barking can be annoying to you and more especially to your immediate neighbors. But luckily enough you can train your dog to control their barking.
Excessive barking should never be ignored because it could be a sign of a deeper problem that needs proper handling.
You can train your dog at home to express themselves in other ways and this should tone down on excessive barking.
If the problem can’t be solved at home, feel free to reach out to a canine behaviorist who will diagnose your canine friend and provide a professional treatment.
Are Golden Retrievers Puppies Vocal?
Yes, Golden Retrievers puppies are vocal, similar to other breeds. These lovely pups would bark/whine whenever they need to nurse on their mothers.
They will do the same when they need special attention and sometimes, they can whine when they feel frustrated.
The Golden puppies can also howl when they perceive a threat from somebody or during harsh games with fellow puppies.
Despite being very vocal breeds, you need to know the line between normal barking in puppies and excessive barking.
Prolonged and loud barking might be a sign that your puppy is suffering from a medical condition and this calls for immediate intervention.
How Do I Get My Golden Retriever Puppy to Stop Barking?
Yelling at your Golden Retriever puppy to stop barking won’t solve the underlying problem. You need to train them from an early stage on how to request your attention and vex their frustration.
This is an easy-to-follow process that you can use to stop your puppy from barking:
1. Identify the cause of the barking
Many reasons may prompt a Golden Retriever puppy to start barking. The common reason is their need to lactate, snuggle, or sleep with their mothers.
The first thing you need to do is identify why the puppy is barking and see if you can help them out immediately.
If the puppy is barking and howling due to loneliness, then you can take them to their nursing mommy to protect them.
2. Tire them out
Sometimes the puppy might have too much pent-up energy which causes them to bark excessively. You can solve this problem by tiring them.
Provide the puppy with light physical and mental stimulations that will expend their energy and keep them waiting for sleep time.
These regular exercises are also crucial in improving the health of the puppy as they grow.
3. Reward Quietness
Show your puppy some love and reward them for staying quiet. They should know that being silent makes you happy and it gets them the good things.
How To Train a Golden Retriever Not to Bark Excessively
Training your Golden Retriever to tone down their excessive barking is the right way to address this situation.
1. Identify the problem
We have already seen that Goldens can be motivated to bark because of various reasons. Your first endeavor should be to identify what’s making your dog get restless and too vocal.
You can identify the cause by observing the body language and other vocalizations used in the situation. A fearful dog will for example become fidgety and howl with periodic barks.
The other way is to listen to the tone, rate, and duration of the barking. Fast and highly-toned barks are usually a sign of excitement in the dog. Slow barking and growling are usually a sign that the dog feels threatened or subdued.
When the dog is in pain or trouble, they will usually produce a sequence of highly-toned yelps which are short and rapid.
2. Calm your dog
Once you have figured out the reason why your pup is barking, you can proceed to calm them by giving a ‘quiet’ command.
This can be followed by telling your dog to ‘sit and stay‘ as they wait for more instructions from you. This situation will calm the Golden Retriever and guarantee that you are always there for them.
Make sure to use a calm but assertive tone during this stage. This will inform them that excessive barking is not a solution to their problems.
3. Stand in front of your dog
In some cases, your Golden Retriever might be barking for a long time as a way of soliciting your attention. By standing in front of your dog, you are assuring them that all is well and nothing should threaten them again.
4. Reward your dog
Once your furry friend gets quiet, you can give them a gentle pet on the back and reward them with their favorite treat.
This positive reinforcement will align your Golden Retriever to tone down their excessive barks.
Be careful not to give your dog a treat when barking. This will teach them how to solicit tasty treats from you and they will henceforth bark whenever they need to satisfy their sweet tooth.
5. Provide regular exercises
Providing your dog with regular exercise is a good way to expend their energy and burn calories. This helps your Goldie to stay fit and healthy while keeping them cooled down from boredom barking.
Get more details in our full guide on how to train a dog to stop barking.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. My Golden Retriever started to bark suddenly, what should I do?
This could be due to a simple noise you cannot hear or a complex issue such as a progressive medical condition.
You should try to calm your dog and see if they have any physical signs of injury or internal frustration. Make sure to see your vet if the dog proceeds to bark for a longer period.
2. Are Golden Retrievers known to be barkers?
Golden Retrievers are moderate barkers. They tend to get vocal only when they have enough reason to do so.
But, like all other dogs, Golden Retrievers may develop barking issues when they are not properly trained on how to behave in certain environments.
3. Is Golden Retriever A Calm Dog?
Yes! Golden Retrievers have a gentle and calm demeanor which makes them very good family pets. However, they can be provoked into aggression when they feel threatened and need to defend themselves.
4. How do I get my golden retriever to stop barking at everything?
You need to address the underlying reason that makes your dog view everything as a threat. They could be nervous or fearful about the new environment.
A good place to start is by socializing your dog with different people and settings. Also, you can teach them the basic command set such as ‘quiet’ and ‘sit & stay’ to handle their excessive barking.
Do Golden Retrievers bark a lot? No, at least not inherently. These dogs are classified as moderate barkers since they will only do so when there is enough reason.
Something like being in pain, barking at strangers, or due to separation anxiety. But every dog breed can develop issues with barking, so your Golden Retriever is not out of the woods yet.
You need to train your dog on how to respond to specific situations and the appropriate ways of calling your attention.
Laura is the founder of Furs'n'Paws. She is a also a pet writer and expert with more than 20 years of experience of working with dogs and cats. She developed a very strong love for animals at a young age. Her passion led her to establish a thriving pet sitting and dog walking business in Dubai. As an expert in pet training, behavior, and nutrition, Laura is committed to helping pet owners and pet lovers by offering high-quality information on a wide range of topics.